Monday, April 28, 2014

Women as Sex Objects

All-woman scantily clad dancing teams entertain the spectators during NBA (National Basketball Association) basketball games. Beautiful women entertain the spectators with their dance moves during IPL (Indian Premier League) cricket matches. East is no different from the West.

Indian movies provide voluptuous women in their half naked glory to stimulate the carnal senses of their audience. The video clip in the endnotes will endorse this thought.1

Then there are Miss City, Miss Country, Miss World and Miss Universe pageants. The Miss Universe pageant apparently attracts 1 billion television viewers – very successful indeed.2 The competition format includes a swimsuit round, although one wonders the wisdom behind this.

Women voluntarily and sensuously dance provocatively in movies and sports events, and willingly participate in beauty pageants. They are not forced into it. It is their free choice. It seems that women desire being sex objects.

It doesn’t end there. Some parents are exceedingly obsessive of their minor children’s participation in child beauty pageants. This is an unethical practice. Because it unethically hyper-sexualizes minors, France decided to ban child beauty pageants.3

But it’s not just the pageant that’s the culprit; the parents who force their minor children into child beauty pageants are the greater culprits. It seems that parents want their children to be sex objects.

With celebrities paving the way, our women - young and old alike, in their daily walk of life, dress up or dress down, depending on their mood and the occasion. A walk into the public square provides a visual of various women in their glamorous attire revealing skin in proportion to their moral conviction.

Women voluntarily dress up or dress down. They are not forced into it. It is their free choice. It seems that women like the idea of being sex objects.

However, some women may not consider sensuous dances or wearing revealing attire as having sexual connotations. They simply dress as a matter of fact, albeit sensuously.

Science reveals that [heterosexual] men are sexually aroused by attractive women, “three decades of research on men's sexual arousal show patterns that clearly track sexual orientation -- gay men overwhelmingly become sexually aroused by images of men and heterosexual men by images of women.” 4 When women provide men with visual treats of their body, either in person or through the media, the sexual arousal of a man is simply swift. This is a fact.

Is it wrong of women to be sexually provocative in their attire and attitude? The answer is in the woman’s religious and moral conviction.

However, provocative dressing and sensuous dancing exhibits the woman as a sex object, for they are sexually portrayed and thus attract people. But the woman decides whether to dress provocatively or not.

1 Timothy 2: 9-10 stresses the notion of modest dressing in a Christian girl / woman. Provocative attire is opposed by the Bible. Therefore, a Christian woman should decide what is modest and what is not. This decision should preferably involve her family and their collective understanding of the Bible.

Whatever the case may be, common sense suggests that the woman ought to err on the side of safety than on the side of danger. 

But some men think it is appropriate to insult (eve tease) and even rape a woman because she has provoked them into a mood of insult and/or rape. Is it appropriate for a man to eve tease, insult, or rape a woman because of her provocative dressing? No. Why?

Life is sacred. Life is sacred because God is the author of life. Life is sacred because man is made in the image of God (Genesis 1: 27).

Furthermore, God has mandated that life not be damaged explicitly or implicitly (cf. Exodus 20: 13-17; Mark 12: 31). It is the sacred responsibility of a man to uphold the dignity of his neighbor. Therefore, man cannot and should not insult, eve tease, or rape a woman at any cost.

Even if the woman dresses inappropriately or provocatively, man does not have any rhyme or reason to violate the sanctity of a woman.

For instance, a motorist cannot run over a pedestrian crossing the street even if the pedestrian was unaware of the oncoming vehicle. The driver of the vehicle is expected to do all that he can to prevent any sort of injury upon the blundering pedestrian.

Therefore, man displays his hypocrisy, depravity and moral bankruptcy when he rapes a woman and subsequently blames her for the rape. Man’s role in the society is not to inflict harm upon his neighbor, but to care and to protect his neighbor – in this case, a woman – even if she is provocatively dressed.

Should women be compelled to dress modestly so to save themselves from having crimes committed against them? No. Freedom is essential to every human being, for God created mankind with freewill. So women ought to have freedom to choose their attire.

In some cases, the society imposes restrictions upon our attire. Some Islamic societies impose strict to moderate regulations on women’s dress code. They prohibit exposure to a great extent.

