Friday, June 18, 2010

God's Lemonade Stand

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.


  1. This post is very rich. Our Redeemer is able to redeem even the worst, most evil, most dead situations and infuse life into them. Sin in the garden wasn't His will, but He didn't let that stop Him from making new plans to reconcile us to Him. Victory belongs to Him. He is in the business of making life.

  2. One of the many reasons I am *not* a Calvinist. Loved this post Lewis!
    And yes, God is making Lemonaide. :-D

  3. It's rare that I comment on much -- I have lots of opinions but little time. I just found your blog today and I loved this post. You have so well expressed exactly what I think on this matter. I'm looking forward to reading the rest of your blog. God's greatest blessings on this work you are doing.

  4. Anon...Thanks for stopping by, and welcome.

  5. "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." Is this really the case? Jesus said, "My yoke is easy and my burden is light..." I am convinced seeking God is not heavy lifting - unless you're talking about fighting against complacency in learning about Him consistently.

  6. Hey Joe, and welcome...

    Yeah, I'm speaking more to complacency and a willingness to use a little spiritual elbow grease and dig deep into the scriptures. I think we miss a lot sometimes by just skimming the surface or accepting the interpretations of others, which can sometimes give rise to complacency, apathy, even ritual.

    I probably worded the phrasing in this article pretty poorly. Thanks for giving me the benefit of the doubt on that one.

  7. when I was writing up the analysis on Miley Cyrus's video, [can't be tamed] and it's strong message of nature's message, etc., I one day went through a mental writing block--I didn't know Why, the day prior to I had done a mix in series of nature and nature's destructive forces, etc.

    Anyhoo, the next day I watched South Pacific on Discovery, the Creation of New Islands, eg Solomon Islands from FIRE, volcanoes, etc., is Very interesting, there are Three things,

    one, the birds that carry seed to these barren volcanic islands on their stomachs and wings, those Seeds create the plants. two, the coconuts that fall into the tide and for miles [up to 700] are carried by tides to the new barren land and then over time, plant, germinate and create the new Palm trees/Coconut trees,

    and three, the Hurricanes, the destructive nature forces that rip through the various islands wrecking havoc, and IN doing so pick up in the winds seedlings, little insects and even frogs, in fact one female frog that had eggs, and They are carried to this barren but now green island and That is how new insect/amphibian life comes about,

    and so forth. Even in nature's [God's means] of destructive forces SHE is [and the Bible refers to nature as SHE] is always, ALWAYS producing/birthing and resurrecting LIFE, it's scientific FACT and we're finding this out more and more--even in the most destructive, GOD always is creating new LIFE,

    and then Nurturing that LIFE, not just germinating [or inseminating] and then Abandoning, NO, but Nurturing--Nursing, that LIFE into adulthood, like a caring Mother, that is what GOD does.

    Not only that, but there is do you know, PINK LEMONS, no kidding--GOD even created Pink lemons for yes, Pink Lemonade,

    the male-female in GOD, shows up Even in Lemons, Ha! Who'd have thought? Not the patriarchs obviously--they Miss it in SO many ways, gender blind and color narrow blind as well,

    it's the lens in which we see, that so need to change.


  8. thought I'd add this, to encourage,

    you know where I wrote about the new islands formed from Volcanoes [fire] and how the coconuts drop and swim [are carried] to new barren island and then they are over time, sown then one day, whola there is coconut tree [similar to Palm], well you know in Middle East they do have a kind of Palm tree, it's rare however, but palm branches and coconut branches you know are in Same palm family,

    well other day, thinking on this, and remember, when the children sang Hosanna to Jesus, using PALM TREE BRANCHES and also in Rev,

    like you know cool...resurrection branches, in symbolic way Because all new islands do start out with three things, fire, seedlings-to plants, coconut-palm trees from coconuts by ocean tides and then the hurricanes that bring over small animals [frogs, etc] and insects, those attract birds, etc., Then whatever man brings over, stow-a-way lizards, and things,

    this is why in many of those islands in South Pacific there is one kind of life on one and not on another, AND the insects are huge because they have no predators there...

    well anyway thought I'd add that, and btw, those Islands, that were on the show, Solomon Islands,

    oh huh?

    if you like to see, here is the series, on you tube, South Pacific, by BBC, just awesome to see God's Works, there is a lot of hope in observing the life cycle that God created and still creates, I find that it's the tangible we can see, feel, hear every day, IF we only care to.

    Peace, Jane