Recently I was visiting Flatirons Church in Lafayette Colorado with my lovely daughter. The young pastor who occasionally gives the sermon spent the entire time defending the belief that “God is Outside of Time”. The problem is that he provided no scriptural references other than a few vague inferences during his sermon. The following is a letter I wrote to the pastor:
Subject: Friendly critique of today’s sermon
I think we can all agree that God is eternal, has no beginning or end, and controls history. But where I believe you diverged from scripture is the claim that God is “In all time, at all time”. This belief has permeated the church for centuries back to Augustine, and it is well documented that he got this idea from Plato. There certainly are many mysteries such as the Trinity, and indeed God’s eternity that we as fallible humans can not fully comprehend, but regarding God as “in all time, at all time” we have a plethora of scripture to know for certain that it isn’t true, plus we have heavy extra-biblical history that explains how this narrative found its way into the church. It pains me to say it’s the first time at Flatirons I heard a sermon almost entirely based on a Greek pagan philosophy.
Please understand that I truly admire and appreciate your work for Christ and as a pastor! But I do hope you at least consider the scriptural arguments against the viewpoint you shared today. I shared a similar view for decades of my Christian walk, but eventually succumbed to the best source we have, the literally hundreds of Bible verses that scream out against it. Just as a handful of examples, why did God say on three separate occasions that it never entered his mind that people would be so wicked as to roast their kids in a fire (e.g. Jer 19:5)? Why does Revelation say that there is indeed time in heaven (Rev 8:1)? Is it so strange that God would delight in what Adam would call the animals, that we instead justify in our minds that this verse is an anthropomorphism (Gen 2:19)? Conversely, can you show any verse that even implies that God exists in the past? If it is true that God is in all time and at all time, does that mean God the Father for all eternity sees his Son suffering on the cross? If the future is settled with God, does this render our prayers useless to change things? What of Hezekiah’s prayer for health after God told him his death was imminent? These and many more verses show a God, contrary to the Platonic version, that will act on our behalf if He so desires and isn’t bound by the philosophical view of time we have placed on Him. It means that God really meant it when he told Moses he was going to wipe out all the Jews except Moses family, and that Moses really did have such a strong and personal relationship with God to talk Him out of it.
Time is simply the passing of one moment to the next, it’s really nothing more. Remember that the wisdom of the world is foolishness to God. Maybe the evidence that shows gravity affects clocks, not time, was the correct view all along (but I digress 😊).
Thanks for taking the time to read this, and again my gratitude for the often thankless service of being a Pastor!
Yours in Christ,
Pastor Ben graciously responded to my email and very much to his credit said that he would give serious consideration to the points I made. Also please know that despite my disagreement on this topic, I have nothing but love and respect for Flatirons church and I highly recommend them for those looking for a non-denominational church.
The day I post this blog, my daughter is presenting the Open View theology to her class. I will share in a subsequent blog the strategy she mapped out to defend the view, and the response from the class. Stay tuned!