Is freedom unlimited? Can the woman do whatever she wants? No. The woman is always subordinate to and dependent on God. Hence, she should abide by the teachings of the all-knowing God. If God requires the woman to be dressed modestly, then modest attire it is.  

But how is ‘modest attire’ defined? The Bible defines modest attire through these words, “The women should be dressed quietly, and their demeanour should be modest and serious. The adornment of a Christian woman is not a matter of an elaborate coiffure, expensive clothes or valuable jewellery, but the living of a good life” (1 Timothy 2: 9-10, PHILLIPS).

The overriding principle is that the incessant pursuit of a woman is not in garments or its accessories, but in godliness. This principle ought to govern her choice of attire.

Woman primarily makes herself attractive in God’s eyes. God, whether we like it or not, does not judge based on external appearances, but HE judges the disposition of the heart. While mild accentuation of the physical appearance is acceptable, the woman cannot and should not be consumed with self-glorification. Instead God should be glorified in and through her physical appearance.

Should women dance provocatively? No. Provocative dancing immersed in sexual innuendoes, and portraying woman as sex objects, is inappropriate, and hence unacceptable.

Should women participate in beauty pageants? Events that personify women as sex-objects ought not to be pursued. Importantly parents should not push their children, especially the minors, into beauty pageants. I wish all countries follow France’s example and restrict child beauty pageants.

May godly wisdom govern us as we lead our lives to glorify God.


Endnotes:



1 http://www.storypick.com/damaging-truth-indian-entertainment-industry-doesnt-want-know/

2 http://www.examiner.com/article/miss-universe-draws-close-to-one-billion-viewers-crowns-miss-venezuela

3 http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/09/22/beauty-pageants-children--ban/2842431/

4 http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/06/030613075252.htm


Useful read/view:

http://www.gotquestions.org/dress-modestly.html

http://www.storypick.com/damaging-truth-indian-entertainment-industry-doesnt-want-know/ 









Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Glamorous Televangelists: Would Jesus Christ Wear Rolex and Fly HIS Own Jet Today?



Televangelism (Christianity through television) is a blessing to many. Televangelism enables those who cannot worship the Lord in a church setting to worship HIM in their own homes. The elders, the sick, those living in countries without freedom to worship, and those with various other difficult predicaments are beneficiaries of televangelism.

Prior to televangelism, corporate worship happened once a week. With the advent of televangelism, one can worship the Lord with other believers, albeit not in the same room, everyday and at almost any time. Christian television channels and televangelists offer this wonderful privilege.

While televangelism is a blessing, it’s also the bane of the 21st century Christianity. ‘Celebritynetworth.com’ reports the net worth of televangelists / Christian preachers as follows:

David Oyedepo:         $ 150 Million
Pat Robertson:            $ 100 Million
Benny Hinn:                $   42 Million
Joel Osteen:                 $   40 Million
Crefflo Dollar:            $   27 Million (Owns a private jet, two Rolls-Royces…)
Billy Graham:              $   25 Million
T.D Jakes:                   $   18 Million
Joyce Meyer:               $     8 Million (Owns a private jet)
John Hagee:                $     5 Million
Eddie Long:                $     5 Million
Paula White:                $     5 Million

Most, if not all, of the listed celebrity preachers are authors and may own other businesses. So their income and net worth could be an outcome of their businesses. Once again it’s not my intent to question their income or net worth.

But I most intentionally and surely question the celebrity preachers’ inexcusably loud appeal for more and more donations.

Common man with insignificant net worth (those whose net worth is a mere fraction of these celebrity preachers) donates to these ministries as if he is giving to the Lord. In a few or many instances, people who give to these ministries do not own sufficient resources themselves.

In other words, those in extreme poverty give graciously out of their severe trial and beyond their ability, to these ministries (cf. 2 Corinthians 8: 2-3). They are inspired by the poor widow (Mark 12: 41-44).

So my question to these rich televangelists / preachers is, “why don’t you first take money out of your own pockets before you plead for donations from others?”

I am simply not inclined to give even a penny to any of these celebrity preachers when there are more than million missionaries in the ministry with zilch (almost nothing), and their families living in wretched poverty. 

I ask the same question to all the rich churches that plead for more and more in pretense of poverty or need.

The fact remains that these preachers and the rich churches continue amassing more and more wealth that when they become richer, their donors become poorer. This is rank evil.

