dialogue

Posted: November 24th, 2009 | Filed under: life | 4 Comments »

In some cases reader/listener comments (concerns?) spur a response from me. Especially if the discussion could provoke thought. I use my writing to get people to consider ideas and beliefs from a different angle. I like to flip things over and see if they still run. I want to make people think or move. Looking for signs of life…like a cattle prod…

Feel free to join the discussion if it inspires you. I’m not a fan of ‘debating’ scripture because there is no one on the face of the Earth who gets it completely right.

…none of us is perfectly qualified. We get it wrong nearly every time we open our mouths. If you could find someone whose speech was perfectly true, you’d have a perfect person, in perfect control of life. -James 3:2

However, healthy, respectful dialogue is stimulating until someone injects their emotions, then it’s pointless. There is no ‘us’ and ‘them’. We may be in different places, but, as Christians, we’re all on the same path, heading in the same direction. One day we’ll all ‘get it’ and laugh at how far off we all were.

I’m having a hard time with the predestination stuff– after all, doesn’t that just make us puppets?

I don’t care what anyone’s take on predestination is. I don’t spend that much time thinking about it. Mostly because it doesn’t affect my responsibility to ‘do right.’

I guess it comes up once in a while, though. I can ‘worry about tomorrow’ for instance, but comfort myself with scriptures that tell me that God is in control. I can watch a person wring their hands worrying about landing the job they want and tell them that it will happen if it’s God’s will. I can try to offer comfort to a mother who just miscarried by telling her that God knows what He’s doing even though we don’t.

I choose to take the Truth about God and weigh it against all aspects of life. I want to see if the paint matches in the dark as well as the light.

I’ve never used the word ‘predestination’ in my writing. It’s a wall of contention that I’m not interested in scaling. I write my interpretation of scripture and let it land where it may.

In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will.Ephesians 1:11 NIV

Just for fun, the New Testament talks about God’s predestined (foreordained, decided beforehand, predetermined, etc…) plan in all of these other places (and translations): Acts4:28, Rom8:29, Rom8:30, 1Cor2:7, Eph1:5.

If the scriptures, which tell us that God has a ‘predestined plan’ that He brings about by using ‘everything,’ make you uncomfortable because they sound too much like predestination, then I’m not sure what to tell you. I would recommend studying it against the scriptures and beliefs that you do trust.

Were you ‘on His mind when He was on the cross?’ Or was His sacrifice entirely impersonal? If you, in 2009 were on his mind 2009 years ago, then didn’t he ‘foreknow’ your sin? Isn’t that why he died?

He died like an unblemished, sacrificial lamb. And this was no afterthought. Even though it has only lately—at the end of the ages—become public knowledge, God always knew he was going to do this for you. -1 Peter 19-20

The truth has to be true all the time or it’s not the truth.

I wouldn’t use this word, myself, because of the heartless and indifferent connotation, but for the sake of conversation: Aren’t we supposed to be like ‘puppets’ or sorts? Let God enter our bodies and let His life be ours-giving us His movements, character, touch… Aren’t we supposed to let God animate us and even speak through us?

He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, his Spirit deeply and gently within us. -Ephesians 3:20

…if God created the world fully knowing that it would be sinful, is He not the originator of sin, and thus evil? Is He then not in fact infinitely good, as some part of Him must have been evil in order to bring it about? Was not man set up to fail? It would follow, then, that all the terrible things that happen in this world are not only of God, but *by* God. I find this absolutely ridiculous.

Just because God is infinitely good does not mean that evil cannot exist. God is Sovereign and He allows evil a place in His plan. God is not the originator of moral evil.

I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things. -Isaiah 45:7 KJV

‘Moral evil proceeds from the will of men, but physical evil proceeds from the will of God.’ -Amplified Bible footnote

If the only way you can ‘not fail’ is Jesus, then, yes: man, alone, is set up to fail. We are not designed to live apart from Jesus. The plan was Him and for you to need Him.

There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. -Jesus, John 15:13 NLT

…God is love. -1 John 4:8 NLT

Maybe God wanted to express who He is by doing the ultimate act. Maybe God is the ultimate victor when He makes evil bow down to Him as He uses its very nature as a vehicle to glorify His very nature. ‘No greater love…’ He chose Himself when he chose Love and created a world that needed Him. Set up to fail without Him.


4 Comments »


4 Comments on “dialogue”

  1. 1 :) said at 9:54 am on November 24th, 2009:

    This is just a question, which I would LOVE to get your response.

    Regarding something you said in one of your videos regarding infidelity, you said something to the effect of "You must allow yourself to be broken or…….it's not good"

    My husband had a 3-yr. affair. We have been working for the past two years to keep our marriage together. He is repentant, but it certainly seems like he's not broken. In a way it feels like he's still somewhat in denial, because he just can't (or doesn't want to) feel the PAIN. How can I help him??? I know we can't "properly heal" unless there's brokenness. PLEASE RESPOND. Thank you so much. I love your site!!

  2. 2 Sisterlisa said at 4:10 pm on November 24th, 2009:

    Serena, may I please reply to the comment above?

    How do you know he hasn't been broken? You don't know the inner most thoughts and intents of his heart, only God does. And if he hasn't 'broken' yet, there isn't anything you can do to make it happen. Only God can deal with his heart. If we try to usurp the authority of Holy Spirit in the hearts of God's people, then we make ourselves into a god.

    Serena,

    re: your article…Those kinds of debates that people get into, only tell me that they are more interested in dissecting the written word and lack full trust in Christ to redeem them. To be concerned about whether or not we are 'chosen to be saved' or not, takes away the need for us to have faith. If we could be certain we are already chosen no matter what then what's the point of choosing him in faith?

    I like thought provoking questions too.

  3. 3 Serena Woods said at 8:16 pm on November 24th, 2009:

    🙂 : thank you for your kind words. 🙂 I think it's awesome that the two of you have worked so hard for so long…. It's a terrible place to be… No matter the situation…

    If your husband hasn't let himself break, then that is still in front of you. There are a lot of reasons why people come across that way. One of the biggest reasons is to save face. They need to be strong, emulate deliverance… There is a pressure to be healed. The answer for some is to look healed.

    What is he like in other tradgedies? Is he the strong one? Is it possible he's trying to be strong for you? He's hurt you so much, maybe he doesn't think he can break because you need him.

    Something that people don't know about breaking (unless you have) is that there is an overwhelming dread that you can't make it back. That you'll die in there. You sink into the blackness and wait for it to be over. Wait for a death that won't come. You start out with the smallest thread of hope that you can make it, then the hope fades. When it fades, fear shrieks through you like some evil abyss swallowing you from the inside out.

    Then you start realizing something… You thought your hope was in Jesus, but you realize it wasn't. You realize that you had hope in your abilty to surivive..human resolve. Then you start to recognize what you did to Jesus. Your lack of faith, the distance you kept him at… All of your failures, selfishness, self righteousness… It's overwhelming, crushing. You're at the bottom. Then the Truth starts to seep in… He died for this, He loves you…. And the love…the LOVE destroys you. Beautifully gut wrenching. A piercing howl of death ripping and shredding. You think you're going to die. And you do.

    You start to hear sound again, like a strobe light of life in flashes of color. The silent hurricane has subsided, but the breeze still burns like an electric shock to a body with no skin.

    Whispers of Love nurse you as you sleep. Breath of Life breathes over you like a lullaby from a new mother.

    Love him. Don't expect this process to go according to any schedule. He may fall again…

    If you can, don't give up on him. You're in a hellish fight, too. When he breaks, you will lose him. But when Jesus carries Him back, he'll be a different man.

    Don't look at the outside. The outside is very deceiving… He could be dying inside-for MANY reasons. Reasons he may not be able to tell you.

    My advice: LOVE him. Love destroys the weeds.

    I hope I helped!

    Serena

  4. 4 Chrystie Cole said at 6:35 am on November 30th, 2009:

    Love, love, love this post. New to your blog. Someone posted it over at Anne Jackson's blog as a blog to read. Love your thought process throughout this post.