A Divine Act of Providence….

If by some divine act of providence we could get rid of both these parties and hired some good men, like any other big business does, why that would be sitting pretty. – November 1, 1932  Will Rogers

I am going to go off-topic here and talk about divine providence. Just what is it?

Here is the general definition:

Divine providence is the means through which God governs all things in the universe. The principle of divine providence asserts that God is in complete control

And here is one from Wikipedia more aligned with religious theology:

In theology, divine providence, or simply providence, is God’s activity in the world. “Divine Providence” (usually capitalized) is also used as a title of God. A distinction is usually made between “general providence”, which refers to God’s continuous upholding the existence and natural order of the universe, and “special providence”, which refers to God’s extraordinary intervention in the life of people.

Simply put I don’t think we should blame God for all our screw-up or expect miracles from him to fix them up. That is just jettisoning the responsibility for our actions.  I know Will was not particularly a religious person so I’m sure he didn’t realize the full extent of what he was saying so I won’t put that on him.

I guess I am one to believe in “general providence” as shown above but not the divine version. Yes, when God created the universe during the Big-Bang he set us on a path dominated by his laws of nature. He has been dribbling out knowledge of those laws to us throughout our existence. When we say that the tornado that killed many people was an act of God we seem to be saying that God somehow decided to kill a bunch of innocent people with a weather event. That is simply horse-hockey as far as I am concerned. I see tornadoes as being an occurrence of violence due to the coming together of several natural events (usually weather fronts colliding) and not a willful act of God.

We need to get over the idea that God wills everything that happens to us and around us.  Most of those things, excluding weather related natural disasters,  we simply brought upon ourselves. God had nothing to do with it.

But what do I know….

3 comments

  1. Folks are quick to “blame” God for natural disasters or evil people, but assume everything good is a direct act of man with God somehow missing. If He gets the blame He must also get the praise.

    I believe more along your lines, RJ. God put the rules and forces together and started them spinning. What happens isn’t His “punishment” or lack of concern. It is simply what happens when forces interact and when flawed humans are allowed to act freely.

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  2. I am pretty sure that is how the founding fathers, like Washington and Jefferson, believed. You are in good company. This is the fundamental difference between Evangelicals (who tend to believe that prayer can change everything) and Calvinists (who tend to believe that we are set on a path and little can change that path). My belief system is somewhat in the middle.
    I know I have to get under your skin at times, but I really enjoy your thoughts. I feel like it is a place for festering out beliefs. It is a rare find in a bloggisphere of diaries. Thank you for writing!

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