Most of these celebrity preachers live in such glamour that they render some actors insignificant! These preachers live in mansions, drive fancy cars, wear designer attire, own yachts, private jets and what not!

Of this we can be sure, none of these celebrity preachers are in poverty. Of this we can also be sure, some or most of their donors live in utter mediocrity.

In this perspective, these celebrity preachers and rich churches are nauseating, especially when they plead for more and more donations.

I am not saying that those serving the Lord should live in abject poverty. The Bible does not teach this principle. In fact the Bible teaches that when we first seek God and HIS Kingdom, the material blessings would follow (cf. Matthew 6: 33).

One mystery in God’s Kingdom is that some preachers receive more and many preachers receive nothing - almost. But it’s the quantum of these material blessings that’s always in contention.

Would one car satisfy the missionary or would he / she need a car for every member of the family? Would a mere Toyota comfort the preacher or would he only be contented with a Mercedes or a BMW?

Of course, basic necessities are needed for the preacher / missionary – home, clothes, food, children’s education, medical cover, phone, computer and the likes. If the preacher / missionary’s family has four members, wouldn’t a 3 bedroom home suffice? Shouldn’t a 3 bedroom home, in itself, be considered a luxury? 

Did I say that these televangelists and celebrity preaches have become the curse (bane) of 21st century Christianity? Yes!

When questioned about her private jet, Joyce Meyer had the audacity to respond that the Lord Jesus Christ, if HE were here today, would own a private jet.1

This is an unacceptable statement from a person of her stature. To say precisely how God incarnate would be, if HE were to live in today’s world, is to feign absolute and infinite knowledge. There simply is no humility in her statement.

Her statement totally contradicts Christ’s unmitigated disinterest in worldly wealth (cf. Matthew 8: 20, 19: 21 et al.). But what else would you expect of a preacher who preaches prosperity gospel?

Humility is a much needed virtue. So should we merely manifest humility from the heart and not from our material holdings?

Humility is not a mere manifestation of the human heart, but humility ought to be manifested from the perspective of worldly wealth as well. Why do these uber famous celebrity preachers not exhibit humility in their material possessions?

Not only do they not exhibit humility in their personal possessions, they continue to scream for more donations.

When they have more than they actually need, why ask for more and that from a poor donor?

Why don’t they bring their net worth down to 100,000 dollars and then ask for more money from the public? Is this a tough task for these celebrity preachers?

Going by their present track record, I most surely think so.

Would the Lord Jesus Christ wear a Rolex and fly in HIS own private jet today?

To say HE would, is to rob HIM of HIS divinity. God, the owner of all that was, is, and that will be, does not require the identity or the pleasure of a Rolex or a private jet.

To say that HE would wear an ordinary wrist watch and fly in a commercial airline is justifiable. To say that HE would live in abject poverty or as an ascetic, seems farfetched.

Why then did Joyce Meyer audaciously claim that Christ would fly HIS own private jet today? To defend her wealth and expose her hypocrisy! Why else!?

Rather than speculate on what Christ would do, we may as well practice what HE would want us to do.

To enjoy basic necessities is reasonable. To desire for minimal luxuries of life is a reasonable prayer.

To live happily with what has been given, even if nothing is given, is holy (lifestyle). This is what Christ would want us to do.

But a great joy would erupt in the heavenly realms when the disciple of the Lord emulates the grace of giving of the wonderful believers of the Macedonian church. This is what Christ would want us to do.

May these fascinating words minister to our souls and may we sincerely and graciously meet the needs of those around us instead of amassing wealth that denies the Lord, “Now, my brothers, we must tell you about the grace that God had given to the Macedonian churches. Somehow, in most difficult circumstances, their joy and the fact of being down to their last penny themselves, produced a magnificent concern for other people. I can guarantee that they were willing to give to the limit of their means, yes and beyond their means, without the slightest urging from me or anyone else. In fact they simply begged us to accept their gifts and so let them share the honours of supporting their brothers in Christ. Nor was their gift, as I must confess I had expected, a mere cash payment. Instead they made a complete dedication of themselves first to the Lord and then to us, as God’s appointed ministers” (2 Corinthians 8: 1-5, Phillips, Emphasis Mine).  

