Now in looking at the passage of Romans, chapter 9 and determining whether it states what the Calvinist believes it states, we need to further examine three things:

1. Whether the context has anything to do with determining whom the LORD wills for salvation, and who He does not.

2. The actual meaning of “election” as it is used in verse 11.

3. Whether Esau was hated simply because the LORD God chose to hate him, or whether Esau actually provoked the LORD God to anger by his own actions and behavior.

Let us then begin to examine Romans 9, and what it actually states, and whether the contention of the Calvinists is correct when they claim:

“Esau was cut off because that was God’s will, not anything Esau did.(Romans 9:11-18).”

As previously stated, Romans, chapter 9 begins with a plead for Israel, and ends with the declaration that Israel was condemned because they sought after righteousness, but not by faith. These things are very plain and without dispute. It is what is brought up between the beginning and end of the chapter that creates all the dissension. One of the first things we should note, are the verses immediately preceding the passage so often referenced by the Calvinists:

Not as though the word of God hath taken none effect. For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel: Neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children: but, In Isaac shall thy seed be called. That is, They which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed. For this is the word of promise, At this time will I come, and Sara shall have a son. And not only this; but when Rebecca also had conceived by one, even by our father Isaac; (Romans 9:6-10)

One of the first things to note here is the clear reference to the promise of God to Abraham, and though Abraham had other children, only Isaac was the child of promise, and that Isaac, as opposed to Ishmael who was of the work of the flesh, was the child of faith. Hence, there is a criterion already established here of looking at everything from the point of view of faith versus the works of the flesh. What the LORD goes on to tell us, is that only that which is of faith is counted as the seed. In explaining this, the apostle Paul, by the Holy Ghost, adds the explanation of Jacob and Esau, and continues the example as follows:

(For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth;) It was said unto her, The elder shall serve the younger. As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated. (Romans 9:11-13)

Here now we have the open statement that the LORD God hated Esau and loved Jacob, even before they were born. Plainly, this is the foreknowledge of God. However, it does not tell us by what criteria the LORD God loved Jacob and hated Esau, other than the context that we have already encountered, which is faith versus works. To answer this question, we must, of necessity go back to the account in Genesis which reveals what happened before the birth of Jacob and Esau:

And these are the generations of Isaac, Abraham’s son: Abraham begat Isaac: And Isaac was forty years old when he took Rebekah to wife, the daughter of Bethuel the Syrian of Padanaram, the sister to Laban the Syrian. And Isaac intreated the LORD for his wife, because she was barren: and the LORD was intreated of him, and Rebekah his wife conceived. And the children struggled together within her; and she said, If it be so, why am I thus? And she went to enquire of the LORD. And the LORD said unto her, Two nations are in thy womb, and two manner of people shall be separated from thy bowels; and the one people shall be stronger than the other people; and the elder shall serve the younger. (Genesis 25:19-23)

What we find here in Genesis is that the LORD knew about the conflict that would exist between Jacob and Esau, and that conflict began even before the children were born. What it does not tell us, is whether the LORD God chose it to be that way. This leaves us to reference three other places in Scripture and examine what the LORD states about Esau, as a person:

And I took your father Abraham from the other side of the flood, and led him throughout all the land of Canaan, and multiplied his seed, and gave him Isaac. And I gave unto Isaac Jacob and Esau: and I gave unto Esau mount Seir, to possess it; but Jacob and his children went down into Egypt. (Joshua 24:3-4)

The burden of the word of the LORD to Israel by Malachi. I have loved you, saith the LORD. Yet ye say, Wherein hast thou loved us? Was not Esau Jacob’s brother? saith the LORD: yet I loved Jacob, And I hated Esau, and laid his mountains and his heritage waste for the dragons of the wilderness. (Malachi 1:1-3)

Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord: Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled; Lest there be any fornicator, or profane person, as Esau, who for one morsel of meat sold his birthright. (Hebrews 12:14-16)

Now, unless we believe that the LORD God is entirely arbitrary, there is little here to go on as to why the LORD God would hate Esau and love Jacob, even before they were born. The only indication we get is from Hebrews, chapter 12 quoted above, where Esau is described expressly as a “profane person.” Plainly, those holding Calvinist doctrine discount this as they go back to Romans, chapter 9 and look at the statement “(For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth;)” and then declare that Esau didn’t have to do anything, it was God’s will that He hated Esau, and hence, Esau could not be saved.

