Of the handful of arguments most often and quickly raised up against the Doctrines of Grace, perhaps the most frequent is perpetuating the idea that the “Calvinist God” makes us “robots” or “puppets.”

With raised voice, or caps lock, depending on the forum, the advocates of free will cry out, “IT’S JUST NOT FAIR!” “WE MUST MAKE OUR OWN CHOICES!”

The issue with this accusation is that it is simply not true. And I have never heard a Calvinist actually affirm that.

So, how do we reconcile the fact that God is sovereignly in control, yet we are not mindless drones who could not make any meaningful choice of our own?

The most important answer to this question is this:

Man is never forced to do anything against his will.

R.C. Sproul, echoing the words of many reformers before him, makes the statement, “The will is said to be determined, when, in consequence of some action, or influence, it’s choice is dedicated to and fixed upon a particular object.”

Man always chooses what is most desirable to him at the time.

Hence, man in his natural, sinful state, will always choose what his flesh desires: sin.

“For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another.” -Titus 3:3

Everyone who commits sin is a slave to sin.” -John 8:34

“among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.” -Ephesians 2:3

Man is truly free to choose what he desires, but with his pre-existing will man will never freely choose God.

The Holy Spirit must regenerate us and fundamentally change our desires in order for us to make any spiritual decision, certainly one of salvation.

Unless we are born again, we cannot see the Kingdom of God, and receive eternal life. (John 3:6-8)

We serve a truly merciful and good God, who, for his good pleasure, radically changes the hearts of his elect, so that they may finally choose Him freely.

Hey there! Thanks for reading! Did you know that I wrote a longer article on the topic of man’s freed will? You can find it here. Don’t forget to subscribe to my blog, so you can be updated by email everytime a new article is posted!

4 thoughts on “Puppets and Robots?

  1. So, man is not forced against his will, but according to Calvinists, God gives us all our desires. So, if we always choose what we desire (which is highly debatable) we will always choose what God wants. Therefore, our desires are really God’s desires and we have no choice but to follow them. So, I’m not seeing how this makes us anything but robots.
    This becomes more problematic when we have to conclude that if this is correct, all our evil desires also come from God, and yet we are punished for acting on them.


  2. It is a shame the dogmatic arguments that get thrown against the Biblical Doctrines of Grace. Like you said, most of the time they do not even know what we actually believe.


  3. Well, if we don’t know by now, ya’ll must be doing a doggone poor job of explaining, lol! I’ve read dozens, maybe hundreds of articles by Calvinists, listened to some sermons, and the more I know about it, the less sense it makes.


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