The Grandverbalizer19, a Muslim, criticizes R. C. Sproul and the Bible’s teaching on “God’s Effectual Grace” and calls it “rape”. and "forced love" and says things like "cruel Calvinist Deity".
The very Biblical and Reformed teaching of God’s effectual grace, where He internally calls, draws, and changes the sinner, is anything but rape. God’s effectual calling is sweet love, grace, and joy. Many Christians from an Arminian theological perspective also call it, “rape” or “spiritual rape”. Every truly born-again person who loves Jesus only loves Jesus because He first loved them, and all true regenerate believers are happy that God saved them and changed their stubborn heart and blind mind and rebellious wills. A rape victim is filled with disgust and shame and bitterness, and many times anger and hatred; but a Christian has a sweet love and gratefulness that God chose to change their hearts and fill them with His love. So the analogy breaks down immediately upon thinking about it a little.
The Grandverbalizer19 does not seem willing to acknowledge that calling God's loving, effectual grace as "rape" is totally wrong and offensive. In Islam, there is also a strong doctrine of Allah’s Sovereignty.
Our Muslim friend should see this, because he writes and prays at the end of many of his posts, "May Allah open the hearts . . . " etc.
Although Muslims deny that Allah does any injustice, it does seem like that Allah in Islam can sin and lie and is at least able to do wrong if he wanted to. There is a tradition where Allah says he has commanded that oppression or injustice is unlawful for himself!
“Abu Dharr reported Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying that Allah, the Exalted and Glorious, said: My servants, I have made oppression unlawful for Me and unlawful for you, so do not commit oppression against one another.” Sahih Al Muslim Book 032, Number 6246
This Sovereignty of Allah, who seems to be able to sin and does deceive, is a much darker kind of Sovereignty than Calvinism. Calvinism is not really dark at all, but it seems that way to people who don’t understand it and refuse to take the time to understand what it actually teaches. Predestination is darker in Islam, because Allah actually does the evil and sins; Allah is deceptive (Surah 3:54; 8:30; 10:22) and proud (Al Motakabir – “the proud one” - Surah 59:23) and Al Jabbar (59:23) (“the one who forces”; “a tyrant”, “a dictator”; usually translated “Almighty” or “the irresistible”.)
Muslims have also debated among themselves over Allah’s Sovereignty and human responsibility and the freedom of the will. Islam does not teach that human will is in bondage to sin (as the Bible does – John 8:34; Ephesians 2:1-3; Romans 8:7, John 8:43); but rather that humans have the moral ability and power to choose good over evil, given the right information and guidance. The different Islamic views of Allah’s sovereignty are seen in the different theologies of the Jabbarites, the Ash’arites, the Qadarites, and the Mu’tazilites, which is too much for this article. Do a google search and see if you can understand the details of these different Islamic views.
In Christianity, God does not have to command Himself to be good or loving or just or forbid Himself from being unjust. He is just and good and loving because it is His nature.
The God of the Bible, the Triune God; His effective grace in drawing and changing the sinner is similar in that sense that just as the Muslim prays for Allah to open hearts; we also pray that the God of the Bible, would open sinful hearts. (Acts 16:14; John 6:44; 65) The human heart is evil and hard until God opens it and changes it and replaces it with a soft, willing, and humble, moldable heart. (Ezekiel 36:26-27) In the Islamic view, the human heart is basically good and can choose to be good (Surah 30:30); in Christianity, the human heart is not able to choose good, until God opens it by changing it. (Acts 16:14; John 6:44, 65; see also Luke 24:45) I am glad God effectually and lovingly changed my stubborn, rebellious will! “to those who are the called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.” (I Corinthians 1:24) The atonement at the cross of Christ is foolishness and a stumbling block to the unregenerate. (v. 23)
What is the difference between Allah’s Sovereignty in Islam and God’s Sovereignty in the Bible?
