One day while idly scrolling through my Facebook account I came upon a post by a Facebook friend. “Is God unfair in not choosing to save everyone?” it questioned, “‘Fair’ would send everyone to hell. You don’t want fair. You want mercy.” John MacArthur.
I can feel the heated anger rising. I want to scream against this heretical insinuation. What is this statement actually saying? If you are a die-hard Calvinist of which John MacArthur is, there are certain beliefs that lie behind that declaration. First off, I should say, that I do believe we are all sinners and probably all deserve hell. But I have been taught all my life that Jesus (and God by inference) loves us and gave his life so that ALL individuals would have the opportunity to accept him as their Savior and obtain eternal life (heaven).
So back to the beliefs that underlie this statement that trigger my anger. The first thing the statement is saying is that God “choose” not to save everyone. As a Calvinist, one believes that God actually created man to sin. I had a young preacher sit across from me in his office and declare, “they (Adam and Eve) could not have done otherwise.” I am still shocked by that assertion. After that comes the belief that God has also determined (chosen) before he even created human beings who would be chosen to serve him and go to heaven. Conversely, this also means he choose those who would go to hell. So the statement that you don’t want God to be fair strikes me as totally hypocritical. Yes, I want God to be fair AND I want God to be merciful. I don’t think it is an either/or. If He set up this world as the Calvinist insists, then there is no mercy and giving people no choice in their final destiny is not only unfair, but also cruel and unloving. Holding someone responsible by sending them to hell for behavior they have no control over and has been pre-planned is irrational and heartless. Would I then expect mercy from such a God? Does the Bible really teach this?
My question is, is this the kind of God you believe in? Is God fair if he pre-determined before the world began which souls would be chosen for heaven? Is God merciful if that belief is true? To me the answer seems obvious. The comeback always is “God is God so he can do whatever he wants.” That is true but that doesn’t mean these conclusions are true as to God’s intentions and desires for man. The Bible does not say any of those things, but these teachings have become accepted by the majority of evangelical professing Christians today. In the seminaries and in the pulpits, the meanings of words used in the Bible have been changed to make this systemic theology seem to fit together. How do you invite anyone to love Jesus if you carry such underlying beliefs? There is no point in doing so.
I often wonder, does no one think about and question what they are being taught. Why do so many Christians I know blindly follow this theology. They sit mesmerized under the teachings at church and in Bible studies and no one speaks up. It surprises and saddens me that there is only silence when I write something like I have presented here. There is no negative response and no positive response. It is simply ignored. It is like people think if they just ignore what they know is not right but can’t explain, it doesn’t exist. The great wall of silence allows these teachings to continue on unchecked – with no one to defend the true Biblical reputation of God and His love for his creation. “For God so Loved the World, that he gave His only begotten Son, that WHOSOEVER believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” John 3:16 This is what Christmas is all about.