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  #1  
Old Jul 27, '12, 2:08 pm
FaithBuild18 FaithBuild18 is offline
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Default To what extent does God play a role... in everything?

My boss at work is a born-again evangelical. Not Catholic. Literally every single thing that happens, he says it's God's work, or God's desire. Every thought, every action is played out by God.

What do Catholics believe on this? How could we have free-will if God is manually controlling everything? To what extent does God manipulate this world and those in it? I feel like it would eliminate the concept of sin to say that every single thing is God's intention. I was under the impression, with my Catholic education, that sin is our choice, and when we do it, it isn't God's will, but he in fact gets pretty ticked off at us when we chose to sin.
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  #2  
Old Jul 27, '12, 2:40 pm
fhansen fhansen is offline
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Default Re: To what extent does God play a role... in everything?

Quote:
Originally Posted by FaithBuild18 View Post
My boss at work is a born-again evangelical. Not Catholic. Literally every single thing that happens, he says it's God's work, or God's desire. Every thought, every action is played out by God.

What do Catholics believe on this? How could we have free-will if God is manually controlling everything? To what extent does God manipulate this world and those in it? I feel like it would eliminate the concept of sin to say that every single thing is God's intention. I was under the impression, with my Catholic education, that sin is our choice, and when we do it, it isn't God's will, but he in fact gets pretty ticked off at us when we chose to sin.
He's preaching a Calvinistic doctrine. In one sense it's true. "In Him we live, and move, and have our being." (Acts 17:28) Theologians have related this verse to the understanding that in every moment God sustains our existence and even in every act He participates, enabling us to perform it, even the most heinous of sins.

But He's not the author of sin. Because this is exactly where human free will lies, because He wills, not evil, but that humans determine the course of their actions for themselves-He values our freedom enough that He doesn't force His will to be done on earth as it is in heaven-even though He could prevent every sin, including the original sin, but if He did, free will would be an impossibility. So He allows the abuse of our freedom, and the evil that results from it, for His own purposes, for now; good and evil won't always be allowed to co-exist, the wheat and tares will eventually be separated.
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  #3  
Old Jul 27, '12, 3:04 pm
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Gods_Peace Gods_Peace is offline
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Great feedback, You have a well of knowledge in your heart my friend!!!!!!!
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  #4  
Old Jul 27, '12, 3:24 pm
wmw wmw is offline
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Default Re: To what extent does God play a role... in everything?

I'm sure there is much freedom to believe a large range of possibilities within the frame work of a few dogmatic points. Like God will bring everything back into perfect Justice at the end and that we have free will to think and act etc.

On a more professional philosophical angle, I think most still at least start with one of the great Doctors of the Church, St Thomas Aquinas.

St Thomas Aquinas spent much thought on this and was moving the thinking of his day away from God's strict control of all things, but still quite a necessary hand in much of the world around us.

Here is a small sample of a summation I pulled from: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/12510a.htm

Strictly only those things which are ordained by God to the production of certain determinate effects are subject to necessity or Fate (I, Q. xxii, a. 4; Q. cii, a. 3; Q. cxvi, a. 1, 2, 4). This excludes chance, which is a relative term and implies merely that some things happen irrespective of, or even contrary to, the natural purpose and tendency of some particular agent, natural or free (I, Q. xxii, a. 2; Q. cvi, a. 7; Q. cxvi, a. 1); not that things happen irrespective of the supreme and universal cause of all things. But it does not exclude free will. Some causes are not determined ad unum, but are free to choose between the effects which they are capable of producing (I, Q. xxii, a. 2 ad 4 um; cf. Boethius, op. cit., V, ii, in "P.L.", LXIII, 835). Thus things happen contingently as well as of necessity (I, Q. xxii, a. 4), for God has given to different things different ways of acting, and His concurrence is given accordingly (I, Q. xxii, a. 4). Yet all things, whether due to necessary causes or to the free choice of man, are foreseen by God and preordained in accordance with His all-embracing purpose. Hence Providence is at once universal, immediate, efficacious, and without violence: universal, because all things are subject to it (I, Q. xxii, a. 2; ciii, a. 5); immediate, in that though God acts through secondary causes, yet all alike postulate Divine concurrence and receive their powers of operation from Him (I, Q. xxii, a. 3; Q. ciii, a. 6); efficacious, in that all things minister to God's final purpose, a purpose which cannot be frustrated (Contra Gent., III, xciv); without violence (suavis), because it violates no natural law, but rather effects its purpose through these laws (I, Q. ciii, a. 8)
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  #5  
Old Jul 27, '12, 3:32 pm
FaithBuild18 FaithBuild18 is offline
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Default Re: To what extent does God play a role... in everything?

Yeah that was awesome. Ha. Thanks friend.
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  #6  
Old Jul 27, '12, 3:44 pm
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ccmnxc ccmnxc is offline
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Default Re: To what extent does God play a role... in everything?

Well you could say God wills us to have free will and human actions stem from that.
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  #7  
Old Jul 27, '12, 5:08 pm
Codix105 Codix105 is offline
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Question Re: To what extent does God play a role... in everything?

Im not mocking but by that doctrine if I put a teapot in space so that it orbits earth, would (from the Calvinist view) that be God's decision ???
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  #8  
Old Jul 27, '12, 5:20 pm
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Joe 5859 Joe 5859 is offline
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Default Re: To what extent does God play a role... in everything?

