Predestination permanent?

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UsagiTsukino
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Predestination permanent?

#1

Post by UsagiTsukino » Thu Aug 02, 2018 9:28 pm

So God knows all but due to free will wouldn't that mean there he also gives us room to change?

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Re: Predestination permanent?

#2

Post by LittleHamster » Fri Aug 03, 2018 3:27 am

UsagiTsukino wrote:
Thu Aug 02, 2018 9:28 pm
So God knows all but due to free will wouldn't that mean there he also gives us room to change?
God gives us room to learn lessons as stated in the parable of the prodigal son. By learning these lessons (trials and tribulations), we eventually come to our senses and return back to the God the Father, with the knowledge and understanding to be accepted as a child of God.

The words "free" "will" sound like a contradiction to me.

We can look at it from this perspective. There are only 2 things a human being can do:-

(i) Do the will of God
(ii) Not do the will of God (but this is also a mechanism by which we can come back to God as stated in the prodigal son)

Under the curse of the Law, it's difficult for a human to do (i) the will of God. Under Grace, a human can begin to acquiesce to the will of God (i).

Under the curse of the Law, a human is, according to scripture, a slave to sin (which applies to most of humanity). So he mostly does not do the will of God (ii).

Is a human being exercising "free will" while a slave to sin ? That is unlikely. The majority of humanity is acting under the law of cause and effect. (the cause being mostly sinful actions and the effect being the receiving of payment for those transgressions)

Let's try and find and example of "Free will"....

(i) You get hungry. You need to eat. Is that free will or a choice dictated by a physical discomfort?
(ii) You are given a choice between a rosy red apple and a banana. You choose the apple. Is that free will or a choice dictated by a desire for the rosy red apple ?
(iii) You go an watch an action film. Is that Free will or a choice driven by desire for excitement ?
(iv) You buy a car of a certain type. Is that Free will or a choice driven by a desire to be noticed ?
(v) You are cold so you go and buy a coat. Is that free will or a choice driven by the physical discomfort of being cold ?

As you can see, most choices are driven by desires, sinful thoughts, external environmental factors and internal physical needs.

The words "Free will" may very well be a contradiction in terms. As soon as you "will", you are no longer "free". It would be better use the term "free choice" rather than "free will".



Anyway, that's something to think about while you "freely" munch on your breakfast cereal :-)

I'm just thinking out aloud here. I could be wrong . Feel "free" to add more of your opinions.
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Re: Predestination permanent?

#3

Post by Philip » Fri Aug 03, 2018 5:56 am

God gave us free will to make our own decisions, but He controls the PARAMETERS - we can't fly or become invisible. We can even do actions He doesn't like - it's why we can sin, and why we can reject Him. He wants us to love Him BACK, but allows us to make our own decision about doing so. But He also has deemed consequences for our sins - many of which we'll suffer on earth. And for those rejecting Him permanently, there will be eternal punishment, that even though people have free will, they cannot escape God's wrath for their rejecting Him. And yet, God perfectly and has ALWAYS foreknown the identities of all who will ever reject Him as well as the identities of all who will live with a Him in Heaven forever.

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Re: Predestination permanent?

#4

Post by RickD » Fri Aug 03, 2018 7:22 am

Probably the main argument against OSAS that I've been hearing, is that it goes against free will. The argument usually asks how we can have free will, if we can't choose to forfeit our salvation. Some see a contradiction between free will and OSAS.

A good explanation that I heard has to do with circumcision. In the Old Testament, circumcision was a covenant between God and Abraham. Abraham was to circumcise his household and slaves, and was a sign that they were set apart as a people who worship God. This circumcision was done in the flesh.

In the New Testament, those who have trusted in Christ for salvation have been circumcised by Christ. Christ "cuts off" the sinful nature, or literally, the "body of flesh" of those in Christ.

The Old Testament circumcision is a physical circumcision, the cutting away of the flesh of the foreskin. The New Testament circumcision is a spiritual circumcision. Christ "performs" a cutting away of the sinful nature.

So getting back to the free will issue. In the Old Testament, Abraham and his family, would have had the free will to choose to be circumcised. But hypothetically, what if they wanted to "undo" their circumcision? That wouldn't be possible. The physical act of circumcision is permanent. And that doesn't mean there is an issue with free will. I suppose it just shows the limits of free will, where one can't "choose" to undo something permanent.

I believe it's the same with spiritual circumcision. Not having the free will to choose to undo spiritual circumcision, isn't an indictment against free will. It just illustrates the permanence of spiritual circumcision. The permanence of the work of Christ in salvation.

I hope that wasn't too confusing.
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Re: Predestination permanent?