The problem with that interpretation is its inconsistency with the rest of Romans, chapter 9, and the rest of Scripture. In examining, the balance of Romans, chapter 9 we find the following:

What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? God forbid. For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy. (Romans 9:14-16)

Here all the LORD God has relayed to us, is all he relayed to Moses, that no one dictates to the LORD God who He should have mercy and compassion on, and who He should not. Again, we are also brought back to the fact that it is the mercy of God that is the overriding element at work here, for He states plainly:

So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy. (Romans 9:16)

Since all going before this in Romans, chapter 9 leads up to this point, and culminates in the conclusion “So then . . .” And, since the beginning and the ending of the entire chapter addresses works versus faith, it calls to mind another passage:

He came unto his own, and his own received him not. But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. (John 1:11-13)

Which is as much to say “it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth,” which speaks of our works, and our efforts, but it is to say “of God that sheweth mercy.” This clearly means that salvation is wholly of God, and not of any man’s working or desire. In short, one cannot be born a Christian, bought into Christ, nor prayed into salvation by those who love him or her. Rather, the salvation of one’s soul is entirely the mercy and grace of God, and none other. And so the chapter continues with further examples:

For the scripture saith unto Pharaoh, Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might shew my power in thee, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth. Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth. Thou wilt say then unto me, Why doth he yet find fault? For who hath resisted his will? Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus? Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour? What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction: And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory, Even us, whom he hath called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles? (Romans 9:14-24)

If we take note of the examples, we find there is no criterion listed for why some are shown mercy, and others destroyed, other than the mercy of God itself. Of course, man being who he is, does not like facing up to the reality of who he is, and so the questions are asked “Why doth he yet find fault? For who hath resisted his will?” and “Why hast thou made me thus?” The reply to that is first: we have no business challenging God, and second: that vessels are brought forth, some to one purpose, and others, another. Yet, in all this, there is given no criterion for “why” this is the case, other than the “mercy” of God, and that His power will be manifested in the work He performs in the lives of both those who are destroyed, and those who are saved. Upon this, the chapter continues with the condition of Israel, and what the LORD God had to say about Israel versus the Gentiles:

As he saith also in Osee, I will call them my people, which were not my people; and her beloved, which was not beloved. And it shall come to pass, that in the place where it was said unto them, Ye are not my people; there shall they be called the children of the living God. Esaias also crieth concerning Israel, Though the number of the children of Israel be as the sand of the sea, a remnant shall be saved: For he will finish the work, and cut it short in righteousness: because a short work will the Lord make upon the earth. And as Esaias said before, Except the Lord of Sabaoth had left us a seed, we had been as Sodoma, and been made like unto Gomorrha. (Romans 9:25-29)

What this now demonstrates is that all the examples given before were to illustrate to Israel and to everyone else, that they were not special, and were not chosen because of who or what they were. Rather, they were chosen because of some other criteria the LORD God had set. The criterion that was set was indeed made known to Israel; only they forgot it and believed that they somehow merited the favor of the LORD above all others. Nonetheless, the reason the LORD God chose them is made clear in the following two passages:

Unto thee it was shewed, that thou mightest know that the LORD he is God; there is none else beside him. Out of heaven he made thee to hear his voice, that he might instruct thee: and upon earth he shewed thee his great fire; and thou heardest his words out of the midst of the fire. And because he loved thy fathers, therefore he chose their seed after them, and brought thee out in his sight with his mighty power out of Egypt; To drive out nations from before thee greater and mightier than thou art, to bring thee in, to give thee their land for an inheritance, as it is this day. (Deuteronomy 4:35-38)

Speak not thou in thine heart, after that the LORD thy God hath cast them out from before thee, saying, For my righteousness the LORD hath brought me in to possess this land: but for the wickedness of these nations the LORD doth drive them out from before thee. Not for thy righteousness, or for the uprightness of thine heart, dost thou go to possess their land: but for the wickedness of these nations the LORD thy God doth drive them out from before thee, and that he may perform the word which the LORD sware unto thy fathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Understand therefore, that the LORD thy God giveth thee not this good land to possess it for thy righteousness; for thou art a stiffnecked people. (Deuteronomy 9:4-6)

Here now we have criteria for the LORD God choosing Israel, despite the fact that the Israelites were a difficult people. That criterion was “And because he loved thy fathers, therefore he chose their seed after them, . . .” However, we still have no set standard by which we can say the LORD God particularly chose Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and passed all others by. However, the chapter summarizes and ends with the following, which sheds significant light on everything given as examples in the chapter:

