Does God HATE the ones whom He will not save?

A February 22, 2013 blog by Stephen McCaskell on patheos.com entitled “Does God HATE the ones whom He will not save?” highlights the primary reason I am not a Calvinist. This is my response to McCaskell’s article.

cross-earthOne of the biggest dilemmas of Calvinism is, how can a loving God elect some people for eternity in Hell? If God chooses who is saved, and who is condemned, then God must not love all people. As McCaskell admits, “It would seem that it’s not exactly the easiest thing to reconcile the doctrine of election and God’s universal love.”

Some Calvinists see no problem here. They believe God loves the elect, but hates the non-elect. But in order to do this, they must twist the clear teaching of Scripture. If this view were correct, John 3:16 should read, “For God so loved the elect that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever God elects will believe in Him and not perish but have everlasting life.” However, that’s not what it says: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”

Other Calvinists, such as McCaskell, cannot ignore the clear teaching of the Bible that God’s love is universal. This creates the paradox that God loves the very people He sends to Hell. McCaskell explains his solution to this paradox:

In the Scriptures we read of God’s amazing love towards sinners, but normally it’s towards his people, the elect. Obviously God doesn’t love all people the same way. If he loved everyone in a saving manner, then all would be saved. But we know this is not true. Not all are saved.

Obviously God doesn’t love all people the same way. This solution to the paradox is even more problematic than the paradox itself. McCaskell simply redefines God’s love in a way that is obviously nonsensical. Note some of the comments posted on his blog page:

Sagrav says:
February 22, 2013 at 11:04 am
A love that sits by passively as you are tortured for eternity is a hollow thing indeed.

Sharon says:
February 22, 2013 at 11:28 am
Your definition of love is morally bankrupt if you can say with a straight face that God both loves and chooses some people for damnation.

So, what’s the answer to this paradox?

The problem with Calvinism is that it’s based on a logical fallacy. According to every Calvinist I’ve read or talked to about the subject:

  1. God is sovereign, meaning that God is in absolute, total control of everything.
  2. Free will means that Mankind controls at least some things.
  3. If Mankind controls some things, then God does not control everything.
  4. Therefore, free will cannot exist.

The fallacy is in point 3. Free will does not take away from God’s sovereignty. God can, and does, remain entirely sovereign, while at the same time granting Mankind free will. Free will is the essence of what it means to be created in the image of God. No other creatures have the ability to make moral choices. God created Mankind in His image so that we would be capable of having a love relationship with Him. Without free will, love is impossible. Love must be chosen, or it’s not really love. God made the sovereign choice to give Mankind the gift of free will in order to allow us to have a love relationship with Him. This in no way detracts from or diminishes His sovereignty, but in fact, affirms it.

How do we reconcile God’s universal love and the reality of eternal damnation? It is only because of Mankind’s free will that this paradox is avoided. God gives everyone the universal invitation to be saved. Those who accept God’s invitation are saved; those who reject it are damned:

14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, 15 that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. 16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. 17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. 18 “He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. 19 And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. 20 For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. 21 But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God.” John 3:14-21

Calvinism falsely teaches that Mankind cannot choose to accept or reject the Gospel, and this is heresy.


On a side note, ironically, Armenianism (the opposite of Calvinism), is based on the same logical fallacy, but with a different conclusion. According to Armenian thinking:

  1. God is sovereign, meaning that God is in absolute, total control of everything.
  2. Free will means that Mankind controls at least some things.
  3. If Mankind controls some things, then God does not control everything.
  4. Therefore, God is not totally sovereign.

This logic is based on the same fallacy as Calvinism, and the conclusion is equally heretical.

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