I heard this question raised recently. It really got me to thinking about what we appear to see in the Bible, in the Old and New Testament.
Under the Old Covenant, which is the subject of the Old Testament scriptures, we see Israel operating according to the Law of Moses. While we see accounts of God acting directly in the history of the Hebrew nation, what was experienced in day to day Jewish life, as stipulated in the Law, was the administration of human beings. Human beings were commissioned by the Law to observe the actions of one another and to note and report law infractions. These same human beings were commanded to exact capital punishment for a number of law violations under the testimony of two witnesses. When difficult decisions about law interpretation were necessary, the priests were to be consulted and their judgment was final, in the matter. From top to bottom the Law of Moses was an exercise in human judgment and punishment. The Law may have originated in the mind of God but where its interpretation and enforcement were concerned the people were at the mercy of human frailty. God did not directly administer daily life under the Law. Imperfect men did.
Another noteworthy aspect of the Law is its humanly operated priesthood. Individual Israelites were dependent on the priests for the daily sacrifices and annual atonement rituals demanded for Law compliance. If the priests were absent or negligent, the people were disconnected from God. The average Israelite was a pawn in the hands of the religious leadership under the Law.
The general tenure of the New Testament Gospels is similar. The disciples are commissioned to spread an essential message to the world. That mandate has been handed down through the centuries to the current disciples. These men and women get to choose who hears and who doesn’t and in the process make decisions with eternal consequences for others. Concurrently, these same disciples participate in secular decisions and actions which sanction the premature death of non-believers, closing the door to divine acceptance for millions. Awesome power is thereby invested in certain individuals over the afterlife of everyone else. It boggles the mind that God would operate so.
One can hold fast to the Bible and claim that human administration of divine acceptance is clearly the way, but that doesn’t explain how such a system could possibly work other than haphazardly. Men live and die with eternity in the balance and all at the whim of a chosen few.