#5

Post by LittleHamster » Fri Aug 03, 2018 1:24 pm

Here's a selection of a few "free-will" quotes from my collection:

see also this thread on predestination .....viewtopic.php?f=22&t=1602&start=15

"The king's heart is in the hand of the LORD; / he directs it like a watercourse wherever he pleases”
- Proverbs 21:1

“The lot s cast into the lap, / but its every decision is from the LORD”
- Proverbs 16:33

“Each one of you now, according to the Law of Cause and Effect, is in the place the Total Wisdom has placed you. You are not there by chance. You are obeying the Divine Plan placed in the circumstances, family, community and nation necessary to learn your next lessons. In general, what are these lessons? To be patient -To be tolerant - To love. To love even those who stand against you."
- Daskalos

"There will come a day when you will feel totally helpless, a mere pawn of destiny, and then you will begin to realize that God alone is your haven of security."
- Paramhansa Yogananda

Free will is the function of the Master within us. Our will is the supremacy of one desire over another.
- George Gurdjieff: [1]

Man does have limited free will; he can decide whether or not to surrender to the will of Krishna. All other material happenings and their implications are inconceivably predestined.
- Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

God Chooses: Hear what Christ says: "you have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you" (John 15:16). No one can choose to follow Christ, unless Christ has chosen them. Yet Christ only does the will of his Father (John 6:38). Christ chooses what his Father chose for him. Is this confirmed anywhere else in the Bible? "No man can come to me, except the Father which has sent me draw him" (John 6:44).
- http://www.becomingone.org/

THEOLOGY defines predestination as the regulation of all souls to either salvation or damnation. Did God predestine or predetermine for all of mankind to be cast into hell and eternal damnation? Absolutely NOT! Did God predestinate a certain number of mankind to be lost and cast into hell and eternal damnation? Again Absolutely NOT!" ......... You alone choose one of two predetermined destinations. In other words you choose your predestination. That is to say you predestine yourself, so to speak, by the FINAL choice you make."
- http://www.amatteroftruth.com/predestnation

"It would be interesting to look at whether either GOD or the Individual decides if one is to be saved. For example, in Calvinism, God chooses which individual is to be saved or not saved; in Arminianism, the believer is the one who does or does not choose to be saved by God"
- Source

"Every morning three million "free wills" flowed toward the center of the New York megapolis; every evening they flowed out again -- all by "free will," and on a smooth and predictable curve."
(from "The Year of the Jackpot")

"Therefore we see at once that there cannot be any such thing as free-will; the very words are a contradiction, because will is what we know, and everything that we know is within our universe, and everything within our universe is moulded by conditions of time, space and causality. ... To acquire freedom we have to get beyond the limitations of this universe; it cannot be found here". [77] - A quotation from Swami Vivekananda, a Vedantist, offers a good example of the worry about free will in the Hindu tradition.

In Buddhism it is taught that the idea of absolute freedom of choice (i.e. that any human being could be completely free to make any choice) is foolish, because it denies the reality of one's physical needs and circumstances. Equally incorrect is the idea that we have no choice in life or that our lives are pre-determined. To deny freedom would be to deny the efforts of Buddhists to make moral progress (through our capacity to freely choose compassionate action). Pubbekatahetuvada, the belief that all happiness and suffering arise from previous actions, is considered a wrong view according to Buddhist doctrines. Because Buddhists also reject agenthood, the traditional compatibilist strategies are closed to them as well. Instead, the Buddhist philosophical strategy is to examine the metaphysics of causality. Ancient India had many heated arguments about the nature of causality with Jains, Nyayists, Samkhyists, Cārvākans, and Buddhists all taking slightly different lines. In many ways, the Buddhist position is closer to a theory of "conditionality" than a theory of "causality", especially as it is expounded by Nagarjuna in the Mūlamadhyamakakārikā.[78]
- Wiki

This problem (illusion) is compounded by the fact that man thinks that he has
self-consciousness and thinks that he has volition (i.e., man unconsciously
assumes that his will is unconditioned). Man does of course have and exercises
free will, but that free will is almost entirely conditioned by karma (karmic
circumstances) (internal and external factors (forces)). Man does learn, grow,
and evolve in consciousness as a result of his (mechanical) experience, but there
is (for the vast majority of humanity) no real awareness of either oneself or the
reality of life.
And virtually all of the people involved in metaphysics (theosophy) (the
spiritual path) are not really any different than ordinary humanity except in the
sense of (potentially) having a better knowledge and understanding of the
nature of things and in the sense of (potentially) being better qualified in
consciousness, but unless that knowledge and (intellectual) understanding (and
qualification) is translated into real awareness, then the philosophical, religious,
and spiritual students of the world are just as asleep in their mechanicalness as
are the non-philosophical, non-religious, non-spiritual students.
- (source: upper triad book10)