We cannot give as the Macedonians if we do not have the grace from God. But if we do desire earnestly (pray) for that grace, we can surely give graciously and give even beyond our means without the slightest urging from anyone. With the grace of God, we can dedicate ourselves completely to the Lord and then to the needs of our brothers and sisters.

Am I wrong in saying that if our celebrity preachers had this grace and if they had been completely dedicated to the Lord and to the needs around them, they would not boast huge net worth? Instead they would find worth in giving and giving to the point it would hurt them.

So I challenge the rich celebrity preachers, “Do you have the faith in God to bring your worldly possessions to very luxurious $100, 000?” Can you emulate the Macedonian believers and that poor widow whom Christ glorified?

If these rich celebrity preachers cannot bring their worldly possessions to very luxurious $100, 000, they are blackmailing and cheating the ordinary believer, which is a sin against the holy God.  

Why then do they ask for more money from people? In my humble opinion, they ask for money to give 40% to their ministries / charities and keep 60% to themselves.

I do not have any facts or figures to prove this audacious claim of mine, but otherwise, how on earth would their net worth grow in millions?

But let me be fair in my criticism. At least, we can gain access to the net worth of the American or the African celebrity preacher, but we do not have a slightest clue to the income of an Indian televangelist!  

Come Lord Jesus, come soon and deliver us from the clutches of evil. Amen.




Endnotes:

Monday, April 14, 2014

Lookism: Why Favor the Good Looking Over The Ugly?


“Lookism” is the preferential treatment meted to the good looking people (those conforming to the social standards of beauty). These words echo the theme at hand, “IT’S NOT your imagination: Life is good for beautiful people. A drumbeat of research over the past decades has found that attractive people earn more than their average-looking peers, are more likely to be given loans by banks, and are less likely to be convicted by a jury. Voters prefer better-looking candidates; students prefer better-looking professors, while teachers prefer better-looking students. Mothers, those icons of blind love, have been shown to favor their more attractive children.”1 This is a fact.

Disputing and negating “lookism” is impossible in reality. “Research and Markets,” a leading market research store, reports the surge of cosmetic surgery industry that complements ‘lookism,’ “Cosmetic surgeries…are increasingly being taken by the burgeoning middle class whose demand for them is based on their needs. At present, more and more men and women from the upper middle class group are opting for cosmetic procedures to get attractive looks in order to grab lucrative jobs, best possible marriage partner and mainly get rid of any deformity that they feel impacts their self-confidence and self-esteem.”2

The US cosmetic procedure industry is likely to generate US$ 18 billion by 2015. The Indian and Chinese cosmetic surgery market is expected to surge from $730 million in 2010 to $ 1.2 billion in 2017.3 This consumer trend is largely influenced by strict competition for jobs and the impact of media that glorifies good looking people. Ugly people are not in vogue.

Cosmetic surgery has its place in our life. For instance, if a person suffers burn injuries, then by all means he needs surgery to restore his lost features. Likewise cleft lips and other similar disorders needs surgery to repair and restore.

The universal desire of the heart - doing all that’s possible to look good, has been inflamed by media. Looking good boosts people’s self-esteem and confidence. The society glorifies the physically attractive; the unattractive or the ugly are largely relegated to its lower echelons.

But ‘reverse lookism’ is also a reality. Melissa Nelson, a 33 year old dental assistant was fired by her dentist boss, Dr. James Knight, in 2010 for being gorgeous. He was afraid that he would have an affair with her.

Apologies for my contemptuousness, but it is quite plausible that Melissa may have found another job. Since she was not ugly, she may have even found a better job.


Please allow me to digress.


Every image of the Lord Jesus Christ in a Christian home or institution would portray HIM as a handsome young man. But a verse in the Bible says that HE may not have been the handsome man these images portray HIM to be, “He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him” (Isaiah 53: 2b).

Excuse my dabbling in the counterfactual, but how would an average Christian respond to the Lord Jesus, if HE were not good looking? Would the Lord have been a victim of lookism? If HE were indeed ugly, would most of our homes have HIS picture in the most prominent location and other homes even have HIS picture?


