Calvinism and Children of Elect Parents
“Those therefore whom God passes by he reprobates, and that for no other cause but because he is pleased to exclude them...” (Institutes, III, xxiii, 1)
“...the divine will... is itself, and justly ought to be, the cause of all that exists ... God, whose pleasure it is to inflict punishment ... no other cause can be adduced... than the secret counsel of God...” (Institutes III, xxiii, 4)
“If we cannot assign any reason for his bestowing mercy on his people, but just that it so pleases him, neither can we have any reason for his reprobating others but his will. When God is said to visit in mercy or harden whom he will, men are reminded that they are not to seek for any cause beyond his will.” (Institutes, III, xxii, 11)
“I... ask how it is that the fall of Adam involves so many nations with their infant children in eternal death without remedy unless it so seemed meet with God [sic]? ... The decree, I admit, is dreadful; and yet it is impossible to deny that God foreknew what the end of man was to be before he made him, and foreknew, because he had so ordained by his decree... God not only foresaw the fall of the first man, and in him the ruin of his posterity; but also at his own pleasure arranged it.” (Institutes, III, xxiii, 7)
“Paul teaches us that the ruin of the wicked is not only foreseen by the Lord, but also ordained by his counsel and his will... not only the destruction of the wicked is foreknown, but that the wicked themselves have been created for this very end -- that they may perish” (Commentaries Romans 9:18)
“... he arranges all things by his sovereign counsel in such a way that individuals are born, who are doomed from the womb to certain death, and are to glorify him by their destruction...God ... arranges and disposes of them at his pleasure... all events take place by his sovereign appointment” (Institutes III, xxiii, 6)
“...each has been created for one or other of these ends, [therefore] we say that he has been predestined to life or to death” (Institutes III, xxi, 5)
Note how Calvin says this:
“I... ask how it is that the fall of Adam involves so many nations with their infant children in eternal death without remedy unless it so seemed meet with God [sic]? ... The decree, I admit, is dreadful”
Just imagine that if you are a mom or a dad and your child or children were not of the elect. They will suffer eternal death, for this state is without remedy, all because it “so seemed meet with God”. God made the sovereign and free choice, apart from any consideration of them whatsoever, to damn the non-elect (reprobate) and this because it pleases Him and will bring Him glory, says the Calvinist. Your unelect children would spend eternity in hell, not for their sin, not for their depravity, not because of the fall of Adam, but because
“God at his own pleasure arranged it”
“God, whose pleasure it is to inflict punishment”
“God is pleased to exclude them”
because they “have been created for this very end -- that they may perish”
And don't go looking for any reason in and of your unelect children why they will perish, because:
“When God is said to visit in mercy or harden whom he will, men are reminded that they are not to seek for any cause beyond his will”
I surely feel sorry for Calvinists with children:
On one hand, how horrible the thought that their children could have been reprobated, consigned to hell before the world began; that there is nothing that they can do about it. The preaching of the gospel, praying etc, all to no avail, because God has been pleased to damn these unelect children apart from anything that they have done or will do. This would cause me grief beyond measure: to think that God could have reprobated my children. That we will spend out eternities separate. Also to know there is nothing that I can do about it. My gospel pleads will fall on their God-hardened ears. My prayers lift up to God without any use. Jesus didn't even die for these, our unelect children! The horrible pain and agony of soul that a Calvinist must feel for his children who may or may not be elect.
But on the other hand, they should be exeedingly joyous and glory in the fact that their unelect children will spend eternity in hell, for this will bring glory to God. God will be glorified for eternity for damning them, apart from anything that they have done or could do, because it was His sovereign and free choice to do so, apart from "any consideration of man whatsoever". This choice brings pleasure to God, in whose pleasure it will be to punish our unelect children, who at His pleasure arranged the damnation of our unelect children, who will be glorified by their destruction, because they have been created for this very end : that they may perish. So praise God and hallelujah for God's glory in damning countless, untold billions of people's children, who are damned without remedy, where we are to seek for no cause beyond His will and pleasure.
I do not envy being a Calvinist, having children myself. For it is nowhere guaranteed that children of an elect parent will necessarily be elect themselves. With my view, I understand that my children can be prayed for and influenced by my relationship to them, and my faith displayed to them as I teach them. God wills that all men be saved and that includes my children. My preaching of Jesus and the gospel has a REAL life or death purpose to my children. They have the ability to believe unto salvation!