Classic Calvinism maintains that God has ordained whatever comes to pass. The Westminster Confession of Faith says so, if you’re looking for the source.
Calvinists know this is a sketchy thing to say because it means God ordains sin. In other words, God makes sin happen.
The only answer to this logical conclusion is to simply state it’s not true. The Westminster Confession, after saying God ordains whatever comes to pass, simply says, but in such a way that God is not the author of sin.
I know they want that to be true, but simply stating it in direct contradiction to what was stated before doesn’t really hold any intellectual water.
“It’s all a mystery,” is the answer you’ll get there. We’re too stupid to figure it out, but God’s wisdom can do such a thing.
If God’s wisdom says that God ordains sin without ordaining sin, then God’s wisdom isn’t very wise.
I believe that God is all-wise. I believe His thoughts are higher than ours, and His ways past finding out.
I do not believe God’s wisdom can be contrary to wisdom or intellectual consistency, however. God is a God of order.
The simple solution to the conundrum, rather than impugning the wisdom of God, is to rather conclude that the people who wrote the Westminster Confession of Faith were off the mark.
If you contradict their belief, they will try to convince you that you are wrong, which is ironic. God, according to their own belief, has ordained me to not believe it. How is any degree of their arguing going to change what God has ordained?
The answer to any such challenge to Calvinism is always the same. Whether you question why pray if God ordains all things, or why evangelize if God ordains who believes, or why so much arguing with non-Calvinists if God ordains people to not be Calvinist, here’s the answer:
God ordains the means to accomplish His ordained ends.
Yup, all the stuff you are doing you aren’t doing. God is doing it. So if you do good or bad, God ordained all of it and all of this God-ordained stuff results in God-ordained ends.
Why pray? Why evangelize? Why argue? Why do good?
Because God makes you do those things.
Think about it though. Doesn’t God then ordain my not praying as well? Doesn’t He also ordain my non-evangelism and my non-doing of good? And doesn’t my not doing these things bring about His ordained ends as well?
Saying that “God ordains the means to His ordained ends” does not answer the question, it merely pushes the question back a step.
In the end, Calvinism says God does it all; you do nothing. Therefore, you are not ultimately responsible, judgment is God judging Himself, Satan is redundant, and we are all helpless automatons.
That is Calvinism. And that is why Easy-Believism is a thing. Nothing I do matters anyway; it’s all God. No worries.
Calvinism is pretty much exactly the doctrine you would expect the human heart to come up with. Everything is someone else’s fault and I’m not accountable because I’m not doing anything voluntarily.
Don’t believe it.
But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God; Who will render to every man according to his deeds: To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, eternal life: But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath, Tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile; But glory, honor, and peace, to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile