I hope yours was a special celebration of our Lord’s birth and that you are looking forward to 2014 with hope and expectation. Whatever else the year may bring, may this also be the year of His return!
The Need for Control and Why Biblical Election is Odious
A cursory survey of life reveals that there are a number of ways people endeavor to control. By way of illustration, I will review five of them:
1 – War. This is an obvious attempt. With my gun pointed at your head, I can get you to do what I want. So you find a gun, and I get a cannon. You also obtain a cannon and get others to join you, and we now have a war. The objective of war is control.
2 – Feminism. A young lady said, “I want to have it all.” By this she meant, “I want to determine what happiness, fulfillment, and success looks like in my life. I want to shape my own destiny.” Authority restricts freedom. Women do not wish to be under the authority of their fathers and husbands any more than men want to be under the authority of others.
3 – Politics. One of the reasons the politician loves his job is he gets to decide what is best for society. Power and control are closely related. Even in a socialist society the leaders control. You may remember the famous line from Animal Farm: “All the animals are equal, but some of the animals are more equal than others.”
4 – Own your business, or be in business for yourself. This way you are in control of how you spend your time. You determine what you will do, how you will do it, etc. You are the boss; you elect what you will do and not do; you are in control.
5 – Intimidation/threats/inflicting of pain. This is how governments control the people, especially in totalitarian societies. I submit to your authority because I do not perceive that I can afford to resist.
Limits of Election
In life there is more that you cannot decide than what you can decide. You cannot elect and control the most important aspects of your life. You know what they are: You did not decide when you were born. You did not select your parents, your sex, race, or era of history in which you live. You have no control over the gifts and abilities you have or want to have. Nor do you decide the circumstances that flow through your life, such as disease, accidents, etc. For the most part, all you decide is how you will respond to what you cannot control.
Nevertheless, man never ceases to try to control. Cloning, generic engineering, birth control, all have in common a desire to control.
It is in the nature of the case that you want to elect. You do not mind other people electing for themselves, as long as it does not impinge on your electing. For example, you are bidding on a contract to do certain work, and you want to be selected rather than your competitor. You are running for political office, and you want the people to elect you not your opponent.
This is how God created you. He gave you a will and a desire for autonomy. If He did not, He could not have a relationship with you. Both your will and your desire for autonomy are essential for any relationship in life. With this, however, He placed limits on what you can do with them. He gave you a will so you can decide whether or not you want a relationship with Him. He gave you a desire for autonomy so that you can decide whether or not you will submit to Him. He gave you a desire to control so you can surrender the control of your life to Him.
Grateful for the way He designed life,