Monday, September 17, 2007

SATIRE: A Reason For Election (archived from newsletter, August 2007)

Let me give you a little background on the guy creating this newsletter: He was raised in a middle class family, attended a Wesleyan church, was enrolled and edukated in a Wesleyan school. I moved to the Bible Belt a year ago, and am now attending a non-Wesleyan, though very Arminian, church. I cannot bear Calvinist doctrines, though I do not call myself anti-Calvinist any more than I would call myself, as a Christian, anti-athiest. "Anti-" implies a response to something. I'm just naive enough to think that I could have come to my particular theological bent without ever having to refute Calvinism.

Lately, however, I've been thinking more and more about Unconditional Election. For those of you who are also theologically naive, or for those of you who have never read my essay on H.O.O.E.Y., Unconditional Election is the idea that God has handpicked a spiritual aristocracy to rule on who gets to Heaven and who doesn't. Some people are born for Heaven; some are born for Hell. I've come across dozens of reasons why God would work in such a fashion. Let me list a few reasons, with some commentary:

A. Election...So that those who get to go to Heaven feel extra special.
The reasoning behind this goes like this: If a teacher gave a piece of candy to every child in the class room, some would take it for granted. If she only gave it to a few, those would feel priviledged to recieve it. This ignores the fact that rewards are generally given to those who do well. Imagine your child coming home to tell you that the nasty old teacher gave out candy to some kids, but not yours. Would you tell them that that's okay because now some of those other kids feel better about getting candy? No. It's called favoritism and most people in civilized society know that it's wrong. More importantly, however, we're not just talking about a teacher that denies some kids candy. If we're honestl, we'll admit that we would also be talking about a Teacher that denies some kids candy, then lights them on fire. Forever.

B. Election...for God's pleasure.
In this country of ours, we have laws against parents who torture their children. In short, if we're supposed to be a Christian nation, and our Heavenly Father sends some of his children to burn forever, what right do we have to yell "foul" at those who do similar things to earthly children? I swear I'm getting to the satire part.

C. Election...because the alternative is "faith by works."
I won't take the time to explain this all here because I think I did it in a previous essay already, this month. But needless to say, "works" doesn't mean doing something, it indicates a pharisaical method of earning Heaven by holy rituals and good deeds.

All of these fall short, but while I was eating at Applebee's one Sunday afternoon, it dawned on me. The reason why we need election is so that we have heathens who will serve us our dinner on the Lord's Day, after the rest of us leave church. If, by some miracle of evangelism, all of the world was brought to the altar, where would we fellowship? Where else would we have the opportunity to leave Gospel tracts as tips?


Leanne said...

Oh, no you did NOT!

I am dying here, Jer.

I've missed reading your thoughts.


Jeremiah said...

I'm glad. I miss having them read. Couple weeks til the next newsletter. I'm trying to make it a good one, but it's hard. I think I've proposed something to myself that's bigger than I can handle.

Leanne said...

It's only bigger than you can handle if you forget who's really writing it.

Don't get caught up in expectations for this, Jer. Don't start thinking about your audience or delivery schedules or any other such nonsense.

Don't think it at all, okay? Just talk to us like you do at Ted's place. That's all it has to be, all we need to hear and probably all God is asking of you.

He just wants you to let Him speak through your words. You do that all the time and never think it's more than you can handle.

"Newsletter" schmewsletter, I say. Just talk to us ;)

Oh, and while you're at it, can you put me on the "list"?

Jeremiah said...

E-mail your e-mail address to: and I'll make sure you start getting them by the first week of October. Deal?

Leanne said...