I’ve been watching a conversation unfold between a few people on facebook and I had to comment. I actually commented quite a few times there but withheld continuous commenting in favor of blogging about it. Things get buried and lost on facebook.
The conversation had to do with the age old “Is God in control” argument…actually it degraded to that as it does many times with the people involved. In addition, as other people commented, I witnessed an older Christian (over 40) pressure a younger Christian (under 18) into answering the question, “Does God control the millions of abortions every year ?.” it took a while for the answer and additional “emotional” elements were thrown in about hacking up millions of babies, etc etc… The younger Christian eventually answered that God does not control Satan, He just allows him to work in this world and people have free will (paraphrased, see full quote at bottom of post)
I really hated to see that answer but I will admit when I was a young Christian my answer would have been the same and maybe even worse…that Satan did things that God couldn’t prevent. (this is not a post about age, merely young Christian vs older Christian, keyword being Christian).
If I want to be extremely technical, I actually don’t have a big problem with the answer as it contains true statements (people have free will, Satan does what he wants in the “world”, etc etc…), however, in light of the context (is God in control) I have a huge problem with it.
Now to the point of this post…it almost seemed as if the younger Christian was scared to come out and say the full truth…God is in complete control aka God is sovereign over everything. Many people are scared to make such a statement because if they did people would conclude that God is responsible for evil acts, people aren’t responsible for their own actions, etc etc…
The truth of the matter is, Paul made the statement without any concerns about the implications. In fact, when the Romans proceeded to ask the hard questions about men not being responsible if God is in control, Paul was even kind enough to answer their question. So for all those scared to state what the scripture teaches about God’s complete sovereignty because of the implications and/or assumptions that may ensue….don’t be! The scripture is on your side.
“And not only that, but also when Rebekah became pregnant by Isaac our forefather(for though they had not been born yet or done anything good or bad, so that God’s purpose according to election might stand, not from works but from the One who calls) she was told: The older will serve the younger.As it is written: Jacob I have loved, but Esau I have hated. What should we say then? Is there injustice with God? Absolutely not! For He tells Moses: I will show mercy to whom I show mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion. So then it does not depend on human will or effort, but on God who shows mercy. For the Scripture tells Pharaoh: For this reason I raised you up: so that I may display My power in you, and that My name may be proclaimed in all the earth. So then, He shows mercy to whom He wills, and He hardens whom He wills. You will say to me, therefore, “Why then does He still find fault? For who can resist His will?” But who are you—anyone who talks back to God? Will what is formed say to the one who formed it, “Why did you make me like this?” Or has the potter no right over His clay, to make from the same lump one piece of pottery for honor and another for dishonor?” (Romans 9: 10–21 HCSB)
Full quote from young Christian referenced above:
“God does not control Satan…He allows Satan to work in this world. Satan encourages abortions…People have free will…and make bad decisions. People that have had abortions can be forgiven if they repent. God, however, is in control of the Universe. He is in control of my life. I turn my life over to Him and I try not to listen to Satan. Mostly I fail…but if I did not believe that the God who created the Universe could do anything He wanted, what would be the purpose?”
P.S. I have written many blog posts that layout my views on such things as free will and the sovereignty of God so you are free to go back and read those if you are looking for such things.