Friday, July 22, 2011

Occasionally Can’t Stand Christian Culture: Part I

On the issue of God’s Sovereignty…

Any good, Biblically-knowledgeable Christian will spout off a plethora of verses promoting the idea of God’s sovereignty over all things, namely even our individual lives. They will tell you the cliché (being a cliché doesn’t necessarily lessen its truth) that “God had a plan” for your life, that your steps are numbered and ordained by our Heavenly Father, and that not even a sparrow is sold off without the Father’s knowledge (and consent). These principles are in fact very Biblically based principles* and I do not deny them. That said, there’s seems to be a double standard, and at the very least a misinterpretation, of them by a large part of the Christian culture.

I find this double standard in effect mostly when it comes to relationships (though it does come into play in other ways such as career paths, etc.). Often people will identify a stagnant peer of theirs and mention that the reason they’re not married yet, haven’t found the one, etc. is because of their inaction – or lack of pursuit/initiation. They often explain that just because God is sovereign, he’s not going to make you ask that girl on a date and he surely is not going to just have your future wife walk right up to your door and knock on it. Wait…huh? Didn’t we you just get done quoting off a bunch of verses that say God is indeed in control and that the Lord directs a man’s steps, not the man himself? If that is indeed the case then yeah, it’s not up to the guy or girl to do anything really. Either God is in control and sovereign or he’s not. Which is it? Such a lack of consistency in Christian culture regarding this topic, not to mention from the pulpit as well.

It’s been my observation that in Christian culture, many who strongly believe these theological truths in their minds are unable to translate them properly to their hearts and more practically, let them control their emotions (i.e. Christians often use “it is God’s plan or calling” as a smoke-screen for pursuing what really are their emotions. I’ve done it countless times). I’m not saying I’m able to do that myself, and I’m not even sure if I know what the overall cosmic case is either. It is unknowable to me right now. I know for a fact that I have personal volition, but for God to be the Omnipotence he says he is, he must also have sovereignty even over my volition; seemingly negating it. Unknowable indeed and a paradoxical truth to swallow.

My final thought is that if that is the case, and really God is sovereign over all things (which in my mind I believe but struggle with its translation to my heart and emotions), then that is a good thought because that means regardless of what I decide, and even despite sin, God will have his way. Or…he is not truly sovereign over all (sort of like Deism theology) and well…good luck I guess?

*Jeremiah 29:11, Psalm 37:23, Proverbs 16:9, Luke 12:7

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