"A perfect nature has no need of choice, for it knows naturally what is good...our free choice indicates the imperfection (emphasis mine) of fallen human nature, the loss of divine likeness. Our nature being over-clouded by sin no longer knows its true good, and usually turns to what is 'against nature'; and so the human person is always faced with the necessity of choice; it goes forward gropingly. This hesitation in our ascent towards the good we call 'free will'. "
- from The Mystical Theology of the Eastern Church, p.125

"Everything that lives must serve the “all-universal purposes.” Man is not exempt from this necessity, and must, either by his life or by this death, contribute his quota to the transformation of energy upon which the reciprocal maintenance of all existence depends" "Man has thus a two-fold destiny, either to live only as the unconscious slave of the all-universal purpose, or to pay the debt of his own existence and thus attain independent individuality, with all that this brings of further possibilities of self-perfecting."

"A man is a very complex organism developed by evolution from the simplest organisms, and who has now become capable of reacting in a very complex manner to external impressions. This capability of reacting in man is so complex, and the responsive movements can appear to be so far removed from the causes evoking them and conditioning them, that the actions of man, or at least a part of them, seem to naive observation quite spontaneous. The average man is indeed incapable of the single smallest independent or spontaneous action or word. All of him is only the result of external effect. Man is a transforming machine, a kind of transmitting station of forces. Man differs from the animals only by the greater complexity of his reactions to external impressions, and by having a more complex construction for perceiving and reacting to them."
- George Gurdjieff
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Re: Predestination permanent?

#6

Post by Philip » Fri Aug 03, 2018 2:16 pm

Hammy, no real gain in posting unScriptural commentary by non-Christians to make any definitive points concerning absolute truths.

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Re: Predestination permanent?

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Post by LittleHamster » Fri Aug 03, 2018 2:56 pm

Philip wrote:
Fri Aug 03, 2018 2:16 pm
Hammy, no real gain in posting unScriptural commentary by non-Christians to make any definitive points concerning absolute truths.
Thanks Philip. It sometimes helps to compare others' views (since the bible is just the start to further learning/knowledge). If we clamp down too hard on non-scripture, we could end up like the Sanhedrin......

"How dare this man preach he is the Son of God. That's Blasphemy. Crucify him !"
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Re: Predestination permanent?

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Post by Philip » Fri Aug 03, 2018 3:08 pm

Hamster: If we clamp down too hard on non-scripture, we could end up like the Sanhedrin......
If we are contemplating any issue Scripture addresses - well, how are non-Christian commentators' views important, per any asserted universal truths of God? As theirs are merely other debatable opinions, and not relevant.

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Re: Predestination permanent?

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Post by LittleHamster » Fri Aug 03, 2018 3:29 pm

Philip wrote:
Fri Aug 03, 2018 3:08 pm
Hamster: If we clamp down too hard on non-scripture, we could end up like the Sanhedrin......

If we are contemplating any issue Scripture addresses - well, how are non-Christian commentators' views important, per any asserted universal truths of God? As theirs are merely other debatable opinions, and not relevant.
Correlation Philip ! Correlation !! Ask yourself..."Does this teaching correlate with scripture ?" "Does it increase our understanding of Christianity ?" "Does it help us in understanding the absolute ?"
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Re: Predestination permanent?

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Post by Philip » Fri Aug 03, 2018 3:37 pm

As for the Scriptural question of the term "predestination" (only used once) in relation to God having pre-determined the spiritual fate of all humans before their births, there is one easy determining term of that. God said permanent rejection of Himself is a terrible sin punishable by an eternity in hell. Scripture tells us God causes no man to ever sin. So, does God cause the sin of rejection if He causes no sin - or do men cause it? God cannot cause either the sin of rejection or force their rejection to be an inevitability by having created a huge number of humans who were BORN with no ability to turn to Him in faith - UNLESS He DOES cause sin. So, which is it, God who causes the sin of rejection or men with hard hearts that freely commit the horrific sin of rejecting God?

And as a side note, IF God pre-destined that certain people could only ever reject Him - and HE is the cause of their rejection, precisely because that's what He always wanted for them - then why is He so angry at people all through the Bible for "causing them to react to Him just as He designed them to respond to Him? His anger would then make no sense! And why the Great Commission if Believers only respond to God as per a His programmed inevitability - meaning, there would otherwise be no possibility of ANY Believer not coming to faith - so no Great Commission necessary! And how could FORCED love be genuine? Not to mention the monster God would be if He desired dooming billions to a terrible eternal faith they themselves didn't choose, as God pre-destiny the damned would have chosen their horrible fates for them.

