Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Election, Grace, and the Historical Continuum of Jew-Hatred

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Election, Grace, and the Historical Continuum of Jew-Hatred Posted: 26 Jun 2012 08:31 AM PDT Below is an excerpt from an email exchange with Reggie Kelly on election, grace, Israel, and anti-semitism: There is a root that is deeper than anti-Semitism; it is anti-election! Israel represents the “Godness of God” in the freedom and sovereignty of a divine choice not made on the basis of human merit. It is His wise use of the ‘scandal of particularity’ that tests and exposes the presumption of claim on God by anything in man, of man, or generated by man. Israel exists to demonstrate and enforce God’s continual war on the pride humanism, the belief, secret or spoken, that there is something, anything, in man that can commend one over another to the holiness (‘apartness’) of His free gift. … There is no crisis until one is favored in some particular way more than another, but when this happens, something is exposed in the natural heart. It is the presumption of claim upon God, as though a special favor towards one sets up an obligation to do the same for all others equally (the question of ‘fairness’). However, logically, the presumption of obligation presupposes a debt based on justice, which is antithetical to the principle of grace. There was not a crisis until Jacob’s act of special favor towards Joseph. Special favor, as in the special election of Israel, sets up the occasion for envy. It evokes and surfaces something deep in the fallen hearts of men, as though a special gift or act of favor binds the giver to some imagined law of equal distribution. Inherent in our fallen nature from earliest childhood is a perverse expectation and demand. It is a driving force behind all revolution. The crisis begins when there is a perceived supply that is not distributed equally to all. There is no complaint of injustice or deprivation until something is done for one that is not done equally for the other. God is committed to the destruction of this ill-conceived presumption that cannot comprehend the true nature of grace, and He has especially ordained Israel’s election to that end. Until there is the word of election, there is no crisis, but when God speaks, whether it be concerning an individual, a people, or a chosen location, it immediately sets up a war with the principalities and powers who invariably raise the question that forms the great contest of history, “has God really said?” Such envy quickly turns to contempt and hatred. We see this in Satan, in Cain, in Esau, in Joseph’s brethren, in Saul, and on we could go. The very fall of Satan in the five “I wills” of Isa 14:13-14 can be traced to the envy that was stirred when God announced His prophetic purpose to establish the Elect Son as ruler over all nations from Jerusalem (compare Ps 2:6-8; Ps 48:2; with Isa 14:13; noting the key connecting phrase, “the sides of the north”). The freedom of the giver is especially called into question when the gift is by divine design impossible to associate with any virtue or quality in the recipient (Ro 9:11). This is the offense that is contained in that great defining statement of redemptive history, that will become a divine touchstone of testing in the crisis that concludes the age, namely, “Jacob have I loved.”