One of the most heated debates and controversies within our denomination is that of Calvinism. I believe it is a debate that will only become more intense over the next few years, especially by those who are being trained in seminaries with Calvinistic leadership. I have chosen, by my own volition, not become involved with the debate, but have tried to remain true to what God has called me to do.
I am not a Calvinist, certainly not by today's standards. Nor, am I an Armenian. I refuse to be placed into a manmade camp, and hold to its tenets as my security blanket. I am a Biblicist. And as a Biblicist, I am totally committed to the tenet of the sovereignty of God, without being a Calvinist.
As I understand it, the sovereignty of God is a doctrine which very simply declares that God is in control, and governs the affairs of men. However, God can be sovereign and still allow His creation the freedom to choose. This freedom was first illustrated in the garden of Eden when God informed our initial parents that of every tree in the garden that could "freely eat." Thus, God's sovereignty in no way represents the fact that God is a Heavenly bully who forces us to do what He has already predetermined.
His sovereignty simply declares that He is God of Himself, in Himself, and all by Himself. Thus, being sovereign, He is in absolute control of His own creation. Of all the doctrines of the Bible, I don't know of any that is more comforting to my heart than sovereignty. It lets me know that God is not surprised, shocked, panicked, or alarmed by the events of my life. He is so sovereign that He possesses the right to either allow it or arrange it. If It gets to me, it first had to come through Him.
In the book, "America Out of the Ashes," Colonel Jeffrey O'Leary, of the USAF, gave an answer to the question, "Where was God on September 11th?" He answered the question by looking at what didn't happen that could have happened, and should have happened on that day. He began by looking at the flight manifests. He writes:
"On American Airlines Flight 77, 289 seats were available, only 64 people were aboard. On American Airlines Flight 11, 251 seats were available, only 92 people were aboard. On United Airlines Flight 175, 351 seats were available, only 65 people were aboard. On United Airlines Flight 93, 289 seats were available, only 45 people were aboard."
He continues, "Out of a minimum of 75,000 potential 'victims' that day, more than 93% survived or avoided these despicable acts. The buildings in New York City should have collapsed immediately. Who held them up until tens of thousands could make it out? The Pentago was hit at its strongest point, but it was nearly empty in those sections due to renovations. Why did the plane hit just those 2 sections?"
He concludes, "So, in answer to the question, 'Where was God on September 11th?' The answer is that He was the same place He was on September 10th, right where He was supposed to be: on His throne, and nothing out of His sight."
If the issue of God's sovereignty is something that alarms you, think how much more alarmed you would be if God wasn't sovereign, on His throne, in control, and right where He was supposed to be.
Calvinist, no; comforted, YES!
Thank God for God,