Responding to a Calvinist’s Perspective on My Sheep

Dear Colleen,

In a previous response, you referenced Jn 10:27, which in the NIV says:

  • My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.

As related to this verse, you indicated that faith is simple from the perspective that all we have to do is listen to His voice and follow Him.  Of course, according to Calvin, only the elect can hear His voice.  However, as I read and study Calvinist thought and perspective, it leads (for me, anyway) to all kinds of faith issues and theological problems – not the least of which is how God can love all as per Jn 3:16 and 1Pet 3:9 while predestining the vast majority of people to hell?  I’ve taken some liberty and altered the wording of Jn 10:25-28 from a Calvinist perspective.  It comes across harsher than I might wish.  However, it is what it is and I think I’ve accurately captured the Reformed concepts of election within this passage.

  • Jesus answered, “I did tell you, but you do not believe because God has not granted you eyes to see and ears to hear.  Therefore, because of God’s sovereign election, you do not believe and are therefore eternally doomed.  The miracles I do in my Father’s name speak for me.  But let me repeat – you do not believe because God has already pre-determined from the foundation of the heaven and earth that you’re going straight to hell the moment you die.  I’ve already determined who my sheep are.  They listen to my voice.  I know them, and they follow me.  I give those lucky chosen few eternal life and they shall never perish.  No one can snatch them out of my hand.  You non-believers, on the other hand, who are not part of the elect because I don’t want to share eternity with you, are therefore not my sheep, and you folks, even though you didn’t have a choice in the matter, are eternally screwed!  Well, enjoy Hell because you folks get to experience my perfect wrath.  You’ve been created for the express purpose of Me sending you to Hell.”

Regarding sovereign grace and election per Jn 10:27 (or the passage for that matter), I don’t see that God unilaterally decided who would be his sheep.  Jesus doesn’t suggest that who were the believers and who were the non-believers was already decided before any of these people were born.  Could it be that Jesus, when He spoke these words, was actually talking to the Romans and Pharisees and whoever else was within earshot?  The author implies nothing other than some of the people immediately around Him were His sheep (believers) while others (i.e. Romans, Pharisees, non-believers, etc.) were not His sheep and therefore didn’t believe.

I welcome your comments.


Author: Bob

I’m an upper Midwestern guy who has recently entered the "Buick stage" of life and decided to migrate to Florida. This blog is an attempt to rectify discordant aspects within my Christian faith ... or what often feels like my lack of Christian faith. Things which make life more enjoyable include strong black coffee, charcoal grilling anytime of the year, putz'ing at a table saw, playing chess, a good orthopedic surgeon and an occasional IPA. Please feel free to poke around and comment as you wish. I welcome discussion and the insights of others.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: