Saturday, December 15, 2007

Where there's a will ...

I often see on Christian blogs prayers that someone surrender their will to God, or let God's will be done. I believe it's CS Lewis who said that on judgement day, there will be two sorts of people. One who say to God, "Thy will be done," and those to whom God says, "Your will be done." The latter end up in hell.

In a lot of ways, I'm finding this a false dichotomy in that there are only two choices. You can do God's will, or follow your own selfish will. But what if your will matches God's? What if you want the elimination of evil, or justice throughout the world? What if you want to be a better person? What if the wills align?

It's almost like saying you're never going to want anything good on your own, or you can't want anything good independently of God. It's like the only way you want something good is if you actively tell God that His will must be done. If you don't specifically say that or pursue that, you're suddenly selfish? In the parable of the Samaratain, he would've been seen as not following God's will, because he had heretical views. And yet he was the one Jesus praised. His will was seen as opposed to God.

Maybe it's more of anytime the sentence starts with "I want [fill in the black,]" the choices above indicate that it's automatically selfish, because it starts with "I." Not all "I" statements are selfish.

I think a big problem here is that it's almost an unhealthy idea of surrender. If you surrender and only do God's will alone, and let God decide ... where is the person in the equation? Doesn't the identity get swallowed in the will of God? The way I was taught while growing up is that one doesn't look to God to see how sinful you are, or how fallen, or how corrupt one's will is. You look to God to see who you are, because the more you understand God, the more you understand how you were created. You see Who's image you truly are. You see that there shouldn't be competing wills, that they should mirror one another. You get a true sense of your identity.

Under the other idea, I just see a bunch of robots. I really do. I see all identiy of the person swept away, replaced by God and His will. Where's the healing in that?

Of course, this could lead to another post. Wanting your will done is seen as selfish. Yet God having His will done is not selfish. It's the same idea for both, and yet the latter is not selfish, because God cannot be selfish. I find this a relative situation, because it's not dependent on the wanting, but on who is doing the wanting. It's like saying if Person A murders it's bad, but if Person B murders, it's okay. The situation is standard, the players differ. The players determine the morality of the situation. Is that really how we should judge morality?