Brennon, the only way one would be able to use such an appeal effectively is to show that the behavior would violate God’s nature as He’s revealed in the Bible.
Thibo keeps making the same mistake. The question at issue is not whether this behavior violates God's nature as revealed in Scripture, but in Arminianism. Is this consistent with God's universal love and universal grace? Does God intend the best for all his fallen creatures? Does he always act in their best interests?
To be sure, God isn’t cruel in any objective sense, but it’s beyond argument from scripture that He’s very harsh with those who turn against Him.
Which the Arminian God foresaw in saving the would-be apostate.
Hays’ argument consists of taking God’s severity against people who rebel despite His goodness (and are thus more deserving of condemnation), then framing Him as being cruel for it.
Every time Thibo swings the bat, he misses the ball. I take God's severity against apostates as a defeater for Arminian theism. Yes, the apostate is more deserving of condemnation. And therein lies a problem for Arminian theism.
Since that dire outcome was a foreseeable and avoidable outcome of God's action (avoidable if God refrained from ever saving the would-be apostate), God is making the would-be apostate more deserving of condemnation by saving him in the first place, knowing all the while that by so doing, the would-be apostate will be more deserving of condemnation than if God simply left him alone to perish in his unregenerate state. Therefore, on Arminian assumptions, God always intended to do the would-be apostate harm. Maximal harm. His grace was ill-meant rather than well-meant when directed at the would-be apostate. Saving grace was just a way to aggravate the would-be apostate's guilt and condemnation. A necessary, preliminary, and transitional phase to make the would-be apostate worse off in the long run. A set-up to intensify his punishment.
For his caricature, he might also be charged with oversimplification since his fishing trip example altogether excludes the main reason God condemns the apostate.
I already dealt with that objection. Moreover, Thibo's objection only pushes the question back a step. Given apostasy, God condemns the apostate. But why did the Arminian God save him at the outset to later condemn him? And tighten the screws in the process? Why isn't that action exquisitely cruel by Arminian standards?