Except that it does no such thing. In point of fact, it is a totally irrelevant argument, based as it is on an underlying straw man – a logical fallacy that purports to refute an opposing argument, even though the opponent never said any such thing.
I’ve studied Calvinism in depth, and I have never heard anyone but a Calvinist advance the argument addressed in this meme, and then only to knock it down. I have never heard an anti-Calvinist suggest that Calvinism is wrong because it’s unjust. Not once.
Maybe Calvinism’s opponents would be reduced to such irrelevance if there were no solid biblical arguments against the philosophy. But there are plenty. Consider just a handful:
- God’s will is salvation for all (see, e.g., 2 Peter 3:9, 1 Timothy 2:3-4, Romans 11:32, 2 Corinthians 5:19)
- God provides for salvation for all (1 John 2:2, John 6:40, 1 Timothy 2:6, Hebrews 2:9, Isaiah 53:6, Romans 5:18, 8:29)
- God gives man the choice to believe or not (John 3:16, Acts 13:46)
- God draws all men (John 12:32)
- God enables man to respond (John 1:9, Mark 16:15-16, Acts17:30,16:31)
- Men drawn do refuse (Romans 10:21)
- God commands preaching gospel to all (Mark 16:15)
And that’s just the start. If you are among those who’ve been knocked off the rails of sound Biblicism by the use of words like “elect” and “chosen,” hold on! Next time you come across a form of these words, ask yourself:
- Elect or chosen for what purpose?
- Elect or chosen on what basis?
If you are being honest with yourself and refuse to go beyond what is written, you will NEVER come up with “for salvation” as the answer to #1. And you will NEVER answer #2 with “because it was God’s good pleasure to save or condemn this person.”
I got this meme from a friend who’d received it as a “told you so!” email from a Calvinist acquaintance. My friend knew it was wrong, but she wasn’t sure exactly why – this in spite of the fact that she’s been an ardent Bible student for over half a century.
And that’s what makes straw-man arguments so dangerous: Because they’re unbiblical to begin with, they’re impossible to refute directly with a verse or two or three from the Bible. Which means some people are going to fall for them.
Do straw-man practitioners know what they’re doing? In other words, is the deception deliberate?
Beats me. I certainly don’t know their hearts.
But I do know that the Bible warns us repeatedly to be wary of such devices. As the apostle Paul wrote in Colossians 2:8, "Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ."
There are many other deceptive techniques being used to battle biblical truth today – including the ever-popular “Has God indeed said?” introduced by Satan himself in Genesis 3. But the straw-man argument is one of the most common, perhaps because it’s so easy to use, and can send true Bereans on a fruitless search for passages to counter it.
So use caution. Don’t let yourself become the straw man’s next victim!