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'Winging It

    by Stan Smith

The Draw of Deism
Date Posted: August 25, 2021

In a debate on Facebook over homeschooling or not (actually over an originally innocuous comment that was taken to a logical if unintended conclusion), one person said, "I think public schools increase children's chances of going to Hell." On a recent blog of a fairly well-known Arminian apologist he wrote, "God makes himself dependent on our wills." A Christian apologist argues that what is really needed in order to impact those around us is a good argument with solid evidence and clear reasoning, not the Bible because, after all, unbelievers don't accept the Bible as true. Many of us are concerned as socialism creeps into our system and morals drop and the church loses its savor. "Is there any hope?" I'm seeing a trend here, and I think it's fairly common to Christians, orthodox or not.

Whether we're bemoaning the decline of the church in modern America or pointing out the decay of Christian theology or pointing sadly at the plummetting morality of our nation or worrying about the stumbling economy, we seem to think in a vacuum here. We look at circumstances and think "God makes himself dependent ..." or "chances are ..." when reality is nothing of the kind. We think of the world according to natural laws, indisturbed by outside influences, but we serve a God who "works all things after the counsel of His will" (Ephesians 1:11).

We aren't telling ourselves the truth. So what's the truth? The truth is "Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it" (Proverbs 22:6). The truth is that our children are not saved by giving them a homeschooling education. Instead, "it does not depend on the man who wills or the man who runs, but on God who has mercy" (Romans 9:16). The truth is that God is not dependent on any of us. The truth is that the Word of God has power that exceeds its own content and outshines human logic, that "faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of Christ" (Romans 10:17), not by the intervention of human logic. The truth is that the Church is not built by human hands, but by Christ Himself. The truth is that "there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God" (Romans 13:1). And so it goes. It all depends on God.

We are tempted -- sorely tempted -- to think that what we see is all there is. We calculate "chances" and question God's presence in human events because we don't see God present. He is. We lean on human reason and worry about the decline of the church and the country because we don't see God present. He is. It's true that public schools can be tough on kids and human free will seems to counter God's divine will. It sounds like a reasonable statement to say that using the Bible on people who don't accept the Bible as true is a foolish thing to do. Things in our country are not headed in a good direction for the most part. And this is why I stress to myself and to you the Sovereignty of God. Give that up, even an inch, and all you're left with is "chance", "nature", and, worst of all, "us". On the other hand, I choose to see it another way:

God is our refuge and strength,
A very present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change,
And though the mountains slip into the heart of the sea;
Though its waters roar and foam,
Though the mountains quake at its swelling pride. Selah (Psalm 46:1-3).

(I wonder why that sounds so familiar.)

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"'Winging It" from Stan Smith

All Hallows Eve

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Biography Information:
Born and raised in a Christian home, I've been treated to immersion in the Word and squandered it. 'But God ...' I love the phrase. God has been faithful when I was unfaithful. At every turn He has crowded me to Him.

I'm married with four grown children and (currently) four grandchildren. My wife and I live in sunny Phoenix by choice. I hope to encourage people with my words and to share with others what God has shared with me.

For more writings you can see my blog at
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