Instigator / Con
Points: 13

Is Calvinism True?

Finished

The voting period has ended

After 3 votes the winner is ...
RationalMadman
Debate details
Publication date
Last update
Category
Religion
Time for argument
Two days
Voting system
Open voting
Voting period
One week
Point system
Four points
Rating mode
Rated
Characters per argument
10,000
Contender / Pro
Points: 18
Description
We will be arguing over whether Calvinism is valid or not. Calvinism is the belief that God handpicks who can be saved rather than it being a choice.
Round 1
Published:
1 Timothy 2:4 says: "[God] will have all men to be saved, And to come unto the knowledge of the truth. "

How could this be true if God selects only certain people to go to heaven? In fact, Why would he create certain people in the first place if he wasn't going to allow them to enter heaven? It makes no sense. In fact, It would entail controlling their free will:

John 14:6: "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. "

So one has to choose Jesus in order to enter heaven. However, In the Calvinist view, We've already been selected to go to heaven. Why do we have to choose if God's chosen us already? 

Besides this, You're basically saying that God has condemned people to sin beyond their free will, But God hates sin more than anything else. So you're essentially saying that he created people to do something he hates and they can't control it. 

2 Peter 3:9: "The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, As some understand slowness.
Instead
he is patient with you, Not wanting anyone to perish, But everyone to come to repentance. "

Why would he have to be patient and wait if he had already chosen who goes to heaven and who doesn't? It simply wouldn't matter. In the Calvinist worldview, God has created people to go to hell simply because he can, But that completely goes against the God that the Bible preaches. 

John 3:16: "For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, That whosoever believeth on him should not perish, But have eternal life. "

This says that God loves the entire world, And whoever believes in Jesus shall go to heaven and have eternal life, Not only those he supposedly hand-picked. 

Besides this, If we were pre-destined, There would be no point in missionaries or spreading the word, Because those who go to heaven will go regardless of whether they hear of Jesus or not and those who will go to hell will go whether they hear of Jesus or not. 

1 Peter 3:15: "but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, Always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, Yet with gentleness and reverence;"

Why would we be called to minister to people who can't actually make a choice themselves? 

Another point is that sin wouldn't matter at all, But look at Hebrews 10:16: "For if we go on sinning deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, There no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, "

This shows how we can lose salvation, But that is not true in this Calvinist view. 

A common Calvinist scripture is Ephesians 1:4-5. However, that view of it is not true. In 1:13 it specifically says: "And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, The gospel of your salvation. When you believed, You were marked in him with a seal, The promised Holy Spirit, "

They were included in Christ when they believed, Also known as choosing. For more context, 1:1 says "Paul, An apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, To God’s holy people in Ephesus, the faithful in Christ Jesus"

He is talking to Christians here: "The Calvinist contends that certain individuals were chosen before the world began and predestined to become believers, But that is simply not what the text says. Paul teaches that those “in Him” have been predestined to become “holy and blameless” and “to be adopted as sons, ” but he never says that certain individuals were predestined to believe in Christ. Paul is speaking of what “the faithful in Christ” (vs. 1) have been predestined to become, Not about God preselecting certain individuals before the foundation of the world to be irresistibly transformed into believers. "'



Acts 13:48 is usually used out of context to explain the Calvinistic point. If you look at the context of that scripture, It is a setting where there are Jewish people, and then there are Gentiles. God is giving his favor to the Gentiles and giving them a revelation because they have been humble and received his word. God simply chooses to spread his blessings through Israel. 

Acts 13:8:

"Therefore, My friends, I want you to know that through Jesus the forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you. 39 Through him everyone who believes is set free from every sin, A justification you were not able to obtain under the law of Moses. "

This says that can get forgiveness if we believe, and it says everyone.


Another scripture used is 2 Thessalonians 2:13-14. However, Context tells us how Gentiles were continually condemned by Jews, And God was saying that Gentiles were included in his plan. Also, He says that he chose them through sanctification and belief of the truth, So if your view was correct, God would be controlling their wills and making them believe in him. However, We know this not to be true. 

Over to you! :)


Published:
This is simple.

God is omnipotent. If needed, I'll bring in the verses. God (in both Testaments) is omniscient, hinted at in many different ways.

God controls everything, or refuses to control what he knowingly lets happen naturally.


