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TULIP: An Allegory

Once there was a great, dark building guarded by a tall, dark creature.

A man dressed in white strode to the door and handed the dark creature a bag of gold coins. “That is the exact amount for the ones I come for,” the man in white said as he pushed inside with barely a glance at the creature.

Inside lay rows and rows of dead men, women, and children killed by a deadly plague that had infected and killed the entire country.

The man in white strode purposefully between the rows before he knelt, his face compassionate even though this corpse looked no different than the hundreds of others in this room. The man in white laid a hand over the corpse’s heart; “Live.”

The word was a command even the dead could not refuse. Color came back into the corpse’s skin, and the once-dead man blinked and sat up.

The man in white handed him a scroll of paper, “Follow me.” A command the awakened can’t refuse.

The awakened man nodded, read the instructions, and walked from the building, following the road that would lead to his new home.

The man in white continued through the building, stopping here and there so deliberately it was clear he knew the ones he’d come for and recognized them even in death’s decay.

Some time later, another man walked up to the great, dark building and its guard. His robes were gray and he hefted a huge sack of money. He set it down with a panting breath at the guard’s feet. “This should be enough, I think. I really don’t know how many will take my offer and come with me. I really hope I don’t run out.” The man in gray rocked back and forth on his heels. “So, uh, can I go in?”

The creature guarding the door looked down his nose scornfully and didn’t say anything.

The man in gray shrugged and timidly pushed the door open.

Kneeling by the first corpse in the room, the man in gray crossed his arms. “Would you like me to heal you? All you have to do is say yes. I won’t force you to be healed. But I can do it, if you want me to.”

The dead and decayed corpse said nothing.

The man in white strode back to the entrance having given life to all those he came for. He paused by the man in gray still bent over the first corpse in the room. The man in white stared down at him. “These are beyond you. You will have to find someone less dead to make your offer.”

The man in gray blinked as he looked up. “But there is no one left alive.”

“Then you cannot save them. Only my words have that power.” The man in white brushed past him and left the building to walk the path with those he’d saved to preserve them from falling prey to the plague and death ever again.

The man in gray hurried after him. If he couldn’t awaken anyone on his own, he’d have to try to steal a few the man in white had already saved.

 

Something to think about:

With your parents, discuss the difference between the five points of Calvinism and Arminianism. What do the man in white and the man in gray represent? Can you find all five points of Calvinism in the story?

 

Matching:

_____  T – Total                                                              A. Grace

______ U – Unconditional                                              B. Of the Saints

______ L – Limited                                                        C. Depravity

______ I – Irresistible                                                     D. Atonement

______ P – Preservation & Perseverance                       E. Election