Election IS about Christianity.
Here, in a very subtle way, you are misrepresenting what I said. I'm simply trying to stay on point, and you are trying to evade it by asking about the basic gospel. Note that I said "basic Christianity" - I had in mind Heb. 6 where he says he's not going to discuss elementary things about Christianity, but rather go on to more mature matters. This is what I am trying to do, which is the purpose of the OP. So why should I let you derail the thread by discussing elemental things, even after I answered the question (in which you disagreed)?
Christianity teaches that God makes Himself known to us and invites us to be a child of His.
This is the Good News of the N.T. gospels.
That we have a savior in Whom we can trust for our salvation,,,
IF WE WANT to be saved.
You are speaking of elemental Christianity, which is part of the gospel preached to the lost. But the OP is not about this. It's about the edification of the saints. It's about what God has done for the saints, and thus makes the saints experience the blessing of God's grace. The doctrine of election is not for unbelievers, and does nothing at all for them except to condemn them to a hopeless judgment. The doctrine of election is only for the saints who have already received the grace of God.
And besides, who doesn't WANT to be saved? Yet "few are chosen."
This Good News does not exist in the reformed faith because they are the only denomination that believes
that God does the actual choosing...
Jesus said to His disciples "You did not choose Me, but I chose you..." (I think this is in John 15 somewhere). Why would He say this if God is not the one who does the actual choosing?
Thus removing the Good News -
Your assessment of the doctrine of election sounds a lot like my earlier statement, that it does nothing for the unsaved but to condemn them. Are you trying to see it from an unbeliever's point of view, or do you actually and firmly believe what you say here?
Which is FOR EVERYONE ---
If the Good News was FOR EVERYONE as you claim, then EVERYONE would understand and believe it. But here's the fact: for most people it's NOT GOOD NEWS, because they stand condemned, and will be ultimately cast into the lake of fire. Therefore, in a very real and practical manner, the gospel is only good news for those who are saved by God.
1 Cor. 1:18 "For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God."
Can you see that Paul says that the gospel is only good news to "us which are saved," and for "them that perish" it is foolishness?
Therefore, I completely disagree with your premise that the gospel is for everyone. No, it is for all people, that is, all ethnic groups, but not for everyone. Those rejecting the gospel are those who the gospel is not for. Given your "free will" idea, those people have decided that the "good news" is NOT FOR THEM.
So, from my POV you are contradicting yourself by your statement. Can you see the contradiction here?
God gave His only Son FOR THE WHOLE WORLD.
God so loved the World.
He gave His only begotten Son.
Whoever believeth in Him will be saved.
And he that believes not on Him is lost already.
God loves all men to some extent, but He doesn't love everyone the same. God loves those who love Him - Deu.5:10 "but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments" (and many other scriptures like this). So, God does not love everyone the same, does not bless everyone the same, and is not merciful to everyone the same.
"Jacob I loved, and Esau I hated" - doesn't this tell you that God doesn't love everyone the same, or in the same way? God loved Esau in many ways and blessed him in many ways, but according to Paul and the writer of Hebrews, was not chosen for salvation.
Therefore, God did not choose everyone for salvation. It becomes obvious in the book of Revelation. Therefore, your idea that God gave Jesus for everyone doesn't follow the teaching of scripture. If that were so, then it contradicts your statement that whoever doesn't believe is "lost already." If God gave His son for those who are lost, then God's gift was ineffective in that case. Do you believe that God's gift of Jesus is ineffective for unbelievers? And if so, how? If not, how?
And on to verse 21....WHERE does it state anywhere in these verses that salvation is unconditional upon God's whim?
Your usage of the term "whim" is inherently derogatory, because you don't understand or know how God makes His decisions, and therefore you turn God's arbitration into an evil idea. The fact that a judge is elected as an arbiter of a case is like God being an arbiter of a person's salvation. But the difference is that a judge can either whimsically let someone off the hook (and call it mercy), or he can judge judiciously according to the deeds of that person under scrutiny. Whereas God exerts either justice or mercy according to His divine and holy plan, which Paul teaches in Rom. 9 (and it is taught elsewhere).
The difference between a human judge and God is that a human judge is fallible, and therefore has no option but to judge according to the law, and if he doesn't, then he is deemed an evildoer. But God on the contrary is righteous no matter what he does, as Job acknowledged in Job 42. And God's arbitration is according to His own purpose which is higher than any purpose or thought you can conceive.
This is how God can save a person without any human merit. Your "free will" idea requires that salvation be merited by a "free will" choice on the part of the person being saved, and therefore you don't believe that grace is unmerited. If you believed that grace was not merited by anything, including a "free will" choice, then you would agree that God arbitrates a person's salvation (that is, persons who don't deserve that arbitration in any way, shape, or form).
Yet, Eph. 2:5 is clear that grace is unmerited. "While you were dead..." God "raised us to life" - there is no indication whatsoever that God made His choice based on what the person did or thought. This is what grace is, and is what predestination is. "Dead" is a term depicting someone's mind (and spiritual condition) in the same condition as described in Rom. 3:10-18.
So, yes, you could have answered WHAT IS THE GOOD NEWS, which I posted a couple of times.
It's difficult to answer this for those that believe that God does the choosing and not we ourselves.
Here is another derogatory statement from you, which shows your hypocrisy. If you were sincere about your gripe, you wouldn't be making statements like this.
But since scripture declares clearly that God does the choosing, I believe that and not what you say. Eph. 1:4 "just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world" - it doesn't say "He foresaw that we would choose Him," which is how you want it to read.
And I have no prejudice as to what I assess as Calvinism.
I have actually done some studying on Calvinism, including reading some of the Institutes which John Calvin wrote.
A volume of 4 books. There is no pre-judging on my part.
I don't care how much or little you read, you have a false idea, and therefore you are prejudiced. I also am prejudiced in favor of the scripture which I claim Calvin's teachings, along with Luther's and others, are closer to what scripture teaches than anything you've said so far.
And so I assert that you do pre-judge negatively toward anything I say because I classified myself as reformed. It seems like every time I explain scripture so that it can be understood clearly, you immediately go to some caricature of Calvinism and stereotype me as some wild-haired heretic. But God said "let us reason together..."
How many times do I have to prove that you are wrong in your judgments before you begin to admit that you even might be wrong? Paul wrote that the one who thinks they know something doesn't yet know as they ought to.
There has to be some basis on which we can converse and agree on what the scripture means by what it says. If we cannot agree on anything, then how can we have a civil conversation?
I also looked at the WCF and it says the same, but in a softer tone.
It's not very transparent and one has to be careful when they THINK they understand what it states.
I wonder why it had to be softened down???
Your judgment about the Westminster Confession (I assume this is what you mean by WCF) shows that you haven't yet understood it, and you appear to make the same judgments about it as you do the scripture - that is, your conclusions are based on your opinion and fallible reasoning, rather than on what scripture actually states.
So, yes, you go your own separate way - not being able to bring the Good News of the gospels to anyone since it is not up to them to decide on salvation...
And I'll go my separate way - being able to say the Good News to anyone I want to because I know it will be planting a seed for their contemplation.
You have only the Bad News...
all other Christians have the Good News.
Again, your judgment is false, and your intention to insult is hypocritical.
So we can agree at least to disagree and go our separate ways.