John Calvin’s Descendent Not Chosen
1921 Anton Choquette (in obscurity-top right)
–Bordeaux France –August 2018
Historians seeking to follow the line of decedents from John Calvin discovered a real tragedy. (or blessing, depending on your view)
Anton Choquette was a direct descendent of Mr. Calvin, the esteemed reformation theologian.
When trying out for the school baseball team, at just 14 years of age, little Anton was rejected by both team captains and told that he would remain the
“poor attempt of a baseball player that he had been from birth—dead to the game”.
Anton went in believing with all his heart that he was simply irresistible to the game, only to discover that
“he had been rejected by baseball from before the foundation of the world”.
He searched his heart as to why, but it did not matter—he was limited to an eternal rejection and would never play the game of baseball. It could not and would not be his decision to play, no matter how much he wanted to join the team and play the beloved sport. Before the foundation of the world, he simply had not been elected to the game by the baseball gods.
During his lifetime, he was invited by many caring friends to join them in the beloved game, (Methodist church softball league) but, never feeling called/elected to the game, he clung to the teachings of his great decedent John Calvin (see TULIP) until his death in 1977.
Of course the above story is fictional, but what is truthful remains. The Calvinist-Arminian divide. Just what is irresistible and undeniable?
The character of God as heard and seen from Jesus Christ:
3 Then Jesus told them this story:
4 If any of you has a hundred sheep, and one of them gets lost, what will you do?
Won’t you leave the ninety-nine in the field and go look for the lost sheep until you find it?
5 And when you find it, you will be so glad that you will put it on your shoulder 6 and carry it home.
Then you will call in your friends and neighbors and say, “Let’s celebrate! I’ve found my lost sheep.”
7 Jesus said, “In the same way there is more happiness in heaven because of one sinner who turns to God than over ninety-nine good people who don’t need to.” Luke 15
16 God loved the people of this world so much that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who has faith in him will have eternal life and never really die.
17 God did not send his Son into the world to condemn its people. He sent him to save them!
18 No one who has faith in God’s Son will be condemned. But everyone who doesn’t have faith in him has already been condemned for not having faith in God’s only Son.” John 3
9 The Lord isn’t slow about keeping his promises, as some people think he is. In fact, God is patient, because he wants everyone to turn from sin and no one to be lost.” II Peter 3:9
12 Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, 13 for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good (sovereign) purpose.” Philippians 2:12-13
Imagine this about God as pertaining to foreordination and predestination–His character.
“God wants everyone to be saved and to know the whole truth, which is, there is only one God, and Christ Jesus is the only one who can bring us to God. Jesus was truly human, and he gave himself to rescue all of us. God showed us this at the right time.” I Timothy 2:4-6
The Sovereignty of God and the free-will of man dance together in the streets of Untenable and Absoluteness only to discover how much they really need one another in thwarting the sovereignty of mortal man and the free will of an uncertain God.
Would the Calvinist learn that God’s revealed uniformity of character (Christ and the bible) belies their need to strangle God into a panoply of codified biblical contradiction–namely that He would conspire to doom, damn and apply retribution to anyone just because he can and because he is sovereign in doing so? This kind of god is a beast and conspirator of the worst of human criminality, mysterious beyond any sense of Incarnation in the beauty and character of Jesus Christ who loves each of us well beyond any deserving, and certainly not as one who came to seek and to damn at will.
Talk about insecurity and a breech of security of the believer–here it is. Who of us then might ever be of certain that we indeed were saved, chosen and one of the elect? By what standard of measurement and determination into absoluteness?
What the Arminian might respect is an absolute sovereignty of God in which they relinquish a desire (their free will) to empower mankind through a panoply of convenient biblical contradiction. Gone will be the fleshly contraventions and carnal applications of human substitutions for God and His Spirit among us. Present with such believers are the many attempts to excuse God from what might otherwise be, from their view, God embarrassing us to the world. We must save Him from such reputation when the unexplainable happens or when his sovereignty is questioned. Someone is “saved” because they said a prayer or filled our a card or joined a church or was dunked/sprinkled.
The truth is that Anton was chosen to play the game of baseball, just as any person who is introduced to the game, and he does have a choice in the matter of whether or not he will respond to the invitation from the Methodists. “Whosoever will may come” refers to the everyone that God wants to be saved AND the the everyone who may refuse the gift of his Son that he offers to everyone. Both presume His drawing power and at the same time an ability to resist or refuse on the part of man–also a God-given ability.
It appears that the longsuffering God who wants everyone to be saved and knows not of of a single stray molecule in the universe might indeed not get his way in all matters.
We are drawn to God and repulsed all at the same time. We see beauty in light yet hide from the light that would reveal such darkness and sin within a depraved, even dead spirit.
Just as mankind moves at the command of his Adam within, he also moves when he realizes that he is one of the everyone God speaks of. The God of Calvinists, Arminians and Traditionalists sees to it.
Glenn W. Harrell www.openhandspublications 9-2018