My series on the 'Judgment of God' has produced some interesting e-mails and questions, particularly the matter of my personal Doctrine. CharlyG, in his blog “Reformed Politics”, has a neat recap of the major themes and doctrines through the Church’s history here, which is well worth your time, even if you count yourself familiar with the terrain. These days, there are many people who seem to approach Religion only from an emotional perspective, and discernment is neglected to later cost.
However, with that said, in response to the question about my personal Doctrine, I would have to say that to I, to some degree, reject them all. This is not to disparage the worth in their consideration, or to pretend that they are all equal in their truth and validity. The problem with them, however, is that they are all human constructs, and so to some degree erroneous. That is, God alone understands His ways, and I have found many times, that I need to set aside my voice on the matter and accept His truth alone.
Speaking to a particular point in debate, I want to review my point about man accepting Grace, and God’s Sovereignty. I am one of those people, who believes the Bible is true and trustworthy. That is, if the Bible states a thing as a historical event, I believe it really happened, and if the Bible quotes a saying, I believe it was said in just those words (although the passage of time brings up controversy, as we have to go back to the original language to find the exact words used). So, it is important to me, to note that nowhere did Jesus say to someone that they were saved, unless they first asked for that Grace in some way. The thief on the cross is a favorite example to me; he did not have a fancy phrase to toss out, but simply asked Jesus to remember him, when Christ came into His kingdom. You may recall the Lord’s response. So also through the Bible, we see people encountered by God or His emissary, and God allows us our choice. Therein lies the confusion.
We humans love to think ourselves important, and so naturally believe that even if we are not the center of the Universe, the Universe still acts in relation to us at all times. Many among us would even apply that to God. Now, here is the paradox – God allows free will to us, because He is no slaver. No one will be dragged into Heaven, or made a believer against his or her will. Thus, it must be so, that we can choose to accept or reject what God offers. At the same moment, however, God is truly and perfectly Sovereign, so that no man may say that he was able to deny God, in anything. Accordingly, it must be that no may enter Heaven, except that the Lord orders it to be so. Form this, many arguments on Ordo Salutis have risen, and they make the same mistake: They assume the matter follows an order that human minds may comprehend. This is hubris, and should be set aside. I might make analogies to try to explain the matter, but it really comes down to accepting that God is both just and merciful, and somehow no one will make a single choice that defies God’s own will, nor will God be in any way cruel, wrong, or mistaken in His judgment.
I trust the Lord. The rest are details