Did God Only Choose Some People to Be Saved?

Q. My Protestant friend showed me Romans 9 for the doctrine of election and it was very convincing. I myself have noticed a lot of places in the bible where the word choosing or chosen is mentioned in the New Testament. I would really appreciate it if you could please help me out.

A. Yes, Romans 9 is very convincing when you just read it with their interpretation in mind. But if their interpretation is correct: that God has chosen only some to be saved THEN:

-This Creates arrogance in those convinced that they are God’s chosen ones, even though they have NO OBJECTIVE PROOF -Negates the doctrine of free will and makes those chosen mere puppets of God

-the book of Timothy must not be infallible scripture since it says:

1 Timothy 2:3…God our Savior, 4 who desires that all men be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.

-And the same must be true of the hundreds of warnings in scripture not to fall away. See –>Can We Lose Our Salvation? -All of the IF passages in scripture are meaningless

These are MAJOR and SERIOUS problems. Roman 9 CANNOT contradict other scripture. If it seems to, then it is the INTERPRETATION that is wrong. The proper interpretation does not jump out at you but St. Paul wrote Romans and other books where he must have contradicted himself if the Calvinists have the correct interpretation.

This conflict was very foundational in my losing faith in Protestantism and entering the Catholic Church. My husband, who is still Protestant wrote a two volume book refuting Calvinism. It goes against so many scriptures you have no idea. Do not let the fact that your friend can recite verses from memory intimidate you. I am sure your friend is a lovely person and very sincere but he has been deceived. Earlier in Romans St Paul says,

Romans 2:6-11 6God “will give to each person according to what he has done.”

(This contradicts the doctrine of FAITH ALONE. How can this be reconciled to the arbitrarieness of God the way your friend interprets Romans 9 Written by the SAME PERSON To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, he will give eternal life. Who gets eternal life? Those who do GOOD not those who are chosen puppets unable to fall away. )

8But for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger. 9There will be trouble and distress for every human being who does evil: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile; 10but glory, honor and peace for everyone who does good: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. 11For God does not show favoritism

That contradicts Calvin’s interpretation of Romans 9 I wanted to start with something by the very same author, St Paul in Romans 2 that contradict Calvinism. This is a huge topic. Now I will comment on Romans 9.

Romans 9:11 or though the twins were not yet born and had not done anything good or bad, so that (Z)God’s purpose according to His choice would stand, not because of works but because of Him who calls,

(We Catholics too beleive that salvation is by the grace of God. It is not b/c of works of the Law. Paul uses this example b/c it was 400 years before the giving of the Law to Moses Paul is emphasizing here that works of the Law do not indebt God to the person. The Lord freely chooses to be merciful. He is sovereign and cannot be coerced by the works of man. Paul cannot be saying here either that good works do not matter b/c he would be contradicting what he said in Romans 2 above and James 2 also, “Faith without works is dead” )

12it was said to her, “(AA)THE OLDER WILL SERVE THE YOUNGER.” 13Just as it is written, “(AB)JACOB I LOVED, BUT ESAU I HATED.”

(If this is taken literally it contradicts John 3:16 For God so loved the world. And I John 4:7 God is Love Who does God hate? those who do evil. God does not just choose to hate some people for no reason. By His foreknowledge He Knew what Esau would do. A God who loves and hates individuals for absolutely no reason is NOT the God of Sacred Scripture. This scripture does not reveal why God hated Esau. It is Protestant interpretation to say that it was just arbitrary b/c God decided before time to send Esau to Hell along with everyone else He arbitrarily chose NOT to elect.

14What shall we say then? There is no injustice with God, is there? May it never be! 15For He says to Moses, I WILL HAVE MERCY ON WHOM I HAVE MERCY, AND I WILL HAVE COMPASSION ON WHOM I HAVE COMPASSION.” 16So then it does not depend on the man who wills or the man who runs, but on God who has mercy. 17For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, “FOR THIS VERY PURPOSE I RAISED YOU UP, TO DEMONSTRATE MY POWER IN YOU, AND THAT MY NAME MIGHT BE PROCLAIMED THROUGHOUT THE WHOLE EARTH.” 18 So then He has mercy on whom He desires, and He (hardens whom He desires. 19 You will say to me then, “(AL)Why does He still find fault? For who resists His will?”

( Much can be said here but it is extremely important to read this account in Exodus where Pharoah hardens his own heart in Ex. 5-9 three times before God confirms him in this hardened state. This was not as arbitrary as it sounds in Romans. And of course Paul KNEW the scriptures backwards and forwards. But Peter warns in :

II Pet 3:15-16 “just as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given him, wrote to you, 16as also in all his letters, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which the untaught and unstable distort, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures, to their own destruction.

Romans 9:20 On the contrary, who are you, O man, who answers back to God? The thing molded will not say to the molder, “Why did you make me like this,” will it? 21Or does not the potter have a right over the clay, to make from the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for common use? 22What if God, (BFHU:this is hypothetical, it is NOT a dogmatic statement of how God works) although willing to demonstrate His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction? 23And He did so to make known the riches of His glory upon vessels of mercy, which He prepared beforehand for glory, 24even us, whom He also called, not from among Jews only, but also from among Gentiles.

This passage v. 22-24 is VERY important b/c of the Greek used. It can be translated as you see above which dovetails with the Calvinist view that God arbitrarily elected some for Heaven and some for Hell. However, these verses can also be translated differently and in a way that aligns with the rest of scripture and Catholic teaching. vessels of wrath prepared for destruction– Consider this. Vines Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words-the word translated “prepared” (other translations are made, fitted etc.) is the Greek word KATARTIZO.

KATARTIZO–to make fit, to equip,prepare…in Romans 9:22 it is in the Middle Voice which signifies that those referred to fitted themselves for destruction (as illustrated in the case of Pharaoh who hardened his own heart first is accurately presented in the R.V. in the first part of the series of incidents in the Exodus narrative, which records Pharaoh’s doings: only after repeated and persistent obstinancy on his part is it recorded that God hardened his heart). -Vines p 106 under “Fitted”

Interpreting these verses that the vessel “fitted themselves” for wrath or glory removes completely the idea that God was arbitrary. But this is diametrically opposed to the Calvinist doctrines of Predestination, Limited atonement etc. and other Protestant beliefs in Faith Alone, Grace Alone. These verses and the goal of this chapter is to get it through to the Jews that God loves the Gentiles too. He wanted to have mercy on them as well. And by His sovreignty He could and would have mercy on them as well.

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