Some of you might think I’m posting something Calvinist here. I’m not. Some of you are thinking I’m Arminian then. I’m not sure. I wouldn’t even consider myself Molinist entirely. The question is still up in the air with me. However, I do know the Bible says that we are God’s elect and we should all agree with that if we are saved children of God. How that process is worked out anyone else can debate. For now though, I am simply using the term to refer to Christians.
The passage I’m thinking about is at the start of 1 Peter 1. In it, Peter speaks of God’s elect first off. Now one thing that has to be understood was that this was a dyadic society. It simply means that you were known by who you were related to or in a favored position with. Hence, a person in the Israelite genealogy is introduced as X, son of Y.
What is being said here then? We have seen enough debates on what it means to be elect. In all the Calvinism/Arminianism debates, I think a sad truth has been lost. We are God’s elect. We spend so much time debating on the process that we don’t enjoy the reality. We are like patients that have been cured of a disease but never take the time to live because we’re too busy arguing over how we were cured.
Does the discussion matter now? Of course it does. However, it doesn’t matter to the point of dividing the body which has too long happened. We can all unite on this one fact. We are God’s elect. Maybe you believe that status can be lost. Very well. You are elect now and you should be united with those who don’t think so and vice-versa. Both sides are guilty on this one.
But I too digress. To the point, we need to return.
The reality was that these people were all scattered around the world in various places. However, all of them had something in common. They were all God’s elect. No matter how great the divide may be, God’s elect dwell everywhere. All of them are elect as well and all of them are brothers and sisters we are called to love.
With the reality of the internet, this is becoming more and more real to us. People all across the world can interact now without having to even leave their homes. I can read something from someone in Australia and then turn and read something from someone in Canada and then turn and read something from my church just a few miles away.
Each one I’m talking to though is one of God’s elect. Why does that term matter so much? We are the ones that have been saved by God. Our status is determined by our relationship to God. We are either elect or we are not. We are either for him, or against him.
What a great position we are in though. We may be scattered throughout the world. We may be a diverse group. We may attend different denominations and hold different views on eschatology, predestination, baptism, tongues, the age of the Earth, or any other issue. We are all still members of the body of Christ united by that bond that we share no matter where we live and no matter what our stance on such secondary issues.
That is cause to rejoice. What better way to recognize yourself than one who is in favor with God? That is the language of the time. Those who were saved were those who had God’s favor as their patron. They were to live their lives in honor of him and he would be the one who at the end would say “Well done, thou good and faithful servant.”
If we really believe this though, let’s act like it. I have several friends who I differ from on secondary issues and we never ever discuss it. It just doesn’t matter. We unite on Christ. I can discuss them with other people, but when they become a point of division, it’s time to stop. How is it that we can say we unite on Christ but because of that secondary issue, we’d best not share company? Is the secondary issue greater than the primary issue? Are we saying that while it’s great they believe in Christ, it’s a shame they hold to X view on the rapture?
No. It’s time to unite. One of the signs of our faith will be that we love one another. Let’s show that sign.