Dispatch One Hundred Sixty-Three

Posted: August 7, 2015 in Thirty-Seventh Bundle
Tags: , , , ,

1 JOHN 5:9-13

If we receive human testimony, the testimony of God is greater; for this is the testimony of God that he has testified to his Son. 10 Those who believe in the Son of God have the testimony in their hearts. Those who do not believe in God have made him a liar by not believing in the testimony that God has given concerning his Son. 11 And this is the testimony: God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. 12 Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.

13 I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know that you have eternal life.

A hard line in the doctrine of predestination asserts that our world population is divided into two camps: those elected for salvation and those marked for destruction. The way of the righteous, happy and thriving like fruiting trees beside streams of water, is opposed to the way of the wicked, those unfortunate others whose lives are sterile of meaning and a driven waste on the winds.

When the poet says that “the way of the wicked will perish,” is this because their fate as individuals was decided beforehand? Or should we hear his words in the spirit of moral wisdom: whoever lives like this is certain to end up like that? The second reading seems more consistent with our own sensibilities.

The doctrine of predestination notwithstanding, the moral core of religion is itself centered on a pivotal and self-evident truth: that we human beings are indeed free to choose the “righteous” path of self-restraint and goodwill over the “wicked” path of selfish ambition. If we hadn’t the power, the exhortation would be meaningless.

But our path in life is something we choose – or to put it another way, our path in life is paved by the large and small choices we make as we go along.

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