Billy talks to his pastor

This is a priceless, funny conversation between a humble, inquisitive child (the sort of which Christ tells us His kingdom is made of) and his falsely assured pastor who has – no doubt – been trained at a Southern Baptist seminary.

Enjoy 🙂  From:

Billy Talks to His Pastor about God

John Pedersen

from The Trinity Review, July 1997

Billy: “Pastor, does God love everybody?”

Pastor: “Yes, Billy” (smiles, pats him on the head).

Billy: “How come it says in Romans 9 that he hated Esau?”

Pastor: “Been reading your Bible, huh, Billy?” (still smiles). “Well, the Bible also says that God hates, but that only is talking about God’s secret decree, and as far as we are concerned, he loves everybody.”

Billy: “Pastor?”

Pastor: “Yes, Billy.”

Billy: “If God tells us about his secret decree, is it still a secret?”

Pastor: “Er, well, I guess . . . not, Billy, but I meant that we should realize that there is a way the Bible talks about God’s love for everybody, and that’s what we should think about, not the one or two places where it says God hates.”

Billy: “Oh. How is it that God loves everybody?”


Pastor: “Well, he gives everybody rain and sunshine, and he blesses the people of the Earth with a conscience so they know right from wrong, and he has given them many gifts which they use to make the world a better and safer place to live.”

Billy: “Then he sends most of them to Hell?”

Pastor: “Yes, Billy.”

Billy: “Pastor?”

Pastor: “Yes, Billy.”

Billy: “Is it love for God to give people good things for a few years to make them feel comfortable and worthwhile, and then send them to Hell?”

Pastor: “Well, I . . . yes, it . . . is, I think because it would have been worse if, I mean it would be, um, well, it is, I guess, because he did not send them directly to Hell, but he allowed them to experience his goodness and his provision for his creatures. . . .”

Billy: “Is it love to let someone experience something good they will remember forever and always hate God for, because that good thing they loved more than forgiveness?”

Pastor: “Could we change the subject, Billy? I am not sure my answers are satisfying you.”

Billy: “O.K., Pastor. Did Jesus die for everybody?”

Pastor: “Why, sure, Billy.”

Billy: “Pastor?”

Pastor: “Yes, Billy.”

Billy: “If Jesus died for everybody, why isn’t everybody going to Heaven?”

Pastor: “Well, Billy, it’s because not everybody will accept him.”

Billy: “But, Pastor, I thought Jesus saved us. You are telling me that we save Jesus.”

Pastor (laughing nervously): “Of course not, Billy! I believe that Jesus saves us completely! However would you get the idea that I believed we save Jesus?”

Billy: “Well, Pastor, you told me that Jesus died for everybody, and that only those who accept him will be saved. So, this means Jesus’ death and resurrection, what Jesus does, cannot save us of itself, but something more is needed, and that something more is what we do by accepting him. For those who do not accept Jesus, they will perish. That means that Jesus’ dying for them cannot help them. In fact, it means that Jesus’ work for them was a miserable failure. On the other hand, those who accept him make his work effective by their acceptance—they save his work from being a failure. Without us, Jesus and his work of salvation would be doomed! If Jesus cannot save us without the permission we give of our own free will, then we are the real saviors, and Jesus is the one we save! Wow! What would he ever do without us?!”

Pastor: “Er . . . uh . . . that’s not what I mean. I mean if, it is , I said . . . no, I believe Jesus is the one who does the saving, Billy, it’s just that . . . God has made it so that we . . . are free to acc . . . meaning, we are, are . . . Billy, the Bible is mysterious. It seems to mean certain things, but it doesn’t really, like it says . . . you are using logic, Billy. The Bible is not logical and the truths are not something we can fit into our human minds.”

Billy: “Pastor?”

Pastor (now showing a slight frown): “Yes, Billy.”

Billy: “When you say the Bible is not logical, does that mean the Bible does not make sense? ‘Cause you made sense when you said the Bible wasn’t logical. I think it was because you used logic that you made sense.”

