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Monday, October 18, 2010

Jeremiah Bereano and the doctrine of Election

I had not heard from Jeremiah Bereano for quite some time ( I'm sure he's been busy, what with preparing for a wedding, and such............ ), but my longtime friend/nemesis called me up the other day. As the familiar strains of 'Amazing Grace' filled the air, I pulled my phone from my pocket, and noticing his name on the caller ID, I almost hesitantly flipped it open.............

As usual; I'd have been surprised if he'd let me get my customary greeting out, and sure enough, before I even had a chance to say 'hello', my friend opened the conversation with 'your article on God's election is sure a nice Calvinistic piece of work' ( I could tell he was being more than a bit sarcastic........... ) I quickly remarked that I'd been doing quite a lot of re-thinking in the area of many of the doctrines, especially the area of doctrine that is known as orthodox, having been traditionally accepted and taught by the ( catholic and Reformed ) church ( organized, institutional ). 'Well, it's about time' he replied, 'and I mean that in two ways; first it is about time, the timing and nature of Christ's return in judgment on the Old Covenant economy, and secondly, it's about time that you got rid of some of your Calvinistic baggage, and consistently rethought your positional 'The Grace of God's Election' !'

''But, Jer', I replied, maybe a little weakly ( but a bit incensed ): 'I am NOT a Calvinist; I just believe ( strongly ) in Sovereign Grace!' 'Whatever', he ( almost sneeringly ) said, then consolingly ( and condescendingly ) added, 'I never said you were a Calvinist, just that you had some 'baggage' left over from your Calvinistic days!' I had to grudgingly admit that he was correct...................Over the past few years and months, in particular; God has been revealing to me, through several different 'channels', that much of what we have been taught to believe by the institutional church, is, at the very least flawed, if not altogether false. Much of this falsity, though, is due to an incorrect understanding, or no understanding, of the covenants, and in particular, the 'change' ( I Corinthians 15:52 ) that was brought about with the 'ending' of the Old Covenant, and the 'consummation' ( Hebrews 8:1, Revelation 19:7-9 )

Jeremiah was right; 'It WAS about Time', time that along with other 'doctrines' that needed some revision, re'forming'; I re-stated my position, and I believe, Scripture's position ( especially in 'Light' of the New Covenant, and the principles and implications of fulfilled eschatology')!

My friend stated; 'It is fairly clear from Scripture that there was a choosing, an election of a special people by God, before the foundation of the world, but it is also clear that this was all prior to, and in reference to the Old Covenant, which came about because of, and though, the sin and death of Adam ( Genesis 2:16 & 17).' I agreed, for the most part, with Jeremiah Bereano, and I told him so: 'I believe that the principles ( of predestination & election ) still apply, but that you correctly assert that the 'letter' of these doctrines must needs have under-gone a 'change' ( Hebrews 7:12-18 ), as well, with the appearing of Christ, and the 'better promises' ( Hebrews 8:6 ) of the New Covenant'.

All that was needed now, was for me to 'Just do it', and after my friend reminded me that I should do just that; I asked him if he would be willing to collaborate with me on it, and we decided to make a concerted effort on it, which though our 'plates' are both rather full right now ( his more than mine, I think ), will be forthcoming!

After we had agreed on this ( which was a bit of a relief to me ); we exchanged a few pleasantries: I asked about the wedding and such, how his health had been, upon which he told me ( almost in the manner of a 'guilt-trip') that the wedding had gone fine without me, but that, in God's good providence, it had not gone off without a 'hitch ( he jokingly said ), and as for his health, he said, 'Well, Chuckles, I know that you can sympathize, or commiserate, or whatever, but I just don't get around as well, or as much as I used to, but God is good, and has graciously enabled me to do what I need to do, and for the most part, what 'I think' that I need to do! 'Yes', I replied, 'I'm right there with you, brother ( in a manner of speaking )', because I could very easily commiserate with him, not being able to get around very well myself.

I told my friend that I appreciated his 'wake-up call' ( though I had been gravitating in that direction anyway ), and that it was truly good to hear from him ( for even though I sometimes dreaded his calls; I did love Jeremiah ), and, telling him 'I love you, brother!', I flipped my phone closed. 'Till another day............'

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