Are some predestined to for salvation? Did God fore-ordain and elect some before the beginning of the world? Are some predestined to damnation? Do we have free-will? Is God in control of everything? Are we just robots in some cosmic game? These and other similar questions bubble to the surface in Christian conversations, especially in Reformed circles. Usually the conversations take place in abstract and ethereal ways with many hypothetical cases and dependent hypotheses. Rarely do such questions and conversations ever “get-real.”
As a guest speaker last week for a class on the Quarterlife Crisis, I spoke on the topic of “Vocational Crisis.” In it, I addressed the American desire and ambition to script out the future of our lives. In fact, such an idea is so ingrained in our culture that one is considered to be irresponsible and foolish not to script out, plan out, and spend an inordinate amount of time stressing about the future. We are told that if we wish to be responsible and successful (a.k.a. “moral” in an American sense), then we must be self-made and script our lives. This involves what clubs, sports, and classes you take school as children, what universities we attend,what corporations one works for during summer and after graduation, when and who one marries, and where and what type of housing one chooses. It’s all scripted.
The “scripted life” is one that does not acknowledge a Sovereign God. The scripted life is one where “I” am in control of my life and future. The scripted life is one where God is not needed, where I am the salvation of my own world.
To believe in a Sovereign God, to believe in the predestined existence, is to have an unscripted life. It is a life where I am not in control of my future or destination. It is one where I am not self-made. Instead, I am formed by Another. I am created for Another’s good will, pleasure, and purpose. It is a life where “I belong to God.” It is the counter-cultural life. A life that is very “un-American.” It is a life that exposes the fallacy and illusion that we have control. The unscripted life is the only way we as followers of Jesus Christ can truly be faithful.