Posted by: splat | December 27, 2011

The “loom of time” debunked!!

Some of you may know of the following poem or some variation of it.  There seem to be many variations of this kicking around the internet.

The Loom of Time

(author unknown)

Man’s life is laid in the loom of time
To a pattern he does not see,
While the weavers work and the shuttles fly
Till the dawn of eternity.

Some shuttles are filled with silver threads
And some with threads of gold,
While often but the darker hues
Are all that they may hold.

But the weaver watches with skillful eye
Each shuttle fly to and fro,
And sees the pattern so deftly wrought
As the loom moves sure and slow.

God surely planned the pattern:
Each thread, the dark and fair,
Is chosen by His master skill
And placed in the web with care.

He only knows its beauty,
And guides the shuttles which hold
The threads so unattractive,
As well as the threads of gold.

Not till each loom is silent,
And the shuttles cease to fly,
Shall God reveal the pattern
And explain the reason why

The dark threads were as needful
In the weaver’s skillful hand
As the threads of gold and silver
For the pattern which He planned.

Analysis

This is a well written poem.  It sounds nice but I will explain below why I believe this poem to be unscriptural.

  • The poem presupposes that time is some kind of “container” laid out in order of past, present and future.  However, no one has managed to come up with a scripture that shows that time is a container.  However, there are other verses that, I believe, show it is not.  For instance Psalm 90:4, John 5:17
  • It assumes that God uses evil for his own purposes but I can find no scripture that this is the case.  People often try and cite Job for this but there is nothing in Job that say that his suffering was in the plan of God. In fact there are other scriptures that disprove this interpretation of Job. However, in the scriptures it says there is no darkness in Him.  Also what fellowship does light and darkness have?  (1 John 1:5, 2 Cor 6:14)
  • Under the new covenant our heavenly Father is not in the business of destroying the saints in Christ.  Jesus said that it is the thief (the enemy, the devil, Satan) that comes to kill, steal and destroy but that He came that we would have life and have it more abundantly.  (John 10:10)

Conclusions

The loom of time, though great poetry, is not scriptural, and is certainly not new covenant theology.  Our understanding should be based on scripture and not in fine sounding Christian poetry.  I suspect this theology comes from or has been influenced by the various Calvinistic theologies.  Our loving heavenly Father is not destroying our lives just so He can have a couple of dark threads in His tapestry.

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Responses

  1. It is the clear teaching of Scripture that God does indeed use adversity for His purpose. Namely, to humble and to test the hearts of His people.

    There are numerous Scriptures which attest to this. Here are just a few:

    Deuternomony 8:2 (KJV)
    And thou shalt remember all the way which the LORD thy God led thee these forty years in the wilderness, to humble thee, and to prove thee, to know what was in thine heart, whether thou wouldest keep his commandments, or no.

    Deruteronomy 8:16 (KJV)
    Who fed thee in the wilderness with manna, which thy fathers knew not, that he might humble thee, and that he might prove thee, to do thee good at thy latter end;

    Proverbs 17:3 (KJV)
    The fining pot is for silver, and the furnace for gold: but the LORD trieth the hearts.

    Grace and Peace,

    Aslantic

  2. Yes, good points Aslantic.

    I suppose there are two questions that spring to mind:

    1. Why would people who had led lives of slavery need to be humbled?
    2. Was it predestined for them to wander around in the wilderness for forty years or could they have been obedient and shortened this trial?

    I certainly acknowledge that there were time when God judged people for their disobedience. The salient point seems to be whether God has a purpose in their disobedience or would He have rather they obeyed Him?

    • Even people who have lived for generations under slavery are not immune to pride and sin, as can be easily seen by their reaction to Moses’ leadership. The rebellion of Korah is a valuable lesson.

      Was it pre-destined for the Israelites to wander 40 years?
      No doubt it was – but my understanding is that pre-destination is based upon foreknowledge (Romans 8:29).
      In other words, pre-destination is not pre-determinism.

      I don’t believe that God is the Author of sin (James 1:13), or that sin is ever God’s will. However, I do believe that God can bring about His good purposes, even out of bad situations and circumstances.

      Deuteronomy 8:16
      Who fed thee in the wilderness with manna, which thy fathers knew not, that he might humble thee, and that he might prove thee, TO DO THEE GOOD AT THY LATTER END;

      Romans 8:28
      And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

      Grace and Peace,

      Aslantic

      • Ok, here is me trying to comment on a small winow on my smartphone,lol.

        I have the context of Deut 8:16 below:

        (ESV)Deuteronomy 8:11-16
        “Take care lest you forget the LORD your God by not keeping his commandments and his rules and his statutes, which I command you today, [12] lest, when you have eaten and are full and have built good houses and live in them, [13] and when your herds and flocks multiply and your silver and gold is multiplied and all that you have is multiplied, [14] then your heart be lifted up, and you forget the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery, [15] who led you through the great and terrifying wilderness, with its fiery serpents and scorpions and thirsty ground where there was no water, who brought you water out of the flinty rock, [16] who fed you in the wilderness with manna that your fathers did not know, that he might humble you and test you, to do you good in the end.

        It seems to me the word “humble” here means that he put them in a place where it was impossible for them to trust in themselves for their basic needs but God alone. Is this your understanding also?

        Regarding predestination and predeterminism I tend to the open theist viewpoint. I presume you mean predestination in the sense of God’s decree from the foundation of the world (the calvinist viewpoint) and you define predestination I define a liitle differently to you. I believe in conditional predestination, not absolute predestination. I haven’t checked wiki yet for the best definition. I personally see the future as not entirely set in stone and that our choices help shape our future which perhaps a little different to your view of foreknowledge. Perhaps I should rework my predestination posts to be more inline with wiki definitions.

        Anyway, thanks for your comments. It helps me to examine things more carefully. 🙂


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