The One Who Overthrew God

I was reading a comment someone made about R.C. Sproul’s “Renewing Your Mind”. It appears that Mr. Sproul made the comment that

“There wasn’t an Arminian to be found in the early Church. Every early Christian believed in the sovereignty of God.”

I do not take offense to these types of comments, since Sproul is right. Arminianism did not come around until later in the history of the Church, so no one would have considered themselves to follow a theory by a man who had yet to be born. On the flip side, there were no Calvinist, as John Calvin had yet to be born as well. Not much shock there.

Something I do find interesting is the slight that Sproul was trying to make that people believed in the sovereignty of God back in those days. It is interesting when someone is trying to imply that sovereignty is denied is a person chooses to violate or disobey the law of the land.

If I choose to disobey, that does not mean that the law no longer has authority over me. I have not invalidated its authority or power by disobeying. It simply means that I have yet to be held accountable to that authority, as it has yet to express its authority over me. The authority is still in place, for it was established by a higher power than I. As much as I might like the world revolve around me, it simply does not work that way.

One day, all people will acknowledge the power and ultimate authority of God, as every knee will bow in His presence. The Bible says that God’s authority will be enforced and displayed to all people, so why do we get so worked up when we see someone violating it now? Maybe it is a sense of justice that has been instilled in us. Regardless, the authority of God will never be undermined by my actions or thoughts.

The Democracy Lie in the Church

There appears to be a growing misconception in the Church that life as a Christian is similar to life in the world. We see people trying to accept others ideas and if there is a disagreement, then group opinion wins out. Sadly, that is not the way the Church works.

The Church, believers as a whole and not your local congregation, is called to be the bride of Christ. As such, we are part of the kingdom of God. Notice the word kingdom instead of the word democracy. It is not the democracy of God. Meaning, we do not get a vote in how it is ran.

This must be an issue found more in the western world where this form of government is prevalent. We tend to identify our religion in things and concepts that are familiar to us. If we don’t agree with something in the Bible, we can come together and discuss and as a group change it to be more accepting to all. The problem with that is we have no authority to make any changes. The kingdom belongs to God and to Him alone. We are in it, but not in control of it. That is hard for people to accept.

It is one of the key parts of salvation though. I give my life and right to control my life over to Jesus. I submit myself to the LORD. I become a subject to Him and have no rights outside of what I am given. This is a big reason people struggle in Christianity. People like to be in control of their own lives, but in Jesus we are not. We are anything but in control.

Kingdom here is not what the monarchy morphed into in the world. There is no parliament that proposes changes or ideas to the king. Just the king. In the kingdom, the King’s word is the final authority. Those in the kingdom approach the throne and can petition, but nothing is owed to them. There are no entitlements or civil rights. If the king does something you don’t agree with, there is no one to complain too. You can ask Him why if you want to, but He doesn’t have to answer. The only real choices are to be subject to the king’s authority or to leave the kingdom. No real middle ground.

As Christians, we are considered the children of God. As children, we have an elevated place in the kingdom. We have the love of a father. We have eternal life. We don’t get out of being subject to the King’s rules though.

It is not quite the romantic view that Christians like to hold on to, but we cant fully imagine what the kingdom is like either. If you struggle in your relationship with God, look and see who you are subject to. It is either God or it is the world.