Does faith in the personal God of Scripture make sense if we acknowledge that we do not have free will? This blog presupposes that we don’t have free will, but argues that far from being a source of anxiety or even a death sentence for faith, our lack of free will may actually be the central point of Scripture and essential to our inherent human dignity.
May 17, 2016 - Incarnation
a child, he placed it in their midst,
and putting his arms around it, he said to them,
“Whoever receives one child such as this in my name, receives
and whoever receives me,
receives not me but the One who sent me.”
would be easy to conflate this story with the Parable of the Sheep and the
Goats in Matthew (25:31-46) in which a figure, who we presume is God, walks the
Earth in disguise to see who will serve Him and who will not, and then condemns
those who fail the test to eternal torture.
More on that later. But this is a
very different story. We are not told
the child is poor, or sick, or in need of anything. We are not told to feed, heal, educate or
otherwise help the child. We are only to
“receive” the child. Jesus does not promise reward if we receive the child or
punishment if we fail. The only message
is that when we receive this child, we receive Jesus and receive God. This is not a description of how to be moral –
it is a description of God’s morality. By
becoming one of us, God has granted divine dignity to all of us - even a child
who has had no opportunity to earn it.