Calvinism, Emperor Palpatine and Frodo (Part 2)

What’s interesting when it comes to this whole concept of Calvinism is that weird idea that Calvinists see God like Emperor Palpatine. (see previous post) As if God’s this manipulator God moving us like puppets all around for his own sadistic pleasure. With a God like Emperor Palpatine, there is no free will. But as we saw with Darth Vader, it’s so not true. Darth Vader, er, Anakin, was the one that truly did bring balance to the force destroying the last of the Sith Lords and bringing balance to the Force. What he was set aside to do, he did. Yet in the in between time, he made choices, bad choices but ultimately the right choice. Not just that, but when it came time to do what he was set aside to do, it became the only choice. And so it is with that awesomely rich theological word predestination. Within the confines of it all, we are free to make our choices but in the end, when we pay attention to God, it becomes the ultimate right choice.

What I like about Calvinism is that it has the idea of a just and merciful God who does all he can to call his people back to himself and moves them to come to Himself to have salvation through Jesus Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit. In other words, God is totally active in the life of the world, moving us to come to know him through Jesus and spend eternity with him.

But wait, there’s another question you say? If God calls people to Heaven, doesn’t He then also condemns some to hell. Doesn’t he also condemn some to total eternal damnation with all that fire and crud (think of it like the planet Mustafar where Anakin totally got his keister kicked by Obi-Wan). So, are people damned by God to forever be separated from him even if they’re good? Even if they’ve never hurt anyone and their only reason why they are damned to hell is because of not following Jesus? Dude, these are tough questions, that’s for sure.

According to the Star Wars movies (1-6) we don’t fully know all the information about the Emperor’s past and his fall to the Dark Side. These are in the books which are part of the Star Wars’ cannon. But we do know that the turn to the Sith is a choice. It is a choice that many urge Darth Vader not to turn towards. Even the Force itself moves to convince Anakin not to turn towards the dark side. Yet he ultimately does. The Emperor had to have done the same thing.

When it come to turning to the Dark Side, I think we also need to think about Frodo and Gollum from Lord of the Rings. Frodo has been charged to carry the One Ring to Mordor and throw it into Mount Doom. Both Frodo and Gollum felt the pull of the One Ring, they felt the evil of it, the influence of it in their lives. In fact, the ring was so precious to Gollum that his very life was extended in holding on to it. The preciousness of the One Ring led them both to a place where they shouldn’t have been—Fordo unwilling to throw it into the Crack of Doom and Gollum fighting to get the Ring.

Gollum finally was able to grab his precious from Frodo by biting off Frodo’s finger. In his celebration of finally finding his precious Gollum falls into the very place where the ring could be destroyed. Both had felt the effects of the One Ring. Both had been pulled under its control. Yet at the very end, Gollum fell into the pit, choosing his own destiny. Frodo did not jump after Gollum to retrieve the ring. Instead, even when Sam Gamgee curses Gollum, Frodo offers grace and forgiveness to Gollum. If it wasn’t for Gollum, he too would be there with him.

Okay, so here I’m gonna get all spiritual and theological and Christian and stuff. Just like the One Ring corrupting Gollum, just like the Dark Side corrupting Palpatine, we human beings are corrupted by this thing called Sin. It messes us up. It causes us to make bad decisions. It makes us hate people. It makes us fight against people. It makes us do, well, a bunch of crap. (This whole thing about Sin will be looked at later). But God moves in us to bring us to himself by the power of His Holy Spirit. Now, the Holy Spirit, he isn’t like the Force. And yes, I’m using He, not it. He is personal, he is real. He isn’t made up of the symbiotic midichlorians. He is the Third Person of the Trinity. And he is the one who calls us back to God and away from Sin.

Like Darth Vader and Luke, there are many who answer this call. We hear this call and see the movment of the Holy Spirit in our lives. We may not know what it’s called, but we can feel it and not realize at it sometimes. It comes to the point where we realize that calling on Jesus’ name because the ultimate choice for us to be forever right with God.

Yet there are others like Palpatine and Gollum that refuse to hear it. No matter what they resist the Holy Spirit and don’t want to listen to him. And they don’t make that choice. God moves in people to have them see the ultimate choice is the right and only one, but there are many who just refuse to see it and wind up being thrown over the railing of the Death Star or over the edge of the Crack of Doom. And instead of blaming themselves, they blame God.

Dude. What is your choice right now? Are you wanting to see God at work and answer his call? He is moving in you even now to answer yes. But will you?

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