My Problem with the Free Will Argument9:00 AM
Nobody can snatch you out of the hands of God...but you can choose to walk away.
Nothing can separate you from the love of Christ...except yourself.
Proponents of the free will argument always say this cheerfully. Cheerfully. Every pastor I've heard preach, every layperson who's discussed Calvinism with me, they all say this cheerfully. It seems relieving. Hallelujah! Nothing and nobody but myself can take away my salvation!
And the thing I want to holler in confusion is But that's the only person I want stopped! That's the one person I want to be saved from!
Maybe I'm more of a sinner than the rest of Christendom. Maybe I'm the only one prone to wander, who often finds herself fascinated with the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the rest of the world in which I'm not supposed to be interested. One side of me starts wandering after shiny sin, and the other side tries to wrestle me to the ground: God, get her before it's too late!
John Donne's Batter my heart, three-personed God is no exaggeration. I pray this prayer for myself. I pray this for people going astray. I pray this for those too calloused to even care where they're going. Tackle them. Batter them. Hammer out their will until it bends towards You.
|For the record, I'm not reading about snipers....|
I believe in the strength of free will. We're born with a strong bent against God, against good, against sacrificial love -- even the best of us. That will, harnessed by the Spirit, held close to the heart of God, can accomplish great things. It's a strong force. It can love passionately. It can battle against evil.
Yet even after justification, even while in the arms of God, it can be unruly, swayed by temptation, moved by things other than God's love. Or is that just me?
I realize that the discussion on election and free will is deeper than this. I just want to point out that I feel no comfort in the belief that my free will determines my end. If that's true, I'm doomed. I might as well give up already. And why pray for the friends and family who drift away? If God cannot bring them to Him in the first place, why waste my tears and prayers begging Him to bring them back? I should be begging the wayward soul who has already decided he's done with this Christianity thing.
I can't live with that. I'd just curl up and lose hope. It's a struggle to love God, it's a struggle to pursue sanctification. It seems like there's a war within my members with an uncertain outcome. Will I come out a Christian? Will I come out an apostate? How can I know my end? When I'm scared of myself and the things I might do and the places I might go, it comforts me so much to remember this: while I'm kicking and screaming and wanting to jump out of His hand, God holds on with His sovereign choice. He promises, You can walk away...but my child, I will never let go.