Total Depravity

Q. I have unsuccessfully researched this issue. I would have thought that point #1 of Calvinism — Total Depravity — applies only to unbelievers since once a person is saved he or she is now a new creation with a new identification and a righteous nature — in Christ. II Cor 5:17,21; I Cor 6:17; I John 4:17; Rom 4:5, etc. Now I am not so sure. Is it true that point #1 of Calvinism applies even to someone that is born again?

A. Let me begin by saying I’m totally opposed to the doctrine of Calvinism. I claim Matt. 7:7-8, John 3:16, Romans 10:13, 1 Tim. 2:4, 2 Peter 3:9-10 in support of this.

That said, the total depravity concept of Calvinism means as a result of Adam and Eve’s disobedience to God — the Fall of Man — sin has extended to all parts of every person’s being: his thinking, his emotions and his will. Thus all men are sinners by disposition and hopelessly separated from God. For that reason they will not of their own volition choose God to provide for their salvation. That’s why He has to choose them.

Calvinists believe that God has divided humanity into two groups. One group is “the elect.” For reasons unknown to mankind God has chosen to make this group knowledgeable about himself. The rest will remain ignorant of God, and the Gospel. They are damned and will spend eternity in Hell without any hope of mercy or cessation of the extreme tortures. Calvinists believe God made this selection before the universe was created, and thus before any humans existed.

It’s my understanding that the phrase total depravity applies to the world in general and not to the group Calvinists call “the elect.”

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