Posts Tagged ‘Methodism’

Back in the 80’s, I had several friends who were hardcore Calvinists and quite Reformed but they also attended the same “not-very-mainstream” charismatic Methodist church at the time. Somehow, even though Calvinism is counter to the Methodist Book of Discipline (doctrine), we all got along, more or less.

Romans 8:29
For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.

Just when I think I’m getting things, when I feel as though clarity is right around the corner, I’m confronted with this scripture and all the memories of arguments and disagreements and frustrations about the ultimate meaning of this passage and it’s sister in Ephesians 1:11. This is the stuff that theologians love to dissect.

Honestly, this one is right up there with pre and post-tribulation controversies. Blech!

Here’s my opinion, for whatever it’s worth. Some people are predestined for a particular purpose. I don’t believe this necessarily means predestined for a salvation/relationship which is available to everyone [I Timothy 2:1-4]. Since I enjoy the mysterious aspects of Christ’s way and its paradoxes, I believe there are those people who have a powerful anointing from God. Their path is set, from being called, to being justified, to being glorified [Romans 8:30]. They are the ones who become translucent and the Spirit shines through them. Some will reach this state in a human lifetime, others in that Christ-time eternal.

Is God sovereign? Yes. But God operates outside of time and to discuss God’s view, who will do what and when, seems ludicrous. There is no “when.” Only we, humans, in 3-D time are operating linearly and therefore, trying to figure out what’s next or why things happened in our past the way they did.

I think some people can be anointed for a season and others for a lifetime: God time.

Some years ago, I wrote a note to a woman at a retreat out of an anointing. Several years later, she happened to be at a meeting where I was speaking and came up to me, still carrying that worn-out note which had been life-changing for her. Predestined? I don’t know, but certainly, a type of glory. Christ broke through me to her because it was needful. To this day, I have no idea what was even written in that note.

How I respond to Christ will not change because of someone’s interpretation of this scripture and its codification in either Calvin’s Institutes of the Christian Religion or John Wesleys’ Book of Discipline.

Jesus is firstborn, elder brother. He is showing the way as the rest of us are adopted into the family.

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