Tuesday, June 10, 2014

"True love never kidnaps"

I believe that true love never kidnaps, and never forces itself on another…Love must always be chosen. 

This is a popular Arminian trope. It reflects the superficiality of Arminians, who don't bother to consider obvious counterexamples. For instance:

16 Again the word of the Lord came to me: 2 “Son of man, make known to Jerusalem her abominations, 3 and say, Thus says the Lord God to Jerusalem: Your origin and your birth are of the land of the Canaanites; your father was an Amorite and your mother a Hittite. 4 And as for your birth, on the day you were born your cord was not cut, nor were you washed with water to cleanse you, nor rubbed with salt, nor wrapped in swaddling cloths. 5 No eye pitied you, to do any of these things to you out of compassion for you, but you were cast out on the open field, for you were abhorred, on the day that you were born.6 “And when I passed by you and saw you wallowing in your blood, I said to you in your blood, ‘Live!’ I said to you in your blood, ‘Live!’ 7 I made you flourish like a plant of the field (Ezk 16:1-7).
In this passage, Israel is like foundling. A newborn abandoned to die of exposure. Yahweh adopts the foundling and raises the foundling. Needless to say, the baby didn't choose the adoptive parent. 
Take another example of a mother who, at grave personal risk, kidnapped her own daughter in a rescue mission:
A desperate mother dressed head-to-toe in Islamic dress and hid her face behind a veil to carry out a daring mission to snatch her daughter back from the child's Egyptian father. Alex Abou-El-Ella, 29, of Slough, Berkshire, risked everything to rescue her daughter Mona, three, two years after her husband spirited the girl out of Britain and took her to his home country. She ignored Foreign Office warnings not to travel to the country, which is gripped by civil unrest, tracked down the child and disguised herself as a local to carry out the audacious rescue. 

There are quite a few stories like this. That's true love–maternal love.


  1. Dead people can't choose. (Eph 2:5) Of course, dead doesn't mean dead to Arminians.

  2. More shallow thinking evinced by patheos. Beyond steve's counterexamples the sentiment expressed also seems to ignore the force of 1 John 4:19. That's a cause-effect condition. Because of the gracious bestowal of (regenerating) divine love, reciprocal (responsive) human love is enabled.

    Hosea and Gomer also come to mind.

  3. *Must* the Father love the Son? Surely the author would say yes (consider it's denial, the negation of a must, and what that entails).

    Now, let's grant the author's point, viz., "love must be (freely) chosen."

    Since the author believes (a) the Father must love the Son and (b) any instance of x's loving y must be a case where x freely chooses to love y, then we can conclude the author *should* believe:

    (c) a free choice may be necessitated.

    Since when did Arminians become compatibilists?

  4. If 'dead' (i.e. unregenerate) people can't choose, how come my unregenerate friends are able to vote in the elections ? How do they manage to get up in the morning, and brush their teeth, and go to work? You get my point, I hope. If they can do all that while still being 'dead in their trespasses and sins', maybe they can also repent and believe the gospel.

    1. That's a caricature of Reformed theology. Spiritual inability is more qualified. In the words of the Westminster Confession: "Man, by his fall into a state of sin, hath wholly lost all ability of will to any spiritual good accompanying salvation: so as, a natural man, being altogether averse from that good, and dead in sin, is not able, by his own strength, to convert himself, or to prepare himself thereunto" (WCF 9.3).

    2. Is being regenerate required in order to vote or brush your teeth? No one is asserting that unregenerate people can't make choices consistent with the natural man. The theological assertion based upon the exegesis of Scripture is that the natural man cannot choose to repent and believe the gospel as repentance and faith are gifts from God. Only those regenerated by God can repent and believe, otherwise they are "dead" to spiritual reality.