Friday, September 28, 2012

The Story

The church I attended last week was going through "The Story." It is a book written by Max Lucado. They are passing out the book, have the large posters up, and are preaching through it. Someone is making a lot of money somewhere, me thinks.

I was okay with the sermon. He was talking about Joseph and of the many trials that he went through, and how God was in complete control. Then he spoke of what was obviously a difficult trial he experienced. I am not sure if the child he spoke of was close to him, or if it were the child of someone in his congregation. In any event, in his illustration the child died. He then went on to say, "God did not do that, I could not worship a God who would do such a thing."

Read on in the story, because that is what God does to David's son. It is what he does to his own son. Dare we draw a line and say, "God, if you cross this line, I cannot worship you?" Did Joseph stop worshipping God because he was sold into slavery, accused of rape, put in prison, etc.? Was he not listening to his own sermon?

My brother used to say the same thing, I cannot worship a God who lets little children die. There is a fine line of difference between the two thoughts. In one, God is the cause. In the other, God watches helplessly. But I don't see the difference from a worship standpoint. If God is sovereign, then we should worship Him without reservation.

I think what we do is water down God, rather than life Him up.

I think of my daughter, stricken with an awful disease. Currently shei s under care and doing okay. We don't know what the long-term will bring. There are many complications in our life because of her health. Did God bring this on her? Even if not, He could remove it. So am I justified in ceasing to worship Him? David knew better. He prayed for his son, but to no avail. God took his son's life. And what did David do after his son was dead? He worshipped God.

When are we going to start preaching that truth?


Eddie Eddings said...

Calvinists need to start being bold about the Truth like never before. The Church is getting weaker with each watered-down doctrine being poured out by weak preachers and sickly Christian books.
I am saying this to myself, as well. I need to lovingly challenge a local pastor here in Kuwait. He is a great guy but he too, has a low view of God's sovereignty.

Bob Edwards said...

In my thinking allowing something to happen is not the same as making it happen. Why charge God with things like genocide or infanticide simply because the ancients (like Job) saw things that way? Why release man from the accountability for his sin? God allows sin but he does not make anyone sin. Just a thought.

Don G said...

Bob, I understand your point, but there are many instances in the Bible where people suffer and it is not directly related to their sin, but merely a part of God's plan. I think of John the Baptist. A great man, yet he was beheaded, and God knew it would happen. Or David's son, whom God took because of David's disobedience. If God is the author of all, is He also not responsible? Who are we to question Him?

Thanks for your response, it is definitely food for thought.

Bob Edwards said...

I might suggest that John the Baptist died because of Herod's sin. David may have thought that his son died due his sin but IMO that was just David interpreting events from his guilty perspective. A lot of narcissists do similar things even today.

I would not say that God is the author of all if that means that He is the author of sin. In my thinking being created with the ability to choose is not the same as actually choosing to sin.

Humanity, not God, is responsible for sin and the results of sin. God created humans and everything else declaring that it was good.

On the flip side it is evident that God can and does use anything in his plan to conform us into the image of his beloved sin.

Don G said...

Eddie: Good luck with that. I pray that the minds involved are open to God's leading.

Bob: Great thoughts. I still struggle with the idea of someone saying that they wouldn't worship a God who would do something that they did not agree with. Like a child saying that they hate a parent because they spanked them. The parent intentionally inflicted harm, but it was in the child's best interest. I don't think I want to lay down those kind of ultimate ideas. God just might hold me to it.

Bob Edwards said...

What does a spiritual spanking look like to you Don?

Don G said...

That's a great question. Was David spiritually spanked when his son was taken? It sure seems like it.

I think we have to keep in mind the purpose of a spanking, which is not to be punative, but to correct behavior.

I think sometimes I am spanked when I don't get what I want, other times it happens when I get what I want only to realize that what I wanted was not what I thought it was.

Bottom line is, I have to trust in God that all things work together for His good. Hope that answers your question.

Bob Edwards said...

In my thinking, another aspect of spanking is "temporary" pain inflicted "directly" upon the one being disciplined. What parent would spank the brother so that the sister would learn a lesson? So it seems that the issue of David's son would not meet that criteria. It also would not meet the temporary aspect of spanking as the child was not hurt but killed. Doubtful that we would, in the name of spanking, excuse a parent for inflicting permanent damage to a child.

I do think that some embrace your ideas though. Some hold to the erroneous theology of Job and see the death of Job's children as a disciplining or judging of Job. I wrote about that here.

My view is that the thief comes to steal, kill and destroy but Jesus comes to give us life abundantly. 99% of the time I think that it is evident that suffering comes from within creation and not from God. He wants us to live an abundant life. In my thinking God does not use the tools of the thief (stealing, killing and destroying) to give us life.

covnitkepr1 said...

Preaching on a book written by Max Lacudo??? That church will probably have large numbers soon and few of thwem will probably be Christians.
God's book in God's house...not mans.

Pablo said...

I dropped by because of your comment over at Steve Finley's blog. I agree with the observations you shared there.

Thanks for this post.

I'm a Five Point Calvinist, a rare position held in today's society. I need to peruse your posts to get a feel for your perspective on our Christian faith. What I've read, I agree with.

I, too, share God's Message. Letting others know the experience,strength and hope I've found---as I rely upon Him, and Him alone---is what I do in my blog, in addition to sharing the value of gratitude.

Our faith, or lack of it, is revealed not only in what we espouse, but in every action we take. I'm concerned about those who only talk a good faith. I'm not referring to you, because I'm unfamiliar with your position and your approach.

I want to add, my faith has to be more than something from the neck up. How do I smile at others, or react when troubled? Such responses reveal who I truly am, inwardly.

"One life showing the way is better than ten tongues trying to explain it."

You are invited to visit my place, hope to see you there.