Thursday, February 12, 2009

The Simplicity of a Complex Theology

I'm working on a theory. This theory involves a difficult concept by which greater minds than mine have still not been able to completely answer, and I am not claiming to answer it either. I am only hoping to add to the theology in some small way. I'm certain you will be able to spot all of the holes in my theory, but maybe you will find a way to fill in some of the holes with your own learned theories on the subject. My theory has to do with the concept of "election" and "predestination."

Let's begin by looking at Scripture.

Psalm 139:16: All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.

Jeremiah 1:5: Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.

Ephesians 1:4-5, 11: 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 as His sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with His pleasure and will . . . In Him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of Him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of His will . . .

2 Thessalonians 2:13: But we ought always to thank God for you, brothers loved by the Lord, because from the beginning God chose you to be saved through the sanctifying work of the Spirit through belief in the truth.

One thought is that maybe we make the theory of election and predestination too hard. Maybe there is a simplicity to it that needs to be explored. That's my goal.

Those of you who know me, know that I believe that life begins at conception. So, no matter your personal views on the subject just know that this is the position from which I begin. Let's take a peek at the mystery of creation. A woman has one lifetime of eggs. She releases one egg a month (typically), but has absolutely no control over which egg gets to make the journey. A man deposits millions of sperm into the woman's body with absolutely no control over the creation of that sperm. When conception happens the couple has absolutely no control over which sperm gets to make the necessary connection with the egg. And, when one does, you have the beginning of life -- the beginning of a human being. A unique individual unlike anyone else ever created. If conception happens during a different month, you have a completely different human being from the first one. So, if I would have conceived in September instead of August, Sarah wouldn't be the Sarah I know. And if I would have conceived in October instead of September, Annie wouldn't be the Annie I know. They would be completely different people than they are. Only God controls such things. He chooses which egg and which sperm and which month for the exact person He has chosen to create and exist in His world. (I hope that wasn't too graphic.)

So just by virtue of the fact that God has hand created you ("knit together" as Psalm 139 says) makes you chosen. You have been chosen to live in His world and predestined for just a time as this. God thought of you and planned for you before you were ever created, and since He knows all things, He thought of you and planned for you before time began. As the elect of God, chosen by Him to exist, you get to own some responsibility in how you live your life. It's up to you to live into the life He wants for you and the salvation that is yours through faith in Jesus Christ.

Ephesians 2:10 says, "For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do." And, Romans 8:29-30 says, "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. And those He predestined, He also called; those He called, He also justified; those He justified, He also glorified."

My question is this: Why can't this apply to every person ever created? Why shouldn't it apply to every person ever created? God, the Creator of human beings, "wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth." (1 Timothy 2:4) Since He wants all men (or people) to be saved then in my mind it stands to reason that He has elected, chosen and predestined each one of us to share eternity with Him. We are eternal creatures. We will spend it in one place or the other. It is our choice. God, in His grace, gives us that choice. I believe so completely in life beginning at conception that I have a difficult time not sharing with young mothers-to-be the important truth of eternity. I want to say to them, "Do you realize that eternity has been set before this child yet to be born? ETERNITY has been SET BEFORE HIM! He or she will spend eternity somewhere and you have the most important calling of steering this child towards God's great salvation for which God has created him." Sometimes I do share it, but it's usually a little bit of a downer for these precious and joyous young mothers-to-be. They usually say something like, "Umm, thanks for that?" And, I say something like, "I'm sorry. That was too much right now in the middle of your joy, wasn't it?" And they say, "No, no, Kerry. I appreciate your wisdom in these matters." And I apologize again.

So, I say to you: Live into your destiny from God. Accept the truth of God's love and grace and mercy given to you in His great salvation through Jesus Christ. You have been handpicked before time began and your life was meant for exactly this time in HiStory (pronounced: "His Story," but spelled like "history"). You have a destiny already planned by God Himself to live into all of the great things He has for you in this life. He has a plan for you! He has work for you to do! He has new things for you to learn! This is your moment given to you by God!

Let me say again. I know there are holes in my theory. But maybe, just maybe, it fills in some holes in your own theology of election and predestination.


Morsel of Truth: "But you are a CHOSEN people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His wonderful light."


Lisa's Pic's said...

Kerry, I appreciate your thoughts and your passion to write out what God has given you and share it with others in this way. I love the idea that we were handpicked by God, before we were even born. WOW! That has always amazed me and spoken to me.
God bless you!
Lisa Braun
Women's Bible Studies Group on Facebook

Karey Swan said...

Another scripture I ponder is when David asks not to be erased from the Book of Life. I think of all peoples being written in this book, and if by their choice to choose to reject God for good, then they are erased.

And as to free will vs predestination, in my research I simplify the whole thing by thinking that God's turning of my heart and my choice to accept as being instantanious. We are in 'time' and God it out of 'time' (kairos vs chronos).

But there is something to the all-knowingness of God that's mysteriously beyond our comprehension. I can rest in that ... in Him!