Monday, September 6, 2010

Sovereign God

A lot is said about the sovereignty of God.  Most Christians would proclaim that God is sovereign.  I think I would too, but I’d say it’s conditional. 
Let me explain. I’ve never been able to get behind those that ALWAYS proclaim (no matter the circumstances) that what happens must be the will of God since God is sovereign.  Drunk driving accident where someone is killed….must have been the will of God.  Death of a child….must have been the will of God.  Death of a spouse because of cancer only months after marriage….must have been the will of God. 
I don’t buy that.  Yes, I believe that God is powerful.  But I do not believe that God is the only agent acting in the world.  We are acting in the world, and God has given us free will, which means we have the opportunity to choose either for or against God’s will for our lives.  So, therefore if we choose against God’s will, then the consequences of our actions would not be in line with God’s will (like the drunk driving accident). 
There is also the power of evil and the consequences of our collective sins acting in the world—we would most often translate that as the corruption of our world (either our humanity or our natural world).  In that sense, I would say that biology happens. Sickness is a symptom of the brokenness of our world.  So, I would say that cancer or disease or even a miscarriage is a consequence of the brokenness of the human condition (not the result or consequence for an individual’s personal sin, but sort of the consequence for the power of sin in our world).
There is also another agent acting in our world: the enemy/devil.  Talking about the devil can be a touchy subject and is arguable for many people.  When I say the “devil” or the “enemy” I don’t mean the red man with horns and a tail and a pitchfork, but instead a powerful doer of evil who has “recruited” (for lack of a better word) others to be a part of his cause against the will of God.  Now, most often, we need to be complicit for the enemy to be truly effective, but the powerful temptations of the devil are strong and often hard to resist, so to say we must be complicit isn’t always saying much. 
So, yes, as creator of the earth and the one who sets all things in motion, God is sovereign, but in the sense that God has relinquished God’s own power by giving us power of our own means that God is no longer fully sovereign.  Could God take that power back?  Probably.  Would God take it back?  Not likely. 
So, at this stage in the game, where we have free will, the devil has plenty going on, and there are the consequences of our collective sin acting upon the God fully sovereign???

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