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Re: Predestination permanent?

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Post by UsagiTsukino » Fri Aug 03, 2018 9:31 pm

So is it that the predestined is those who choose to reject him. WHo doesn't want anyone to reject him but if that person continues to do it they will be rejected to hell. But since he doesn't want that we can pick our paths of heaven or hell. So we are predestination to only two paths

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Re: Predestination permanent?

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Post by Philip » Fri Aug 03, 2018 10:14 pm

What God actually predestined FOR Believers was NOT that they would eventually have faith, NOR did He predestine that unbelievers would never or could never believe - as everyone in both groups of people are perfectly free to either choose or reject God. As already mentioned, God's perfect foreknowledge of all things has allowed Him to have FOREVER known the identities of ALL of the saved people and ALL of the unsaved people that will ever have existed upon the earth.

But what God DID predestine were the eternal FATES and DESTINATIONS (BUT NOT THE DECISIONS that get them in either Heaven or hell) of those in BOTH groups per: A) His perfect love, B) His perfect justice and righteousness, and C) His perfect foreknowledge of the decisions of all people across time, as to whether they would eventually embrace Him OR permanently reject Him. So, He decided the destinations of each group before time because He could already perfectly see the eventual decisions of everyone, everywhere (whether they would embrace or a reject Him). And He wanted all who would eventually believe to be with Him forever, and all who would never believe to be punished and separated from Himself and Believers forever. His justice will tolerate no rebels in His presence, nor would He allow their evil to infect a perfect Place of love and harmony. The rebels don't want God or to subject themselves to Him, or what He offers them. The rebels will only ever want some version of what they would consider a heaven without God, and in which they can remain their own god (a reality that will never exist).

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Re: Predestination permanent?

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Post by LittleHamster » Sat Aug 04, 2018 3:08 am

Good post there Mr Philip. We should try and look at the parable of the prodigal son too and compare it.

In this parable, the son, sells his share of the property and spends all his money on reckless living. He had spent it all, when a severe famine fell upon that country and he began to feel the pinch. Then he came to his senses and said, 'How many of my father's paid servants have more food than they can eat, and here am I, starving to death! I will set off and go to my father, and say to him: Father, I have sinned, against God and against you; I am no longer fit to be called your son; treat me as one of your paid servants.' So the son set out for his father's house. But while he was still a long way off his father saw him, and his heart went out to him. He ran to meet him, flung his arms round him and kissed him. The son said, 'Father, I have sinned, against God and against you; I am no longer fit to be called your son.' But the father said to his servants, 'Quick! fetch a robe, my best one, and put it on him; put a ring on his finger and shoes on his feet. Bring the fatted calf and kill it, and let us have a feast to celebrate the day. For this son of mine was dead and has come back to life; he was lost and is found.' And the festivities began.

It seems that the son 'calls out' to the Father first. Then the Father responds and grabs him into his care. This implies it is up to us to choose.

Now we read what Christ says elsewhere "you have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you" (John 15:16).
and "No man can come to me, except the Father which has sent me draw him" (John 6:44)

This implies God chooses and we accept the free gift. Was Christ just talking to his disciples only or do these passages apply to all Christians ?
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Re: Predestination permanent?

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Post by LittleHamster » Sat Aug 04, 2018 5:11 pm

Jeremiah 1:5 relevant ? “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, And before you were born I consecrated you; I have appointed you a prophet to the nations.”

We need Answers and some consensus here! Did God choose us or did we choose God ??? or Is it a combination of Both ??? Philip? Rick? jpdg? Where is B.W.....I'm sure he could easily rattle-off 10 pages of scripture in support of an answer :) Otherwise, I'm gonna have to bring out my notes on.....(cue the drum roll) .....Christian Mysticism :esurprised:



In the meantime, we can ponder the meaning behind this picture.....should clear things up a bit:-

Image
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Re: Predestination permanent?

#15

Post by Philip » Sat Aug 04, 2018 8:41 pm

God chose to love us FIRST! And no one could come to belief without God first drawing upon an eventually willing and receptive heart. And for those with such a receptive heart and mind, He will guide them into belief and to salvation. But God has to move first, and had to make it possible by the Cross. He will soften but not tear open a hard heart - as some are so hard that only forcing them into belief would make them receptive - and this He will not do (violate their free will to end their permanently entrenched rejection).

Hamster, it can be dangerous and misleading to use isolated verses to gauge the truth of this issue.

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