One of the many false charges against Calvinist is that we make men robots by proclaiming the sovereignty of God and free grace in salvation. The charge is unfair. The charge is baseless and might actually be reversed. Consider the evidence.
The word “robot”, first used in 1923, comes from the Latin word “orbus” which conveys the meaning of “orphan.” The word “orphan” dates back to the 15th century. It conveys the idea of a child being without parents, presumably because the parents have died. The Psalmist said that God will be a father of the fatherless. “A father of the fatherless, and a judge of the widows, is God in his holy habitation” (Psalm 68:5).
Now, spiritually, who are the fatherless? Not the Christian. Those who believe in Jesus as Lord and Savior have God as their Father. “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:” (John 1:12). “For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father” (Rom. 8:15).
No, the Christian is not an orphan, but the unbeliever is. The unbeliever does not have God as His Father. Nor does the unbeliever seek to have God as His Father. “God looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, that did seek God. 3 Every one of them is gone back: they are altogether become filthy; there is none that doeth good, no, not one” (Psalm 53:2-3).
What then is the natural condition and state of the soul of unbelieving spiritual orphans? The Biblical answer is that they are enslaved to sin and death. A dead and enslaved will cannot be free at the same time it is a prisoner. Jesus said, “Very. Verily, I say unto you, whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin” (John 8:34). The word “servant” in this passage means “slave.” A person who is a slave does not have true freedom. They are subject to their master. Sin is the master of the unbeliever. Historically, orphans became the servants or slaves of those who took them into their homes.
Again we turn to the word “robot.” Merriam-Webster provides one definition of a robot as “a device that automatically performs complicated, often repetitive takes.” What does the spiritually orphaned unbeliever do? He automatically performs repetitive acts of sin! The spiritual orphan has been taken into the home of the devil to perform as his bidding. They become addicted to his lusts.
The person addicted to drugs takes more drugs. The person who is an alcoholic consumes more alcohol in a robotic fashion. The person addicted to pornography feels compelled to seek out salacious material to stimulate a distorted fantasy life. There is a desperate search for a never satiated sensual pleasure. The sinner is the servant of sin.
The Arminian glories in man’s freedom of the will even if that freedom leads to nothing but sin. Why does the Arminian protect the so called freedom of the will? The answer is this.
The Arminian sincerely believes that the same enslaved orphaned soul has freedom not to sin in and of himself.
Forgotten are the word of Jesus who said to the unbelievers, “Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do” (John 8:44). The phrase, “you will do” should be emphasized.
The person addicted to sin, and enslaved to sin does not want to hear how they have free will and can “pull themselves up by their theological bootstraps” if they will “only believe.” The honest spiritual orphan knows he or she is not free. That is their problem. They have no ability to change their will. They cannot believe. There is no capacity to be different than what they are a sinner in bondage to their father the devil whose lusts they will do. The natural man knows he is like a leper that cannot change its spots. Spiritual orphans are dead in trespasses and sin. They will do the lusts of their father, the devil. They need a SAVIOR. They need someone to set them free.
That Someone is Jesus, the mighty sovereign Lord, who will have mercy on souls oppressed. They do not mean to but Arminians insist on leaving Individuals as “robots” to sin and Satan when they should be proclaiming to poor spiritual orphans the free grace which is found in Jesus Christ the Lord.
For the record, no one who has been saved by Jesus, has ever complained about being HIS slave. Indeed, Paul declared time and again that he was a “doulos”, a “slave” of Jesus Christ (Rom. 1:1). The soul that has been set free by Jesus is free indeed. Only the believer has a true free will because he has a freed will.
Someone say, “Halleluiah!” Someone say, “Thank you Jesus!”