Friday, December 9, 2011

The verse that makes you a Calvinist II

In the Arminian worldview Christians can lose their salvation, in the Calvinistic one, true Christians cannot. Which is right? When the Bible uses the word election the Arminian must assert this is a corporate election, rather than an individual believer being chosen by God for salvation as the Calvinist does. Let's consider the problem of Christians being predestined as a class to salvation, the problem of this notion is readily apparent at 2 Peter 1:10, "Therefore, brothers, be all the more diligent to make your calling and election sure, for if you practice these qualities you will never fall."
On the surface this looks like Christians can fall, because Peter is warning them to make sure they don't fall, but that's shallow, because what does the word calling or election mean here if that is true? Corporate election? How does a church make its election secure? What do they need to do? Go back to verse 9
 "For whoever lacks these qualities is so nearsighted that he is blind, having forgotten that he was cleansed from his former sins."
Whoever doesn't sound like a corporate entity.  Neither does the word he, nor does the fact that this person  is cleansed from their former sins.  All of these promises are things that belong to a person, and in fact this discussion starts at v3 where God's mighty power v4 by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire." 
If the Arminian is right then it's not the individual Christian who is the partaker of God's divine promise but Christians as a class. Which means the promises God makes to us such as "if you believe with your heart and confess with your mouth you will be saved" are not really for us, they are for us only when we gather together collectively.  And the verses in context are not for us either:
For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. For if these qualities  are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Now then, faith, virtue, knowledge, self-control, steadfastness, godliness, brotherly affection, love are not for the Christian. So if the Arminian is right then we have totally and utterly destroyed not only all the promises of Christ, but the ability to be sanctified- which is amusing because the Arminian insists that they can keep their salvation through sanctification.
So if election means corporate election, then all the promises and power of Christ have been stripped away because it's a meaningless thing.  Only in the personal Calvinistic scheme is election and sanctification persevered.

2 comments:

Rick Brownell said...

You seem very confused.

Phil said...

This article needs some re-work. My point was that if election is corporate, then sanctification and ultimately salvation is corporate.
The gun points both ways.