Pastor (now glowering at Billy): “No, Billy, I didn’t mean the Bible does not make sense. It does make sense, but just not our kind of sense.”

Billy: “Pastor?”

Pastor: “Yes, Billy.”

Billy: “Why would God give a Bible to us that did not make our kind of sense?”

Pastor: “Well, Billy, it’s not that . . . I think it’s . . . it makes sense, just does not give us the answers we like to hear, and says things that seem contradictory but really are not, to keep us from asking smart-aleck questions.”

Billy: “So, God doesn’t make our kind of sense to keep us humble?”

Pastor: “That’s right, Billy. God wants to keep us humble, so he does not let us think we can be absolutely certain about the things some proud people are certain about.”

Billy: “Pastor?”

Pastor: “Yes, Billy.”

Billy: “Are you certain about what you just said to me?”

Pastor (showing obvious irritation): “What do you think, Billy?”

Billy: “I think you just called yourself a proud person, but I don’t know why, ’cause you are so smart and know so much about God, and how much he needs us.”

Pastor: “Billy, why don’t you go out and play, like the other children?”

Billy: “Why should I go out and play, when I can stay in here with you and learn how to save God?”

Pastor: “You need to be careful, Billy. I never said we save God. You are the one who said that, remember. I simply believe our choices are significant, and God does not treat us like robots. He created us to have true human responsibility.”

Billy: “Pastor?”

Pastor (now looking quite angry): “This will have to be the last question, young man! I have important things to do and you should be outside playing.”

Billy: “When God put Abraham to sleep, was he telling him what he thought of his ‘human responsibility’?”

Pastor (seething): “I have a bad headache, Billy, and I can’t answer any more of your questions, but I can tell you this. Whoever has been teaching you has been telling you things a boy your age should not even be thinking about. It sounds like you have been learning some kind of hyper-Calvinism! You better be careful, young man!”

Billy: “I don’t know about hyper-Calintisim, but I have been reading these things in the Bible. Thanks for straightening me out. I will try to cut these bad parts out. Can I borrow some scissors?”

Pastor (rising from his chair): “Get out of here, you, you, you . . . !”

Billy: “That’s O.K., Pastor. I’ll ask Joey. He was using some good scissors when we were cutting out our ‘friends with Jesus’ pictures for Sunday school. Good-bye.”

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28 thoughts on “Billy talks to his pastor

  1. Haha…loved this! Especially “It seems to mean certain things, but it doesn’t really, like it says . . . you are using logic, Billy. The Bible is not logical and the truths are not something we can fit into our human minds.” – that nails the ridiculous argumentation by self-ascribed “Biblicists” lol…


  2. Nice! Thanks for sharing this Manfred. I remember explaining to my daughter about God’s hating all workers of inequity, after she went through her required “spiritual formation” class in the fall of her freshman year. She has been a pain in the neck of those few emergent professors at the University she attends, and is now a senior engineering student finishing up in 4 years! (Living proof that 2 wrongs CAN make a right when it comes to parenting. LOL)
    She also knows that they will punish you for your stand via gpa, but perserveres to the end!


  3. I believe this can add to the topic, from a site that I often go to, not sure if links are allowed so if so please tell me.

    Scripture clearly presents that unregenerate man is totally depraved due to his enslavement to sin, thus, the spiritually dead man is totally unable to make a spiritually good decision to choose Christ (esp. Rom. 8:7-8). He does not seek for God nor does he do any good in God’s sight (cf. Rom. 3:10-19). Further, Paul uses the term nekros (literately, “a corpse”)[1] to describe the condition of the unsaved/unregenerate man (cf. Eph. 2:1, 5, Col. 2:13). For if the unregenerate man is not actually spiritually dead, and only sick or very ill, then, he is certainly capable, based on his self-determination, to make a righteous decision to do a *spiritually good* deed (viz. to believe in Christ).