If you knew everything from wind strength, angle, and friction and knew the order of cards to begin with, you would never be gambling at a casino's card game. God knows everything, it's all chess (not poker or blackjack). God is playing a game of complete information where he has infinite IQ, entire information at all times and complete awareness of it too (God is not just omniscient but omnipresent).

I shall not flex a single verse, I shall make it clear that there is absolutely no element of our use of our conscious will that God wouldn't know, be aware of and either actively alter or refuse to alter and let happen (knowing it always would have ended that way based on the starting ingredients and way things inevitably would play out).

So, in the words of chess grand-master God... Checkmate, Theist.

That was God speaking through me, prove me wrong I dare you.
Round 2
Published:
None of what you said refutes the points that I made, which actually used scriptures. I am aware that you are an atheist, so please take this seriously or forfeit now.


Let's pretend like I am omniscient and use the card example you gave. I know exactly what moves you'll make, and I'll beat you every time. Does that mean that I caused you to play whatever cards you played? Of course not!

This was meant for an actual Calvinist, not an atheist who thought he/she could have a bit of fun.
Published:
I think something to establish is that this 'card game' isn't just God knowing about the cards and winning the card game. God knows about the psychology and is omnipotent and from the beginning of time so he can alter your brain to do whatever he wants (and choose to not alter it but let it do what it would do from his original 'ingredients' which he knew would interact in that way anyway).

This is not just speculation, God is actively displayed to both know the future and have plans that involve opting in and opting out of influencing the path that is otherwise going to take place for someone (which he knew every detail of anyway).

Let's begin here:

11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 12 Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. 14 I will be found by you,” declares the LORD, “and will bring you back from captivity. I will gather you from all the nations and places where I have banished you,” declares the LORD, “and will bring you back to the place from which I carried you into exile.”

In the book of Genesis we read the story of Joseph, the favored son of Jacob. Joseph’s brothers were jealous of him and devised a scheme to get rid of him. They considered killing him, but ended up selling him as a slave to foreigners. God knew this was going to happen, and already had a plan in place. Through a series of events, Joseph went from slave to prisoner to Egyptian ruler. Years later he was able to use his authority and position to provide for his family during a famine in their homeland. How do you think Joseph felt when he and his brothers were reunited? Do you think he wanted revenge? No, he didn’t. He told them: “And now, do not be distressed and do not be angry with yourselves for selling me here, because it was to save lives that God sent me ahead of you (Genesis 45:5).” Joseph understood the omniscience of God; that the events in Joseph’s life had worked together for his family’s own good.

The psalmist wrote.

O LORD, you have searched me and known me. You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from far away. You search out my path and my lying down, and are acquainted with all my ways. Even before a word is on my tongue, O LORD, you know it completely. You hem me in, behind and before, and lay your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is so high that I cannot attain it (Psalm 139:1-6).

Run this logic along everything that Pro is saying, what does it mean?

From the Timothy verse, to the 'none can come through God except through Jesus' line, it all means that while decisions have consequences and rewards, it all was something God knew you'd do before you did it. The Bible says this in many, many ways but I just showcased the three most severe examples of it doing so.

Look at the third thing I quoted: 
You search out my path and my lying down, and are acquainted with all my ways. Even before a word is on my tongue, O LORD, you know it completely.

Now, let's just establish that not only does God have omniscience and omni'awareness' (AKA omnipresence meaning at all times he knows all about all, not that he ignores it but he actively knows it) but he has omnipresence. The omniscience and constant awareness are covered severely by the verses and context of them that I just quoted.

Omnipresence proof.
Bible verse: Yes, before the day was I am he; and there is none that can deliver out of my hand: I will work, and who shall let it? – Isaiah 43:13

As God’s words said, “We trust that no country or power can stand in the way of what God wishes to achieve. Those that obstruct God’s work, resist the word of God, disturb and impair the plan of God shall ultimately be punished by God. He who defies the work of God shall be sent to hell; any country that defies the work of God shall be destroyed; any nation that rises up to oppose the work of God shall be wiped from this earth, and shall cease to exist. I urge the people of all nations, countries, and even industries to listen to the voice of God, to behold the work of God, to pay attention to the fate of mankind, thus making God the most holy, the most honorable, the highest, and the only object of worship among mankind, and allowing the whole of mankind to live under the blessing of God, just as the descendants of Abraham lived under the promise of Jehovah, and just as Adam and Eve, who were originally made by God, lived in the Garden of Eden.

