Predestination Considerations

“With the doctrine of predestination, Christians were dramatically freed from dependence on church and state. Predestination freed man from the custodial care of institutions. His determination and salvation came from God, not church or state. It is not an accident but an inescapable fact that the decline of the doctrine of predestination had led to statism and to power-hungry churches…. If the doctrine of predestination is weakened, then church and state are exalted and their powers enhanced.”

R. J. Rushdoony
The Great Christian Revolution

“Every consistent teaching of predestined grace inevitably implies a radical and ultimate devaluation of all magical, sacramental, and institutional distribution of grace, in view of God’s sovereign will.”

Max Weber
The Sociology Of Religion

A squat grey building of only thirty-four stories. Over the main entrance the words, Central London Hatchery And Conditioning Centre, and in a shield, the World State’s motto, Community, Identity, Stability…. “We also predestine and condition. We decant our babies as socialized human beings, as Alphas or Epsilons, as future sewage workers or future …” He was going to say “future World Controllers” but correcting himself, said “future Directors of Hatcheries,” instead.

Aldous Huxley
Brave New World

Predestination, in Biblical understanding, is the doctrine by which we confess God’s exhaustive sovereignty that extends from eternity past in the decrees of God to eternity future as seen in the fulfillment of all that God ordained.

What we learn from these quotes is that Predestination is an inescapable category. The question is never whether or not predestination is true but rather the question is what or which predestination we will be predestined with and by. Either we will acknowledge and bow to a supernatural predestination or, denying that we will be governed and controlled by a naturalistic predestination — a governance and control that God predestined for the disobedient who seek to cast Him from their thinking.

Should we deny God’s predestination and function as if it is not true we will not suddenly discover the libertarian freedom that so many assure us will be the result of denying God’s predestination but rather we will find our wills bound, as God predestined, by the predestination of some false idol seeking to ascend to the seat of God.

The reality that naturalistic predestination is a reality in America can be seen in the increase of Statism as the Federal Government seeks to predestine the lives of the citizenry. Wherever we find an dramatic increase in centralized planning there we find a state that is seeking to take on the prerogative of predestination.

Wherever we find the State implementing school to work programs that have as their intent channeling individuals to precise places in the work force there we find an example of naturalistic predestination. The language of the “school to work” legislation reveals that the State is embracing the role of predestinators of the future careers of individual students. As B. K. Eakman notes, “The underlying assumption (of School to Work) appears to be that it is not cost effective to have mere individuals making choices about their own lives, that they must be regimented and controlled for their own good and for the good of society.”

Examples could be multiplied but we must understand the connection between abandoning the truth of supernaturalistic predestination and the rise of naturalistic predestination. Predestination is an inescapable reality that never goes away. One significant implication of this is that when people deny God’s supernatural predestination they do not escape the fact that their wills are conditioned by the will of some other naturalistic predestinating source. Another significant implication of this is that just as God predestines to the end of advancing His Kingdom so naturalistic predestinators predestine to the end of building up their respective Kingdoms. Ironically naturalistic predestination always serves God supernatural predestination.

What we see here then is that whenever man seeks to overthrow God’s predestination so that he may experience full libertarian freedom what happens is that his freedom is constrained by naturalistic predestinating agents.

All of this teaches us that if we are a people who desire political and economic freedom we must be a people who embrace the Biblical teaching of God’s predestination for when the Church loses the high notion of predestination the consequence is the reduction and constraint of individual freedoms in the societal realm.

Finally we should learn from this that proper Biblical notions of predestination do not make men careless, languid or lazy but rather makes them active, vigorous and striving since a proper understanding of predestination means that the Christian understands that if he isn’t, in obedience, actively about ordering the world according to God’s revealed law-word he will instead be himself ordered according to the naturalistic predestined will of the state or some other institution. Predestination then, properly taught, energizes and enlivens God’s people.

News From The CRC Synod

Delegates to Synod 2009 gathered at Elmhurst Christian Reformed Church on Sunday afternoon for a service of prayer and praise that included … a video that told the story of Christianity through rap and hip-hop music.

On the following evening, about 40 delegates and members of synod and Trinity Christian College staff had fallen sick with a flu-like illness whose primary symptoms are severe gastro-intestinal distress.

Everyone knows that rap and hip-hop music is sickening.

