NOTE: This study is about the implications of doctrine, and how not thinking through statements of doctrine will lead to false doctrine and bad conclusions.
But does this mean that God has ultimately left it up to Solomon to follow Him or not? No, because in the next chapter we see David acknowledging that it is ultimately God who gives a person a heart to obey, for He prays “give to my son Solomon a perfect heart to keep Thy commandments” (29:19). There would be no use in asking God to cause Solomon to obey if God had ultimately left the choice up to Solomon. In light of all that we have seen, it seems best to conclude that since God controls all things, He causes us to make willing choices so that His will is always done, yet these choices are genuine, and we are accountable for them. Again, we do not need to necessarily see how these truths fit together, but if we are going to believe the Bible, it seems that we must believe them.1
Here we see the Calvinist/Reformed theologian stating that David asked the LORD God to make Solomon’s heart right, and implying that God did so (It might be just me that perceives an implication here, but I asked someone else, and they perceived the same thing), when he states:
“There would be no use in asking God to cause Solomon to obey if God had ultimately left the choice up to Solomon.”2
And citing the following passage as proof:
O LORD God of Abraham, Isaac, and of Israel, our fathers, keep this for ever in the imagination of the thoughts of the heart of thy people, and prepare their heart unto thee: And give unto Solomon my son a perfect heart, to keep thy commandments, thy testimonies, and thy statutes, and to do all these things, and to build the palace, for the which I have made provision. (I Chronicles 29:18-19)
However, if God did so make Solomon’s heart perfect, it sure didn’t stick, either that, or it was simply David asking for something that was more a hope than anything else. Besides that, we are told to ask:
Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone? Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him? (Matthew 7:7-11)
All David is asking for here is for the LORD to prevail upon Solomon, not that he expects the LORD to change Solomon’s heart, but that it would be good if Solomon’s heart was perfect and remained so.
It is real shaky ground to assume what is going through David’s heart and mind and then draw doctrine from that. It is assumed here that David knew that God changed hearts without the express consent of the individual, and thus asked for Solomon’s heart to be changed. However, there is nothing in Scripture that tells us what David knew concerning the LORD changing hearts without the consent of the individual. Moreover, no matter what David knew, it is quite the assumption to purport that David is asking strictly by doctrine and not out of any desire for Solomon to do well, doctrine notwithstanding. It would be quite the stretch to take everything David says as doctrine, even in his prayers, especially since we can easily point to several instances where David was doctrinally wrong, even to the point of committing wicked sin.
In any case, we see the result of David’s request:
For it came to pass, when Solomon was old, that his wives turned away his heart after other gods: and his heart was not perfect with the LORD his God, as was the heart of David his father. (I Kings 11:4)
However, there are other things that go beyond that in the assertions of Calvinists, where they do not consider the end of their doctrinal stance, and by Scripture, what they are actually saying. We are told:
“God has ordained every step of your life ____, every bad and good decision, everything. He has your life written in a book.”3
“People make decisions for themselves. OK ____, Good. People are responsible for the decisions they make, Ok, Good. Every decision a person makes good or evil fulfills God’s will. GOD IS BEHIND EVERY DECISION A HUMAN BEING MAKES. IT IS LIKE SLIPPING A GLOVE OVER YOUR HAND.”4
“He causes us to make willing choices so that His will is always done, yet these choices are genuine, and we are accountable for them.”5
Yet, the Scripture states:
Therefore will I number you to the sword, and ye shall all bow down to the slaughter: because when I called, ye did not answer; when I spake, ye did not hear; but did evil before mine eyes, and did choose that wherein I delighted not. (Isaiah 65:12)
Obviously, it was not God’s will what Israel did, and the LORD said so. How then did Israel fulfill God’s will? By the Scripture, they didn’t, and God said so.
But, for the sake of argument, let’s let their contention stand, and give them the holding that everything anyone does, good or evil, is fulfilling God’s will.