Joyce Meyer is an epitome of miracle. It’s not easy for someone to be where she is after having been sexually molested by her own father. But I take exception to the fact that she had a facelift (cosmetic surgery on her face). She said, “"God doesn't love me anymore or less because I had some work done on my face," she said. "You know, I prayed about it a long, long, long, long, long time, because there again, I wouldn't want to do anything that I felt was going to be offensive to God. ... But I just felt like he finally just came to my heart, you know, it's your face, do what you want to. ... It was a really good thing that I did for me. It made me feel good. ... And you know, when you're in front of millions of people every day, you want to look your best (Emphasis Mine). 4

Does God prefer only the good looking? Does God preferentially treat HIS good looking disciple better than the ugly? Would God not prefer a dirty, shabby person worshipping HIM?

God, most surely, loves a dirty man as much as HE loves a clean and a handsome man. But would a Christian accept a dirty, shabby man sitting next to him and worshipping in a church?

Crucify me for saying this, but many Christians would actively and passively drift away from anyone who is dirty, shabby and foul smelling in church. They may even drive out the dirty and stinky! Why? (I am not verbalizing my random imaginations but I am speaking from a past experience where a dirty person was asked to exit the church.)

Doesn’t this person have a right to worship God? Even if one refuses to hug and kiss this person, why not give him a place in the church and allow him to worship God? This is lookism in its evil glory in the church of Jesus Christ. 

Wouldn’t an average Christian (following Joyce Meyer) be forced into looking better when Joyce Meyer performs a facelift to look better? The problem is in Joyce Meyer’s statement that God permitted her to do what she wanted to do.

Of course, God would permit anyone to do anything – with or without prayer! In other words, God would not, normatively, force anyone to obey HIM - that’s not love, that’s slavery. God is not a slave master.

Don’t get me wrong. I am not here to judge Joyce Meyer’s facelift. That’s her private decision, and she can do what she wants to do. But her statement to the press has smuggled in a theological implication.

On one hand she said that God loves everyone – the good looking and the ugly. On the other hand, she said that God approved her facelift. Does God’s approval tacitly suggest that HE desires HIS good looking people to look better? At what cost? What about those who do not have the money to do a facelift? Do they then unwillingly resign themselves to their ugly living?  

Joyce Meyer looked good before her cosmetic surgery. Primarily, she had the financial resources for a facelift, hence she did it. But is that how God wants us to use our finances?

Does Joyce Meyer’s action smuggle in a doctrine that ugly people should undergo cosmetic surgery to look good? How does the church of Jesus Christ approve and love the not-so-good-looking people?

If the church glorifies the good looking people, then by sheer implication, she crucifies the ugly. This is certain.  

How do people respond to the not-so-good-looking preachers? Do people flock to hear the ugly preachers? Can’t the ugly have their space in the platform (podium)? Can they not be leaders? By all means they can and they should be.

Are we to blame for our leader’s facelift? Are our leaders doing a facelift because they fear our (people’s) rejection? If so, we are to be blamed. In such a scenario, we should treat the good looking leader at par with the not-so-good-looking leader. Good looks should be irrelevant. This is our role in the society.

Not even for a moment do I think that one ought deliberately dress down or deliberately look ugly. No! We ought to look as we are.

Am I castigating cosmetic accessories (make-up)? No!  A mild accentuation of one’s physical feature is not to be condemned. So perfume, make-up kits and the likes do have their place.

But it’s surely unacceptable to be obsessed over looking good.

Looking good is not a mandate in Christianity. And we do not need to put our body under a knife or even take unnecessary medications so to look good. God loves us as we are and HE expects man to love each other similarly.

Should a Christian discriminate his brother or sister who does not look good? It’s a sin against God if such discrimination happens in a Christian life - home, institution or church.

Do we have to wear the best of our clothes and look our best while attending the church? I do not think so. While we do not want to deliberately look dirty and shabby, we do not make dressing-up or ‘looking good’ a mandate or a ritual.

Finally, what do we do when we find people being discriminated for their ugliness, be it anywhere – in the church or in the marketplace? Response ought to be two-fold:

A. Do not discriminate them.

B. Stand up for them when they are discriminated. Do not maintain silence when they are being discriminated. This is active love – a love that pleases God. 


Endnotes:

1 http://www.bostonglobe.com/ideas/2013/08/23/who-will-fight-beauty-bias/Kq3pbfOy4VRJtlKrmyWBNO/story.html

http://www.researchandmarkets.com/reports/604717/indian_aesthetic_cosmetic_surgery_industry_a

3 http://www.reportlinker.com/ci02153/Cosmetic-Surgery.html

4 http://abcnews.go.com/Nightline/joyce-meyer-transparent-evangelist/story?id=10355887&singlePage=true

Monday, April 7, 2014

Good Luck, Bad Luck - Is Luck Real?

