Why I Haven’t (Yet) Subscribed to the Reformed God
I wish I could be Reformed.
Reformed theology works for people who have decent family lives, a decent social status and lack a consistent dose of pain. It works in Geneva.
It works for people who can attend their nice church buildings, gather at warmhearted church picnics and listen to a Ph.D. teach Sunday School class while they sip on their freshly brewed cup of coffee and swallow such ideas as God’s meticulous sovereignty.
It allows the exceptional people in life to feel even more comfortable than they already feel knowing that they are part of the chosen.
They can accept concepts like God’s three wills, and just brush off His mysterious will as a misnomer in their otherwise grand theology. They like a God who is in control because they’ve come to reflect Him in their societal sphere of influence.
What about guys like me … who help 250 families a year bury their loved ones. Guys who somehow can’t seem to shake off the death that has become a part of my life.
How do I accept the Reformed concept of God when I often struggle with depression? The depression that makes me socially awkward … friends are hard to keep. How do I understand such ideas as predetermination when I just embalmed a child?
Am I to understand all of the tragedy, suicide, pain, hopelessness, car wrecks, mangled bodies, dead children, murders as part of the grand, mysterious will of God?
How can I just dismiss the idea that God is somehow involved … maybe even responsible … for all the junk I deal with on a daily basis?
I’m not comfortable enough. My life isn’t isolated enough. I can’t accept the Reformed view of God … I see too much death.
Death stairs me down like I would imagine a lion looks at his prey. And if I look at the Reformed view of God, the only conclusion I can arrive at is this: God created the lion, made it hunt me down and, after it had finished off it’s victim, told it to hunt again.
A God like this makes me prefer atheism. I’d rather have no God than one that lies to me. A God that tells me He’s love and then in an under-the-table type fashion has his hand in pain, death and evil. That’s a God that I can’t trust as long as I’m here.
Maybe if I had a better life, I could become reformed. Maybe when I retire from this business I’ll be able to pick up Piper. Until then I’m searching for a better perspective on the God I’ve come to trust.