The work of God is like mightily surging waves. No one can detain Him, and no one can halt His footsteps. Only those who listen carefully to His words, and who seek and thirst for Him, can follow His footsteps and receive His promise. Those who do not shall be subjected to overwhelming disaster and deserved punishment.

God created this world, He created this mankind, and moreover He was the architect of ancient Greek culture and human civilization. Only God consoles this mankind, and only God cares for this mankind night and day. Human development and progress is inseparable from the sovereignty of God, and the history and future of mankind are inextricable from the designs of God. If you are a true Christian, then you will surely believe that the rise and fall of any country or nation occurs according to the designs of God. God alone knows the fate of a country or nation, and God alone controls the course of this mankind. If mankind wishes to have a good fate, if a country wishes to have a good fate, then man must bow down to God in worship, repent and confess before God, or else the fate and destination of man will unavoidably end in catastrophe.

Look back to the time of Noah’s ark: Mankind was deeply corrupt, had strayed from the blessing of God, was no longer cared for by God, and had lost the promises of God. They lived in darkness, without the light of God. Thus they became licentious by nature, abandoned themselves to hideous depravity. Such men could no longer receive the promise of God; they were unfit to witness the face of God, nor to hear the voice of God, for they had abandoned God, had cast aside all that He had bestowed upon them, and had forgotten the teachings of God. Their heart strayed farther and farther from God, and as it did, they became depraved beyond all reason and humanity, and became increasingly evil. Thus they came ever closer to death, and fell under the wrath and punishment of God. Only Noah worshiped God and shunned evil, and so he was able to hear the voice of God, and hear the instructions of God. He built the ark according to the instructions of God’s word, and assembled all manner of living creatures. And in this way, once everything had been prepared, God unleashed His destruction upon the world. Only Noah and the seven members of his family survived the destruction, for Noah worshiped Jehovah and shunned evil.

God literally knows all, can stop or enable, destroy or create any of the 'all' as he pleases and what can prevent that? Nothing.

It is genuinely impossible for Calvinism to be false if God of the Bible is as described.
Round 3
Published:

I think something to establish is that this 'card game' isn't just God knowing about the cards and winning the card game. God knows about the psychology and is omnipotent and from the beginning of time so he can alter your brain to do whatever he wants (and choose to not alter it but let it do what it would do from his original 'ingredients' which he knew would interact in that way anyway).
This is not just speculation, God is actively displayed to both know the future and have plans that involve opting in and opting out of influencing the path that is otherwise going to take place for someone (which he knew every detail of anyway).
Yes, God has plans for us, but none of the scriptures you gave prove that God wants to control our free will or is making us choose or not choose salvation.


From the Timothy verse, to the 'none can come through God except through Jesus' line, it all means that while decisions have consequences and rewards, it all was something God knew you'd do before you did it. The Bible says this in many, many ways but I just showcased the three most severe examples of it doing so.
This proves my point. Yes, God knows everything, but the scripture says that YOU did the action, not God.


Now, let's just establish that not only does God have omniscience and omni'awareness' (AKA omnipresence meaning at all times he knows all about all, not that he ignores it but he actively knows it) but he has omnipresence. The omniscience and constant awareness are covered severely by the verses and context of them that I just quoted.

None of these prove that God is controlling our free will.

God literally knows all, can stop or enable, destroy or create any of the 'all' as he pleases and what can prevent that? Nothing.
God himself has shown that he will allow us to make our own choice regarding our salvation. This is shown in all of the scriptures I gave in round 1. An example of a scripture like this is John 3:16: "For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believeth in him shall not perish, but shall have eternal life.

It says whoever BELIEVES. Belief is a choice.

It is genuinely impossible for Calvinism to be false if God of the Bible is as described.
No, it is not. All you have proved is that God is omnipotent, omnipresent, and omniscient, none of which I disagreed with in the first place. You have yet to show that God is making us choose or not choose salvation.
Published:
Let's semantically hammer this home.

Calvin believed that salvation is only possible through the grace of God. Even before creation, God chose some people to be saved. This is the bone most people choke on: predestination.

