Theory vs. Reality
Suppose you and your spouse are very wealthy, but unable to have children. You decide to adopt, and visit the local orphanage. There you look over the children and a set of twin boys catches your eye. You interview them at length, and discover that though they both have had behavioral issues, they are nearly indistinguishable. There is no reason to choose one over the other, and since you have the money and wanted two kids, you decide to adopt...
ONE of them.
“Why was I not chosen? Why am I to be left here alone? Why will you separate us?” asks one of the twins. You reply, “No reason, at least none you’d understand. Neither of you deserves to be adopted, with the trouble you’ve been in, so just accept the consequences of your actions.”
To the chosen one you say, “Rejoice! Do not grieve for your brother. You have been chosen for reasons known only to us, and you will love us and be grateful. You cannot refuse us and have nothing to say about it. But rejoice anyway, for you will live in luxury! Between now and the time we take you home, tell all the orphans that we will be back to choose another, but we’re not telling which one. Give them hope.”
Nice scenario, eh?
That’s Calvinism. Oh they’ll scream that this isn’t what they teach, but I’m not ignorant and have read reams of Calvinist literature. This is EXACTLY what they teach. I’ve heard many personal testimonies as well, where emphasis is put on the fact that no one deserves to be saved. But for God to choose salvation for a few while leaving the rest “in the orphanage”, giving false hope for them by commanding the “chosen” to spread the gospel to all, would be the most despicable evil. It is cold-blooded and nonsensical, the worst example to set for those God has commanded to have the highest standards and the greatest love.
Such illustrations elicit the most scathing indignation from many Calvinists, even some of the nicer ones. Although they claim “misrepresentation”, it is the stark reality they hate. Perhaps they have not thought through the implications of their core beliefs and are shocked by such exposure. But I would challenge them to come up with an illustration of their own which is less shocking and offensive, while faithfully representing their belief. If they cannot, isn’t it because their belief system is so complicated and requires so much explaining that, like theoretical physics, there are no comprehensible models to represent it?
Jesus used simple parables and illustrations to convey deep and profound ideas. I’m following Him.