Some of you may know of a small situation that occurred elsewhere on the interwebs today which was of personal interest to me. No, I'm not gonna address it any further than I did where it happened. I've heard all of those arguments before, literally word for word, leading me to think that ALL patriarchals are reading from a "How To Passive-Aggressively Confront People" manual or script published by Gothard or Vision Forum or some other fundamentalist outfit.
I only want to address one issue that was raised, misused, and glossed over - the notion that what happened in my situation was "God's will". A notion based on no other evidence than the mere fact that it happened. In what I'm gonna write here tonight, I'm not honing in on my own situation (although it makes a great case-study on the issue) as much as I want to focus on what I see as a somewhat spiritually lazy attitude about "God's will" that's prevalent in the church - especially in fundamentalist movements.
The notion that something is God's will merely because it's what happened.
Little children have been sexually molested all over this world today - some by professing Christians. Some very likely at the very moment you're reading this. It's not God's will, but it's happening.
People are being murdered. It's not God's will, but it's happening.
Lives are being destroyed, marriages and families torn to shreds, by drugs and alcohol. It's not God's will, but it's happening.
Drunk drivers are stealing young lives somewhere in the world at this moment. It's not God's will, but it's happening.
Someone is stealing the goods of someone else. It's not God's will, but it's happening.
Someone is telling someone a little white lie. It's not God's will, but it's happening.
It's God's will that NONE should perish, but millions have, and depending on the timing of Christ's return, perhaps millions, even billions, more will. It has happened and will happen.
If God's will just happens, why aren't we in the Garden of Eden?
Because God doesn't manipulate us.
The things that happened to me, the lies told, the attempts to harm my career and ministry, use my friends against me, and other things that I'm not entirely comfortable discussing here, weren't God attempting to carry out His will in my life. God has no reason to fight or struggle against good, pure, and wholesome things. He desires those things for us. Someone else has EVERY reason to fight against those things, though.
When I've raised this point to people, any argument I get in return is usually one involving Romans 8:28. My belief doesn't in anyway diminish Romans 8:28. That scripture doesn't say "All the bad things that happen to us are God's will and way of making it good." It says, "All things work together for good to those who love the Lord and are called according to His purpose." God has this amazing ability to take the lemons we grow, or that others dump on us, and make incredibly tasty lemonade. It doesn't mean He "willed" the lemons. He uses bad things, which are the choice of people, to make good things, which are His choice, when those bad things happen to those who love Him and seek His purpose.
The scriptures are filled with examples of God providing His people opportunities to perform His will, with the promise of abundant blessing for carrying it out. Most of those examples end with His people failing miserably, forsaking the opportunities granted, following after false gods and heathen desires, and having to live with the consequences before God comes in and promises to heal their wounds and restore that which the enemy has taken. Beauty for ashes. Lemons for lemonade.
Too many give up at the first sign of resistance or opposition, assuming it must be God trying to redirect them, never measuring the opposition faced by God's word. For instance, if someone lies to me, I know they're not forwarding God's agenda. No one is more opinionated than God, and we have an entire bible full of His opinions on things that we can measure by and apply to even the smallest parts of our lives...if we're willing to do the heavy lifting that's required to seek Him. Most of those in the scriptures who genuinely and passionately pursued God's will and purpose had to live illogically, facing oodles of opposition (Elijah facing down a whole nation comes to mind), and live extremely difficult lives.
When you have time, turn to Mark chapter 4, starting at verse 35, and begin reading. Don't stop at the end of the chapter. Keep going into chapter 5. It's all a continuous story. Don't let the new chapter interfere with the continuation of the story. When you're finished, ask yourself just who exactly might have stirred up that storm...and then ask yourself why.
What has happened to me was in no way, shape, or form God's will for my life. But...if even ONE person has been awakened to the evils and idolatry of patriarchal fundamentalism through what's happened to me, He's already made lemonade.