Thursday, October 1, 2009

God is not stoic!

Stoicism which employs 'self-control' of the 'destructive emotions' hate, envy, jealousy etc.... or as is commonly used today (from Wikipedia) The word "stoic" now commonly refers to someone indifferent to pain, pleasure, grief, or joy.
The problem, dear reader is that God is often spoken of in such a way. This view PREDOMINANTLY comes from the lips of Calvinistic Christians who have some handle on the truths of God's decrees. God is indeed Sovereign and what He has decreed WILL come to pass, no man is capable of thwarting the PLANS of God because God IS in full control, from the fall to the cross, to every individual salvation, to 'natural' disasters, the rise and fall of nations, to sickness, to life and to death. Yet there is still much that is incredibly MYSTERIOUS to us, simply because God has NOT been pleased to inform us (we know what we NEED to know), yet man has this incredible ability to attempt to 'fill in the blanks' OR to allow one truth to neglect another!
It may seem logical that since God is in full control (cause) of all things, since He is absolutely perfect and in need of nothing, since He knows (effect) the end from the beginning, THEN He is 'emotionally' neutral to PRESENT time events, yet this is NOT what the bible teaches us.
The reality that God is not emotionally neutral is fully seen throughout the old and new testaments and in the life of Jesus Christ!
God is emotionally affected by the lives of believers and unbelievers alike, hence His 'wrath', His 'jealousy', His 'joy', His 'grieving', His 'regret', His 'compassion', His 'sympathy' and so on. What a wonder this is, yet this only shows the intimacy with which God has towards His creation.
Why is this important? Perhaps you're thinking in terms of the hyper-Calvinist who needs to come to grips with such truths in order to evangelize the lost. On the contrary I think something a little more practical and at home is in order, what about our sin? To think there are believers who respond to every situation by saying 'Well, God is sovereign it's ok!' is quite terrifying. When a believer is unfaithful, when a believer has fallen in sin, or when a church is NOT biblically healthy then the proper response which the bible emphasises is REPENTANCE not a 'well, God will work it out....' such a casual attitude is NOT evidence that you have been freed from legalism (meriting the love of God), it's a symptom of apathy and/or pride. The scriptures never warrant an attitude of indifference towards disobedience, nor should an understanding of God's decrees produce apathetic responses to the suffering and lost estate of mankind.
Why not refresh yourself on the emotional reactions of God through a diligent search of the scriptures, yet another way to produce awe concerning the High and Lofty One!

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