Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Manichaean Arminians

In theory, Arminians affirm unlimited atonement while they disaffirm reprobation. They also claim that God is no respecter of persons. Rather, God loves the “world,” which they define as every human being.

But as it turns out, Arminian nomenclature has an esoteric sense. In practice, Arminians are really Manicheans. They divvy up the “world “into a binary caste-system consisting of elect Arminians and reprobate devil-worshipers.

(N.B. A devil-worshipper is a synonym for Calvinist.)

Devil-worshipers (aka Calvinists) are devilish because they worship a devilish God, and you are what you worship.

Complementing their Manichaean eschatology is a Manichaean code of conduct. There’s one code of conduct for elect Arminians, and another code of conduct for reprobate devil-worshipers (otherwise known as Calvinists).

Elect Arminians love all and only their own kind–which is to say, fellow Arminians. God died for elect Arminians, not for Reformed Satanists.

You don’t have to be loving in the way treat demon seed since they’re just a bunch of hell-bound reprobates. The Sermon on the Mount only kicks in case you’re dealing with the children of light (i.e. Arminians), and not if you’re dealing with the children of darkness (i.e. Calvinists).

However, under no circumstances should this be construed as hypocritical. We naturally have different standards for the children of God and the spawn of Satan. Different paternity, different caste, different standards.

1 comment:

  1. This is tricky and something I should probably address. I take it Calvinists say that the actions of Satan are predestined before the foundation of the world by God. That being the case, if you buy into the kind of incompatibilist theory of moral responsibility that an Arminian typically does (responsibility is traceable to the originating cause), then God is responsible for everything the devil does. Given this picture of things (and an Arminian might agree with Kant that compatibilism is a "wretched subterfuge"),

    Now Calvinists think that intermediate causal agents are responsible for their actions, and, at the same time, God does have a good reason for predestining Satan to perform all the evil actions he performs, including those actions which cause people to sin their way into hell. So, God is in the clear, and Satan is not.

    Working from their own understanding of moral responsibility, it is easy to see why Arminians can end up saying "Your God is the devil." The Wesleys did that, and it cost them their friendship with Whitefield. Put thus, the objection puts the Calvinist's back up, and things tend to get acrimonious from there.

    Maybe the Arminian should say "Given our understanding of who is responsible for what, an understanding we consider to be the fact of the matter, the Calvinistic God turns out to be as bad as the devil." I think that is not quite the same as saying "Your God is the devil."

    As strongly as I object to Calvinism, I see no good reason to suppose that Calvinists did not come to be Calvinists out of a Berean intent to search the Scriptures to see if these things are true. Of course there are psychological motives on all sides that are not transparent even to ourselves, but I have no more reason to doubt a Calvinist's account of why he is a Calvinists as I am to doubt an Arminian's account of why he is an Arminian.