A few months ago I authored a post on this site about the Flying Dutchman’s father whom I lovingly refer to as the man of sorrow. When I refer to him as the man of sorrow it is not meant to relate to Jesus being called a Man of Sorrows. I call him the man of sorrow because I can’t think of what else he could be called. What would you call a man who has studied and knows scripture yet doesn’t believe in God? What would you call a man who believes firmly in there being no life beyond this one nor indeed in any supreme deity at all?
I spoke to the man of sorrow today on the phone. He indicated that his wife’s great-grandchildren would be coming to live with them so that they would have a more moral environment to live in. They would be taking them to church and encouraging Bible study. There was a brief pause while the incredulous Dutchman pondered the gravity of this statement. I then asked him in as straight a voice as I could muster, “Uh… you’re not going to be leading that Bible study are you?”
For the first time in a while I heard genuine laughter from the man of sorrow. He then informed me with mock indignation in his voice that he remembered many subjects and facts from the Bible. “Name me one thing you remember from the Bible” the Dutchman countered.
The man of sorrow parried, “The sins of the father shall be visited upon the children…” Well, he got that one right. We had only one believing parent in our family, my beloved mother. In my family half believe, the other half just want to feel spiritual, whatever that means. The sins of the father have been visited on half the family, and at times on the other half in some fashion.
I took this opportunity to assure him that I would not attempt to convert him as my brother and sister-in-law had tried on their recent visit. He was very relieved. At this point the Dutchman decided to go for broke. I explained to him that he had helped me come to a realization about God’s plan for salvation of mankind. I proceeded to explain that God had elected certain people for belief in His Word and others for unbelief, that it was the only reasonable explanation that completely agreed with scripture that two intelligent men would have such opposite views on the belief in a supreme deity.
I would like to say I was shocked when he agreed with me. Unfortunately, I was not. He can’t fully comprehend the doctrine of election. Anyone who truly came to understand the doctrine of election and realize he was not in the elect would be the most sorrowful person on the planet. God in His mercy does not allow that to happen, at least I’ve never met the person. I explained to the man whom I will now call the agnostic Calivinist that this view was discussed at length by John Calvin and…
“Oh yeah, Calvin, he’s Methodist.” interrupted the agnostic Calvinist.
“Huh??” My thoughtful rejoinder.
“You know… John Calvin, he started the Methodist church.”
He may or may not know scripture but we’re definately going to have to work on church history.