I cringe every time Bill O'Reilly says he's going to have a guest on his show to discuss anything of a religious nature. Bill just gets lost when it comes to religion.
O'Reilly is Catholic. I have no problem with that. His guest last night didn't say what her beliefs were, but she was obviously not evangelical, nor did she approach religion with a conservative viewpoint. She is a "Religion Editor" for the Washington Post and recently wrote a column "attacking" Sarah Palin's faith.
Attacking may not be the right word. Mocking or ridiculing might be more accurate.
They discussed Sarah Palin's own expression of her faith and her trying to find and follow God's plan for her. This guest implied that if Palin were intellectually honest, she'd either have to say that running for office in '08 was not God's plan or that losing was God's plan. O'Reilly was clueless in searching for a response.
I won't presume to know what Sarah Palin's specific beliefs are with regard to God's plan in our lives or how much "control" He exercises over events. I can only express what my beliefs are.
In a broader sense, God does, indeed, have a plan for all of us. It is the same plan for everyone. He calls us all to repent from our sins and to accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior. He calls us all to live a life directed by Him and the teachings in the Bible.
Does that mean that everyone follows this plan? Of course not. My belief is that each of us is free to choose and to do as we please. We can seek him and accept his gift of salvation for us. Or we can go our own way.
I also believe that God give a specific calling to some people with regard to their vocation or profession. I don't believe that He does this for everyone. Did God call Sarah Palin to be Vice President? I doubt it. I think he calls Sarah Palin to be faithful and to use the position that she has to do as much good in our nation as she can. But God doesn't push the buttons in the polling booths. So even if God wanted Sarah Palin to be V.P. (or the next President), that doesn't mean it's going to happen. We can still chose.
The guest last night also implied that if Sarah Palin were consistent in her beliefs, then she would say that it was in God's plan for her daughter to become pregnant out of wedlock, since that's what happened.
Again, that's complete B.S.
I don't think any Christian believes that everything that happens is a part of God's plan. We live in an imperfect and fallen world. Most of what happens in this world happens contrary to what God wants.
This is why I don't like the phrase some Christians use that "God is in Control." Strictly speaking, he isn't. We are. And the natural laws of the universe play a role. I do think that God intervenes in our lives at times. I also think he lets us live the consequences of our choices at times. We also sometimes have to deal with the consequences of the choices of others.
To say that God reigns is different than to say he's in control. I believe that God does, indeed, reign. He oversees all. And, in seeing all, his heart breaks at what's going on this world.
One day things will be different. Until that day comes, each of us must seek and try to follow God's plan.
And I think God's plan for Bill O'Reilly is to keep people off his show who want to talk about religion.