Motive Is Determined By Character
The following was a comment on a blog post at Allkirk Network.
The comment made two interesting points which I wanted to explore a bit. One involves what the commenter referred to as a misunderstanding about a sinner’s motive for doing good works. The other involves his use of the word “Holy” which is a bit misleading.
Lutherans believe in Man’s freedom of will. As I understand it, as a Lutheran, man has freedom of will and can choose to do good works; but in our sinful condition our choices to do good are based on selfish reasons, not godly reasons. In this, humans always choose selfishly (sinfully), even though the work may outwardly appear good, they are not pleasing to God. Herein the Work of the Holy Spirit is paramount in changing our nature from sinful to holy. When the Holy Spirit works through us and guides our decisions, only then can we make good choices for God pleasing reasons, and do truly good and holy works. How does Cavlinism/Reformed view this?
To be clear, the post was aimed at settling the record regarding four myths about Lutheranism, apparently perpetrated by Calvinists. The four myths centered on free will, the Lord’s Supper, the use of the law and engaging the surrounding culture.
Those issues are not the focus in my response.
The post was on a Presbyterian website so it is was offered from a Calvinistic perspective. The topics being discussed were interesting but, again, that’s not the focus here.
I’m assuming the commenters understanding of Lutheran theology is correct. If it isn’t, the same idea is floated by other theological systems so addressing it has purpose.
The important thing is, even if he was wrong about Lutheran theology, he made a judgment call on the motives of sinners which can’t be justified. He was wrong and his comment serves as another example of Calvinist’s tendency to argue from the presumed rightness of their position. It’s circular. Calvinism is right so you must be wrong because what you say disagrees with Calvinism. No discussion engaged. No arguments offered. [Read more…] about Calvinism Misunderstands Motive