By Patrick Hawthorne
My past several posts have been dealing with the Doctrine of Absolute Sovereignty according to some rather disturbing teachings that is being preached from many pulpits. With this post I hope to put the subject to rest.
What I have found is that some of my readers agree with me, some agree with me after I clarified a few things, some are still on the fence, and some totally disagree with me. It is to those who are on the fence or totally disagree that I write this. Some of what I write may look familiar being as it has appeared in some of my responses.
To first understand God’s sovereignty, the definition of sovereignty must first be understood. What I have found out is that some may THINK they know the definition but really don’t. I was in this camp. It was not until I understood the word sovereignty, along with other lessons, that certain erroneous ideas about my Heavenly Father began to disappear.
Notice my use of the word Heavenly Father. When I thought of Him, as in the definition of those who subscribe to this particular teaching of Absolute Sovereignty, i.e. the belief that He orders everything, controls everything, and rules over everything, He was my God but not my Heavenly Father. There’s a big difference. He was the God who allowed loved ones in my life to get sick…He was the God who caused bad things to happen to teach me a lesson. He was a mean God, an angry God who I said I loved, yet I was unable to understand. He was the God who pointed to this person and damned them to hell while simultaneously spreading His arms wide to this other person, ushering them into heaven. Wow! How wrong I was.
So first, what is the definition of sovereignty according to the Bible? Well, that’s the thing. I cannot find sovereignty in the King James Version of the Bible. In the New King James Version it was used in one place in reference to King Saul’s sovereignty, but that is all. I found it in other, newer Bible translations, but admittedly did not pursue them. So apparently, the Doctrine of God’s Absolute Sovereignty is a name assigned to a particular belief based on an interpretive view of the Word of God.
So, let’s use the definition of sovereignty found in Webster’s Dictionary, 1828 version. We can be assured this is a version used before political correctness.
SOVEREIGN, adjective suv’eran. [We retain this babarous orthography from the Norman sovereign The true spelling would be suveran from the Latin supernes, superus.]
- Supreme in power; possessing supreme dominion; as a sovereign ruler of the universe.
- Supreme; superior to all others; chief. God is the sovereign good of all who love and obey him.
- Supremely efficacious; superior to all others; predominant; effectual; as a sovereign remedy
- Supreme; pertaining to the first magistrate of a nation; as sovereign authority.
SOVEREIGN, noun suv’eran.
- A supreme lord or ruler; one who possesses the highest authority without control. Some earthly princes, kings and emperors are sovereigns in their dominions.
- A supreme magistrate; a king.
After reading this definition, I believe you will see that I am all about God’s sovereignty. He is ABSOLUTELY SOVEREIGN. What I’m against is the common teaching, called the Doctrine of ABSOLUTE SOVEREIGNTY which teaches that nothing is left to chance OR free will. In other words, God either caused it or condoned it. This is also of the same teaching that asserts that God picks and chooses who will be saved and who will be damned.
This particular teaching of Absolute Sovereignty, which places the total burden of the world’s problems on the shoulders of our Heavenly Father, is a doctrine (a belief) of convenience. It is adopting a Que Sarah, Sarah attitude that whatever will be will be. It is lazy Christianity; an excuse to justify poor decisions. It is the attitude of, “Why am I bothering to stretch my faith or change personal habits. I will just blame all of life’s problems on God.”
Is God sovereign? YES! If He were not, why would we even bother to pray? Why would we even bother to ask Him to intervene in a situation? If He were not sovereign He could not alter the course of events. Would you agree with that? Awww, but that is where the rub comes in. Some of you might be thinking through the lens of your Doctrine of Absolute Sovereignty, “All prayer is for the purpose of getting God to change His mind. After all, He is ultimately responsible.”
To those who believe that, I will end with two questions
- When are you (those who believe in this false teaching) going to start putting as much energy into using your faith to stand against the devil, the curse on this land, or to correct poor life decisions as you do in putting the blame on God?
- If you disagree with me asking question number one I present question number 2. When are you going to quit griping and belly aching about the evil and the stupidity of this world? After all, according to this popular teaching on the Doctrine of Absolute Sovereignty, it is what it is…
You may now commence to throw rotten fruit at my head. Be blessed.