A reading for Tuesday, August 26, 2014: John 6:60-71.

The only thing others know, if they know anything about Presbyterianism at all, is the theological principle of pre-destination. It is perhaps part of our brand, among all the other denominations. Others also believe in this principle, however because it first arises out of Calvinism, it is most associated with Presbyterians. To quote the disciples today, “This teaching is difficult; who can accept it?”

Perhaps it's not as difficult as we make it. Jesus says, “For this reason I have told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted by the Father.” This is basically the doctrine of pre-destination in a sentence from Christ. It is simply that God chooses.

What would be the alternative? We choose God, after a careful examination of the facts and perhaps interview with the Almighty? We earn salvation by living the perfect life in accordance with all the teaching of the Bible? We deserve to be included just because we live and breathe and it's only fair? My tongue is in my cheek...

Truth is, it's good news that God chooses out of mercy, grace and love. It's good news, not because God is arbitrary and cruel but because the character of God is creator, redeemer and sustainer. We trust in God, not because of who we are at all, but because of who God is.

Perhaps it's a difficult teaching, but one that we can clearly find in scripture. It is good news!

“Lord, to whom can we go? You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe and know that you are the Holy One of God.” 


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