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Presbyterians are often referred to as the 'Frozen Chosen".

In the online Dictionary of Christianese the term 'Frozen Chosen' is applied to denominations whose order of service are formal. It is also noted that the 'Frozen Chosen' are those "Christians who show very little emotion or excitement in their religious life." While I think these definitions fail to note the good Presbyterian focus on the sovereignty of God (the 'chosen' aspect), I do think these two meanings provide a reasonable definition and description of the people you are likely to encounter in the pews at St. Andrews.

We are the 'Frozen Chosen'. We are God's reserved and sometimes timid people.

So of all God's people, how are we going to participate in the great commission, beyond simply unlocking the church doors on a Sunday morning? How might God use our own natural tendencies and personalities in God's cross-cultural mission of evangelism and teaching?

I think that one thing we have going for us is that we are less apt to practise any forms of 'hit-and-run' or 'streaker' evangelism. That is, we are unlikely to interrupt strangers with unsolicited sales-pitches for the Christian faith. We are more likely to be sensitive to context and aware of the appropriateness of any conversations about meaning, or faith, or God.

I think that being somewhat introverted and thoughtful people we are also likely to engage people with questions as much as answers. That is, there is a greater likelihood that any talk of faith will be a discussion instead of a monologue. 

Of course, there is a danger that we might be too cautious to ever jump into a discussion about faith; we may be too afraid to ever open up to what we have learned about God. If you are in this camp, you should know that while many people would bristle at you opening up Calvin's Institutes and talking about the 'depravity of man', many are interested in your journey of faith. More people than we imagine are interested in hearing about the experiences of our friends, even if they don't necessarily buy into everything that is said.

So how might you, a member of God's 'Frozen Chosen' begin a conversation about faith this week?

 

2 Comments


Marion Hannaford 5 months ago

Or 'chosen' can refer to the belief that God salvages us by grace alone and not by our works. And one can be described as 'frozen' because of deep faith that we are in a relationship with God and God is in charge.
In terms of the Westminster Confession, those who are called into faith in Christ by the Holy Spirit working in his due season--otherwise known as the elect--are justified, adopted, sanctified, and kept by his power, through faith, unto salvation. As Presbyterians, we have been called into faith in Christ by the Holy Spirit therefore we are the 'elect' or the 'chosen'.
There are many denominations where the focus is on social justice and the current circumstances--a focus on mission. Then there are the denominations which focus on the hereafter--private study to earn a way into heaven. Presbyterians are 'frozen' in the middle of thse polar opposites--called to do God's will. This means studying and understanding God's will through scripture and prayer (sound teaching) and enabling the Holy Spirit to work in the world through us (following God's will in our everyday lives which may include mission and/or study).
So is it bad to be God's 'frozen chosen'. I contend not when it means we are call by the Holy Spirit to faith in Christ, and having a balance in our focus between the here & now and the hereafter.
Shalom.


Steve Filyk Steve Filyk 5 months ago

Well said Marion!

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