    However, Scripture does not teach that a “faith-act” is the *cause* of one’s salvation (which would make “faith” a meritorious work), rather the cause of salvation is the sole work of the Lord, “it is by His doing,” says Paul, “that you are in Christ Jesus” (1 Cor. 1:30). The elect, then, “were born not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God”[2] (John 1:13; cf. 15:16).

    Hence, God’s choosing does not “depend on the man who wills or the man who runs, but on God who has mercy” (Rom. 9:16; cf. Exod. 33:19; Deut. 7:6-7; Rom. 11:4-6; 33-36; Thess. 2:13; 2 Tim. 1:9). Therefore, the calling of God is, by necessity, effectual and irresistible. Namely, the inward call—that which guarantees the coming to Christ (cf. John 6:37-39), which is theologically distinguished from the outward call (e.g., though preaching), which can be rejected (cf. Acts 17:51; also see Matt. 22:14; and esp. 1 Cor. 1:18, 22-31).


  4. Manfred, do you mean someone who does not agree completely with Calvinism is promoting heresy? Or someone who offers biblical facts that can put large parts of Calvinism by the way side?


  5. Jeff,

    A heretic is someone who denies or teaches in opposition to essential Christian doctrines, such as the Trinity or the deity and sufficiency of Christ. Nobody has perfect theology and holding to sound (that is, Reformed, Calvinist) theology is not essential to salvation. But one who holds to all 5 points of Arminianism is a heretic. One who doesn’t agree with all 5 points of Calvinism is not necessarily a heretic – depends on what he believes about the salvific faith that is a gift from God. Anyone who thinks anyone other than the Lord saves anyone, believes a lie. Heresies sprout from small deceptions.

    Nobody can offer “biblical facts than can put large parts of Calvinism by the way side”, by the way. Just sayin’


  6. Ken – here’s the whole enchilada:

    Calvinism vs Arminianism
    A comparative summary on their basic “5 Points”
    Point 1. (Arminianism) “Free Will/Human Ability” states: Although human nature was seriously affected by the fall, man has not been left in a state of total spiritual helplessness. God graciously enables every sinner to repent and believe, but He does so in such a manner as not to interfere with man’s freedom. Each sinner possesses a free will, and his eternal destiny depends on how he uses it. Man’s freedom consists of his ability to choose good over evil in spiritual matters; his will is not enslaved to his sinful nature. The sinner has the power to either cooperate with God’s Spirit and be regenerated or resist God’s grace and perish. The lost sinner needs the Spirit’s assistance, but he does not have to be regenerated by the Spirit before he can believe, for faith is man’s act and precedes the new birth. Faith is the sinner’s gift to God; It is man’s contribution to salvation.

    Point 1. (Calvinism) “Total Inability/Total Depravity” states: Because of the fall, man is unable of himself to savingly believe the gospel. The sinner is dead, blind, and deaf to the things of God; his heart is deceitful and desperately corrupt. His will is not free, it is in in bondage to his evil nature, therefore, he will not — indeed he cannot — choose good over evil in the spiritual realm. Consequently, it takes much more than the Spirit’s assistance to bring a sinner to Christ — it takes regeneration by which the Spirit makes the sinner alive and gives him a new nature. Faith is not something man contributes to salvation but is itself a part of God’s gift of salvation — it is God’s gift to the sinner, not the sinner’s gift to God.

    Point 2. (Arminianism) “Conditional Election” states: God’s choice of certain individuals unto salvation before the foundation of the world was based upon His foreseeing that they would respond to His call. He selected only those whom He knew would of themselves freely believe the gospel. Election therefore was termined by or conditioned upon what man would do. The faith which God foresaw and upon which He based His choice was not given to the sinner by God (it was not created by the regenerating power of the Holy Spirit) but resulted solely from man’s will. It was left entirely up to man as to who would believe and therefore as to who would be elected unto salvation. God chose those whom He knew would, of their own free will, choose Christ. Thus the sinner’s choice of Christ, not God’s choice of the sinner, is the ultimate cause of salvation.

