March 30, 2009
God is in Control!
Time Magazine’s March 23rd issue features ten ideas that they believe are changing the world right now. Under the umbrella thought that the global economy is being restructured right before our eyes, Time outlines what is on the horizon for all of us. Their list includes an article on why your job is your most valuable asset. They talk about the demise of sprawling suburbs, how Africa is the new frontier for business and the growing importance of something they call “ecological intelligence” (our ability to calculate the lifetime effect of our actions on the earth). It is an interesting list, but number three caused me to pause and ponder.
It was an article entitled “The New Calvinism.” The author (David Van Biema) points out that there is a growing focus on Calvinism among evangelicals. He starts his article by asserting that you can track the theological focus of American Christians by watching their music. He notes that in the early 1900’s you would have heard “The Old Rugged Cross” being sung in our churches. But by the 1980’s we were singing songs like “Shine, Jesus, Shine” showing the shift to a more Jesus-is-my-buddy- kind of theology.
His assertion is that today we are singing songs that focus more on the immense and powerful nature of God who is totally sovereign over a sinful and “puny humanity”. He believes that Calvinism is making a “comeback” of sorts in our churches.
What interested me most was the reason he believes that Calvinism is so influential among our pastors and churches today. He remarks that our generation is seeking for assurance, assurance that God is in control and that He is personally ruling over all. In a day and time when chaos is seemingly reigning over Wall Street and Main Street, our people want to know that God is sovereign.
This article is much too brief to meaningfully discuss the merits of Calvinism or any other theological doctrine. What intrigued me was the author’s conclusion that people today are seeking assurance. They want the confidence that someone stronger, wiser, more capable is in control.
Regardless of your perspective on this important doctrine (and you should study and have a perspective) the author is highlighting a very important opportunity for all believers. If our neighbors are insecure and wondering who is controlling our world, we have an exciting message to share!
About 2700 years ago, the prophet Isaiah gave us our message. It is still a current, vibrant message for the folks who live on your block, or the guy in the cubicle next to yours or the family members who will gather around your table for Easter dinner……
“Do you not know, have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary and His understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary and young men stumble and fall, but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles and they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” (Isaiah 40:28-31)
God is in control! So, the song I am singing today goes like this…”Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine. Oh what a fore taste of glory divine. Heir of salvation, purchase of God. Born of His spirit, washed in His blood. This is my story, this is my song, praising my Savior all the daylong….”
Warmest Regards in Christ,
Sherry L. Worel
Stoneybrooke Christian Schools