Thursday, May 28, 2009

getting it

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?


tyler said...

Hey, thanks for the comment on my post yesterday at SCL. It's great having new readers add to the conversation.

Know that my blog is a safe place to air any of those petty grievances you may have about life's more trivial matters. That's what we do best over there. Keep them coming!

LEstes65 said...

I've actually been dealing with active Christians who have had God directly act in their lives - in VERY tangible ways - that still have doubts about God/Jesus/HolySpirit, etc. I don't get how you can experience these miraculous encounters with God (that I have wished I had) and still doubt. I think it bothers me because I figure, if it had really happened, they wouldn't doubt. So then, did it really happen or did they want it to happen so bad, they've kind of convinced themselves in happened?

I asked one of my pastors about that. And she said that many people can have direct miraculous events and then lose their grip on that fact as time passes. It's a very good tool of the enemy. Sometimes it's like, as time passes, you start to doubt yourself. Did I really hear God's voice? Did I really feel the Holy Spirit? Etc. Other times, the person has that one experience and then doesn't really listen for or seek more. They don't keep the connection there. So they forget or they don't really want to hear or they're scared of the implications or they're afraid of what they think God will require of them, etc.

It still baffles me. But since I'm hardly perfect, I'll just let them all work it out and keep seeking on my end.

But I like this post. It resonated with me. Sorry to babble on so!