Anonymous asked in Society & CultureReligion & Spirituality · 2 months ago

Why do so many Protestants today ignore their Reformation forefathers by claiming that someone can be saved as a result of free will?

It is so sad how Protestantism has degraded from the great truths of Luther and Calvin to the mealy-mouthed, degraded, quasi-Catholicism we see among many American Evangelicals. It is so common we hear people say that they should make a "decision for Christ," as if people have the free will in and of themselves to choose Christ.

Luther wrote about this in "Bondage of the Will" which was entirely to counter the idea that human freedom played ANY ROLE in salvation. We see this in the hymn "A Mighty Fortress is Our God." What the Protestant Reformers all had in common was a belief in divine monergism - God alone had the power to save sinners. People who were unbelievers were unbelievers because God never chose to save them, because they weren't elect, not that they made a free will choice against salvation. The reality is that the will is bound to sin, not free. Humans necessarily choose against Christ unless they are regenerated by the Holy Spirit.

Why is monergism so important? Because if you deny it then you are fundamentally saying that people - by being more humble, by being more attentive to historical evidence, etc. - were their own cause of their salvation, either in part or in full. But this gives cause for boasting, and the Bible says no one can boast in their salvation.

Some atheists will claim this means that if we are bound to sin, God can't punish us because we couldn't have done otherwise. Humans have moral AGENCY, not moral FREEDOM.


People indeed have the physical ability to repent - the human body is capable of doing so, hence true believers don't have superhuman levels of physical strength or significant differences in physical appearance. And that people have the physical ability to repent but choose not to is the grounds for condemnation.  But people lack the MORAL ABILITY to repent unless God chooses to regenerate them.  

Update 2:

Belief in free will leads to the idolatry of oneself as the cause of salvation rather than God.  God SAVES THE ELECT and he DAMNS THE REPROBATE and it is a result of HIS CHOOSING ALONE.  To God be the glory.   "Hence it follows that free will without God’s grace is not free at all, but is the permanent prisoner and bondslave of evil. . . . What is ineffective power but (in plain language) no power at all? So to say that free will exists and has power, albeit ineffective power

Update 3:

, is, in the Sophists’ phrase, a contradiction in terms. It is like saying free will is something which is not free . . . (104).

Luther stated it so simply.  God is sovereign over all things, including who goes to heaven or hell.  Only God can grant repentance, but you still deserve hell for not repenting because you know right from wrong even if you can't help yourself.

13 Answers

  • 2 months ago


    A - "their reformation fathers" certainly did not all teach that

    B - for many Protestants those individuals are "their reformation fathers" only insofar as they promoted the Protestant movement. That is: they are not "fathers" DOCTRINALLY.

    For example: Lutheranism and Calvinism had SERIOUS disagreements during the Reformation itself, yet you bundle them together as if they were identical.

    • Login to reply the answers
  • Doug
    Lv 7
    2 months ago

    Anyone who is saved gets that way only by the grace of God. God provides his grace freely, to all. Some of us make a personal decision to cooperate with that grace. Some of us don't. Martin Luther was probably the greatest heretic of all time, while Calvin obviously had a death wish and neither of them ever possessed an adequate understanding of all the significant, underlying, divine principles.

    • Login to reply the answers
  • Ala
    Lv 5
    2 months ago

    I love Catholicism. I HATE Calvinism.

    • Login to reply the answers
  • 2 months ago

    I'm not sure I understand what you are claiming here. We do have free will, and have to use it to choose to be saved--BY GOD. We aren't doing anything other than believing and acknowledging HIS power to save us.

    If someone doesn't want to be saved, God's not a stalker--He won't force them.

    • Login to reply the answers
  • How do you think about the answers? You can sign in to vote the answer.
  • 2 months ago

    Revelation 22:17, ". . . and whosoever will, let take the water of life freely."

    • Login to reply the answers
  • 2 months ago

    We are to follow Jesus Christ, not Luther or Calvin or any other.

    We can only have one master and to that master we will stand or fall. If to Christ we stand, if to Luther or Calvin, we fall.

    It is not the Reformation that saves, only Jesus Christ saves.

    So you are already far away.

    • Login to reply the answers
  • 2 months ago

    Volumes have been written to support that thinking. The fact remains that "Grace" can be appropriated, "through faith" (Ephesians), especially 2:10. That is what the Corinthians did in Acts 18:8, "And many of the Corinthians hearing, believed, and were baptized." Theological man-made "talking points" have attempted to supplant the truth for years, in lieu of "What saith the scriptures?" Rom. 4:3.

    • Login to reply the answers
  • 2 months ago

    These kinds of arguments are exactly how Skydaddy originated 

    while now Skydaddy is the originator of these principles .

     What you're trying to do is put  a puzzle together that never did fit together 

    or Will fit together .

     An argument is never a cure for itself .

     Tell you What - You produce your god and then the argument can proceed and hopefully led by said god .

     Until then you're only a parrot repeating a mocking bird .

     And if you're so seminary that you could teach explain why many seminary teachers become atheist because free will verses gods' plan is too easy .

     Gods' Plan - To rid the world spawned by his angeles known as Nephilim aka 

    sons of god - Did it work . No . The Nephilim returned .

     Did it rid the world of a evil generation - no, It's still a evil generation .

     Did gods' Chosen people become what he wanted . No but maybe some day 

    but that's still lame so his  plan  failed .

     Those are 2 basic examples so argue free will all you want but not as reconciled to 

    Gods' Plan .

     All of gods' Plans are epic failures and it seems as if it's all made up . 

    • Login to reply the answers
  • 2 months ago

    Um, if we have no free will, then why would God be so stupid as to give us commandments that can't make a difference? You really didn't think this through. Jesus says he shall reward us according to our works, not machinations beyond our control.

    • ...Show all comments
    • doctrine of double predestination - God chose to damn some and save others, and he is glorified both in the damnation and just punishment of sinners, and in the gracious salvation of the elect.

    • Login to reply the answers
  • Anonymous
    2 months ago

    I'm not reading your book.  But if you want to believe that you're a programmed robotic puppet, you're welcome to believe that, ironically, with your free will.

    • Login to reply the answers
Still have questions? Get your answers by asking now.