I come from a Word of Faith background. Several of my friends come from a Reformed Calvinist background. I believe strongly that God has given man a will and that He expects him to respond correctly to His Word. My friends believe equally strong in the predestined election of God, and that He is totally sovereign in His control over the will of man. (I hope I stated their viewpoint correctly.) When we discuss the word, I am struck by two things.
First, neither of us has all the answers. There are points and scriptures that stump each of us. There are scriptures that simply do not fit all our personal paradigms. There are times when even the most dogmatic among us must throw up their hands and say, “Hmm, I don’t know.”
Second, neither side is stupid, deceived, or totally wrong. No one is trying to ignore scriptures that prove difficult. We each want the truth. When we are able to take a breath and actually listen to each other, we find that we agree more than we disagree. At times we are actually saying the same thing, but with different words, and from a different perspective. We are simply looking at a different part of the same elephant. We are like a group looking through dark glasses trying to help each other discern what is there. Each is able to see only a piece of the truth. We must learn to work together to put it together.
Each helps the other. As the Bible says, ‘iron sharpens iron.’ We sharpen each other when we search the word together. We are all needed, and hopefully, we all bring a piece of the truth. With the help of the Holy Spirit, we are getting closer. God is sovereign, man must choose, and someday we will all stand before Him in the full understanding of the faith. I just hope I don’t have to eat too many of my words.