We have all seen or experienced a very upsetting behavior in children. One child emerges as a leader and forms a group. The child arbitrarily chooses who is inside and who is outside her social group. Her decisions often have little or no basis on the behavior of the child outside the group, she just makes the decision that the child is outside the group. Those who were on the receiving end of such behavior remember the event the rest of their lives, always effecting their thoughts and their emotions.
For the child that was the leader, however, it has a different effect. Some children mature and become more aware of their decisions on others. Other children never mature from this behavior and make these arbitrary decisions throughout their adult life. We often see these immature adults in our workplace, making arbitrary decisions about who is ‘in’ and who is ‘out’. This behavior effects workplace productivity as well as the emotions of those in the workplace. It becomes like an infectious disease, spreading as others get involved in gossip patterns based on who is ‘in’ and who is ‘out’.
Those who believe in predestination see God as this child who was the leader, making arbitrary decisions about who is ‘in’ and who is ‘out’ . I cannot worship a God who is such an arbitrary leader. I find it just as upsetting as working in a environment with someone who forms non-inclusive workplace and social groups. For those who teach double predestination, they point to multiple passages in the Bible and use books of logic. But I see an arbitrary God as an immature representation of a good God who is aware of our struggles and is involved in our lives. This leads me to a struggle, for I believe Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection was a free gift to us, given from a good God. I do not believe we merit this free gift, for it is without regard to our works. But, I also do not believe in an arbitrary God who chooses those who receive the gift.
This is my struggle, for with logic there is no reconciliation between the two views. I believe both. The Christian walk is full of mysteries, and for me this is but one.