Introduction

Comments on “luck” are common. “Best of luck,” “you are a lucky person,” “I was very unlucky,” are those we may have said and heard. The dictionary definitions of luck are, “the force that seems to operate for good or ill in a person's life, as in shaping circumstances, events, or opportunities,” or “good fortune; advantage or success, considered as the result of chance,” or “a combination of circumstances, events, etc., operating by chance to bring good or ill to a person (emphasis mine). 1

Luck could be used to describe the activity of God or a force (which is nothing but God). Alternatively luck could describe a random activity. More often than not, luck invokes chance, and is understood as a chance event.

Luck as Chance Occurrence

            A chance event is a random event. A chance event cannot be controlled, understood or predicted. When something good happens, it is good luck. When something bad occurs, it is bad luck. Chance events that could be good or bad are not controlled, understood or predicted. They just happen.

Wishing good luck from the perspective of chance refers to a hope that something good could happen. It’s a mere wish. The wish may or may not be realized. It would be splendid if the wish is realized but if the wish is not realized then no one need be blamed. If the wish is realized then there is none to thank. Probably the only person who should be thanked in this instance is the one who wished good luck.

So every event from within the perspective of chance seems random. Or is it? Let’s think this through.

Suppose a friend of mine wishes me luck while I am on my way to take an exam, and if I pass in flying colors, do I now consider my success as a random occurrence – a result of luck?

If I have prepared very well for that exam I am expected to pass in flying colors. If I have not prepared well then I should not expect to pass in flying colors. In other words, there is no luck whatsoever in the success or failure that I encounter. My success or failure is contingent (dependent) on the nature of my preparation.

Suppose I have not prepared well. Consider that I have only studied 50% of the subject concerned. Would I be termed lucky if all the questions in the examination are from my very well prepared 50% segment? It does seem a random occurrence, correct?  Maybe or maybe not!

            A significant factor to consider is that I have been irresponsible in my preparation. Although I am expected to be well prepared for my examination (100% prepared), I have failed in my extent of preparation. Now it seems that luck plays a role when an individual is irresponsible.

Furthermore, let’s consider a drunk driver swerving away from the road and killing a child walking on the roadside. In another instance, a drunk driver swerves away from the road but does not harm anyone since there were none in the vicinity to be harmed.

Some of us would term the drunk driver who killed the child as unfortunate or an unlucky driver, while the other drunk who did not kill anyone would be deemed fortunate or a lucky driver.

The drivers are termed lucky and the unlucky based on the absence or presence of people on the roadside. Absence or presence of people on the roadside is outside the control of the drivers. But the accident could have been avoided if the driver had driven the vehicle without consuming alcohol. If there were no accidents, there is no question about the driver being lucky or unlucky.

Therefore, if the driver had been responsible, had he not consumed alcohol, the aspect of luck would have been eliminated. This is similar to a well prepared student who does not need luck to score high marks in his examination. His preparation was his responsibility, if he had been responsible in his preparation, he would not have needed luck to be successful.

So it appears as if luck emerges when the individual remains irresponsible.

Perfect luck is if a terminally ill patient is suddenly healed of the disease. But some theists would regard it a miracle. Thus, if randomness is the overriding foundation for any situation, even a miracle would be attributed to a random occurrence or luck.

Let’s rewind to the example of examination stated earlier. Would it be a random occurrence or would I be termed lucky if all the questions in the examination are from my very well prepared 50% segment?

But even in this instance, a factor such as my health is directly connected to my success. If I were unhealthy I would not have written the exam and even if I had written, I would not have been very successful.

However some would emphasize that health is a product of randomness. Is this a reasonable statement?

Randomness or chance can only occur in the absence of a dominant force that governs every situation. Chance or randomness would be a reasonable occurrence if an absolute and a sovereign being is not in existence.

If the existence of a dominant force or a sovereign being (e.g. God) can be reasonably posited to exist, then randomness or chance events would cease to exist or it would merely be a figment of one’s imagination.

