I've been struggling with the concepts of predestination--which I believe in--and free will--which I also believe in--for a while now. Does God simply pluck a few lucky individuals out of the masses, and bestow on them the ability to sense him? Or do we find him? I have a feeling there is an element of both, but that it's mostly weighted towards God's call and God's power.
However, I still believe that salvation is open to everyone. God is not willing that any should perish; God so loved the world; whoever turns to me I will never cast out; and so on and so forth. And if we are willing to ask, seek, and knock, I believe God has chosen us.
Regardless of my tenative conclusions on this subject, I've noticed something that is perhaps a part of this. Several people I know who have grown up in Christian families, who have perhaps even seen themselves as believers for a period of their lives, have amazed me in their lack of understanding of the beliefs of those of us who still believe. I would have thought that being an eyewitness into the workings of a Christian family would have given them a certain insight into how Christians live/think... but no.
I don't want to be specific with examples in some cases, but it involves things like assuming that unmarried Christian couples would already be sleeping together, or practical things like that, that seem pretty simplistic to figure out if you're aware that someone is a Christian.
Other cases it's been matters of interpretation. Brooke Fraser, a Kiwi singer who is a Christian, has released a couple of albums of music that is not quite overtly Christian - but I would have thought you'd have to be pretty stupid not to pick up on the overtones. However, someone heard these lyrics, from a song which is about asking God to throw you a "lifeline" in the seas of life:
Wake up feeling convicted
I know something's not right
Reacquaint my knees with the carpet
I have to get this out
'Cos it's obstructing you and I
Dry up the seas that keep us parted
This someone, who had lost the faith not all that long ago, thought that Brooke, when she sings "reacquaint my knees with the carpet", was talking about how she'd been abused as a child, by someone who would drag her knees over the carpet! Uh... no.
These aren't that hefty as examples, but: Have you ever found this, and been surprised by it, in ex-Christians or people who have been pretty clued up in Christian life? That even though they've had huge experience of Christians and the basics of Christian life and so on, they just don't seem to get it? Is it possible that getting it is a gift of God, and some people just don't have it?