What are we then to make of this:
I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me. (John 5:30)
For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me. (John 6:38)
Obviously, the above two verses are a claim that, according to the Calvinist/Reformed quotes above, can not be unique as everyone fulfills the will of God, even when they attempt to work cross purposes. Now, why is it Christ came? But let us go on:
Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. (Matthew 7:21)
For whosoever shall do the will of God, the same is my brother, and my sister, and mother. (Mark 3:35)
And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever. (I John 2:17)
But according to the Calvinist, everyone does the will of God, hence they are either in direct contradiction with Scripture here, or they to believe in universal salvation. After all, the Lord Jesus Christ said that only those who do the will of God actually go to heaven. Ergo, by the quotes above that belong to those of Calvinist/Reformed theology, everyone fulfils the will of God. Hence, everyone goes to heaven. Isn’t this the doctrine called “Universal Salvation?” Calvinists have quite the conundrum here. But, let us proceed further:
Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin; That he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God. For the time past of our life may suffice us to have wrought the will of the Gentiles, when we walked in lasciviousness, lusts, excess of wine, revellings, banquetings, and abominable idolatries: . . . (I Peter 4:1-3)
Obviously, according to I Peter, chapter 4, there is a distinct difference between the will of God and the will of the Gentiles, which is equated to the workings of the flesh. If you are doing the will of the flesh, you are NOT doing the will of God.
Now we have some possibilities here:
A.) The Calvinists don’t care what Scripture states, and thus don’t care about the contradiction, and how they clearly contradict Scripture.
B.) The Calvinists cannot think through the logic of their doctrinal position and see that ultimately they end up at the same place as those holding Universal Salvation doctrine.
C.) The Calvinists cannot reason out that the following is a terrible contradiction:
“He causes us to make willing choices so that His will is always done, . . .”6
One cannot “cause” another to make a “willing” choice. Will is volition, and thus to “cause” another’s volition to do your volition is not for them to be “willing” in any sense of the term.
Moreover, when “God” “causes” a person to commit “willing” sin, no matter how you try to reason it away, it cannot be gotten around that “God” becomes the author of sin.
D.) The Calvinists cannot reason through to see that if everyone ultimately does the will of God, then they negate the very reason Christ came — which was to do the will of the Father because man cannot. The Lord Jesus Christ came to fulfill the will of the Father, which is expressed in Ecclesiastics, Chapter 12, verse 13:
Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. (Ecclesiastics 12:13)
Which is the same as this:
Then one of them, which was a lawyer, asked him a question, tempting him, and saying, Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. (Matthew 22:35-38)
Therefore, whether the holder of Calvinist/Reformed/Sovereign Grace/Primitive Baptist theology realizes it or not, they make everyone as righteous as Christ, and thus in no need of salvation. Hence, Christ’s coming was pointless, and Christ died for nothing as all men ultimately fulfill the will of “God,” thus pleasing “God.”
What you say, that is wrong? I don’t think so. Isn’t God pleased when His will is done? Certainly he is, as the Scriptures are full of references to that fact. Hence, why should anyone be condemned as all men and angels, even the Devil himself ultimately do the will of “God” according to the adherents of Calvinist/Reformed theology.
You know, there is a Scriptural label for this doctrine:
Either Calvinists are antichrist, and hide that fact. Or, they are so abysmally stupid they cannot reason out the end result of their doctrine, and are thus used freely of the Devil.
Of course, they have their grand “escape clause:”
Again, we do not need to necessarily see how these truths fit together, but if we are going to believe the Bible, it seems that we must believe them.7
Blind belief — no better than the Catholic Church’s pat “It’s a mystery.” answer to anything in their doctrine that is inherently contradictory.
You know, if a doctrine has unworkable logic in it, on top of contradicting plain Scripture, perhaps it’s time to change your doctrine?
- http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Delphi/8449/providen.html [↩]
- Ibid [↩]
- e-mail from Aaron [↩]
- Ibid. Really bad analogy here. It is the hand that controls the glove that covers it. By using this analogy, Aaron is saying we control God! [↩]
- http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Delphi/8449/providen.html [↩]
- Ibid [↩]
- Ibid [↩]