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The matter this week re: theological "truth" is brought home by a sermon recently preached by an "Arminian" minded local pastor whose church is growing in wonderful ways. His commentary was on the word "election" in the scripture. He briefly defined "election" as "what we just had" (referring to the Nov political elections). It's a choice we make, he said. He then proceeded to refer to Calvinists as "blasphemers." Not being a staunch Calvinist, I wasn't offended by the verbiage so much as the reality that he seems to misunderstand both Calvinism and the scriptural term for "election."
Tozer would suggest that irrespective of what theologians may say about predestination versus pre-determinism and the Sovereignity of God versus free will, we can be certain that, biblically, election refers to God's choice not ours. This does not so much, necessarily, refer to predestination (though some may want to make that case) as it does to God's choosing to reveal himself, to express himself, his passion, and his desire to include us in his plan. Throughout scripture in "election", God makes the choice.
Accusations of "blasphemy" do little to advance the kind of healthy discussions that may well help us more fully experience that conviction of the Holy Spirit that God provides us through His church (the body of Christ). Pontifical accusations such as the one mentioned tend to place the person making them not in the category of confident or even well-informed, but of arrogant and self-righteous. What if God chooses to reveal himself so that we can respond? What if God does elect to create us even though he knows we will refuse to respond? Are we able to force God's mind to save us by something we do? Can we believe if we haven't first heard? All these are wonderful questions to be asking and to be contemplating. If some of the greatest minds of the reformation seemed to be confused on the matter, do we see ourselves as being so independently wise as too have no need of others to help us more fully understand just how this gift of Salvation comes about? And can we simply be so thankful that, by whichever way we may have been included, we simply rest in the assurance that we are saved? Even that God chose to incarnate himself?
God calls us to a spirit of humility where we can correct one another and he admonishes us to do just that, to hold one another accountable, but it is intended to be in the bond of peace and in the spirit of love.
Tozer concludes the chapter with a powerful statement that:
There is no danger that we go seriously astray from the truth if we walk humbly, trust completely, search the scriptures daily, expect divine illumination and lean not on our own understanding. Most assuredly the Holy Spirit will take control of our minds and help us to think like God. Then will be fulfilled the Scripture which says, "But we have the mind of Christ." [ICorinthians 2:16]
Humility combined with meekness gives one the inner strength and conviction to leave in God's hands, that which rightly belongs to Him, who is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. Thanks be to God!