    Point 2. (Calvinism) “Unconditional Election” states: God’s choice of certain individuals unto salvation before the foundation of the world rested solely in His own sovereign will. His choice of particular sinners was not based on any foreseen response or obedience on their part, such as faith, repentance, etc. On the contrary, God gives faith and repentance to each individual whom He selected. These acts are the result, not the cause of God’s choice. Election therefore was not determined by or conditioned upon any virtuous quality or act foreseen in man. Those whom God sovereignly elected He brings through the power of the Spirit to a willing acceptance of Christ. Thus God’s choice of the sinner, not the sinner’s choice of Christ, is the ultimate cause of salvation.

    Point 3. (Arminianism) “Universal Redemption/General Atonement” states: Christ’s redeeming work made it possible for everyone to be saved but did not actually secure the salvation of anyone. Although Christ died for all men and for every man, only those who believe in Him are saved. His death enabled God to pardon sinners on the condition that they believe, but it did not actually put away anyone’s sins. Christ’s redemption becomes effective only if man chooses to accept it.

    Point 3. (Calvinism) “Particular Redemption/Limited Atonement” states: Christ’s redeeming work was intended to save the elect only and actually secured salvation for them. His death was a substitutionary endurance of the penalty of sin in the place of certain specified sinners. In addition to putting away the sins of His people, Christ’s redemption secured everything necessary for their salvation, including faith which unites them to Him. The gift of faith is infallibly applied by the Spirit to all for whom Christ died, thereby guaranteeing their salvation.

    Point 4. (Arminianism) “The Holy Spirit Can Be Effectually Resisted” states: The Spirit calls inwardly all those who are called outwardly by the gospel invitation; He does all that He can to bring every sinner to salvation. But inasmuch as man is free, he can successfully resist the Spirit’s call. The Spirit cannot regenerate the sinner until he believes; faith (which is man’s contribution) precedes and makes possible the new birth. Thus, man’s free will limits the Spirit in the application of Christ’s saving work. The Holy Spirit can only draw to Christ those who allow Him to have His way with them. Until the sinner responds, the Spirit cannot give life. God’s grace, therefore, is not invincible; it can be, and often is, resisted and thwarted by man.

    Point 4. (Calvinism) “The Efficacious Call Of The Spirit/Irresistible Grace” states: In addition to the outward general call to salvation which is made to everyone who hears the gospel, the Holy Spirit extends to the elect a special inward call that inevitably brings them to salvation. The external call (which is made to all without distinction) can be and often is, rejected; whereas the internal call (which is made only to the elect) cannot be rejected; it always results in conversion. By means of this special call the Spirit irresistibly draws sinners to Christ. He is not limited in His work of applying salvation by man’s will, nor is He dependent upon man’s cooperation for success. The Spirit graciously causes the elect sinner to cooperate, to believe, to repent, to come freely and willingly to Christ. God’s grace, therefore, is invincible; it never fails to result in the salvation of those to whom it is extended.

    Point 5. (Arminianism) “Falling From Grace” states: Those who believe and are truly saved can lose their salvation by failing to keep up their faith, etc. All Arminians have not been agreed on this point; some have held that believers are eternally secure in Christ — that once a sinner is regenerated, he can never be lost. According to Arminianism: Salvation is accomplished through the combined efforts of God (who takes the initiative) and man (who must respond) — man’s response being the determining factor. God has provided salvation for everyone, but His provision becomes effective only for those who, of their own free will, choose to cooperate with Him and accept His offer of grace. At the crucial point, man’s will plays a decisive role; thus man, not God, determines who will be the recipients of the gift of salvation.

