TULIP – U (Unconditional Election) – Fancy Lures

“Well, Evan, which ones do you want to buy?” Evan’s father asked. Evan had waited a long time for this day. Now he stood in front of a display of fishing lures with his father. Evan had saved up enough money for a new fishing pole and lure or two, and after they would make their purchases, they were going to drive to a small, little-known lake. But Evan could not decide. “How do I know which lure will be best?” Evan asked. “Do fish like orange, or pink, or flashing silver? They all look like good fish food to me.” “Yes,” Father said, “It’s hard to tell. But the bigger the lure, the bigger the fish—sometimes.” Evan nodded. Finally he chose a large silver one with a red tail, and one that was bright orange. He was going for the big fish! At the lake, cast after cast, Evan’s lure came up empty. Three good-sized bass swam in the pail between himself and his father in their little row boat. Father had caught them all. “Maybe you should try another lure,” Father suggested. “You can use this one.” He held out a small, yellow, wormy looking lure. Evan’s arm was getting tired. Neither of his lures had attracted any fish. “Okay. But first, just one more cast.” Splash went the silver lure. Evan reeled it in. There was a little extra tug. A fish? No, it was a piece of seaweed. Evan took the lure off the line and began to attach the yellow worm. “Evan, did you remember you have catechism class tomorrow?” his father asked. Evan nodded as he scrunched his brow trying to tie on the smaller lure. “Yes, it’s about election,” he said. “Election—the source of our salvation,” Evan’s father smiled, “and it’s unconditional.” Evan peeked at his father while he made the final touches on the lure. His father loved that doctrine. “So why did you choose to buy the orange and silver lures?” Father asked. Evan shrugged. “I wanted to catch a big fish.” His father nodded. “Why did God decide to choose us?” Evan thought a moment. It wasn’t because we were better than anyone else. It wasn’t because He saw into the future that we might do good things. We weren’t like a big, fancy lure; we were only horrible sinners. It had nothing to do with us. “God just wanted to,” Evan finally answered. He cast his line into the water. “Yes,” his father said. “God just wanted to. That doctrine gives all the glory to God.” Evan nodded and began to reel in his line. Suddenly he felt a tug—a big tug… “This election was not founded upon foreseen faith, and the obedience of faith, holiness, or any other good quality or disposition in man, as the prerequisite, cause or condition on which it depended, but men are chosen to faith and to the obedience of faith, holiness, etc., therefore election is the fountain of every saving good…” (Canons I, Article 9).