What shall we say then? That the Gentiles, which followed not after righteousness, have attained to righteousness, even the righteousness which is of faith. But Israel, which followed after the law of righteousness, hath not attained to the law of righteousness. Wherefore? Because they sought it not by faith, but as it were by the works of the law. For they stumbled at that stumblingstone; As it is written, Behold, I lay in Sion a stumblingstone and rock of offence: and whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. (Romans 9:30-33)

We can see by breaking down the chapter that there is a progression and a purpose in the examples given in the chapter as we arrive in verse 30 to the question:

What shall we say then? (Romans 9:30a)

Without question, this construction states that an argument has been presented, with examples to illustrate the argument and prove the point, and that we are now ready to present the conclusion. The conclusion arrived at though, does not address how individuals are chosen, but rather contrasts the outcomes of faith versus works. In the conclusion, it is shown by all aforementioned examples that the works of man are not the determining factor in the plan of God. Rather, the works of man are actually a stumbling block to man when it comes to satisfying the LORD God’s requirements for righteousness.

Thus, despite what the Calvinists claim, there is no conclusive proof of any criteria of how the LORD God would will that one person is saved, and another is passed by and thus destroyed in Hell. What we are given is that we are not to seek after righteousness by any means other than faith. Hence, in examining the claim of the Calvinist that “Esau was cut off because that was God’s will, not anything Esau did.(Romans 9:11-18).” we are left far short of any proof of anything concerning how that in eternity past, long before Jacob and Esau were born, the LORD God determined that He hated Esau, and loved Jacob. This then leaves us with the unsubstantiated claim of Calvinist/Reformed theology that the LORD God simply chose to hate Esau, and not because of anything Esau did. Thus, we must turn to “election” as mentioned in verse 11 of the chapter, and see what we can find.

To be continued . . .

The Westboro “Baptist” Church Lie – Calvinism’s True Face: Pt. 4
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3 thoughts on “The Westboro “Baptist” Church Lie – Calvinism’s True Face: Pt. 4

  • 05 Dec 2008 at 11:27

    Several of the previous comments were removed at the request of the commenter.

  • 05 Dec 2008 at 12:55

    I did not ask you to remove the comment that shows your view of Romans Chapter 9 or the forekowledge/predestination comment. I asked you to remove the plagiarism accusations, which have been corrected. Will you please address this comment for your views depend on it.

    Romans 9: 9-18 is the clearest biblical expression we can find for the concept of double predestination. Paul illustrates the double character of predestination by his reference to Jacob and Esau. These two men were twin brothers. They were carried in the same womb at the same time. One received the blessing of God and one did not. One received a special portion of the love of God, the other did not. Esau was hated by God.

    The divine hatred mentioned here is not an expression of an insidious attitude of malice. It is what David earlier called a “holy hatred”. (Psalm 139:22.) Divine hatred is not malicious. It involves a withholding of favor. He turns his face against the wicked who are not objects of his special redemptive favor. Those whom he loves receive his mercy. Those whom he “hates” receive his justce. No one is treated unjustly.

    Why did God choose Jacob and not Esau? Did God forsee in Jacob some righteous act that would justify this special favor? Did God look down the corridors of time and see Jacob making the right choice and Esau making the wrong choice?

    If this is what the apostle intended to teach, it would not have been difficult to make the point clear. Here was Paul’s golden opportunity to teach a foreknowledge view of predestination, had he wanted to. It seems strange indeed that he does not take such an opportunity. But this is no arguement from silence. Paul does not remain mute on the subject. He labors the opposite point. He emphasizes the fact that God’s decision was made before the birth of these twins and without a view to their future actions.

    Paul’s phrase in verse 11 is crucial. “For the children not yet being born, nor having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according tp election might stand, not of works but of HIM who calls.” why does the apostle say this? The accent here is clearly on the work of God. It empahatically denies that election is a result of work of man, forseen or otherwise. It is the purpose of God according to his election that is in view here.

    If Paul meant that election is based on some foreknown human decision, why did he not say so? Instead he declares that the decree was made before the children were born and before they had done any good or evil. Now we grant that a foreknowledge view of predestination realizes that the doctrine decree was made prior to birth. But that view insists that God’s decision was based on his knowledge of future choices. Why doesn’t Paul make that point here? All he says is that the decree was made before birth and before Jacob and Esau had done any good or evil.