When Con tells us that this is wrong because the human is doing the action based on a choice the resulted from chemistry in their brain or perhaps manipulation of their soul via God, Con is conceding that everything in the Bible that regards choice and action fails to disprove Calvinism. Here is why:

If all choices that humans make are known beforehand by God (as in the decision, every single factor going into their thinking etc) and every action that humans do is orchestrated by God either by altering the path later on or having intentionally known it would happen by his infinite, ever-present awareness and knowledge of all reality and 'soul-possessing'.

It doesn't matter that the Bible says choice, that it says 'those that do this get this', it also says the choice they make is incapable of being anything other than God's. 

Round 4
Published:
If all choices that humans make are known beforehand by God (as in the decision, every single factor going into their thinking etc) and every action that humans do is orchestrated by God either by altering the path later on or having intentionally known it would happen by his infinite, ever-present awareness and knowledge of all reality and 'soul-possessing'.
God knowing everything beforehand is not evidence of him controlling free will. Second, he does not do "soul-possessing."

It doesn't matter that the Bible says choice, that it says 'those that do this get this', it also says the choice they make is incapable of being anything other than God's. 
It never says that the choice is incapable of being anything other than God's. These are claims that are made with absolutely no supporting evidence.
Published:
Yes, it does. I have proven both with the verses and analysis and my Round 2 and the points I brought in my Round 1 that Calvinism is inevitable. I don't want to be seen as copying his other opponent's angles from his other Calvinism debate so I'm just going to leave it as it is.

God knows everything, including psychology, words you will say so much so that in the story of Jacob he got them to reject their brother as children in envy of him being the favourite child so that he would become King elsewhere and reunite with them at a later time and forgive them. This is literally the definition of using people as pawns and all the planning that went into it (including manipulating each and every person, animal and non-living entity that came into contact or would have come into contact with Jacob and his brothers) for this ending to happen shows that God is very willing to manipulate free will as and when he pleases. Consequently, if God knows all and is everywhere at all times aware of all things and he is definitively the most powerful entity with infinite capacity at said powers, it follows that all that happens is his choice as even if he doesn't actively stop something happening it all came from his original knowing of events unfolding and he created everything to begin with as well.

4 God made everything with a place and purpose; even the wicked are included - but for judgment. 5 God can't stomach arrogance or pretense; believe me, he'll put those upstarts in their place. 6 Guilt is banished through love and truth; Fear-of-God deflects evil. 7 When God approves of your life, even your enemies will end up shaking your hand. 8 Far better to be right and poor than to be wrong and rich. 9 We plan the way we want to live, but only God makes us able to live it. It Pays to Take Life Seriously 10 A good leader motivates, doesn't mislead, doesn't exploit. 11 God cares about honesty in the workplace; your business is his business.

Somehow I don't see this mastermind God being able to not know, not actively allow and on top of that fail when trying to actively alter any event (no matter how abhorrent) as seven the sins are part of his plan (look at part 4, the first one quoted).
Round 5
Published:
Once again, my opponent fails to show how God forces us to choose him and prevents others from doing the same. As I have shown in my first round, God wants us to choose him, but he doesn’t force us too. Just because he made everything doesn’t mean that he forces us to make our choices. I have shown why this isn’t true multiple times.

Yes, God is the most powerful being, but how does that mean that he forces our choices? It doesn’t, and my opponent has provided no evidence to prove otherwise.
Published:
God actually forces those who don't choose him, to not choose him. I don't understand how saying 'but he doesn't force all to choose him' disproves me at all.

Checkmate, end of story.


