After Church: God Has a Plan…Although You Don’t Know It

Wow. I can’t imagine this being true.

For one thing, statistical analysis on the Bible, really? That’s something akin to numerology or something. I realize it’s something of a joke, but really? I’m not sure about you, but what’s the interpretation of “God speaking to you” being used here? An audible voice? A tugging of the heart? Just a feeling? It’s pretty vague on that note.

To take things to their logical conclusion, let’s say that God didn’t have a plan for everyone’s life in some sense. Some person’s path is predetermined, while another’s person path is just there to augment those of the elect. So, one person is important enough, in God’s eyes, to gain some significance and great work, but others remain on the sidelines. What kind of idea is this? Not only does it promote some kind of “great man/woman” syndrome, but it also lends itself to the idea of inequality – not a stance of the early Church in any way, shape, or form. Furthermore, what if the person for whom God has a specific plan and the “other guy” meet up – does that mean the latter was part of the plan, and wouldn’t that mean God was also have to be involved in planning that person’s movements as well? Infinite regress!

While I don’t think applying logic and rationality to what God does works in a majority of circumstances (love, for examples, seems antithetical to human reasoning in many respects, specifically the agape type), I think we can make an exception for my hypothetical argument.

If Scripture is meant as a clue to the way God works, one idea that can be gleamed from the text is providence. God, from the beginning of the world, set a plan in motion for the salvation of humanity from sin. In doing so, He had to determine some series of events; logically, if even one element was off, than the plan could not work. God doesn’t have to improvise because He set the process in place.

This idea that “God isn’t a control freak” seems an easy way to get out of the inevitable concequences of my train of thought: God does both good and bad equally. Of course, that’s applying human categories to the divine ruler of the universe, so I’m not sure how that’s a problem when God defines what is sin and what is not in our realm of existence. I’m pretty sure the important “predestined events” aren’t what I’m wearing on Sunday, or eating on Friday, or anything of that sort, but what I do with the Gospel message, how I use it, and the method by which I give it. The idea that humans are in control of the situation enough that we could save others (see my NieR retrospective) reeks of total arrogance. God trusts His children to do things, but it is only through the Holy Spirit that they can even overcome their own selves and become a servant of Christ. To say God doesn’t have a hand in your life, or mine, or anyone else’s other than a simple “here’s your salvation, now go and save everybody without me” doesn’t make much sense.

Looking a bit further, do you really think that God just set general guidelines to how salvation works, and just kind of hoped it all worked out for the best? What does that say about Him – YHWH likes experimenting, I guess! I don’t think any of us has the slightest comprehension of how God works or what He does in this respect. Is the Trinity even a Biblical concept, and where is it said, good author? You seem to assume that is in there while ignoring the many verses and chapters (granted, in many cases referring to specific people) outlining God’s providence and plan for the whole of humanity (and for Israel/Judah as well).

A lot of it has to do with what kind of theology you have. A low view of Jesus’ divinity leads to a low view of His person, all things considered. It’s why the more liberal impulses in Christian theology, starting with Schleiermacher and his ilk, always ended up with trouble: by denying the power, glory, and holiness of God, His control, you end up with a theology that provides little motivation and little to see in the Gospel message other than “Jesus was a good person, and an interesting magician, but not a savior”. Do you really think that God would leave everything to a sinful screwup like myself? I can’t attribute my success to anything but God in this world; heck, even my lack of success in some venture comes down to God, in some way.

That doesn’t mean you can’t deviate from God’s will for your life – of course you can! Otherwise, how could you make a free choice to accept Him or not, to declare that Jesus Christ is Lord? Still, God will attempt through any means necessary – and let me be clear, He has many devices in that respect – to get you to the place that’s best for you. You may not like it, you may hate it, you may think you want to do something else other than what the Creator wants you to do, but rest assured He’ll get you there. You can resist as much as you’d like – from personal experience, it never, EVER works out.

I’m not against the idea of “waiting on the Lord”, which seems an excuse for not doing much of anything. It may happen, sure, but I can’t judge that person’s relationship with God anymore than I can fathom why James Holmes shot people in a loaded theater at The Dark Knight Rises premiere, other than the simple existence of evil in this world. God gives you the tools, and He’s got the plan, but you’ve got to hear and you have to listen. That’s why we have Scripture, after all – so we can listen and we can know what to see so we can get over ourselves and get out there.

I am a special snowflake, and I’m glad I am.

About Zachery Oliver

Zachery Oliver, MTS, is the lead writer for Theology Gaming, a blog focused on the integration of games and theological issues. He can be reached at viewtifulzfo at gmail dot com or on Theology Gaming’s Facebook Page.