Posted by: Moses | January 1, 2006

Our Glory?

This essay is no longer my theological position. I still hold that Arminianism is very misfocused in its view of soteriology; however, I have no qualms whatsoever in welcoming my God-glorifying Arminian friends as brothers and fellow-heirs in Christ. I will fight hard to defend the truth of my Sovereign God; however, when opposing a brother with whom I agree upon the core gospel of Christ’s propitiation for our sins, through grace and faith alone, I will choose to say “it is before his own master that he stands or falls,” rather than “come out from among them and be separate.” My sovereign God is quite capable of causing a believer with a different understanding of His nature to stand.

I will leave the essay because it does contain truth. Furthermore, I will leave it unedited so that I never forget the arrogant and abrasive position that my own flesh led me to, nor the grace of God that has restore me to a more balanced and loving position.

-Moses 10-16-07

The desire to “be like God” and discern right from wrong was the original temptation and eventual sin of Adam and Eve. It seems that the all-consuming otherness of God is rooted in His ultimate self-determination. Anything that pleases Him, He does. Anything He wants to know, He knows. He has no limitation. When man was prideful enough to want the same, he fell into sin. He ‘missed the mark’ of what He was created to be and instead coveted God’s position as determiner of all things. He threw away His purpose as image-bearer and became a glory-thief.

Before I ever looked at my Bible in any serious form of study, I had a pre-conceived notion that we chose Christ. I looked at my life and I saw a plethora of choices that I made every day; I naturally applied the same concept to salvation and “chose” to be saved. As God graced my heart, I began to dive into His word with essentially a blank slate. No one had ever really seriously discipled me. My parents had taught me the Bible, but not from any sort of a doctrinal angle. As a budding young neophyte I was struck by the magnitude of God’s control over things. I was struck by the fact that Salvation is almost always referred to passively, with human choice at the very least seeming to be a secondary response to God’s call. As God led me into the Glory of His sovereignty I began to wonder how I had every lived without it. It was like I had come home; I was at rest in infinitely massive and loving arms.

I pray, Lord, let me not judge inappropriately as I continue, guide my words and thoughts. Help me to image forth your humble Glory while still displaying your Truth with bold assurance.

I look around me and see people cling to their own notions of human choice; I cannot help but question their motivations. It makes me sad to see them reject God’s nature. It grieves me to think that they, in many senses, do not even worship the same God that I do. Sometimes it makes me even question whether I should have “brotherly” fellowship with them or not. They are worshipping and rejoicing in a God that is not my Father.

I have a wonderful girlfriend named Laura; God has graced me with the beautiful, young, godly gift of her in my life. She has long blonde hair, blue eyes, and a dimple in her chin. She loves brownies, and she hates chocolate. If I were to meet someone at the mall and she mentioned her name, I would be excited! I would be exultant that we could share in the joy of knowing my girlfriend. When you love something you just want to bubble over about it. However, if the conversation continued on and my newfound friend began to share how she enjoyed spending time with Laura because they both loved chocolate… I might be slightly confused. When she continued on to describe her cute short brown hair and gorgeous green eyes, I think I might begin to question if we were talking about the same person. Suddenly the camaraderie there is broken and our “fellowship” degenerates into trying to sort out whom we’re talking about.

In the same way, if someone is reveling in choosing God as I am reveling in being chosen by God I may have to question whether we’re talking about the same God or even the same event. God’s power is sovereign, when it’s treated as if it were limited I have a hard time not taking offense. This is my Husband, the lover of my soul, my Savior, my King of Kings, my Lord; it hurts me to have Him ascribed less glory than He is due.

Perhaps as a very young theologian I have not yet come across passages which clearly support the doctrine of God giving a “free will” to man. But as my studies have been currently graced I do not see that concept anywhere in Scripture. I tend to see the exact opposite. All I see is God’s side of things being magnified being exalted and man’s side of things being minimized or nullified. If we have a part in our salvation, it is not even important enough to be dealt with in scripture. To declare otherwise strikes me as the epitome of arrogance. It seems that someone who holds that view takes the whole of Scripture and makes it subservient to his own logic instead of the other way around. The same thing that seems to have caused the fall to begin with, wanting to be self-determining, seems to be the very thing which people cling to and sully the beautiful doctrines of justification and sanctification. What a dishonor to God to take His incredible work and steal a part of it. God chooses us, and we usurp that position and claim that we did it too? How rude is that? We, designed to magnify God’s glory, instead glory in doctrine that detracts from His roll at the very center of our relationship to God?

Pride is placing oneself ahead of someone else, esteeming oneself more worthy. The generalized presentation of free will that I have found is this: “God calls us, but then we have to choose whether or not to accept.” So basically, God calls, but we’re the “deciding vote.” “Free will” esteems our choice in Salvation as more important than God’s choosing. Sure perhaps we can’t do it on our own. We need God to choose us first; but when it comes down to it we want God’s decision to be subservient to our own. That is nothing less than sovereign blinding, Biblical ignorance, and unabashed pride.

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