bible christianity theology

selected v. elected

It’s a simple distinction.

When a panel of judges selects one competitor to be the champion, the others don’t benefit from the selection.  They go home losers.  (Cue Queen music…)

But when a nation elects a new leader, the entire nation benefits.  He or she passes legislation that they elected him to pass, etc.

The biblical doctrine of election is no different.  Israel in general, and Christ in particular, are God’s Beloved, not in the sense of being (randomly or otherwise) ‘selected’ out to win a prize that benefits nobody else, but so that the nations of the earth would be blessed through them (Genesis 12:1-3).  Never in the Bible is it said that Israel was chosen so that she could have exclusive rights to God and salvation.  On the contrary, she was chosen to pass on blessing and salvation – in all its forms – to all.

It is like a fire or police squad, or a hospital staff.  They are not self-serving teams, simply to make sexy firemen calendars, etc.  They have a mission and a calling to serve their community.  A doctor tells her smoking patient to change his ways not because “I’m a doctor and you can’t be”, not because “I am perfect in all ways”, but because she is a good and caring doctor.  That’s enough metaphor for one post. :)

4 replies on “selected v. elected”

your description of Israel being “god’s chosen people” comes across to me as extremely naive after watching “The Iron Wall” in Maori TV last night.

The anti-human situation on the West Bank shows you what the reality of chosen people amounts to.

Ken, is only want to say don’t throw out the baby (ie police or physicians) with the bathwater (corrupt police, etc who abuse their power). Quite simple. And I own a copy of the iron wall .

Basically, if you’re going to do a wholesale write off of the notion of a people called/chosen/elected for a purpose, then to be consistent you’d have to write off wholesale other folks called/chosen/elected for a purpose, like police, ambos, firemen, hospital workers, military, etc. What I don’t hesitate to concede, however, is that Israel and the Church, just like police, ambos, firemen, hospital workers, military, etc. have imperfectly lived out their calling/vocation/job/election.

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