God's grace and love shown in the incarnation and atonement and the work of the Holy Spirit in the heart are the differences in the Christian system so that all the glory goes to Him; whereas in the Islamic system the difference seems to be the innate power and merit of the human that has the ability to choose the right way, so practically, man can boast in the Islamic system. But in the Christian system, man cannot boast. Ephesians 2:1-10; I Corinthians 1:26-31 Another difference is the capricious nature of Allah, “Ensh’allah”, “if Allah wills, even if I do all of the law perfectly, he can still send me to the hellfire.”
But we have the promise of eternal life in the Bible, if we are truly born again, by repentance and faith in Christ. (I John 5:13; John 5:24; Mark 1:15; John 20:30-31; John 3:16; Romans 10:9-10; Acts 16:31)
However, Muslims are never assured of their salvation (or going to paradise) - it is all "Inshallah", even if one is perfect in following the straight path, only dying in Jihad is the only guarantee of paradise.
Do you see how this belief can cause the Jihadists Muslims to do the things they do, when there are all these commands to obey the law, and yet, there is no assurance of God's love and acceptance? The guilt within them, because deep down they know they are sinners, causes some to go on suicide missions like the 9-11-01 terrorists and other Jihad movements all over the world.
The main point is that you cannot accuse Calvinism of something it does not believe in.
God cannot sin or do anything against His nature; whereas in Islam, the will of Allah is above His nature. In fact, one cannot really speak of Allah as a “He”. Calling Allah, “he”, in a Muslim’s point of view, implies that Allah is male, and that is blasphemy in Islam. In 1994, on a street in Istanbul, I even had a Turkish neighbor tell me one time, “Allah is not “He”, Allah do not have penis; Allah is “it”! (I realize that is street level theology and quite crude, but the guy really said that. It is amazing the concrete and literalistic thinking in the mind of many Muslims.) Many Muslim theologians say that one cannot think about Allah’s nature; just obey His rules. The goal in Islam is not to know God (see John 17:3) or be conformed to holy character on the inside (Romans 8:28-29; 2 Cor. 3:16-18; Romans 12:1-2), but the goal in Islam is just to obey the rules, the law, the Sharia. Islam is “Pelagianism on steroids”; with no internal power or relationship with the Holy Spirit to obey God and be pure. It cannot create a just and holy society because it cannot change hearts.
The Westminister Confession of Faith states:
God's sovereign decrees
1. Do NOT make God the author of sin (because God is holy and pure and without sin always; see Titus 1:2, Romans 9:14; I John 1:5; Hab. 1:13; Genesis 18:25; Isaiah 6; I Peter 1:15-16; Heb. 6:18; 2 Cor. 5:21; Heb. 4:15; Psalm 85:10; 89:14; 92:15)
2. Do NOT do violence to the will of the creature - that is, there is no force or rape; rather God lovingly changes the will and heart (Ezekiel 36:26-27; John 3:1-21; Ephesians 2:1-10; And God is continuing to change us in progressive sanctification and holiness, conforming us to His image (Romans 8:28-29) and He uses commands and exhortations as means of growing in this grace. Colossians 3:1-17; Romans chapters 6, 7, 8; Galatians 5:13-26) so that a person loves God and embraces Him - a true believer receives Jesus as Lord, the Deity of the Holy Spirit, The doctrine of the Trinitas Unitas, and the doctrines of the cross, the resurrection, etc. "My Sheep hear My voice" John 10:27-30
The Westminster Confession of Faith, chapter 3, verse 1, “Of God’s Eternal Decree”
"God from all eternity, did, by the most wise and holy counsel of His own will, freely, and unchangeably ordain whatsoever comes to pass; yet so, as thereby neither is God the author of sin, nor is violence offered to the will of the creatures; nor is the liberty or contingency of second causes taken away, but rather established." (my emphasis)
The Westminster Confession of Faith on God's Decree
See also, The London Baptist Confession of Faith (1689)
Continued. Part 2 is here.