Wednesday, February 08, 2017

Christian fatalism

A view known as "meticulous sovereignty" is common among many Christians. On this view, believers say that whatever happens to them – good, bad, or indifferent – is part of God’s plan. They believe that God has a perfect plan for their life, and that everything that happens is his will. I call this heresy “Christian fatalism”.

One form of Christian fatalism is the widespread belief that Donald Trump was elected, so he must be God’s choice for president. This is not necessarily true. Plenty of kings and presidents rise to power contrary to God’s will.

Meticulous sovereignty is actually closer to Islam than to Christianity. Islam teaches that everything happens is the will of God. This belief leads to passivity in the face of evil.

Fatalism makes people feel better when things go wrong, but it makes people passive when they have a bad experience. They must grin and bear it, because it is God’s will.

Christian fatalism is not the message of the scriptures. The people living on earth are caught up in a struggle between good and evil. God has many victories. But sometime they spiritual powers of evil have their way. Our role is not to passively submit to whatever happens, but to join with God in resisting evil.

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