THE TAKE AWAY
Calvinism: Predestination from Another View
By Kersley Fitzgerald
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Calvinism and the ideas of predestination, election, foreknowledge, free will, and the Book of Life can mess with your head. The problem is that we do not have the resources to see reality from God's point of view. So when we try to analyze the issue of how salvation works, everything gets twisted. Maybe if we come at it from a different angle we can see that from where we stand, it doesn't have to be that complicated. God is the omniscient, omnipotent, timeless Creator of the cosmos; accepting His love is a whole lot more important that trying to figure out how that love got to us.
This is a fantasy story in five parts — a tale that unravels the complicated issue of salvation to reveal the single, shining treasure that it is.
The Golden Heart: Part I, The CastleThe great, dark castle perched on a craggy outcropping like a grizzled crow, scanning the horizon for carrion. Towers thrust into the sky like errant feathers; buttresses clung to the rock with half-entombed talons. In the throne room sat a beautiful Count with a face like hard quartz and black armor that sucked the light and joy from the air. His barons flitted about the castle, whispering thoughts of despair to the servants, convincing them to keep the shutters drawn, and spilling wine on the newly cleaned rugs. Their "pets", the gaunt black wolves, trotted in front of them, sniffing the air and checking every nook to snarl and bite at any servant who dared take a rest.
Below the towers, buttresses, throne room, and most of the wine stains, Joseline the scullery maid sat near a roaring fire, polishing the silver. She had risen when it was still dark in order to scrub wine from three rugs before Cook started the gruel. Next to her, straining to turn a beast impaled on a massive spit, sat a boy, one year Joseline's senior, named Ryan.
"You'll never get that clean," Ryan said, nodding at the spoon in Joseline's hand. "I don't know why you polish silver here, anyway. Between the grease and the soot, it ends up dirtier than when you started."
Joseline put the spoon down in her clean pile and picked up a fork. "Well, I don't know why you bother turning that spit. The meat's so uneven on the rod, it will never be cooked properly."
Ryan kicked at a rat helping himself to the morsels in the drippings pan, then tried to slow the inevitable fall as the larger side of beast reached the top of its rotation. "You should go into the butler's pantry where it isn't so smoky."
With a shriek, the cook ran from the butler's pantry into the kitchen, closely followed by a large pitcher of milk that gently spiraled through the air. White liquid escaped vessel and washed over Cook's shoulders. She spun and cursed her invisible assailant until a flying bowl of gruel and raisins sealed her mouth.
Joseline and Ryan covered their quiet laughs while Cook wiped the goop from her face.
"Old Biddy deserved that!" whispered Ryan.
Joseline wiped her eyes of tears. "Yes, but we're the ones who will have to smell spoilt milk all week."
Ryan wrinkled his nose and returned to his spit. Cook turned on the pair.
"Ryan, that beast had better be cooked evenly or it'll be you on that spit tomorrow. Joseline! What are you doing sitting about? Come over here and clean this mess Xander made!"
"Yes, Cook." Joseline laid down the fork and rose to find a dish rag. The rat, having procured a good-sized piece of fat, scampered to her corner and nested in the clean silverware.
Cook wiped the gruel from her face, letting it fall to a rug Joseline had cleaned that morning. "That butler is in a state, he is. Someone's been opening windows on the west tower again. No one will fess up, but it's got the barons in a fit. Here, girl, come draw the water while I try to clean my hair."
Joseline pumped while Cook untwisted her bun and let the long, grey locks drape down into the sink.
"But why would Xander throw milk and oatmeal at you?" Joseline asked.
"T'wasn't Xander," Cook said, her voice echoing through stone basin and running water. "Baron Krief doesn't like raisins today."
"And that's why I don't go to the butler's pantry," Joseline said under her breath.
After helping Cook with the water, Joseline re-cleaned the rug, then rinsed out the rags and took them to the laundry. On her way back, Xander caught her and sent her to the south tower to check the shutters. Only about half were open. As she slowly closed them, Joseline took the risk of peeking out at the bright green countryside.
Smoke rose from behind trees. Far in the distance, a boat with a white sail tacked down the river. Odd. Everyone in the world lived in the castle; where did the smoke come from? And all the Count's ships had red sails. The click of wolves' claws echoed down the hall, and she closed the shutter, hurrying on to the next room.
Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Final Thoughts
Image Credit: KamrenB Photography; "Vajdahunyad Castle's Height"; Creative Commons
Tags: Biblical-Salvation | Calvinism-Tulip | Witnessing-Evangelism
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