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I am intrigued by how some people are injecting God into politics. “God’s will” has been claimed in a number of election results. Some elected officials have claimed to have received instructions from God and others have compared themselves to Biblical figures.

I am not in a position to question the credibility of these claims, so I won’t. I do, however, ask myself this question: Isn’t God’s will an “all or nothing” proposition?

  • Did He choose the 56th Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives and not the other 55?
  • Did He select the 24th Governor of Oklahoma and not the other 23?
  • Did He pick one of the 46 U.S. Presidents and not the other 45?

If God is involved, wouldn’t He be involved in every decision? The losses as well as the wins? The bad as well as the good? That with which you don’t agree as well as that with which you do?

Or might there be another explanation altogether?

Willing to ‘turn the other cheek'?

I would note some of the same people claiming God’s divine intervention also are suggesting the Bible be edited to be more to their liking, including the teaching of “turn the other cheek.” I can’t wait until they get to the book of John that describes the washing of the feet, “commemorating the commandment of Christ that his disciples should emulate his loving humility,” with the ultimate issuing of a “new commandment, That ye love one another as I have loved you.” Or, until they find the 13 Bible references to “love thy neighbor as thyself” or the 191 times “forgiveness” is mentioned.

The Bible has been around for about 2,700 years and seems to have been effective. It’s the best-selling book of all time with an estimated five billion copies sold and distributed. (And, I might add, the Bible reached the best seller list without its authors or their PACs buying up copies to skew the numbers.) The truth is, the people who talk about editing don’t really believe in the Bible or its teachings, but rather than admitting that, they try to disguise the truth by talking about changing the parts they don’t like.

But I digress.

The real question I am asking myself is: Is there another way to look at how God is involved in political outcomes, as well as other aspects of our lives and the world?

Perhaps you have heard this story. The original source is unclear, but here is one telling of it:

God Will Save Me

A terrible storm came into a town and local officials sent out an emergency warning that the riverbanks would soon overflow and flood the nearby homes. They ordered everyone in the town to evacuate immediately.

A faithful Christian man heard the warning and decided to stay, saying to himself, “I will trust God and if I am in danger, then God will send a divine miracle to save me.”

The neighbors came by his house and said to him,“We’re leaving and there is room for you in our car, please come with us!” But the man declined. “I have faith that God will save me.”

As the man stood on his porch watching the water rise up the steps, a man in a canoe paddled by and called to him,“Hurry and come into my canoe, the waters are rising quickly!” But the man again said, “No thanks, God will save me.”

The floodwaters rose higher pouring water into his living room and the man had to retreat to the second floor. A police motorboat came by and saw him at the window. “We will come up and rescue you!” they shouted. But the man refused, waving them off saying, “Use your time to save someone else! I have faith that God will save me!”

The floodwaters rose higher and higher, and the man had to climb up to his rooftop.

A helicopter spotted him and dropped a rope ladder. A rescue officer came down the ladder and pleaded with the man, “Grab my hand and I will pull you up!” But the man STILL refused, folding his arms tightly to his body. “No thank you! God will save me!”

Shortly after, the house broke up and the floodwaters swept the man away and he drowned.

When in Heaven, the man stood before God and asked, “I put all of my faith in You. Why didn’t You come and save me?”

And God said, “Son, I sent you a warning. I sent you a car. I sent you a canoe. I sent you a motorboat. I sent you a helicopter. What more were you looking for?”

What if there’s another explanation?

Is it possible that we have more of a role than we want to admit? Might we have more responsibility for the outcomes than saying “it’s God’s will”?

Fairly early in the first chapter of the Bible, Genesis 1:27 says: “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.”

Theologians have said this verse says something about who we are — to be made in the image of God is to be marked with intelligence, or an appreciation for beauty, or rationality, or to be a moral being with a capacity for worship.

Makes sense to me. (If you are looking for an entertaining version of this message, I recommend the 1977 movie “Oh, God!” with John Denver and George Burns.)

So, I ask myself….

Is it possible that God’s role was to make us rational, thinking human beings with the ability to make moral decisions?

What if we are being given a series of multiple-choice questions every single day, from sunup to sundown, with the opportunity to make the right decisions?

And what if God’s ultimate judgment of us is based on how many times we choose to listen to our “better angels” when we make our decisions?

The God-given ability to make choices. Options. Decisions. Lifetime scorecard. Is it possible God provided the tools and options, and then left it up to us?

Paul Kincaid

Paul Kincaid, an Independent, lives in Springfield. He spent 39 years in higher education public relations and governmental relations, and served as Chief of Staff to three University Presidents. The final 28 years were at Missouri State University. After retiring from Missouri State in 2014, he served eight years as Executive Director of Jobs for America’s Graduates-Missouri. He owns and operates his consulting company, Kincaid Communications, LLC. Email: Paul.K.Kincaid@gmail.com More by Paul Kincaid