Sunday, May 25, 2014

Do We Do Anything?

I am always open to new information, deeper understanding and will abandon a strong held belief if I come to realize it is in error.  One area I have been fascinated in for most of my life is the nature of individual consciousness/existence within/without omnipresent/omniscient/omnipotent God.  From "my own" reasoning and what I believed were flashes of revelation/insight from God I had long held the pantheistic view.  It always made the most sense to me.  That is, that ALL is God, God is all.  Individuality is only an illusion of sorts--a sort of deliberate particularized "Self-forgetting" by God--God sort of "playing" (in Hinduism called "leela").  Moving into traditional, orthodox Christian theology I had to move from that belief to one that holds that God is quite distinct from creation, from the creature.  We are NOT God.  Although we can be "one" with God, and are indeed commanded to be "in His will", so-to-speak. . . .

Something that drew me to the last version of Hinduism I believed in (Gaudiya Vaishnavism) was that a concept called "achintya-bheda-tattva" which means "simultaneous oneness AND difference".  It says that we are both distinct from God AND one with God.  I once used this concept myself to try and reconcile free will with God's sovereignty, and I know that there are those who continue to assert that the Bible teaches that we both have our independent free will AND God is sovereign. . . . Nevertheless in Gaudiya Vaishnavism the teaching was very insistent that, while we can be "one with God" . . . we ARE NOT GOD.  God is God . . . and we are creatures.  It was also a monotheistic form of Hinduism.  

Currently, I am quite convinced of the "Reformed" understanding of Biblical theology.  God is absolutely sovereign.  I tend to go a bit further in my own beliefs though than even most hard-core "Calvinists" but also say that I am open-minded and still studying the issue.  

What issue?  Whereas most Reformed thinkers will say that we DO have "free will" . . . but that it is confined within our nature (whether fallen or regenerate) I am not so sure that we do anything. . . . 

Following up on my last post, I tend to believe that about all we really do . . . is just be a witness.  I believe we are given a sort of experience that we "do" things with "individual will" . . . and I do think that God has made us as unique individuals . . . and that we experience life and existence as if we were independent and autonomous . . . ultimately . . . I am not so sure that we actually "do" anything at all in and of ourselves.  I tend to believe that God is the prime mover behind all apparent volition.  Yet, I also accept that we are responsible for our sin.  I also have some ideas on the problem of evil--where people say "God is not the author of sin" . . . counterposed against those verses where God makes clear that creates "light and dark" and the "wicked for the day of destruction" . . . which I might share sometime . . . although.......

........I don't know if this line of thought interests anyone or is just a pet area of mine . . . but I ponder it regularly and have for years, this paradox. . . . Perhaps as time goes on I will share more of my analysis and thinking and scriptural study on the matter. . . .

Anyway, just thought I'd throw it out there........
God blesses you, praise God,
a witness.
  

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this Brother Thomas.

This question tormented me day in day out, until I could find a distraction...but I always came back to this "question"

My answer a few weeks ago was exactly the same. I am simply a WITNESS.
I have no practicable skills or abilities. But God did give me this ability to WATCH. I have spent most of my life observing the world as an outsider more or less... So this is how I worked out what I should do. (moreover God showed me)

Now I have a confirmation and I'm not crazy after all.

God Bless.

Love Steven

Mark said...

Better off to live in the spirit of life while the flesh lives then troubling the self when the flesh is going to pass, because the flesh will pass and the world will come to an end.

Weather it be by natural disaster, health issue,commies,natzis,nuclear bombs,bullets.....however the means your flesh will die,it is Gods will and death is part of the cycle of lifein the flesh.The spirit is eternal.

All we do is live in the glory and in the spirit of Gods will.soon you find your will is Gods will.

Live while your alive!

Brother Thomas ©2015

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