Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Dude, I Can See China from that Hole You're Diggin'!

Tony Miano attempts to answer a question about god's will, Calvinism, grace and salvation and ended up digging himself into a hole. Keep in mind that (a) Tony spends most of his time on street corners shouting about salvation, and (b) according to Tony, hell is real, people go there, and those people spend eternity being tortured. Eternity. Being tortured. And (c), people go to hell for not believing properly in Jesus.

Here's the question:

I have a question about this statement:

"God is sovereign. If it is God's will that someone be saved, they will be saved regardless of what I do or don't do."

From what I gather from your blog, you don't seem to be a Calvinist. But yet this statement, along with how you teach/preach, seems to be contradictory. I say that because you tell everyone to repent of their sin, turn to Jesus and accept him as their Savior. Now, one may see that statement and say, 'Why should I repent and turn to Jesus if it's not God's will that I be saved?'

I'm not trying to call you out or call label you a liar or anything, I'm just looking at this from an outsider's perspective.

Actually, the real question is, HOW could you repent and receive salvation if an OMNIPOTENT god doesn't want you to. Really, how?

I believe that Salvation is of the Lord (Psalm 3:8).

I believe that no one will repent and believe the gospel unless God draws the person to Himself (John 6:44), causing the person to be born again (1 Peter 1:3).
I believe an unregenerate person is utterly incapable by an act of his or her own will to choose Christ (John 1:12-13). The reason is prior to God's regenerative work; a person is dead in his or her sins (Ephesians 2:1-3). And no dead person can do anything to bring himself or herself back to life.

Okay, so Calvinism. That's an excellent definition of what Calvinism is. God provides salvation, no one can be saved unless god wants them to. The real question that arises with Calvinism isn't the mechanics of salvation, it's the ethics of salvation, the morality of god, if you will.

I am god. I make two places for the humans I created to go after they die, heaven and hell. Both places are these humans' home for eternity. Forever. Infinity. A really, really, really long time. Heaven's pleasant enough, hell is torture. Unending torture for all eternity. Forever. Infinity. A really, really, really long time. So, I'm sociopathic enough to create hell and to send humans to hell, but eventually I kinda feel bad about it and create a way for humans to avoid hell: salvation. I sacrifice myself to myself to change the rule I made and voila! salvation.

But I have to individually decide which humans will receive salvation and which will not. And those humans that I have decided do not deserve salvation go to hell. And get tortured. Forever. Infinity. A really, really, really long time. If I do decide not to save a human, no matter how much they want to be saved, it doesn't matter. They're going to hell.

This might almost be ethical, if I only saved nice people, people who helped other people, people who were generally good, but I don't. Plenty of really nice people are atheists, doomed to suffer for all eternity, while plenty of truly horrible people are saved. See also: Son of Sam.

This is entirely unethical, completely immoral and downright depraved. God isn't dead, he's insane. And love. Insane, cruel, depraved love. Yeah, let me get right on worshipping that. Oh, wait, he doesn't want me to, so I can't.

All right then, carry on.

And Tony's on a streetcorner right now, trying to convince people to change god's mind about their salvation? There is literally no sense to be found in the intersection of what Tony claims to believe and what Tony actually does.


  1. I actually asked somebody about that. (It was the first time I'd run into a really hardcore Calvinist.) Their response was, basically, that an unregenerate person is incapable of coming to Jesus on their own, but it's God's will that his followers share the Gospel. Apparently having his followers yell at people on street corners is how God draws people to him.

    Seems really inefficient, if not actually counterproductive, but maybe that's just me. I do sometimes wonder if the whole idea behind Calvinism is to make God sound so unpleasant that the unwashed masses will remain unsaved, and thus ensure that the population of Heaven is as small as possible.

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  5. Calvinism isn't alone here. This is one of the main messages I got in reading the koran. It harps on this theme constantly, that Allah will do whatever he pleases regardless of anything on your part. It kept making me yell "Then why the fuck be a muslim?" (Allah never answered)


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