I had the most crazy talk today.
With a woman.
In a laundry mat.
She was older, probably 40s to 50s, and “someone who was always interested in ideas, and how we got them.” She wore blue, and was on the phone talking about Hitler, law, and some other things. I had just finished reading my homework for English; part of it was an article about the Stanford Prison Experiment and I thought she would like to read it if she hadn’t already. I opened the discussion asking if she had a paper she was writing.
She said no and the quote above before asking me a question: “Does I relate our legal system with justice?”
We talked about it. She loved my answer of “our legal system exist because our idea of justice.”
I loved the talk. It was amazing, and amazingly short. It felt good to “dance” around mentally again. It has been a long time. Even though in the first 7 minutes she brought up the “free will vs predestination” topic.
There was a point where we were just about to shift into high gear. A pause of breath or a gathering of thoughts before a larger topic or a paradigm was confronted. At that point she asked if I could stay a while. I looked at the clock and I realized I was getting a headache from not drinking any water after the gym, and I was hungry, and I should go home and take a shower. I mention that I could stay for about 15 mintues. She was visibly saddened, but when I mentioned how much and how far we have covered in 5 minutes or so, we continued.
We talked, and she came to a point where she said “people have these ideas and they are set in concrete. And people don’t like changing them. And I don’t feel like taking you down that path.”
I wanted to say “I’m ready. I can handle anything you throw at me. I want to hear what you have to say. I am open to ideas that are new. My core beliefs are deep enough that you probably won’t shake them.” But I knew in her heart she felt like she wasn’t supposed to share them with me.
(Sidenote: When I mentioned human nature referring to justice, she threw out that I thought all humans were basically evil. I said that I think all humans are basically selfish. We talked some more and she said that when you act from your heart, not your head, you would never do anything to hurt someone. So I knew she wouldn’t share the mind/belief shattering idea with me.)
So I said good-bye. And walked away thinking about what my concrete beliefs are. The low of my low, the foundation all my theology, life, attitude is based off of. I came up with this:
God is good.
That is the tree trunk of my life, that all my other beliefs are based off of. At least I think. Has it been shaken? I don’t know. I have the rest of my life to find out.
So here is your part. Weigh in. About any of these ideas brought up. What is the fundamental idea of Christianity? Do we have free will or are we predestined? Do you relate our legal system with justice, and how?
what a cool conversation. i think you came to the right conclusion. I believe we have free will and that God always knows what to do with us after we make a bad decision.
As for the legal system….that’s a tough one.
That is very neat.
I would say our legal system is based on order or control of U.S. citizens. Whether that is good or bad is one’s point of view. You can have justice without order and order without justice and, sometimes, you can have both. After all, there can be justice in simple daily living. People go to court and laws are made because a situation is complicated and needs some extra hands to untangle the mess.
Hmmm, God is good and that is enough.
I think when people you say we are “predestined” they are using the wrong word… I think of it like this…
Imagine you’re standing on a giant flat surface. Suddenly on that flat surface there are a bunch of red dots… kinda as if you were instantly shrunken and placed on a giant treasure map. The red dotted line represents God’s plan for your life and it takes you to all kinds of interesting places before you reach the ultimate treasure. However, since it is a flat surface and you have two legs, you are free to roam as you please.
You may either follow the path that the father has so ingeniously laid out for you so that you can grow and be refined in the absolute best way for you which is the route that will take you from baby steps to giant leaps (so to speak) teaching you little things early on so you can tackle the hard stuff later….
…you can wander around aimlessly, getting yourself into all kinds of trouble by encountering trials and scenarios that you aren’t necessarily prepared for because you haven’t passed the prerequisite tests that would have otherwise equipped you properly had you taken the perfect path originally placed before you.
It is kinda hard to get back on track once you’ve done things outta order, but its possible through humbling yourself and saying, “Okay, I screwed up… please forgive me. I’m ready to start where I’m supposed to start.”
God’s plans and perfect will for your life are laid out right in front of you, but we can choose if we want to do things His way or our way… Oh and the best news yet, our way leads to destruction. 🙂
Another good analogy…
Imagine you are playing a video game and you control a character. The game was designed so that you go through the game’s levels in order so that you can learn the controls properly, gain all the strength and experience as you go, and collect all the proper items needed to kill the final boss at the last level. That is the designer’s plan for the game so the gamer learns, is challenged, and finishes the game how it was designed.
Now lets say you just started the game… your pride gets to you and says “This is boring and useless stuff, you’ve played a game like this before. Just go grab the cheat codes and we can get to the final level and have some real fun.” So you put in the code and there you are in front of the final boss. You engage him in the battle and within seconds your character is mauled and killed with with no extra lives to spare and the only thing you can think to yourself is, “Oh sh**! Wtf? I didn’t even have a chance! I hate this game! I didn’t have enough strength! I didn’t have the right weapons! And I couldn’t friggin figure out which button was to shoot!” …all because you played by your own rules and thought you knew what was best for yourself.
It’s your selfish and prideful agenda VS. the designers perfect plan which is intended to get you where you need to be at the right times to make sure you come out on top in the end.
The weirdest part is, the designer knows the end result before you even get there… the designer created two options… one option is to beat the game and the other is simply a “game over” to bid you farewell.
Our God is aware of which choice we will make. Our tiny little brains incorrectly translate that into “He’s really in control then if He already knows waht’s gonna happen… can’t He just tweak a couple things so that we all win?” He could… but that is not His heart. His heart is for us to be ourselves and to make our own choice. His heart is to be with those who WANT to be with Him. His heart is to be with those who LOVE Him. It would not be love if He forced us all into submission. Love is freedom and freedom means choices. Choices that will ultimately lead us to life with Him…. or death apart from Him.
I am not predestined for anything. My life does not point toward one inevitable destination, but two totally separate ones which I have the ability to decide between for myself and myself only.
Sorry if none of that made sense… I just realized its 2AM.