    We grant that in the passage Paul does not come right out and say that God’s decision was not based on their future good or evil. But he did not need to say that. the implication is clear in light of what he does say. He places the accent where it belongs, on the purpose of God and not on the work of man. The burden here is on those who want to add the crucial qualifying notion of foreseen choices. The Bible doesn’t add it here or anywhere.

    The point is this: if Paul believed that God’s predestination was based of foreseen human choices, this was the context in which to spell it out. We must go a step further. Though Paul is silent about the question of future choices here, he does not remain so. in verse 16 he makes it clear.” so then it is not of him who wills, nor of him who runs, but of God who shows mercy.” This is the coup de grace to Arminianism and all other non-Reformed views of predestination. This is the Word of God that requires all Christians to cease and desist from views of predestination that make the ultimate decision for salvation rest in the will of man. The non-Reformed views must say that it is of him who wills. This is in violent contradiction to the teaching of Scipture. This one verse is absolutely fatal to your view.

    It is our duty to honer God. We confess with the apostle taught our election is not based on our wills but on the purposes of the will of God.

    Paul raises two rhetorical questions in this passage that we must consider. the first is ,”What shall we say then? Is there any unrighteousness in God? Why does Paul anticipate this question? No one raises that question to an Arminian or your view. If our election is ultimately based on human decisions, there is no need to raise such an objection.

    It is to the biblical doctrine of predestination that this question is raised. It is to predestination based on God’s sovereign purpose, on his decision without a view to Jacob or Esaus’s choices, that prompts the outcry, “God is not fair!” But the outcry is based on a superficial understanding of the matter. It is the protest of fallen man complaining that God is not gracious enough.How does Paul answer the question? He is not satisfied by merely saying ” No, there is no unrighteousness in God.” Rather, his answer is an emphatic as he can make it. “God forbid”

    The second objection Paul anticipates is this: “You will say to me then, ” Why does He still find fault? For who resisted His will? Again we wonder why the apostle anticipates this objection. This is another objection never raised to Arminianism or your view. non-Reformed views of predestination don’t have to worry about handling questions like this. God would obviously find fault with people who he knew would not choose Christ. If the ultimate basis for salvation rests in the power of human choice, then the blame is easily fixed and Paul would not have to wrestle with this anticipated objection. But he wrestles with it because the biblical doctrine of predestination demands that he wrestle with it. how does Paul answer this question? Let examine (Romans 9:20-24)

    God makes vessels of honor and vessels of wrath from the same lump of clay. But if we look closely at the text we will see that the clay with which the potter works is “fallen” clay. One batch of clay receives mercy in order to become vessels of honor. That mercy presupposes a clay that is already guilty. Likewise God must “endure” the vessels of wrath that are fit for destruction because they are guilty vessels of wrath.

    Again the accent in this passage is on God’s sovereign purpose and not upon man’s free and good choices. The same assumptions are operating here that are operatimg in the first question.

    Paul ,you insist to say that Romans 9 is not about individuals but Gods electing of nations. We know that salvation is of the Jews. That much is indeed true of Romans 9. We must consider, however, that in the electing of a nation God elected individuals. Nations are made up of individuals. Jacob and Esau were individuals. Here we see clearly that God sovereignly elected individuals as well as a nation. We must hasten to add that Paul extends this treatment of election beyond Israel in verse 24 when he declares “even us whom He called, not the Jews only, but also the Gentiles.”

    Source : Rc Sproul ” Chosen By God”

  • 06 Dec 2008 at 10:45

    Well, you’re certainly not addressing it Scripturally. You’re using R.C. Sproul’s material, and not the Bible. R.C. Sproul lifted the passages in question out of context, and then tries to make argument from silence. It is the old “Why did he . . .,” or Why didn’t he. . . “ and then use that as a basis for presuming the logic that follows. That only works if you have other passages from the REST of Scripture to solidly back you up.

    This is one of the problems I have with Calvinist/Reformed theology — they don’t dare address those passages in Scripture that shoot them down (I see the very same thing with Arminians and Universalists). If they would, then I would be able to see where they are trying to intellectually honest. However, it is plain they are not, and they obviously don’t care to be.

    There is a world of difference between ASSERTION and PROOF .

    Proving something is a whole lot harder and more time-consuming than simply making an assertion and weaseling the logic.

    By the way, I never said anything about the passage of Romans 9:11-18 belonging to nations. You have inserted my name in a place where it doesn’t belong. That constitutes slander. Your “cutting and pasting” will get you in a lot of trouble.

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