Christianity and Predestination

Discussion in 'Religion and Ethics' started by chanel, Feb 2, 2011.

  1. chanel
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    chanel Silver Member

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    Are there different views? I had an uncomfortable conversation at a funeral yesterday with a friend who left the Catholic church about a year ago and joined a Presbyterian Church. No biggie, except her mother got upset and they haven't spoken since.

    She belongs to a Bible Study group and they told her that the rift between her mother and her, was "all part of God's plan". I told her that's rubbish, and she needs to make amends with her mom who is all alone. She said everything is predestined and she cannot change the course of events. Being the outspoken person that I am I told her "maybe it was God's plan that we met in this church on this day and I was sent to tell her that her Bible friends were giving her bad advice". She said she'd have to think about that one.

    Is this a precept of the Presbyterian church? Is it part of Christian thinking? Forgive me for my ignorance. I was raised Catholic. :lol:
     
  2. Mr. H.
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    Mr. H. Diamond Member

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    Good for you. :thup:
    You should go to her next Bible study meeting and straighten them out.
    It's God's plan. :D
     
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  3. Mini 14
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    Mini 14 Senior Member

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    IMO, its an ever-present "difference of opinion" among Christians, which stems from literal interpretation of some passages in the Bible. My experience has been that it is the crutch of the religious and/or intellectually weak, and is most often espoused by those who equate being a good church member, or memorizing the Bible, with being a good Christian.

    I agree with the tenant on some levels (that there are moments in our life which God determines, there are possible outcomes that God presents to us, etc...) but I disagree at the most basic level in that I believe we have free will and choice, and it is our choices that God judges. I think the large majority of Christians share this same view, but I also believe literal predestination is and always will be a debated and contentious element of Christianity.
     
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  4. Ravi
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    Ravi Diamond Member

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    If there is a God, I think he would be rather shocked that your friend continued alienating her mother over religion.
     
  5. Intense
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    Intense Senior Member

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    From a Catholic Perspective......

    Predestination (Latin præ, destinare), taken in its widest meaning, is every Divine decree by which God, owing to His infallible prescience of the future, has appointed and ordained from eternity all events occurring in time, especially those which directly proceed from, or at least are influenced by, man's free will. It includes all historical facts, as for instance the appearance of Napoleon or the foundation of the United States, and particularly the turning-points in the history of supernatural salvation, as the mission of Moses and the Prophets, or the election of Mary to the Divine Motherhood. Taken in this general sense, predestination clearly coincides with Divine Providence and with the government of the world, which do not fall within the scope of this article (see DIVINE PROVIDENCE).

    Notion of predestination
    Theology restricts the term to those Divine decrees which have reference to the supernatural end of rational beings, especially of man. Considering that not all men reach their supernatural end in heaven, but that many are eternally lost through their own fault, there must exist a twofold predestination: (a) one to heaven for all those who die in the state of grace; (b) one to the pains of hell for all those who depart in sin or under God's displeasure. However, according to present usages to which we shall adhere in the course of the article, it is better to call the latter decree the Divine "reprobation", so that the term predestination is reserved for the Divine decree of the happiness of the elect.

