When Calvinists say "Of course we can make choices!"

This is taken from the post "Do Babies Go To Heaven If They Die?  A Critique Of Calvinism's Answer," but it should have it's own post too.  It's about how Calvinists try to disguise their belief that we have no free-will to make choices, how they try to make it sound like we really are responsible for our choices so that we can be held accountable for them.  Here it is, edited slightly for clarity:

One of the fundamental beliefs of Calvinism is that God controls/causes everything that happens, that everything happens according to the plans He's made from the beginning of time, and nothing can change it.  Therefore, we don't have the ability to make real decisions.  Our "choices" have all been planned by God, and we can't do anything differently.

But Calvinists know that people don't like to hear this, and they know that it brings up the whole dilemma of "it makes God responsible for our sin, but then He punishes us for it anyway."  And so to make their theology more acceptable-sounding and to slip it past people without raising any red flags, some Calvinists will say "Of course we make real choices.  We freely make our own choices according to our natures and desires."

But it's what they hide that makes all the difference.

And what they hide is "But God determines which nature we get.  And our God-given nature will determine what we desire.  God decides whether we get the repentant 'saved' nature He gives only to the elect ... or if we get the rebellious 'sinner' nature He gives to everyone else.  And we can't change the nature He gives us.  And so if He gives you the rebellious 'sinner' nature, then you will always want to sin and choose to sin because all you can do is sin.  So if you sin, it's not because God 'forced' you to; it's because you wanted to and chose to, according to the sinner nature God gave you."

And they truly believe that this bullcrap can still be called "freely making our own choices" ... and so therefore, Calvi-god can "justly" punish us for "our" choices ... even though we can only make the kinds of choices that go with the natures Calvi-god predetermined we'd have.  (I have to say "Calvi-god" because it's not the God of the Bible!)

And actually, if they want to further downplay Calvi-god's involvement in "causing" us to sin, they'll simply say that Calvi-god doesn't "give" people the sinner nature, but that we start out with it.  They'll say that Calvi-god doesn't give the sinner nature to anyone; he simply chooses who to give the saved/repentant nature to, and everyone else is stuck with the sinner nature they started out with.  More nonsense to hide the fact that "Calvi-god causes us to sin and then punishes us for it."

Be very wary about what Calvinists say, because they will always only say half of half of what they really mean.  They will only say the part that sounds good, that we can all agree on.  And so if you aren't aware of the word games they employ and of what they hide, and if you don't press them for deeper answers, you'll end up thinking they sound biblically on-track.  And you'll get sucked in more and more, until it's too late to discern the errors, too late to get out.  

Honestly and sadly, you almost have to think of them (of the educated, dogmatic Calvinists, that is) as pathological liars who spin everything they say and who always hide part of the truth.  And it's the part they hide that makes all the difference!  See "Confronting Calvinism's Deceptive Nonsense."  

But you know what the most dangerous part is?  They're not trying to lie.  They truly believe this stuff.  They've surrounded themselves with Bible verse after Bible verse to support it.  And because they believe it so thoroughly themselves, they are very convincing and persuasive, and no one considers that it might be a pack of cleverly-disguised lies.  When they tell us that they are teaching only from the Bible and that we have to agree with it, we tend to agree with it.  We fail to keep our radar up, to question what they're telling us.  

Because ... after all ... they just said they were teaching only from the Bible.  And since they said it, it must be true.  Right!?!  (See "Predestination Manipulation")  

Moral of the story: If you hear something that sounds questionable to you, even if you're not sure why, write it down and research it and figure out what the Bible says about it.  Be a Berean (Acts 17:11).  Don't trust any other person to teach theology accurately without checking for yourself.  That's how I started, before I even really knew what Calvinism was - by writing down every little thing my pastor said that didn't sound quite right, every verse that seemed out of context, and by looking into the Word myself to see what God says.  (But be careful about which sources you get your information from.  There are lots of Calvinist theology websites out there that will lead you astray before you realize it.)  

Once again, no, I'm not sorry for saying all this.  I mean, I have some wonderful friends who are Calvinists (or maybe more accurately - "Calvinists," in quotes), and so I know that many average Calvinists are just trying their best to honor God as best they know how, as they've been taught to do by the dogmatic, wolf-in-sheep's-clothing, Calvinist theologians.  And I am not coming down on the many wonderful, godly, humble "Calvinists" out there.  But I am coming down hard on Calvinism itself, and I'm not going to apologize for it.  Because once you really understand what Calvinism does to God's character and grace and love and justice, to Truth, to Jesus's sacrifice, and to people's faith and their relationship with God and their hope of salvation, you can't help but come down on it with all you've got, not tolerating it one tiny bit.  (See "If Calvinism is true, then God is a liar!" and "Why is Calvinism so dangerous?"  And remember, they will deny that they believe what I say they believe.  But what I am doing is simply exposing the deepest, core, foundational beliefs they hold to, cutting through all the deceptive, "nice sounding" layers they disguise it with.  All the ways they try to rationalize their twisted theology.)  

I've said it before and I'll keep saying it:  If you don't see the damage that Calvinism does to the Gospel, how contrary it is to the Gospel, how much it destroys God's character, how it disguises lies as truth, and how it uses God's Word against God - if it doesn't break your heart - then you either don't really understand Calvinism or you don't really understand the Gospel!  

There's no other way to say it.

And so when this much is at stake, when Calvinism is sneaking unnoticed into so many churches, doing terrible damage from the inside out ... then, no, I'm not sorry for my harsh words!  Not!  Sorry!  If this kind of destructive theology isn't worth pulling out the big, harsh words over ... then nothing is!]

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