Thursday, August 21, 2008

Is God Unfair?

Romans 9:14 What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? Certainly not. For He says to Moses "I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whomever I will have compassion".

Ever heard the common objection to that dreaded word "ELECTION"? It's not a term you hear in many modern churches. That's because John 3:16 is an overplayed and misunderstood proof text for the common evangelical church today. The common notion is that people have a free will that can make a "decision for Jesus", and that God chose to save everybody, but those who are lost decided to reject God.

What is the concern for such people? They are really concerned for the "fairness" or "equity" of God, and that man's human dignity is preserved. If God did elect sinners to be saved, then others were not chosen, so they missed their "chance" to get the opportunity to be saved. God then seems unjust, and unloving.

Of course, the problem is that such people are misunderstanding the categories of love & justice. The remedy for this is to think about election, love, justice, and human nature from a God centered theology, rather than a human minded philosophy. The fact is that it is God who defines "fairness", justice, equity, freedom, and basically...everything!

I believe that to think clearly on this matter it is important to start with God Himself. Since God is eternal, without beginning, uncaused, and without end, and he is infinite in his being, that all his attributes are limitless. So, for God to be powerful is for God to be ALL-powerful. All power is His by nature. He can do whatever He wants to do. And everything He wants to do is GOOD and JUST and WISE. Therefore, He is the only Sovereign Creator and Lord.
If we follow this consistently, we can deduce that no finite, created thing is independent of God. Our very lifebreath is from God and we are bodies of dust. Our freedom is even circumscribed within the divine will of the Creator. We even derive our essence from the God who is Spirit, and Whose image we bear. God determines our coming and going, whether our plans fail or succeed, if we live or die today, and even if, when and how, and for how long we violate His Law, and transgress Him.
Given that we have no independence from the absolutely almighty and sovereign Lord, how can we think that our choices are independent of Him?
Yes, we are free beings. People have much freedom to sin as they please. Reprobate people do as they please all the time. All of us are sinners by nature, who live by our desire to please SELF. So there is no neutrality here. Even if God granted us the opportunity to make a free choice, we would reject Him since we are "slaves of sin", and since " the carnal mind is enmity against God" Romans 8:8.
God willing,(there I go), I will continue to develop this post as time permits.

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