Paul Manata has done it again. He revealed a bit too much about his Calvinist worldview. In the comments section of this post, Manata said the following:
Just remember, no one gets deconverted apart from God's will. So, if someone is deconverted by your blog then you've been used as a means by God. God's still using you, John.
Also, you'd have to know that a Calvinist isn't afraid that you might deconvert someone who God chose to be saved. God has determined the number of the elect before the foundation of the world, and there's nothing anyone can do to change it. So, go scare an arminian with your blog.
What Manata says here regarding deconversions is an extrapolation of a more basic premise in the Calvinist worldview: that nothing exists or happens without God wanting it to. God has every intricate detail of the entire universe planned out. Every molecule that moves, every creature that is born, every star that supernovas, and every apple that is eaten, is all planned and willed by God.
According to Calvinism, God's will cannot be defied. Nothing can happen without God willing it to. Broke your leg? God's will. Millions of Jews burned in ovens? God made it so. Deconverted from Christianity? God made you do it. Born with cerebral palsy? That's God's gift to you. Tsunami ravage your village? Forget plate tectonics, it was God's work. Got nailed to a cross? It wasn't Mel, it was God!
Now let's talk about a particular concept. That concept is called "responsibility". Responsibility, according to the evil secular dictionary.com, is:
1. The state, quality, or fact of being responsible.
2. Something for which one is responsible; a duty, obligation, or burden.
And "responsible," according to the evil secular dictionary.com, is:
1. Liable to be required to give account, as of one's actions or of the discharge of a duty or trust.
2. Involving personal accountability or ability to act without guidance or superior authority: a responsible position within the firm.
3. Being a source or cause.
Responsibility is what is assigned to a subject that is the causal agent of a given action or situation. If I, Aaron Kinney, slap you in the face, then I am responsible for doing so. But if God is the one causing everything to happen, then it wasn't really me that slapped you in the face, and it is God that is responsible for that action.
Here is where the Calvinism gets weird. According to Calvinism, God chooses who has faith in Christ and who doesn't. Therefore, neither the theist nor atheist are responsible for their belief or lack thereof. No atheist could be responsible for going to Hell if God chose that person to be an atheist.
And here is where it gets weirder. According to Calvinism, God chooses every action that ever occurs. So who is responsible for the rebellion of Lucifer? And who is responsible for the eating from the tree of knowledge in the Garden of Eden?
Who is responsible for giving humans original sin?
So who, then, is to blame for original sin? Where did original sin originally come from? Who is the real sinner?
So in light of this revelation, let's all join hands and sing a song that celebrates God's gracious carrying of the burden of responsibility:
All things dull and ugly
All creatures short and squat
All things rude and nasty
The Lord God made the lot
Each little snake that poisons
Each little wasp that stings
He made their brutish venom
He made their horrid wings
All things sick and cancerous
All evils great and small
All things foul and dangerous
The Lord God made them all
Each nasty little hornet
Each beastly little squid
Who made the spiky urchin
Who made the sharks? He did
All things scabbed and ulcerous
All pox both great and small
Putrid, foul and gangrenous
The Lord God made them all
Crossposted at Goosing the Antithesis.