    A
    The notion of predestination comprises two essential elements: God's infallible foreknowledge (præscientia), and His immutable decree (decretum) of eternal happiness. The theologian who, following in the footsteps of the Pelagians, would limit the Divine activity to the eternal foreknowledge and exclude the Divine will, would at once fall into Deism, which asserts that God, having created all things, leaves man and the universe to their fate and refrains from all active interference. Though the purely natural gifts of God, as descent from pious parents, good education, and the providential guidance of man's external career, may also be called effects of predestination, still, strictly speaking, the term implies only those blessings which lie in the supernatural sphere, as sanctifying grace, all actual graces, and among them in particular those which carry with them final perseverance and a happy death. Since in reality only those reach heaven who die in the state of justification or sanctifying grace, all these and only these are numbered among the predestined, strictly so called. From this it follows that we must reckon among them also all children who die in baptismal grace, as well as those adults who, after a life stained with sin, are converted on their death-beds. The same is true of the numerous predestined who, though outside the pale of the true Church of Christ, yet depart from this life in the state of grace as catechumens, Protestants in good faith, schismatics, Jews, Mahommedans, and pagans. Those fortunate Catholics who at the close of a long life are still clothed in their baptismal innocence, or who after many relapses into mortal sin persevere till the end, are not indeed predestined more firmly, but are more signally favoured than the last-named categories of persons.
    But even when man's supernatural end alone is taken into consideration, the term predestination is not always used by theologians in an unequivocal sense. This need not astonish us, seeing that predestination may comprise wholly diverse things. If taken in its adequate meaning (prædestinatio adæquata or completa), then predestination refers to both grace and glory as a whole, including not only the election to glory as the end, but also the election to grace as the means, the vocation to the faith, justification, and final perseverance, with which a happy death is inseparably connected. This is the meaning of St. Augustine's words (De dono persever., xxxv): "Prædestinatio nihil est aliud quam præscientia et præparatio beneficiorum, quibus certissime liberantur [i.e. salvantur], quicunque liberantur" (Predestination is nothing else than the foreknowledge and foreordaining of those gracious gifts which make certain the salvation of all who are saved). But the two concepts of grace and glory may be separated and each of them be made the object of a special predestination. The result is the so-called inadequate predestination (prædestinatio inadæquata or incompleta), either to grace alone or to glory alone. Like St. Paul, Augustine, too, speaks of an election to grace apart from the celestial glory (loc. cit., xix): "Prædestinatio est gratiæ præparatio, gratia vero jam ipsa donatio." It is evident, however, that this (inadequate) predestination does not exclude the possibility that one chosen to grace, faith, and justification goes nevertheless to hell. Hence we may disregard it, since it is at bottom simply another term for the universality of God's salvific will and of the distribution of grace among all men (see GRACE). Similarly eternal election to glory alone, that is, without regard to the preceding merits through grace, must be designated as (inadequate) predestination. Though the possibility of the latter is at once clear to the reflecting mind, yet its actuality is strongly contested by the majority of theologians, as we shall see further on (under sect. III). From these explanations it is plain that the real dogma of eternal election is exclusively concerned with adequate predestination, which embraces both grace and glory and the essence of which St. Thomas (I, Q. xxiii, a. 2) defines as: "Præparatio gratiæ in præsenti et gloriæ in futuro" (the foreordination of grace in the present and of glory in the future).
    Read more at Site....... CATHOLIC ENCYCLOPEDIA: Predestination
     
  6. Intense
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    Intense Senior Member

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    Predestination, Roman's Chapter 8:


    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.



    8:29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.

    8:30 Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.

    8:31 What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?

    The Holy Bible
     
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  7. Anachronism
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    Anachronism BANNED

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    It's definitely an interesting topic.

    I grew up in the Lutheran Church, which generally takes a very literal interpretation of the Bible. The way that I was taught Scripture comes close to what Intense commented on. The idea that we have the Free Will to choose how we wish to live our lives, but that God already knows what we will choose and has already determined what the final disposition of our soul will be because of it.

    Personally, I am no longer a member of any Christian faith or other organized religion at this point in my life, and I have become a very strong believer in a form of predestination known at Fateism.... the idea that the fabric of our lives is woven and cut to length at the moment of our birth and that there is nothing we or any Divine Power can do to alter it.
     
  8. zzzz
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    zzzz Just a regular American

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    We all have free will on our own actions. If we did not have free will then God would not have allowed Adam and Eve to partake the forbidden fruit. Each individual has a choice in taking the Lord as their Savior too. Yet major earthquakes and other natural events may have been predestined to occur.
    to that.

    Of course that brings up Judas.
     
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2011
  9. editec
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    editec Mr. Forgot-it-All

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    Predestination is the belief of some Christians.

    The puritans believed in that notion.

    There was THE ELECT who were blessed by GOD, and evrybody else who was not.

    And, conveniently their belief system informed them that GOD made THE ELECT rich on earth and in charge, too.

    That way challenging their authority was not only a civil violation, but a SIN AGAINST GOD.

    How convenient, eh?

    That is exactly the same logic that suggested that revolting against a king was an affront to GOD.
     
  10. JScott
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    JScott I check facts.

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    Im not into religion at all but I would ask this person if they want to wait for the afterlife to make amends or make them now. Theres no way Jesus(I believe he existed) would tell someone to, basically, blow off that person or wait for a sign. I think if it bothers her thats a sign.
     

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