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Friday, February 22, 2013

Wholism 201

Last week I mentioned God's rulership over all. The "King’s domain" [Christ's King-dom] knows no bounds or limitations. Christ is Lord of all, all the time, everywhere at once, both in Heaven and on Earth. But does this mean that everything that happens on Earth is His will? 

When I hear Christians say “God is in control,” I have to ask myself what is meant by this. Do we mean to say God causes everything to happen that happens? Is everything that happens, God’s will? I can’t read my Bible and draw this conclusion.  
 
So how do I reconcile the all-encompassing rule of God with the “stuff” that happens on Earth? This works for me: God is in absolute control, but He does not control all things absolutely.
What does this mean? It means God has the power and authority to do whatever He pleases, whenever He pleases, including causing whatever He wants to have happen on Planet Earth happen. He can make donkeys talk, if He wants. But I do not see the God of the Bible controlling all things absolutely all the time. People can and do violate His will. People can and do thumb their noses at His authority. We all disregard His Word at times, and we have all violated His commands. That’s what sin is about.

Yet, whether people acknowledge His authority or not, this does not change the fact that Christ is Lord of all, all the time, everywhere. We don’t make Christ Lord, He is Lord! It’s our place to acknowledge His authority, accept and embrace it.

Yet even if people don’t embrace it, Christ’s authority still applies to everyone, all the time. His authority is omnipresent and non-selective. It applies as much to personal life as to public life. It applies as much to what goes on in local churches as it does to what goes on in local civil governments. It applies as much to what goes on in families as it does to what goes on at workplaces. It applies to non-Christians as much as Christians. ("Thou shalt not steal," is not for believers only.) 

The rule of God applies to the whole of human activity. There is no public/private split, no church/state difference, and no Christian/non-Christian distinction when it comes to the jurisdiction of Christ's authority. His jurisdiction covers the whole gamut.

That’s wholism 201.
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2 comments:

  1. Chris, let me explain what most Christians mean when they say, "God is in control." What they are saying is, "since he is in control I don't have to do anything." Most use this phrase to violate the dominion mandate and abdicate their responsibility to press in and change things.

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  2. A little grist for the mill - Most who call themselves Christians will say they believe God is sovereign, but when the rubber hits the road, most of us think we have the final say in what our personal history will be. Is He really One who “works all things according to the counsel of His will” (Ephesians 1:11)? I can see easily that He is behind all “good” things that happen to me, but how about the “bad” things, the things I see as tragedies? Do “all things” that happen in God’s world happen due to his ultimate, divine will, as this verse says? Could my proclivity to ask “Why, God, why?” of things I can't comprehend a result of my wanting to be like God, demanding to know everything He knows, rather than simply trust Him and the way He is running His world?

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