Posts Tagged ‘free will’

Here we go. The predestination (Calvinist) argument comes up again. Is this an exclusive club? After all, the Jews were a chosen people? Why can’t we be too? Don’t think so.

Ephesians 1:4-5b
For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us to be adopted . . .

Truthfully, I think the Jews were chosen to carry the mantle of the One God and to prepare the way for the completion of those long ago promises. They were to be the roots from which the tree would grow and the Messiah would emerge. But once the Messiah completed the mission on earth, all humans had access in a way they never had before. All people could come in. Is this a type of predestination? I believe it is. But it is far more spacious than most Christians of today believe.

Christ is the way because the long-awaited Messiah was the promised way. It’s not so much about becoming a Christian as it is accepting the story, the redemption of humanity to God.

This also goes back to the sowing and reaping principle. [Galatians 6:7-8] This is part of the human condition and is a law not unlike gravity. It is the work of the Christ that can break that pattern. Without that messianic intervention, we bear the burden of our sowing alone.

I am not interested in arguing as to whether there are those who are not predestined to accept Christ. Instead, I give thanks for those who have accepted this way. And I give thanks for my own epiphany. Without it, I would be dead by now. This I know to be sure.

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There is a piece of my journey that rests strictly with me: standing firm and holding fast. It’s the “free will” part of the plan. I must choose to stand as long as I am able, to stand with faith by holding fast to the One who promises there is good reason to do it.

I Corinthians 15:58
Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.

If there is no world or realm outside of this three-dimensional one, if there is no changed body, if there is no kingdom where love is the norm and sin is untenable, then really, what is the point?

It’s all about the kingdom of heaven, really. Jesus is the door, the long-awaited door, by the way. He came and left with us the keys to the kingdom. He showed us “the way.”

The way is still there but continues to be an obstacle course. As a people, we allow the vines and briers to grow over and along the path just like the hedge of Sleeping Beauty’s castle. Or, we are seduced to go the easier way at the crossroads. Or, we have lost the tools to cut down the vines, like the sword of truth.

This path should not be one of pride (as though my being on the path is something extraordinary). I’m just fortunate to have had a glimpse of it. But I am pretty sure it is most difficult to traverse the long journey alone. I keep trying to do this alone. I confess it; I know it. This is the primary reason for “church,” a team to travel together. But I don’t always feel like we’re on the same path.

Christianity is filled with paradox. And this is what I need to understand. Probably, the way that is least likely, is the way to go. The people who are least likely to help, are probably the guides.

But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it. [Matthew 7:14]

This is the cause for the narrowness, the paradox and the sins of the nations.

Oh yes, I must stand firm this day, to stand in my faith that there is a way and I am on it. I must also hold fast to the hem of his garment [Matthew 9:21], and I will be able to stay on the path. There are indeed, “lions & tigers & bears, oh my” [Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz], but I believe in a Christ who will never leave me or forsake me [Hebrews 13:5].

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