Added:
--> @RationalMadman
I apologize. I was called into work and had forgotten about it. I will post one soon
#23
Added:
--> @Virtuoso
thanks for the vote, I really appreciate the promises you keep.
Contender
#22
Added:
--> @Melcharaz
Isaiah was given as proof of omnipresence, not God controlling free will, which is why I ignored it
Also, why did you give Rational sources?
Instigator
#21
Added:
--> @RationalMadman
I'm not even sure what RFD stands for, i'm talking with bsh1 about it, you entered in biblical evidence that supports God forcing free will, yet it seems to be forgotten by you and dismissed by speedrace.
#20
Added:
--> @Virtuoso
I got it
#19
Added:
--> @RationalMadman
I'll post a vote tomorrow. I think you won hands down
#18
Added:
--> @RationalMadman
I'm a bit behind on the report log. I will work on it as soon as I can
#17
Added:
This site is A JOKE!
Contender
#16
Added:
--> @Virtuoso, @bsh1
Melcharez's RFD is for me winning wtf happens???
Contender
#15
Added:
--> @Melcharaz
You want to change your vote? PM me about it.
#14
Added:
--> @Virtuoso, @bsh1
Based on my voting, is it possible instead award the arguement to rational? Because he did give proof of God controlling free will, it was just swept under the rug so to speak.
#13
Added:
--> @Ramshutu, @PsychometricBrain, @oromagi
Please do make this your first stop, darlings.
Contender
#12
Added:
--> @Wrick-It-Ralph
Fantastic lying skills, I am impressed by your RFD.
Contender
#11
Added:
--> @Alec
It is the belief that God chose certain people to become Christians and excludes others
Instigator
#10
Added:
As even the sins*
Not as seven
Contender
#9
#3
Criterion Con Tie Pro Points
Better arguments 3 points
Better sources 2 points
Better spelling and grammar 1 point
Better conduct 1 point
Reason:
This boils down to the nature of choice. Con elaborated on his position well throughout. Separating knowledge about the choice from the freedom of making that choice.
This is not an intuitive argument, but I get it. Specifically - it’s like knowing my daughter will pick chocolate over vegetables - even though she has the free choice.
This is actually a good argument, I felt it had more weight than it appeared at first glance.
Unfortunately, I believe pros point here is valid. If God chooses everything from the start, with a plan, with perfect knowledge he has the ability to set up the guiding factors of you, your life and your decisions in such a way that you could be led to make the right choice or the wrong choice.
Gods perfect knowledge is one part - but he is also the creator and has full control of everything.
That gives him at least indirect control over your free will, and his decision not to give you every chance to be saved in every way seems to support Calvinism.
As a result, pros argument wins here.
Arguments to pro.
#2
Criterion Con Tie Pro Points
Better arguments 3 points
Better sources 2 points
Better spelling and grammar 1 point
Better conduct 1 point
Reason:
In regards to vote.
Isaiah 43:13 mentioned by con is adequate evidence to prove that God does manipulate the will of man, This went uncontested and also unsupported however it does validate con's stance FOR calvinism. The other verses in themselves show the omniscience and omnipotence respectively. "I shall work and who shall let it?" this is a question directed at everything. Who can stop the Lord from his work? Not the will of man, not the heavens, not earth, not demons or angels or any other spirit.
Following on that, i believe the source in its self is acceptable in the context of this debate and really is the star of the show.
Pro's source of ephesians 1:1-5 is not broadened in the context of the actual verses.
1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, to the saints which are at Ephesus, and to the faithful in Christ Jesus:
2 Grace be to you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.
3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:
4 According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:
5 Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,
Verse 1 affirms paul is an apostle of Jesus Christ by the Will of God. verse 4-5 Talks about predestination of those who are Chosen in Jesus before earth was even created and predestinated US (referring to saints) To the adoption of children (Status, children of God) by Jesus Christ himself according to The good pleasure of his will.
And pro's website does not negate the process and certainty of predestination by focusing the faithful as predestined. Who made the saints faithful? If that question were answered and the answer was the saint/individual himself, Then he could potentially have won the debate.
Both had acceptable grammar and conduct.
#1
Criterion Con Tie Pro Points
Better arguments 3 points
Better sources 2 points
Better spelling and grammar 1 point
Better conduct 1 point
Reason:
RFD
Argument Point.
Con's argument was to source bible verses in order to show biblical examples of god selecting people for heaven and proofs of free will. Con's argument rested upon the argument that Calvinism is a violation of free will, this argument seems intuitive to con's statements.
Pro simply makes the bold assertion that God is speaking through him and declares that Calvinism is true. Pro also supported this by showing that God has predetermined knowledge, although pro did not show motivation for god to violate free will.
After con rightly pointed out that pro had not supported his claim. Pro finally went on to provide biblical sources, which are key to this debate. This prevented pro from losing outright. However, Con routinely rebutted all of these points by pointing out that Pro had not shown examples or motivation for any impositions of will. This ended up being key for the winner to score the BoP
In the end. Pro was never able to show motivations or examples for impositions on will and therefore, I award the argument point to Con
Tied in sources and grammar.
Pro's conduct in this debate was unsavory at best, but I wasn't sure if it should qualify as being excessive or not, therefore, I begrudgingly give a tie for conduct.