Jesus said, “It’s easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God” (Mt 19:24; Mk 10:25; Lk 18:25). Jesus said this after the young rich ruler refused Jesus’ call to discipleship because he was unwilling to give away all of his riches.  Jesus’ point seems to be that people with wealth tend to trust in their wealth, making it difficult for them to place their trust in Christ.

This doesn’t make much sense on a Calvinistic view of salvation, and thus serves as evidence against Calvinism.

Remember, on Calvinism, salvation is wholly determined by God’s choice.  He saves whoever He wants to save, wholly independent of their behavior or economic status.  Given that God determines who is saved and is wholly responsible for their regeneration, how can it be said that it’s “hard” for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God?  Is it harder for God to save a rich man than a poor man?  Obviously not, if God is wholly responsible for salvation.  It only makes sense to speak of it being harder for a rich man to be saved if our salvation is contingent on both God’s act and our response.  Why is it harder for a rich person to respond to God’s grace than the non-rich?  Apparently, many trust in their wealth more than they trust in God, or their love of money supersedes their love for God.  Jesus said you can’t serve both God and money (Mt 6:24; Lk 16:13).  If Calvinism were true, God could just as easily elect a rich person as a poor person.  It only becomes “hard” for a person to experience salvation if salvation is not a unilateral act of God, but an act of God followed by a person’s free choice, and that free choice is hindered by something such as one’s trust in wealth.

By no means do I think that Calvinism can be put to bed with one verse, but I think this verse serves as evidence against the view. If you are a Calvinist, I would be interested to hear how you interpret this saying of Jesus.

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