I had the chance of hearing about Calvinism and Arminianism that somewhat create division in our beliefs. The thing is, these ‘isms’ are thought of long and hard by their founders.
What is Calvinism?
Let’s take it from Wikipedia:
“The Protestant theological system of John Calvin and his successors, which develops Luther’s doctrine of justification by faith alone and emphasizes the grace of God and the doctrine of predestination.”
Basically, it’s a belief that centralizes on predestination. Everything happens because God has appointed it in His sovereignty. There really is no free will. You are who you are and you believe what you believe because it has been set long before.
What is Arminianism?
“17th century theology (named after its founder Jacobus Arminius) that opposes the absolute predestinarianism of John Calvin and holds that human free will is compatible with God’s sovereignty” – Web Definition
Basically, it’s a belief that says free will exists and predestination is not an absolute to every aspect of life.
So Which is the Correct Worldview?
I was talking with a good friend of mine about Calvinism and Arminianism. What he said was so simple and yet it made a world of sense to me.
“I think it’s just like computer games.”
I looked at him and tried to process what he said but all I could say was “What?”
“I think it’s just like computer games. You know, when you play and you can do all sorts of things in the game but it has only one ending.”
Who would think that computer gaming would have such an analogy?
We can do all sorts of things we want in life. I think with real love comes free will and it is a gift from God. However there are prophecies that will unfold and this backs up the thought that there are things that are predestined in time.
In the middle of it all, there’s a balance. Just like how a computer game is played.
Here’s What I Really Think
We may never amount to the height of knowledge and critical analysis of these thinkers but we do know this:
“As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” – Isaiah 55:9
If we could understand everything just like how God understands it, this verse will not have existed.
We will never attain to that knowledge it is outside of our comprehensive reach. Wisdom is endowed to those chosen. But even then there are some secrets that will be kept til the end of time. God purposed this to show us that we can only go so far.
And no further.
True love can only exist in freedom. We have seen that with Jesus as he exercised his desire for the pain and agony of the cross be taken from him. We are free to choose.
That is real love.
And yet how can predestination exist with the thought of freedom? Such notion is too big a concept to bear.
That is the end of the line. As much as we want to think that our thoughts and dreams have no limits, they very much do. And it is the beginning of faith.
It is the start of what our God counts as righteousness.
Without the limits of our knowledge, there will be no room for faith.
Thank God that we are bound in what we know so that there is a righteousness by faith that can be attained.