For Tom, Michelle & Tommy J. – Pt. II

Dear Tom & Michelle & Tommy J.,

Matthew 6:9-13

9After this manner ought you to pray:

Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.

10Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.

11Give us this day our daily bread.

12And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.

13And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.

Yesterday we ended by asking how it is possible that God would hear our prayers. Another way we might ask this is how is it that God can be addressed as “Our Father.”

Tommy J., most people consider it automatic that God should hear prayers but they forget that God being Holy and pure He cannot remain Holy and pure and be in a relationship with those who are not Holy and pure. So, again we ask, “how is it that God can be addressed as “Our Father.(?)”

The answer to that Tommy J., reveals how loving God is. God can be called “Our Father” because God Himself takes the initiative to take away our sin by providing someone who served as a substitute for us. We couldn’t come to God with our sin and call Him “Our Father,” so God provided Jesus Christ as the one who, by His death, would bear the sins of those, and serve as the substitute for those who trust in Christ. The Bible says,

“Jesus, who knew no sin God made to be sin on our behalf; that we might become the righteousness of God in him.(II Cor. 5:21)”

Tommy J., it is because of the death of Jesus Christ for sinners like you and me that His people can call God “Our Father.”

This means Tommy J., that those who don’t trust in Christ as the one who is their substitute, cannot call God their “Father.” This is why the Bible says that “no one can come to the Father except through Jesus (John 14:6).”

So, Tommy J., we can call God “Our Father” when we pray because God provided Jesus Christ as a substitute to take away the sins of those whom God loves.

Tomorrow Tommy J., we will begin to look at how the Lord’s prayer continues to teach the followers of Jesus how to pray.

Since we are learning how to pray, let us end with a prayer,

“Our Father we thank you for being Our Father and for loving us so much that you sent Jesus to make known to us your love for us as a Father. Father, we thank you that gave Jesus to us as our substitute and that you hear our prayers because of the death of Jesus on the Cross as our substitute. We thank you that we can call you ‘Our Father.’ In Jesus Name We Pray …. AMEN”

For Tom, Michelle & Tommy J. – Pt. I

I have a extended family member who has a little boy and this past week she asked for some tips on how to teach her son how to pray.

Dear Tom & Michelle & Tommy J.,

I thought the best way to start in teaching Tommy J. how to pray is by looking at the prayer in the Bible that Jesus taught us to pray.

Matthew 6:9-13

9After this manner ought you to pray:

Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.

10Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.

11Give us this day our daily bread.

12And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.

13And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.

Before we begin to examine how we can use this as a template to inform our children how to pray we need to make some preliminary considerations.

The first consideration is found in the that little word “Our,” that I have put in bold relief. When Jesus taught His disciples how to pray he was teaching a group of men who were already named and owned by God. This is why Jesus could teach them to address God as, “Our Father.”

This is key to understand. Jesus was not teaching a group of Hindu or Muslim worshipers how to pray. He was teaching a group of those who already worshiped the God of the Bible how to pray.

The point here is that only those who are worshipers of God can address the God of the Bible as “Our Father.” If we are not worshipers of God we cannot address God in this way. If we are not worshipers of the one true God, then we have to give up the false god or gods we are worshiping and humble ourselves before the God of the Bible and worship Him. The Bible teaches that if we are not worshipers of the God of the Bible then God will not hear our prayers.

“Behold, Jehovah’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear: but your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, so that he will not hear” (Isaiah 59:1-2).

So, our first lesson about prayer, Tommy J., is that we must be worshipers of the one true God. If we are not worshipers of the God of the Bible then we cannot refer to God as “Our Father.”

The good news Tommy J., is that God will receive all those who ask Him to be their God.

Tomorrow, Tommy J., we will look in to how it is possible that God would hear our prayers.

The nicest things anybody’s ever said to me in my capacity as Pastor

Last night, during the share and prayer time, one of the elderly saints who has been a member of the Church I serve since the Church started 45 years ago said,

“There has never been a time in the life of this church that forgiveness has been as emphasized as it currently is in this Church.”

Now, I normally wouldn’t mention this for fear of “breaking my arm in order to pat myself on the back,” but the way I get hammered with for being a “legalist” and worst yet, a “theonomist,” I thought any part of the world that cares should know that such ugly characterizations with their implied associations are completely off the mark.