Why Can’t The Calvinists Be Calvinistic?

I just returned from a funeral where the deceased was a very young man who died in a particularly tragic fashion. During the committal service the (RCA) minister said,

“I am convinced that this death wasn’t God’s will.”

This came immediately after an injunction from him to the people that they shouldn’t ask the question ‘why’ and that the answer was buried inaccessible in the mind of God.

Now, if this wasn’t God’s will how could God have the answer buried in His mind let alone even know the answer?

If these kinds of things aren’t God’s will then why don’t we figure out whose will they are so we can pinch him a little incense and offer him a little worship?

The last time I heard something like this it came out of a Methodist ministers mouth.

I guess there really is no difference.

Author: jetbrane

I am a Pastor of a small Church in Mid-Michigan who delights in my family, my congregation and my calling. I am postmillennial in my eschatology. Paedo-Calvinist Covenantal in my Christianity Reformed in my Soteriology Presuppositional in my apologetics Familialist in my family theology Agrarian in my regional community social order belief Christianity creates culture and so Christendom in my national social order belief Mythic-Poetic / Grammatical Historical in my Hermeneutic Pre-modern, Medieval, & Feudal before Enlightenment, modernity, & postmodern Reconstructionist / Theonomic in my Worldview One part paleo-conservative / one part micro Libertarian in my politics Systematic and Biblical theology need one another but Systematics has pride of place Some of my favorite authors, Augustine, Turretin, Calvin, Tolkien, Chesterton, Nock, Tozer, Dabney, Bavinck, Wodehouse, Rushdoony, Bahnsen, Schaeffer, C. Van Til, H. Van Til, G. H. Clark, C. Dawson, H. Berman, R. Nash, C. G. Singer, R. Kipling, G. North, J. Edwards, S. Foote, F. Hayek, O. Guiness, J. Witte, M. Rothbard, Clyde Wilson, Mencken, Lasch, Postman, Gatto, T. Boston, Thomas Brooks, Terry Brooks, C. Hodge, J. Calhoun, Llyod-Jones, T. Sowell, A. McClaren, M. Muggeridge, C. F. H. Henry, F. Swarz, M. Henry, G. Marten, P. Schaff, T. S. Elliott, K. Van Hoozer, K. Gentry, etc. My passion is to write in such a way that the Lord Christ might be pleased. It is my hope that people will be challenged to reconsider what are considered the givens of the current culture. Your biggest help to me dear reader will be to often remind me that God is Sovereign and that all that is, is because it pleases him.

13 thoughts on “Why Can’t The Calvinists Be Calvinistic?”

  1. we need to make a distinction between God’s perfect will and his permissive will.
    Re: a previous post on our economy/government. Did you notice that just as the S&P 500 reached a 19 month low (yesterday), the Fed had to come in and pump $200 billion into the economy (today). I’m no economist, but it seems to me that this money from the Fed is created out of thin air. Mortgage companies getting bailed out by uncle sam here.

  2. Allow me to elaborate on my last comment.
    re: perfect will and permissive will.
    If I were to go and break a commandment today, I would be doing something that would not be according to his perfect will. God commands that I not break any of his commandments. However he allows me and my sin to transgress his law (permissive will). He allows Adam and Eve to fall even though he doesn’ will/command them to do so. This distinction does not undermind the sovereignty of God. He weaves his plan throughout salvation history, knowing what each of us fallen humans are going to do in every instance, gathering up his helpless elect for His Glory. Praise be to Him!

  3. Men don’t want an all determining sovereign God. They don’t like the idea. It crushes autonomy and humiliates the proud. A God who sovereignly rules offends the sense of “fairness” and “niceness” of the fallen mind. It is no wonder that women are in positions of authority in Reformed traditions with a storied past. They were effeminate long before that happened.

    Isa 3:12 O My people! Their oppressors are children, And women rule over them. O My people! Those who guide you lead you astray And confuse the direction of your paths.

  4. Hello Nate,

    I prefer to speak of God’s will and God’s commands. All that happens, happens according to God’s sovereign will. On the contrary all that men do, is not consistent with God’s command but when men violate God’s commands they do not do so apart from God’s decretive will.

    Also I would say that God not only allows what will happen but determines it, while at the same time holding men responsible for what they creaturely liberty desired to do.

    However, when we get to somebody’s tragic death, which is the context the statement was made in, it is foolishness on steroids to tell a gathered congregation of people that this death was not God’s will.

    If it wasn’t God’s will, then whose will was it and if it was not God’s will then why should we worship a deity whose will can be trumped by some other entities will?

    If God predestined the death of His innocent son then why do ministers have such a problem with declaring that all other deaths of fallen men are in keeping with His will?

    As ministers we don’t have to explain exactly why any death came at this time or in this way. We don’t know that. But what we can do is to encourage God’s people to have faith that since God is good, as Scripture teaches, and since God always deals graciously with His people in everything that providentially happens we can encourage people that hard and sad deaths really are God’s gracious good.

    Correspondingly, if we have the courage, we could say that the death of those who have eschewed Christ, was God’s just judgment against the deceased, just as all that comes into the lives of the reprobate is, under ultimate consideration, God’s judgment against them.

    Now no minister would do that because they seldom do funerals of people who were explicit in hating Christ up to the very end.

    Still… I wish ministers would quite saying at funerals, “This wasn’t God’s will.”

    If anything that happens, isn’t God’s will then why in the Hell am I worshiping such a castrated deity?

    “God sits in heaven above, He does whatever He pleases.”

  5. Mark,

    And of course the problem is that the standard of ‘fairness’ and ‘niceness’ is being measured by a humanistic standard. God and His actions are being brought into the dock and their quality are being found ‘guilty’ or ‘innocent’ by human judges with the result that Man has become God.


    p.s. — The Isaiah passage is why I don’t typically say that women in office are universally against God’s will. I realize that when God enters into judgment against His people that women in office at that point likely is precisely God’s will.

    Who am I to argue against God’s judgments.

    Though I will argue that if we desire to not live under His judgments we might consider obeying Him.

  6. Nate,

    You’re right about the money issue.

    The Federal Reserve is in deep do do, and there are signs that this crisis may not be solved by the usual Fed Reserves hocus pocus.

  7. Re: the Federal Reserve comment above. The Federal Reserve is a privately owned entity owned by Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan and other private banks. The losses that the banking system is incurring from the subprime mortgage defaults are being replaced by the fiat money created out of thin air by the Fed. In other words, the Fed bails out its owners so they won’t go bankrupt. We all pay for it through the hidden tax of inflation because our dollars are devalued by the creation of the additional dollars.

    It is such a good old boy, corrupt system, all coordinated by the Council of Foreign Relations. If there is one issue that should be addressed this election year it is currency reform. Only Ron Paul touches that issue and is laughed at by the establishment (CFR) candidates during the debates.

    God will judge these unfair “weights and measures” as transgression against his Word…perhaps sooner than we might like.

  8. Welcome Marlon.

    Of course you are absolutely right.

    But I’m afraid (I hope I’m wrong) that the hour is to late. We may be headed for a Black Friday like wake up call.

  9. Humph, you’ve changed my mind! Your arguments are convincing indeed. Despite I’m not a person who is easy to be convinced.

  10. What kind of stuff are you talking about? I didn’t get a word of it! I’ve never understood people, who spend their time on commenting stuff like that.

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