I would have thought this would be an easy question. Who are God’s children?
Apparently not so easy. At least not for some –
Baptist Pastors Won’t Hear Ben Carson after Young Pastors Object
That the answer to this question isn’t “all of us” raises a couple interesting questions.
Which of us are not God’s children?
Whose children are we?
This has to do with Dr. Ben Carson, who will probably run for president, speaking at the Southern Baptist Pastors Conference in June.
Before getting into the problem, I’d like to draw attention to one statement that was made –
“We are concerned because in our evangelical climate it is often easy to confuse what it means to be a follower of Christ with what it means to be a patriotic American,” the blog read.
I completely agree with this one. I’d suggest that maybe nothing else even needed to be said.
But they went further.
“Certainly, we do not all worship the same God—we worship the Trinity whom Muslims and Jews would deny,” leaders of Baptist21 wrote on their blog. “And, the idea that we are all God’s children is at best the type of liberalism the Conservative Resurgence sought to address, and at worst, it is universalism.”
This gives the appearance that the real reason for preventing Dr. Carson from speaking at the conference has more to do with his particular beliefs than with the fact that he’s going to run for president. If that’s the case, then I think there’s cause for concern.
Certainly, we do not all worship the same God…
I think one needs to be careful with this one. Saying that Jews don’t worship the same God as Christians is maybe going too far?
Wasn’t Jesus Himself a Jew?
Jn 4:9 The Samaritan woman said to him, “You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?” (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans.)
Even the Samaritan woman at the well knew that Jesus was Jewish. If being Jewish is a starting point for not being a child of God – whose child is Jesus?
Didn’t David talk about God’s Spirit?
Ps 51:10 Create in me a pure heart, O God,
and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
Ps 51:11 Do not cast me from your presence
or take your Holy Spirit from me.
Ps 51:12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation
and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.
David didn’t talk about “The Trinity” in those words – but neither does the New Testament.
Was David not a child of God?
And for those who have read pretty much any of my posts in the “Islam – Peace, Love and Hope” section have seen plenty of evidence related to God’s promises to Abraham, Hagar and yes, Ishmael. Would god make promises like this one –
Ge 17:19 Then God said, “Yes, but your wife Sarah will bear you a son, and you will call him Isaac. I will establish my covenant with him as an everlasting covenant for his descendants after him. 20 And as for Ishmael, I have heard you: I will surely bless him; I will make him fruitful and will greatly increase his numbers. He will be the father of twelve rulers, and I will make him into a great nation. 21 But my covenant I will establish with Isaac, whom Sarah will bear to you by this time next year.” 22 When he had finished speaking with Abraham, God went up from him.
– if Ishmael was not a child of God?
And if Ishmael wasn’t a son of God – then to whose child were these promises made by God? Not to mention, why?
As much as some might not like it, I also have to point out this, from the conclusion of Jonah –
Jonah’s Anger at the LORD’S COMPASSION
Jnh 4:1 But Jonah was greatly displeased and became angry. 2 He prayed to the LORD, “O LORD, is this not what I said when I was still at home? That is why I was so quick to flee to Tarshish. I knew that you are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abounding in love, a God who relents from sending calamity. 3 Now, O LORD, take away my life, for it is better for me to die than to live.”
Jnh 4:4 But the LORD replied, “Have you any right to be angry?”
Jnh 4:5 Jonah went out and sat down at a place east of the city. There he made himself a shelter, sat in its shade and waited to see what would happen to the city. 6 Then the LORD God provided a vine and made it grow up over Jonah to give shade for his head to ease his discomfort, and Jonah was very happy about the vine. 7 But at dawn the next day God provided a worm, which chewed the vine so that it withered. 8 When the sun rose, God provided a scorching east wind, and the sun blazed on Jonah’s head so that he grew faint. He wanted to die, and said, “It would be better for me to die than to live.”
Jnh 4:9 But God said to Jonah, “Do you have a right to be angry about the vine?”
“I do,” he said. “I am angry enough to die.”
Jnh 4:10 But the LORD said, “You have been concerned about this vine, though you did not tend it or make it grow. It sprang up overnight and died overnight. 11 But Nineveh has more than a hundred and twenty thousand people who cannot tell their right hand from their left, and many cattle as well. Should I not be concerned about that great city?”
To actually quote from the Qur’an, as well as my own beliefs –
Don’t be like Jonah!
