I don’t exist when you don’t see me

When I was a young teenager, my aunt and some of my other relatives were talking about freewill and predestination. While I understood that they were isolating the conversation to the topic of salvation or eternal damnation, the scope of the topic goes to the very nature of every event in our living days as well.

The truth is that I felt sorry for them – their minds were confined by such a limited understanding. As any brilliant young teenager I attempted to expand their minds on the subject. I chimed in, “Freewill and Predestination are the same thing.” I’m sure they immediately felt sorry for me as they tried to explain why they were not the same.

Each of the adults had their positions and expressed to each other why they were right. And the core of the conversation really wasn’t about exploring the idea of freewill and predestination, because their point of view or kingdoms of ideas were already formed and had boundaries that could not expand. Or at least it seemed from my point of view.

As I was saying – As any brilliant young teenager, I took the stage and explained the third point of view. One of the many ways I tried to explain why they can be the same was to simplify time travel to them and that God being beyond our three dimensional living – was, is and shall always be beyond our ideas of time.  From our perspective, time moves in one direction like a straight line. For us, something first has to happen before we can record is as a fact of history. We apply this kind of thinking to our theology as well. We pull mostly from human experiences of God and most of those are experiences of others. So, we apply that kind of thinking and put it upon God as one of His characteristics.

If you believe in predestination, it is like you believe that God wrote a book and we are destine to live each of those events out. If you are a believer of freewill, it is like you believe that God watched a movie history in chronological order and then wrote down what he observed.

What I’m suggesting is that God is more like a time traveller and is not limited to a chronological existence except for coming down as man and living among us. We can only move forward in time and live in the present. God is still the I AM, the God who was, and it, and is to come. From God’s perspective, you could look at time from the top, left, right, front, and back – moving at will like time were a thee three dimensional object, while we experience life and time as one dimension and in one direction.

My aunt was unable to comprehend, but I have to give them credit for letting me take the stage and speak. My mom, dad and grandparents and many other relatives were taking part of the conversation. There was one thing that was sure around our family – We never agreed to disagree, therefore silencing “the other”. Everything was open for conversation, everyone was welcome to the table, everyone was family even when they were not family – when you ate at our table you became family and you always had a voice. Everyone was both seen and heard, even if you were a young kid.

I know that people get so easily dismissed in the local church scene. There are so few places where faith is explored. Instead an established thought process that is taught is so well established that exploration has become an evil thing. There is one thing about biblical Jewish church I can give credit, the synagogs were a place of bouncing ideas back and forth. Even Jesus as a young boy took part of this process. This process moved the church forward before, during and after Jesus was here. Somehow, it rarely seems to take place today.

People cry out for a move of God. If it came, would we even recognize it? Would we partake in the movement? Would you participate in forging it, or will you be silenced? Even better yet, if God speaks to you through someone, will you be the once silencing them? What we have to be mindful of is people want to be “known”, I don’t exist when you don’t see me.

Thinking of you Ali, because I can relate.

~ Ryan


Posted on January 12, 2012, in Human Needs, Relationship, Spiritual Growth and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. That’s how my family was, too. I love that image of everyone, even children, having a voice. I wonder what the church would look like if we did that. I think this is happening in the Christian faith at large, but not as much in individual churches. How do we move that conversation forward?

  2. Really enjoyed reading this. Especially after reading the book for our small group and having a similar discussion. It’s a really interesting concept, one that I’ve always tried to wrap my mind around. But as a finite being with an infinite God, it’s still hard to think about at times.
    I especially liked the comment at the end about the synagogues and bouncing ideas back and forth. My favorite discussions and even new breakthroughs in my faith come about from that. I really think it’s something that churches should invest in more. Not to pose our theories as facts, but to challenge our system of faith based on Biblical values, instead of just making our church habits and rules, if you will, just going by “what all decent churches do these days and believe”.

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