Therefore, affirming randomness or chance is only possible through a denial of the existence of a sovereign being.

The sovereign being either determines or permits everything to happen within its domain. If everything happens in a season and for a reason then chance ought to be driven out of our life. Along with chance, luck should be thrown out of our windows.

If a sovereign being is to exist, it is not a random occurrence or I am not lucky if and when the questions in the examination are from my very well prepared 50% segment. It is a providential arrangement of events ordained by the Almighty God.

Luck from God’s Perspective

There are more than reasonable evidences for God’s existence – a supreme, sovereign and an absolute being. Therefore, God exists. The undisputed existence of God who knows all that has happened, is happening, will happen, and would have happened, relegates chance and randomness to a realm of fictitious imagination.

Because a sovereign God rules over everything, all the time, luck or chance or randomness cannot exist in HIS presence. Nothing happens without HIS knowledge and providence.  This is HIS sovereignty.

But there are verses in the Bible that refers to ‘chance.’ How do we interpret these verses e.g. 1 Samuel 6:9; 2 Samuel 1: 6; Ecclesiastes 9: 11; Luke 10: 31, in comparison with verses teaching God’s absolute sovereignty (Matthew 10: 29; Luke 12: 7; Isaiah 46: 9-11)? 

To resolve this tension we ought to determine if the verses mentioning chance denies God’s sovereignty. A good case in point would be the Lord’s words in Luke 10: 31-32, “And by chance a priest was going down on that road, and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. Likewise a Levite also, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side” (NASB, Emphasis mine). Usage of ‘chance’ in this verse does not indicate a total absence of God. A word study of ‘chance’ asserts God’s providential arrangement of all circumstances.2

But 1 Samuel 6: 8-10 seems to contradict, “Take the ark of the Lord and place it on the cart; and put the articles of gold which you return to Him as a guilt offering in a box by its side. Then send it away that it may go. Watch, if it goes up by the way of its own territory to Beth-shemesh, then He has done us this great evil. But if not, then we will know that it was not His hand that struck us; it happened to us by chance (NASB, Emphasis mine).

The context of this verse affirms that these words were not spoken by God’s people. On the contrary, these verses were spoken by the priests and the diviners of the Philistines.  Therefore, those who do not believe in the God of the Bible could believe in chance occurrences, but ‘chance’ does not imply God’s absence. ‘Chance’ in these verses implies the ignorance of people who do not know and believe the one true living God.

The Bible clarifies that even lots that were cast were not random occurrences. The lots were cast specifically to know God’s mind about the matter concerned. Proverbs 16:33 says, “The lot is cast into the lap, But its every decision is from the Lord” (NASB). Therefore casting lots are not random occurrences.

Therefore, God’s sovereignty is undisputable.

Conclusion

In many instances, luck seems to emerge when an individual remains irresponsible. Luck justifies a person’s irresponsibility and motivates the person to continue his irresponsibility. This is evil.

But luck or chance or a random event will be true only if God is non-existent. Those who do not believe in God, namely the atheists or non-theists, would believe in luck, and they would wish luck upon themselves and others. Although they claim intelligence, their minds are so mute to the presence of the living God that they suppress truth and sell themselves to a despicable lie.

On the other hand, Christians or theists who believe in the presence of a sovereign God cannot use luck in their vocabulary, since no random event occurs in this universe. God is in active control over everything.

But there are those Christians who use the word luck so to mean God. A simple statement such as, “best of luck” could actually mean, “best of God’s blessings.”

In my humble opinion, Christians should consider saying, “God bless” or “I pray for God’s blessings” or even “I wish you God’s blessings.” In other words, eliminate ‘luck’ from vocabulary. If we really mean God, then let’s use the name of God to bless people than resorting to an ambiguous word such as luck (cf. Matthew 12: 36). Amen.



Endnotes:

1 http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/luck?s=t

2 4795 sygkyría (from 4862 /sýn, "identified with" and kyreō, "to happen co-incidentally") – properly, what occurs together by God's providential arrangement of circumstances – all achieving His eternal purpose in each scene of life. 4795 (sygkyría) is used only in Lk 10:31.
(http://biblehub.com/greek/4795.htm)

Useful reads:
http://www.gotquestions.org/luck.html

http://www.compellingtruth.org/luck.html


http://www.gotquestions.org/Bible-coincidence.html