God cared about Nineveh, even though Jonah didn’t. That message to Jonah applies equally to us today. I’m not saying that all Muslims will be saved. Neither did the book of Jonah. I am saying, as did the book of Jonah, that God cares about them – as He cares about all of His children.
“And, the idea that we are all God’s children is at best the type of liberalism the Conservative Resurgence sought to address, and at worst, it is universalism.”
Given what I’ve just shown above – what does this statement say about God?
Or maybe – based on the Jonah lesson – what does it say about the people who wrote it?
The Little Children and Jesus
Mt 19:13 Then little children were brought to Jesus for him to place his hands on them and pray for them. But the disciples rebuked those who brought them.
Mt 19:14 Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” 15 When he had placed his hands on them, he went on from there.
Did Jesus differentiate which children were allowed to come to Him?
Did He say – only the Southern Baptists could approach Him?
Oops – there weren’t any Southern Baptists back then.
Maybe most of them were even Jewish?
Does that mean Jesus was wrong when He said that the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these?
If we aren’t children of God – whose child are we?
In Genesis, we read –
Ge 1:26 Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”
Ge 1:27 So God created man in his own image,
in the image of God he created him;
male and female he created them.
Ge 1:28 God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground.”
Ge 1:29 Then God said, “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food. 30 And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds of the air and all the creatures that move on the ground—everything that has the breath of life in it—I give every green plant for food.” And it was so.
Ge 1:31 God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning—the sixth day.
Ge 2:1 Thus the heavens and the earth were completed in all their vast array.
So God created Adam and Eve.
God gave them the command to be fruitful and increase in number.
Satan was the one who led to the corruption of what God created – not the one who was all of a sudden responsible for the creation and life of some of the people born after the fall.
If only some of us are God’s children – and some are not – where did that come from? Who created the people who aren’t God’s children?
And the really big question – whose children are they?
Are they children of Satan? That’s the only logical conclusion.
But this gives way too much credit to Satan.
This assumes that Satan is capable of creating life. He is NOT!
Satan can cause us to corrupt what God made –
but Satan cannot create anything himself.
To say that Satan is capable of creating his own children sounds a lot to me like putting Satan into a position where is at least approaches God, if not equal to God.
After all, God’s crowning achievement, according to Genesis, is US!
If we believe Satan can create his own children – what does that say about our opinions of God and Satan?
Dt 5:6 “I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.
Dt 5:7 “You shall have no other gods before me.
Dt 5:8 “You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. 9 You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, 10 but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments.
Dt 5:11 “You shall not misuse the name of the LORD your God, for the LORD will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name.
Mt 22:37 Jesus replied: “ ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
How does saying that some people are not God’s children – and therefore they are someone else’s children / creation – stack up against these statements from the Bible?
It’s not a stand I’d want to take.
When we say something like that – are we not preventing some of God’s children from approaching Jesus?
Are we not saying that if you aren’t (fill in the words here) then you aren’t one of God’s children, therefore you cannot approach Jesus?
The Bible ends with this verse –
Rev 22:21 The grace of the Lord Jesus be with God’s people. Amen.
That grace from Jesus is available to all who accept it.
I want to point out two significant differences here between Rev 22:21 and Mt 19:14 – just in case you missed it –
Mt 19:14 Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.
”Rev 22:21 The grace of the Lord Jesus be with God’s people. Amen.
1. Mt 19:14 is talking about children. Rev 22:21 about adults.
2. Mt 19:14 is talking about people who have not yet made a decision on their faith. Rev 22:21 about people who have chosen to follow Jesus. Neither says anything about people who have made a choice other than Jesus. I believe this is significant – because, as we learned from one of the men on the cross next to Jesus, that choice can come at the very last minute of our life. We, not being God, have no way of knowing whether a non-believer will choose to follow Jesus or not – therefore we are to treat all as if they could become believers – we are to be a light to them – because we are all children of God.
I know – may will disagree with what I’ve written here. Especially the Calvinists.
And yet – Are there any quotes from the Bible here that aren’t true?
Some will be saved. Some will not.
But we are all from God. We are all God’s children.
Even those who aren’t saved are God’s children.
Or do we become one of His children when we are saved?
Or is it that we cease to be one of His children when we die, unsaved?
I don’t want to be in the position of telling anyone that they cannot be saved – or that they are a child of someone other than God.
How about you?
image from turnbacktogod.com