Some very earnest young men have come visiting me recently. They come to my door in twos and threes wearing ties on white shirts and black dress slacks. They wear name tags declaring that they are “elder this” or “elder that”. They are, perhaps, old (or is it young) enough to be my children.
Not so long ago I wrote about themes that disturb me in “super-hero” movies. One of the things I mentioned was that these movies have a warped theology. Super-heroes aren’t gods yet in some cases they seem to make the claim. One of the less obvious claims made by a “super-hero” was made by the Vision in the movie Avengers: Age Of Ultron.
Vision: I am not Ultron. I am not J.A.R.V.I.S. I am… I am.
By “less obvious”, I mean that many people would simply take this statement as merely saying that the Vision exists. However there’s one who already claims “I am” as his name. And, to borrow a phrase from Steve Rogers, “I’m pretty sure he doesn’t dress like that.”
He who believes in the Son has eternal life, but he who does not obey the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him. – John 3:36
Here we see belief and obedience together being required. He who believes has eternal life. He who does not obey will not see life. Together these statements support the notion that true faith is equivalent to “trusting obedience”. In other words belief requires obedience or it isn’t truly belief.
Not so long ago I deactivated my Facebook account. I’ve already explained my reason for that, and I ‘m not going to revisit that now. I deactivated my account, but I didn’t delete it. At some point I may reactivate the account, but right now I’m not planning on it.
Deactivating a social media account is a big break. Sometimes people notice. But, once you’ve done it, how can you ever know unless they have another way to reach out to you? Well, one of my best friends has my phone number and she sent me a text message to make sure I’m OK.
You have fallen of[f] the face of the earth again. I trust you are OK and just either bored with Facebook or frustrated with people in general. I miss your comments.
The conversation grew from there, but since I was at work I really couldn’t give it the attention she deserves. I promised I would explain myself here, and we could use the comments thread to continue it.
And the Pharisees and the scribes asked him, “Why do your disciples not walk according to the tradition of the elders, but eat with defiled hands?” And he said to them, “Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written,
“‘This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me; in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’
You leave the commandment of God and hold to the tradition of men.'”
(This is a repost from my old blog. I’ll be reposting some of that content here over the next several days.)
Recently I was involved in a fairly acrimonious discussion with another blogger who professes to be a Christian. He is able to recite the fundamentals of the Lord’s plan of salvation and claims to believe them. However, he also believes and teaches some rather strange things for a person who professes the name of Christ.
All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out. For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me. This is the will of Him who sent Me, that of all that He has given Me I lose nothing, but raise it up on the last day. For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him will have eternal life, and I Myself will raise him up on the last day. – John 6:37-40
Clearly the Father has chosen some to be given eternal life and has given them to the Son. If the Father has given them to the Son, they will come to Him.
No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent me draws him; and I will raise him up on the last day. – John 6:44
This last statement pretty much declares that unless God draws us we cannot come to Him. This coupled with the earlier statements indicate that the Father chooses who will and will not be saved. We cannot come to Jesus unless the Father draws us, and all whom the Father draws will be saved.
This says nothing about the criteria the Father chooses for whom he will draw to Jesus, but it does appear to indicate that it’s God that chooses, and not us.