My Readers Are Close-Minded!

Posted on February 10, 2020

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By David Ettinger

Let’s Discuss It
I knew the title would get you here!

Of course, I don’t mean you are closed-minded, but there is a blind spot which I believe too many Christians have, and I’d like some feedback. I hit this topic not too long ago, and your responses were great, but I’m still not satisfied. I think quite a few of you are too black-and-white on some issues.

If you disagree with me, please, let me know.

Case Number 1
Last week, in my post, “Why Evangelicals Support President Trump,” I wrote: “I don’t believe there is anything ‘divine’ or ‘ordained’ about his being in office. I believe he came to the presidency through human circumstances, and fairly and indisputably won the 2016 election.”

Though most of you liked the blog, you objected to this point. In doing so, you referenced Romans 13:1: “Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God.” Some of you added Daniel 2:21: “He changes times and seasons; he deposes kings and raises up others. He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to the discerning.”

Your point was that God appoints ALL rulers. I believe he raises up some and deposes some – especially those mentioned in Scripture – but every one? Do you realize their have probably been more than a million elected officials during the course of history? Has God ordained EVERY one of them? Every one?

And what about Stalin, Hitler, and numerous other monsters who have slain millions? Did God appoint them? Yes, He allowed it in His “permissive will,” but did he appoint them? To say “yes” is mechanical acceptance.

I believe the Romans 13 verses about government are general, not specific; that God has established government so that the world would run smoothly. To say God directly decides EVERY single election is unrealistic. Could President Trump have been chosen by God? Of course, but personally, I don’t believe he is “God’s anointed.”

Case Number 2
Last August I wrote a blog titled, “Does God Really Determine the Moment Our Death?” My main point was that at times, yes, God does assign our precise amount of years. But for the most part, I don’t believe He does.

Just because he knows how many hairs are on our heads (Psalm 40:12; 69:4) and knows us intimately (Psalm 139), doesn’t mean he has assigned our exact moment of death. To support this, I gave the example of the movie “Saving Private Ryan.” After seeing this epic, I researched the D-Day invasion and discovered that many of the troops who died in the first wave were young men ages 18 to 24.

I began reconsidering my thoughts that God actually determines the exact moment of death. Am I really to believe that had there not been a world war occurring at this time, these same young men would have died at the same ages? I find this preposterous.

Many of you responded by saying that God knows the time of our deaths. Of course He does; He’s omniscient! He knows everything. Of course He knows when we’re going to die. The question is, does He always determine the exact moment of death? I think not.

I concluded that this, too, like the Romans passage, speaks of general truth, and pointed to Psalm 90:10: “Our days may come to seventy years, or eighty, if our strength endures.” The point here is that God has designed a general time frame for human life; some will die younger, some older, but the general human life span is in this area.

Case Number 3
Years ago, I was reading Psalm 91 and stumbled over verses 14-16: “‘Because he loves me,’ says the Lord, ‘I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name. He will call on me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him. With long life I will satisfy him and show him my salvation.’”   

I said, “Whoa, not so fast!” I had been reading about persecuted Christians and how many of them were being martyred at young ages. And yet, they loved God. Well, I pondered, if they loved God, why did He not fulfill His words of this passage, that He would rescue, protect, and satisfy them with a long life?

I realized that God often speaks in generalities. If this is the case, especially with this passage, why would not the other passages I mentioned also not be taken generally rather than precisely (regarding political leaders and the exact moment of death)?

If you believe God appoints ALL political leaders and ALWAYS assigns the exact moment of death, how do you explain the seeming discrepancy of Psalm 91?

You’re Invited!
My issue is with blindly accepting certain verses at face value, even if logic defies it.

You’re invited to reply in any way you see fit. But please don’t bring up God’s sovereignty, because it is a given. Of course God CAN do anything He wants; the question is, DOES He in every single instance to which cases 1 and 2 apply?

Much thanks!