    Point 5. (Calvinism) “Perseverance Of The Saints” states: All who were chosen by God, redeemed by Christ, and given faith by the Spirit are eternally saved. They are kept in faith by the power of Almighty God and thus persevere to the end. According to Calvinism: Salvation is accomplished by the almighty power of the Triune God. The Father chose a people, the Son died for them, the Holy Spirit makes Christ’s death effective by bringing the elect to faith and repentance, thereby causing them to willingly obey the gospel. The entire process (election, redemption, regeneration) is the work of God and is by grace alone. Thus God, not man, determines who will be the recipients of the gift of salvation.
    Arminianism: REJECTED by the Synod of Dort. This was the system of thought contained in the “Remonstrance” (though the “five points” were not originally arranged in this order). The Remonstrance was submitted by the Arminians to the Church of Holland in 1610 for adoption but was rejected by the Synod of Dort in 1619 on the ground that it was unscriptural and judged as heretical doctrine.

    Calvinism: AFFIRMED by the Synod of Dort. This system of theology was affirmed by the Synod of Dort in 1619 as the doctrine of salvation contained in the Holy Scriptures. The system was at that time formulated into “five points” (in answer to the five points submitted by the Arminians) and has ever since been known as “The five points of Calvinism”.


    Manfred, you ought to be careful of slandering people for what they believe. “This is a priceless, funny conversation between a humble, inquisitive child (the sort of which Christ tells us His kingdom is made of) and his falsely assured pastor who has – no doubt – been trained at a Southern Baptist seminary.” As I would anyone else, not funny and highly offensive. No, I am not a Southern Baptist. The two links I left barely scratch the surface for reasons to totally discredit calvinist. But why we would want to put all of you guys under the bus? I have friends, regrettably are calvinist, and they abstain for throwing rocks at us who are not in the inner circle.


  8. Jeff – I don’t have time to reply at this moment, as I’m leaving for a 4 day motorcycle trip with no Internet access in about 10 minutes. However – I slandered nobody and what is called Calvinism is biblical Truth that many have attacked since Christ walked the Earth – and before! All the way back to the first children of man.

    What you call “throwing rocks” is what the Bible calls discernment. And we are commanded to do this.

    May the Lord open your eyes to His glorious Truths.


  9. Jeff Tyler,

    While I appreciate your dislike of this post and dislike what is known as Calvinistic teaching, I take exception to your suggestion that a couple of internet links totally discredit the Doctrines of Grace. The Doctrines of Grace will never be discredited from a Biblical perspective because they are taught in the Bible. What we know as “free will” is also found in the Bible and creates a tension between God’s sovereignty and undeniable election of his adopted children and the responsibility and freedom of man’s will. How that actually works is a mystery to us and the best we can do is put theology around it and argue about the possibilities. If we are to be genuine in our reading of scripture and genuine in our theological positions, we must agree that both are clearly taught in scripture. I see a larger focus scripturally on the side of God’s sovereignty and election of his children than I do on man’s free will, therefore, I confidently agree with the Doctrines of Grace.

    Faithfully in Christ,


  10. Hello Jeff,
    I want to start by saying the verses I have for you are straight from God’s word, not John Calvin.
    We start with John 15:16,” You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you”. Here our Lord clearly states His disciples had no choice in the matter, for Christ Himself had chosen them. This is the teaching of our Lord, as recorded by the Apostle John.

    Next we go to Ephesians 1:4, “even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him.” Here the Apostle Paul tells us God chose us, even from before the foundation of the world.

    Another verse that states God does the choosing is found in 2 Thessalonians 2:13, “But we ought always to give thanks to God for you, brothers beloved by the Lord, because God chose you as the firstfruits to be saved, through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth.”

    Other verses include John 15:19, Matthew 22:14, 11:27, 1 Peter 2:9, Mark 13:20, and Romans 9:16. Even throughout the Old Testament you find the doctrine of election in God’s choosing the Israelites for Himself. This is a tough teaching to comprehend and swallow because of our sinful pride. But, to claim we had a part in coming to Christ does rob God of glory and causes us to boast (see Ephesians.2:8-9). Salvation is given solely by God to whom He chooses.
    As I have shown from God’s word, from the Apostles Paul, Peter, and John, this is the teaching of the Almighty One; when we credit Calvin with this teaching we rob God of due glory and praise. John Calvin simply brought to light this biblical truth.

