Saturday, 19 March 2011


The elect of God: a contentious issue in many Christian circles. Who are they? Do they have a choice in the matter or are they simply ‘chosen in him before the creation of the world’?

In some views of Christianity God chooses people who will be saved and they have no real say in the matter. They are brought as a slave on a block, and have as much opportunity to choose their master as the slave does. Another view of this issue holds that each person who hears the gospel has the ability to accept or reject its message and in this decision God has no say.

I have issues with both of these view points: The first does not speak to the reason that God saved us in the first place, his desire for a relationship with the church. What kind of relationship can you have with someone who has no say in whether they are in the relationship? Consider a marriage, for instance, where the husband loves the wife but if the wife does not also love the husband then theirs is not a true relationship.

The second point of view says that there is something which God has no say in, that God’s will could in theory be thwarted. If God wants someone to be saved and they say “no” then there is nothing that God can do about it, there would be something that God had no control over.

However I believe that both of these points of view do have some merit in explaining such a complicated issue. The first sees God as in complete control, being sovereign over absolutely everything and the second views being saved as entering in to a relationship with God, giving him the rightful kingship of our lives. Trying to reconcile all of these ideas with the passages that are used to support both of them I have formed my own view on the issue of election.

I believe that God, before the creation of the world, made two groups of people, the elect and the un-elect. I think that rather than choosing individual people to put in to each group he defined what it would mean to be in each group. To be an ‘elect’ you must trust Christ for the forgiveness of sins, and to be an ‘un-elect’ you must not. That is, God choose the elect before the beginning of the world but he did not choose individual people to be elect. We have the choice as to which group we are in, and God desires us all to choose the ‘elect’ group for ‘God does not wish any to perish but all to come to repentance’ but because of his desire for a real relationship with us he will let us make this choice.

My thoughts on this are still not fully formed and I would appreciate any comments on what people think.

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