It's understandable that a Christian might think that way. After all, God is the all-powerful Creator of all.

The distinction that helps me is to look at God's sovereign will vs. His permissive will. I would never make the case that God "wanted" a guy to go shooting a bunch of innocent people in Aurora. But God permits it to happen. Nothing can happen without God allowing it. But that does not mean that God caused those things. We're the ones causing those evil things because of our choices.
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  #9  
Old Jul 27, '12, 5:48 pm
LumenGent LumenGent is offline
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Default Re: To what extent does God play a role... in everything?

It is all under God's providence. God and man's will are the two of the most puzzling mysteries. The overemphasis of either weakens the other. For example: If humans were perfectly free, then they are responsible for their actions without any other consideration. OTOH, if God was responsible for every single act, then we really don't have any freedom and we can't be held accountable for what we do. In reality, there are things that God permits that we can't avoid. Think about the fruits of the sexual revolution, how many people are addicted to adultery, porn and prostitution and struggle to overcome it. Many of these people would not have had any knowledge of the dangers they were heading into, coerced or chose that path due to desperation. One would think that a good God would prevent the "volcano from erupting" in the first place so to speak, but obviously he didn't. I suppose that despite all the evil in the world, God in permitting them has found a way in helping people overcome them. How he does it and why are the answers we will find in eternity.
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  #10  
Old Jul 27, '12, 7:07 pm
FaithBuild18 FaithBuild18 is offline
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Default Re: To what extent does God play a role... in everything?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe 5859 View Post
It's understandable that a Christian might think that way. After all, God is the all-powerful Creator of all.

The distinction that helps me is to look at God's sovereign will vs. His permissive will. I would never make the case that God "wanted" a guy to go shooting a bunch of innocent people in Aurora. But God permits it to happen. Nothing can happen without God allowing it. But that does not mean that God caused those things. We're the ones causing those evil things because of our choices.
You see though, I can just see him saying "Maybe the Lord used that man to wake up our society" or something along those lines.

We were talking the other day and he said something along the lines of "The Lord is using you... For some reason He calls certain people and not others." And I said "I think He calls everyone, I just chose to respond." But he dismissed this, saying "if the Lord called everyone, they wouldn't turn Him down."

I don't think it's worth arguing. And he really is a great friend, too good of a friend for me to want to irritate him by insulting his theology, even if I do think it's wrong.
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  #11  
Old Jul 28, '12, 3:46 am
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Default Re: To what extent does God play a role... in everything?

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Originally Posted by FaithBuild18 View Post
You see though, I can just see him saying "Maybe the Lord used that man to wake up our society" or something along those lines.

We were talking the other day and he said something along the lines of "The Lord is using you... For some reason He calls certain people and not others." And I said "I think He calls everyone, I just chose to respond." But he dismissed this, saying "if the Lord called everyone, they wouldn't turn Him down."

I don't think it's worth arguing. And he really is a great friend, too good of a friend for me to want to irritate him by insulting his theology, even if I do think it's wrong.
And that could be an argument for why God permits it. But to say that God wants evil things to happen reduces human beings to robots and undercuts the idea that God is all good.

But, yeah, sometimes these arguments don't go anywhere.
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  #12  
Old Jul 28, '12, 4:23 am
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504Katrin 504Katrin is offline
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Default Re: To what extent does God play a role... in everything?

I've been puzzling over this very same topic and it drove me crazy

Then I realized that God gives us the anwer, it's right there in the bible.

God is the creator of all things, he's still at work and keeps things going and is creating at all times, otherwise we wouldn't exist anymore. God is eternal, he knows the past as well as the present and the future. So to answer the questiion of this threads' title, yes, God does play a role in everything we do as God is everything.

So there's devine providence, however, God is not responsible for our actions. We are still to chose whether we're going to do something or not.

The bible also says exactly that. Do you remember when Mose saw the Pharao and he wouldn't let the people go? God KNEW he wouldn't let them go, and so He sent him pleague after pleague - chance after chance - to give him a chance to make the right decision.
I sometimes feel we only have one chance each situation, we certainly do, but later in life situations might repeat and we might get another chance to do the right thing. God of course, already knows what our reaction's going to be, but he still lets us chose.
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  #13  
Old Jul 28, '12, 4:42 am
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10gr8kids 10gr8kids is offline
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Default Re: To what extent does God play a role... in everything?

Quote:
Originally Posted by FaithBuild18 View Post
You see though, I can just see him saying "Maybe the Lord used that man to wake up our society" or something along those lines.

We were talking the other day and he said something along the lines of "The Lord is using you... For some reason He calls certain people and not others." And I said "I think He calls everyone, I just chose to respond." But he dismissed this, saying "if the Lord called everyone, they wouldn't turn Him down."

I don't think it's worth arguing. And he really is a great friend, too good of a friend for me to want to irritate him by insulting his theology, even if I do think it's wrong.
I think it's true that God can and does use evil for good. Take the story of Joseph, his brothers sold him into slavery for their own evil intent. Yet God used it to eventually save Joseph's whole family. We do have our part in this though. We can choose to turn to God, or harden our hearts.

As far as arguing with his theology I believe you are right to not want to argue about it. Sometimes I think we might agree more than it appears, just a different way of explaining it. Such as the argument about faith and works. Some people might say "if I have faith I will do works". Others may say "I need to do works to live out my faith". In the end how much does the wording matter if we all still have faith and works? Just my thoughts, might be way off though.
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