    I hope you will read this helpful teaching by Charles Surgeon, it clarified much for me…

    May the Lord bless you this day,


  11. Manfred, Thanks for taking the time to list all the Arminian arguments. Most of my fellow church
    members (Southern Baptist) only believe what they have been taught by pastors and Sunday-
    school teachers over the years. They don’t understand the Doctrine of Unconditional Election.
    They are quick to say, “once saved always saved” but are unable to defend their position…
    Not knowing that historically. God’s absolute sovereignty in election was central in the Gospel of our Southern Baptist forefathers…
    It also seems to me, in reading the Arminian positions that you have listed. That our Arminian brothers and sisters believe in a God who is all knowing, but very limited in power..
    While we, (Because of His Grace!) believe in a God of mercy, who knows all, and is unlimited in
    power.. And Yes, to Him, all the Glory and Praise forever and ever, Amen!
    May the Lord open all of our eyes to His glorious Truths.


  12. You guys are amazing…not literally. How scripture can be twisted just ever so slightly, to mean something else. Never not once has my side of the aisle ever taken anything away from God. I will post some hardcore lies or spins from the Calvinist. You guys seem to be snobbish and will not accept truth even if you see it. I will try anyway.


  13. Jeff,

    Brother, before you post a bunch of anti-calvinism weblinks, let’s just talk a bit. What is it specifically about the Doctrines of Grace that you are against? Is it God’s sovereignty? Is it election? Man’s depravity? Particular atonement? I’d like to talk specifically about what you don’t like rather than vague generalities.



  14. Jeff,
    In giving Scripture exactly as it is written, how has it been twisted?

    Prayerfully consider re-reading what I previously stated, seeking God before you do. I too once insisted I had a part in my salvation, until God took me deeper into the doctrines of total depravity, grace, and election. Now I have a much deeper love, appreciation, and gratitude for what Christ has done for me. He receives all praise and glory for saving a worm like me…which is why God saves any depraved sinner to begin with; all for His glory.

    May He take you deeper into His word and bless you this day, so you may give Him much glory.


  15. How interesting! If God did indeed hate Esau then how could Peter have stated that which he did in Acts 10:34 which reads, “Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons”? Is He or isn’t He? Eagerly awaiting barbed replies which usually follows when I leave a comment.


  16. lyn,
    “I too once insisted I had a part in my salvation, until God took me deeper into the doctrines of total depravity, grace, and election. Now I have a much deeper love, appreciation, and gratitude for what Christ has done for me. He receives all praise and glory for saving a worm like me…which is why God saves any depraved sinner to begin with; all for His glory..”


  17. Pawnraider

    We find in God’s word He hated Esau, and He is no respector of persons,just as you have stated. We also find ‘ therefore He has mercy on whom He wills, and whom He wills He harden’ Romans 9:18. It isn’t favoritism, but God’s divine election that must be understood in order to comprehend Acts 10:34. His hatred for Esau was not an emotional hatred like we know, rather it was a rejection of the descendants of Esau. God chose Jacob and his descendants for divine blessing and protection, Esau and his descendants were left in their sinful depraved state, left to divine judgment. Again, the fact that His mercy and grace is extended to any is mind boggling.

    He has every right to set His affection on whoever He chooses, for who are we to question the Sovereign Ruler of the universe? His word does not contradict, He chooses according to His will, not according to any worth in man, for we are all wicked, vile worms.


  18. I wanted to elaborate a bit more on the phrase ‘respecter of persons’; this phrase comes from the Greek word ‘prosopoleptes’ meaning ‘an acceptor of a face’ – this stems from the root word ‘prosopon’, defined as ‘outward circumstances, wealth, rank, external condition; and ‘lambano’ meaning ‘to lay hold of’. What Peter was saying is that God does not save based on one’s net worth, what one does or does not have- in that sense He is no respecter of persons. He lays hold of sinners solely according to His endless mercies and boundless grace.
    I hope this clarifies Acts 10:34 for you Pawnraider.


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