Today, at school, from 4th hour through lunch to the end of 5th hour, I had a great conversation/argument with some of my pals about subjects ranging from predestination to miracles to does God love everyone. A couple of my friends are Calvinist/Reformed (not exactly sure how they would describe themselves). One of them started explaining what he believed to another friend and that’s how the conversation started. Others quickly began to question his “odd in their minds” doctrine. A respectful argument ensued in which both sides presented their cases. It was interesting to watch.
In 9th grade, I had the same argument with the same “Reformed?” friend who was explaining what he believed in the beginning of the story. He argued the predestination side and I argued free will. After the argument, I did some biblical research on the subject. I found evidence in the bible for both sides. I realized I was not totally right and was being very prideful in my argument and was, before the research, reading the bible with predetermined ideas and bias. I admitted that I was not right and decided to try to read the bible without bias and not manipulate the words into my argument.
With that background, I was disappointed with the way the arguments were going. The opposing sides tried to push their agenda. They used arguments that were at some times not biblical and when confronted with scripture that opposed their ideas, they tried to fit it into their argument. It is obvious, from my standpoint at least, that there is evidence for both sides of the argument. Yet the people who were fully entrenched in their, in my opinion, biased arguments had a real tough time acknowledging this (I’m not judging them for this, I had the same problem and still do to some extent).
I’m not sure if I’ll ever fully understand the “balance” between these two arguments. I’ve read things that would potentially prove each. Maybe one of the arguments is totally right. I don’t think either one is but I hope I’m open-minded to the idea. I just have a problem with people pushing stuff into others that they do not themselves fully understand.
I was exceedingly happy when one of my friends suggested we do a bible study on whatever topic we want to discuss that given day. I can’t wait for more conversations like this. It does strengthen me. It was also cool to see some of the guys admit that everything they were saying was not exactly factual (they were just trying to get their thoughts out in an understandable way). I also have to apologize to them for being hypocritical at times.
Just one last note from the conversation. Near the end, one of my friends asked me how I would explain what I believe to a random hobo. I said I wouldn’t talk about theology or doctrine I would talk to him about Jesus. He saved me from a place of darkness and despair and now I follow the One who saved me. He’s shown me life, better than the world. He has given me love, unimaginable. That’s the beginning of what I would say. Another friend proceeded to ask me if I then did not believe in a certain theology. I didn’t know how to answer him. After thinking about it more I guess I don’t believe in a theology. I believe in Jesus of Nazareth, God’s son sent to save the world from it’s bondage. That’s not to say that there isn’t a right or wrong when it comes to the way God works. I believe there is. It’s just not where my identity is. I don’t pretend to understand how and why God does what he does. But I will follow my savior Jesus, no matter what. He is the Truth.