Thursday, July 29, 2010

What Plan?

I don't remember exactly what I was reading, but the other day in a news article there was a quote from some fellow involved in the Tea Party movement about the Christian God's blueprint for humankind. The guy said something like, when good or bad things happen, it's all part of God's plan. So, when someone receives a windfall of cash or a tornado rips through a community, we simply need to understand that this is what God wanted to happen.

While I personally believe that such thinking is ludicrous, I would be more than willing to accept it as a respectful disagreement in perspective...except for the apparent contradiction it holds. This gentleman is involved in a POLITICAL movement that seeks to affect change. He urges voters to support certain candidates and policies. If everything that happens in this world is part of some divine plan, why bother? Why not simply leave everything to God's providence?

Taken further, why does this man and believers like him castigate those who oppose them? If God truly is the chief puppeteer, then it would stand to reason that those opponents are part of the plan too! Every one of us commie, pinko, tree hugging leftists must be playing a role that God has preordained. We are just as much part of the celestial blueprint as those who claim to be God's followers.

Taken even further, why proselytize nonbelievers? If everything happens according to the heavenly schedule, we will come to believe or not believe based on God's own timing. Do adherents have the audacity to believe that they can circumvent that which has already been foreseen?

Taken to its furthest extent, why pray? Whatever happens to you is going to happen to you one way or the other. It really doesn't matter if you independently decide to get with the program. Ya know, thy will be done?

So, if an individual genuinely accepts the notion that anything that happens in this world happens because of "the plan," why not sit back and let things unfold as they are going to unfold anyway? Why get involved in any sort of advocacy?

Advocating for what you believe in and lobbying against what you oppose clearly illustrates that you really don't believe in a divine plan at all. You really believe that YOUR involvement matters and that things actually could go either way!

4 comments:

  1. As a Calvinist I would always answer this by saying "God uses means" In other words God uses us to affect his purpose.

    Of course I now see this as a shuck and jive answer. Even if God uses means he still is the first cause, so it still God's will always being accomplished.So when their candidate doesn't win, and everyone voted who God willed to vote, the right person got elected. Like Obama. :)

    As you so accurately noted.........their ACTIONS reveal they really don't believe their theology.

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  2. I try not to think in terms like "God's plan for the universe". If I have to think of it at all, I try to imagine a deity who is an artist, like a novelist who may have an outline in his head, only to find his characters behaving in unexpected ways. Which isn't exactly helpful either, since a 'proper' divine consciousness would (when not incarnate) have a completely different relationship to time than we do. So chains of cause and effect would of course have a very different shape.

    However, seems to me that people who like to rant about "God's plan" are often taking God's name in vain. That is, what they really mean to say is "MY plan", and their words are a way to disguise, from themselves as much as from the rest of us, the selfishness of their intentions.

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  3. Perhaps "God" is also transforming, becoming, in process--in which case "God" is Process. Where is there a problem for 'free-will' and predestination here?
    Scott

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  4. I've found that this whole notion of "God's plan" seems to be accepted with no attempt at critical thought.

    The god they ask to save them is the same one that flattens a town with a tornado or caused the recent floods that killed over a thousand people in Pakistan.

    Who could honestly worship or even respect a being who did that?

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