Chris Cavanaugh (clcavanaugh) wrote in 1lovefellowship,
Chris Cavanaugh

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God and History

What Role would you say God plays in History? The Deist's might say that he started it rolling and then walked off somewhere to see what would happen from a distance. Kinda like installing Windows on a new computer, you start it and hope it works alright (as in none of the 4k possible things that could go wrong do). The Nihilist would say that God is dead, therefore he could have nothing to do with the course of History.

    Lets take a different tack.  Lets say that God is  involved in human History.  That leaves us with three positions (with variances in each).  The first would be a position that God has his hand in each and every item of business that comes our way.  If we sneeze, then God was tickling something, if we break our leg, for example, God was right there lining everything up so that the leg would snap at the exact time and place.  So basically, we would say that in this view everything is set, almost the idea of fate.  The second position, on the other extreme (besides deism/or other views.  we are dealing with an "intervening God" view) would be that God works in certain special situation only.  Examples of where this would lead would be His working Christ into the picture, or His creation of the world.  It would cover just important events in history.  The third position is more of a central position between the two.  And to be honest I hold a bias towards this one as I believe this myself.  Here is the idea: God intervenes on History's behalf at all points, while allowing each individual person the freedom of a choice regarding events.  He has, quite literally, all the time in the world in which to judge outcomes and what would be best, but he allows us to use our choices to affect good or bad into history.

    So now, lets run down that rabbit trail.  I have taken us to the third position, a middle position if you will.  Some say, why would God allow us to choose if he knew that we would choose bad?  The illustration of Adam and Eve is often used.  If God knew that they would choose the wrong, why bother making them?  Well, lets think of what God's goals may have been.  Was he looking for something that he could start in his spare time and something he didn't care about?  I think not.  When people start something in their spare time, something that they don't care about, is it usually good quality?  Lets say a programmer (an interesting metaphor for God...) decides to build a program in his spare time.  He is not concerned with whether the outcome makes sense, just with seeing if he can get it to do something interesting.  That is not the same attitude we see with God in the creation account.  We see him making them "in His own image."  Ever try to do a self-portrait?  Try it.  He took great care in his work.  Think about it.  He designed every part and cell and nucleus of the human body, then made them start and work together.  He cared about the result.  I say all this to show that he made humanity, with that free choice of right or wrong for a purpose.  He didn't want a machine.  He wanted a dynamic creature that could choose to love Him.  So he gave us that first choice.  In case you are wondering he gave us many other choices.  Did you just get a drink?  Did you just click on this link?  Have you ever walked out into a rainstorm wearing a raincoat?  You chose to stay dry.  You may have thought "I could go out in the rain without a coat.  This may result in getting sick.  In order not to get sick, I will wear a coat."  That was a series of thoughts and decisions  that you made with your God-given (not God-controlled) intelligence.  So you may say "I know that I make my own choices, how does that affect how God affects history?"  God may work behind the scenes of different events.  History is full of tyrants and dictators who were destroyed due to a simple mistake that a child could have seen.  The Bible even speaks of a Pharaoh who kept choosing not to let the Israelites go.  Then, there is a crucial switch.  The text starts to read, "then God hardened Pharaoh's heart..."  The man had made the choice so much, hat he had completely hardened his heart so God stepped in and continued the process in order to set his people free and to show his Glory to the people.  So then we could see other leaders.  Take Napoleon.  HE was told 30 minutes before the battle of Waterloo, "man proposes, and God disposes."  Napoleon, swelled in pride and stated "no sir.  Napoleon proposes, and Napoleon proposes!"  We see Hitler, who had been waging a successful war (while carrying atrocities around Europe), then suffered a series of losses that could have been defended against if he allowed his troops to think on the field and not wait for his every order (D-Day, The Battle of the Bulge).

    Throughout all of History, I believe that we can see God's guidance, not force, and Man's choice.
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