Paul Derengowski, ThM
Tom and Jacquie are newlyweds, at least relatively speaking. Last year they were married and this year they are getting ready to become parents for the first time. Life has been so good to them and they are so blessed.
Today, though, is the big day. Jacquie has been having these feelings that their little bundle of joy is about to come into the world. She is a few days past due, and well, it is about time. Tom is working in the backyard, cautiously aware that something is about to break—literally.
Half-past two in the afternoon and Jacquie starts feeling those famous contractions coming on, just like everyone has been telling her would happen. She lets Tom know, but it seems he cannot work fast enough to get everything loaded in the car, including her. The contractions are coming faster and closer together.
About a mile away from the hospital, it happens. Jacquie’s water does break and now things are really getting frantic. If Tom had ever had thoughts of being a racecar driver, it certainly shows now. He manages to cover the last quarter-mile in less than ten seconds. Whisked away by emergency personnel, Jacquie is in the delivery room ready to bring their child into the world.
Dr. Noble has practiced obstetrics and gynecology for years, having delivered several thousand children. In fact, he was present, doing his thing, when both Tom and Jacquie came along only a few short years ago. My, how time flies.
After scrubbing up and having his gloves and gown put on, he proceeds into the delivery room where Jacquie lay, screaming occasionally because of the pain. Dr. Noble comforts her by letting her know everything will be all right, just as it was the day he delivered her 20 years ago.
Then Dr. Noble did something unusual. Rather than positioning himself at the foot of the delivery table, he remained standing alongside Jacquie and began to talk—to the baby! Both Tom and Jacquie look at each other, wondering what Dr. Noble is doing. Has he been breathing in some epidural fumes a little too deeply or something?
For several minutes, Dr. Noble speaks eloquently and confidently how wonderful it is to be human. Of course, not all of life is smooth as glass, but there is more good to life than bad, and so long as one is striving to be better each day, then generally the better off one will be.
In the meantime, Jacquie still waits, not only ebbing and flowing with bouts of intense contractions, but rolling her eyes wondering when Dr. Noble is going to do something besides converse with her unborn child.
Finally, after about 30 minutes, Dr. Noble finishes his conversation, but instead of moving around where he can help to receive the unborn, he walks to the front of the table, above Jacquie’s head. What is going on?
Dr. Noble then begins to speak to Tom and Jacquie’s child again. This time he is inviting it to make a decision; the decision to be born. In fact, if the child will simply decide to be born, Dr. Noble or one of the nurses will open up one of their medical books to show the child how to be one. But, it is strictly up to it. Forcing it to born apart from its sole decision would mean that it would no longer be a baby.
Tom and Jacquie are beside themselves with bewilderment at about this time. Has this guy totally lost his mind? Did he just walk out of some cult meeting somewhere and he did not tell anyone about it?
Seconds turn into minutes, and minutes turn into another half-hour, and yet, no decision from the thing in Jacquie’s womb. Since it has not decided, yet, to be a child or a baby, it can only be a thing. Jacquie remains laboring on the table and Tom has left to go get an administrator.
In the meantime, Dr. Noble, after three or more pleas for the unborn to make that life-changing decision, has concluded that the thing has chosen not to be a baby. So, Dr. Noble takes off his gown, his mask, and his gloves, tells everyone to have a blessed day; that they are dismissed, and he walks out the delivery room door.
Jacquie, in turn, gets up, puts her clothes on, and goes home, having never delivered the thing she had carried for the past nine months. What happened to it is anyone’s guess. Maybe it decided to be something other than human; maybe it no longer exists at all. Who knows?
What you have read is an absurd parody played out in nearly all “Christian” churches every Sunday morning that are confused over who does what during the bearing of anyone into God’s kingdom.
Dr. Noble represents the pastor, who although he is experienced, waxes eloquent, and means well, has a confused idea over the role he plays in the new birth of a child of God.
Tom and Jacquie represent God, created in God’s image, who have recreated themselves in their child. They were supposed to be sovereign in the matter of their child’s birth, having conceived it and then carefully brought the child along to the point of birth, but the storyline became corrupted.
Obviously, the child was supposed to represent the child, but because it was assumed that it could choose whether or not to be born, then it did not, so it was no longer a child. The invitation was rejected and so the unborn infant simply ceased to exist or whatever.
This is what happens when the faulty idea of “free will” is allowed to trump God’s will. An inane absurdity is created, which not only invalidates great sermons preached every Sunday, but makes God out to be something other than God. He must obey the sinner, rather than the sinner obey God. In fact, He is at the mercy of the sinner, waiting for him to decide, rather than the sinner being at the mercy of God, when He has already decided.
It is an diabolic absurdity that is often passed off as “Christian,” and plays itself out, time and time again, particularly during the so-called “invitation to accept Jesus” toward the end of church services. Instead of realizing that it is Jesus who accepts the sinner, not the sinner who accepts Jesus, it is left up to the “baby” to decide whether or not to be the very thing that it already is—a baby!
Perhaps by pointing out the absurdity of the invitation and the myth of free will, some pastors and leaders will make the adjustment, and leave the bearing of God’s children up to God, while they serve as delivery room attendants. Then, and only then, will the humanly absurd be replaced by the biblically rational, and God’s people will quit trying to intrude in places where only God is in control.