Thursday, May 22, 2008

Doctrine of Election? Yikes!

I'm convinced that anyone who has ever looked into the doctrine of election has shared the same face of confusion that I have. This doctrine is not only confusing, but downright mind poundingly brutal to understand. For a quick definition, election is the act of God before creation in which He chooses some people to be saved, not on account of any foreseen merit in them, but only because of His sovereign good pleasure (Grudem 670). Upon first hearing of this doctrine, the first thought that rushed to mind was the obvious conclusion, if God chooses some for salvation, that means He chooses others for condemnation.

Now, just accepting my God of love, how could I believe such an atrocity? To think that God would purposely cause people to be damned for all eternity, sounds like such rubbish. But oh, though it may sound atrocious, it is truth, it is justice.

Proof of the Doctrine of Election
  1. "...as many as were ordained to eternal life believed." - Acts 13:48
  2. "For those whom He foreknew He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son..." - Rom. 8:28-30
  3. "...in order that God's purpose of election might continue..." - Rom. 9:11-13
  4. "The elect obtained it, but the rest were hardened." - Rom. 11:7
That last one rubs me uncomfortably the most. Though I accept and believe the doctrine of election, I've always struggled with the thought that it seems so, uh oh, unfair. My main objection to election was the belief that election makes unbelievers unable to believe. I'm sure others have thought the same and seen this as unfairness on God's part. Points I've come up with, supported with Scripture, that have silenced this objection in my mind may hopefully help anyone else struggling with the same difficulty.
  1. If God would not choose some, none would come. Rom. 3:11, "...no one seeks after God." Can't really be much clearer than that right?
  2. It is because of our own unwillingness that many are unsaved. Matt. 23:37, "How often would I have gathered your children as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you would not!"
  3. We as fallen humans do not have the right to question God's fairness anyway. Rom. 9:19-20 "Why does He still find fault? For who can resist His will? But who are you, o man, to answer back to God?"
So my personal conclusion to this puzzle is that though I may not completely understand it, even if I never will completely understand it, regardless, we should accept it with all humility, knowing that God has graciously provided a way, no matter how difficult it may seem, and we should, in return, give Him all praise and glory for His mercy on those deserving of nothing other than His wrathful justice. It is the way God ordained it and I know He is sovereign and makes it come out for our good and ultimately His glory.

4 comments:

Ben Makuh said...

One time I brought up election at our Bible Study and I was basically poo-pooed about it. But the thing is that the Bible does seem pretty clear on it.

It's definitely hard to believe, but I think that that's not the point. The point is that we believe on the name of Jesus in everything that He commands us, and He will elucidate those things He chooses to show us.

Good post, I think election usually just gets swept under the rug.

blackreformingkid said...

Great post, sis! I'm more and more aware of the reality that election is one of those "white elephants in the room" which people really don't like to discuss but know it's there.

Ashley said...

Ben, I know how that is. Usually when I bring it up to friends their faces looks just like the baby's, haha. It's a difficult thing to comprehend and what is unknown frightens us.

Douglas, thanks for stopping by. I like that description, perfect for election and really all of TULIP.

Penn Tomassetti said...

Wow, that face needs a lot of grace!

This is an excellent way of describing God's election. It may be frustrating at first, even causing fear and anxiety, but in the end, there is no greater comfort than to know I believe because He chose me and He will not lose me. Christ laid down His life for His sheep (Jn 10:14).

Ephesians 1:6 says it is all "to the praise of his glorious grace..."

Your post makes me feel the healthy "fear of the LORD."

Thank you and God bless.