I am a Christian and I also am a Calvinist…some of my more Arminian brothers in the SBC would say the two are antithetical, but I would ascertain that Arminians and Christianity are antithetical just from a quick reading of Scripture. And speaking of scripture the strongest arguments for Calvinism in the Bible can be found in Romans chapter nine—verse twenty-two:
“What if God, desiring to show his wrath and to make known his power, has endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, in order to make known the riches of his glory for vessels of mercy, which he has prepared beforehand for glory—“
And lest you think I am just taking one verse out of context here is Proverbs sixteen, verse four:
“The Lord has made everything for its own purpose, even the wicked for the day of evil,”
Some would say that this is unfair of God, to punish His own creation in this way after all doesn’t He love everyone…didn’t Jesus die for all? Well, yes, He does love everyone…but Jesus did not die for all…he died for many (Matt. 26:28, Heb. 9:28), all that believe in Him (Acts 10:43)…and, get this, He already knows who that is…do you think you can really surprise God?
But still some would say this is unfair of God…and earlier in Romans nine, Paul confronts just such thoughts:
“What shall we say then? Is there injustice on God’s part? By no means! For he says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.” So then it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God, who has mercy. For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, “For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I might show my power in you, and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.” So then he has mercy on whomever he wills, and he hardens whomever he wills.”
These verses blow me away…God used Pharaoh…who for his part was oblivious to it….for the same purpose that he uses us today…to ”show my power in you, and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth” Meaning we can either go along with the plan and be used by God or we can resist the plan and be used by God. And the plan hasn’t changed any…God’s plan then, God’s plan now.
These verses in Romans also point us to a larger truth than simply an “Calvinism vs. Arminianism” debate…they point us to the truth that salvation is of the Lord and doesn’t depend on us or the things we do but on God. Salvation then is not something we can gain…or lose based on our own efforts.
Its verses like these that make me praise God for who He is…our savior where we could not or would not save ourselves.