Concerns over Unconditional Election

It says that God predestines certain people to go to heaven and leaves the fate of the rest uncertain. God desires that all men be saved and will give the grace sufficient to all for salvation…but the grace won’t be efficacious for all…only some. So God planned only for some people to be saved…not all people.

It kind of feels like God is saying to those other people “best of luck to you, hope you make it to heaven with me and the ones I elected”

  1. Does this mean that God loves some people more and some people less than others?

  2. Does that mean that those elected don’t have the free will to be damned because God already chose them?

  3. Does that mean those who are not pre-elected are not destined to hell…but are also not given the same amount of grace as the elected…so in a way…are destined to hell?

4a) When numbers like those given from saints and private revelations say that say “out of every X number of people, only one will be saved”…is that the universal statistic for people who are predestined? (if the private revelation is true)

4b)…so in other words, for example…if a private revelation said 1 out of every X number of people will be saved…we should only expect to have a 1 out of X chance of staying in a state of grace? (if the private revelation is true)

#1 hurts me the most :crying: if its true…and #4a and 4b are the scariest:eek: if true

That was St. Augustine’s idea, and it was adopted enthusiastically by the Reformers, especially John Calvin. But it’s not the Church’s position. Our fate is based on the choices we make:

From the Catechism:

*1037 God predestines no one to go to hell; for this, a willful turning away from God (a mortal sin) is necessary, and persistence in it until the end. In the Eucharistic liturgy and in the daily prayers of her faithful, the Church implores the mercy of God, who does not want “any to perish, but all to come to repentance”…
*

God desires that all men be saved and will give the grace sufficient to all for salvation…but the grace won’t be efficacious for all…only some. So God planned only for some people to be saved…not all people.

The first sentence is (more or less) the Thomistic position, but the second is an unwarranted inference. If I offer everyone in my town free chocolate, but only half of them turn up and eat it, I haven’t “planned” for the others to go without chocolate. :smiley:

It kind of feels like God is saying to those other people “best of luck to you, hope you make it to heaven with me and the ones I elected”

No, He’s saying “As painful as it is to Me, I give you the freedom to choose an eternity separated from My Presence.”

  1. Does this mean that God loves some people more and some people less than others?

No. It means that some of us accept the love of God, and some of us reject it.

  1. Does that mean that those elected don’t have the free will to be damned because God already chose them?

This is the Calvinist doctrine of “perseverance of the saints”, but it isn’t Catholic. Men can and will fall away from the Truth for a variety of reasons, even after receiving the grace of the Sacraments. Forget modern politicians, look at Tertullian or Tatian.

  1. Does that mean those who are not pre-elected are not destined to hell…but are also not given the same amount of grace as the elected…so in a way…are destined to hell?

I don’t think grace works that way. “Okay, X gets 100 Grace Points, so he’s saved. Y has only 80, so he can’t win the boss battle against Satan, and he’s damned.” Salvation is not a matter of mathematics or RPG calculations. :smiley:

4a) When numbers like those given from saints and private revelations say that say “out of every X number of people, only one will be saved”…is that the universal statistic for people who are predestined? (if the private revelation is true)

Not any more than those private revelations which claim near-universal salvation, or a “last chance” to all at the moment of death. We do not have an official statistic. Jesus Himself refused to answer this question, because it was presumptuous: we have to try, not worry about numbers:

*And a certain man said to him: Lord, are they few that are saved? But he said to them:
Strive to enter by the narrow gate: for many, I say to you, shall seek to enter and shall not be able.

  • (Luke 13: 23-24)

4b)…so in other words, for example…if a private revelation said 1 out of every X number of people will be saved…we should only expect to have a 1 out of X chance of staying in a state of grace? (if the private revelation is true)

See the above. It’s true that the chance is certainly not 100% (for many, I say to you, shall seek to enter and shall not be able…), but there’s no point in seeking a figure.

#1 hurts me the most :crying: if its true…

Take comfort, the Church has never taught that.

and #4a and 4b are the scariest:eek: if true

Christ Himself told us not to seek an answer to this question, so I wouldn’t let those two points bother me.

Not exactly. Though Calvin was heavily inspired by St Augustine, the latter was clearly a Catholic, not some sort of proto-Calvinist. Dave Armstrong has a great article proving that here:
socrates58.blogspot.com/2007/11/st-augustine-was-catholic-not-proto.html?m=1

Here are some quotes from Augustine proving that he had a Catholic soteriology:

“He who made you without your consent does not justify you without your consent. He made you without your knowledge, but He does not justify you without your willing it.” (Sermons, 169, 3; Jurgens, III, 29)

“[N]either is the law condemned by the apostle nor is free will taken away from man.” (On Romans 13-18; commenting on Romans 3:20; Bray, 96; Landes, 5, 7)

“The Lord made Himself a debtor not by receiving something, but by promising something. One does not say to Him ‘Pay for what You received,’ but, ‘Pay what You promised.’”(Commentary on Psalms 83:16; Jurgens, III, 19)

“You are glorified in the assembly of your Holy Ones, for in crowning their merits you are crowning your own gifts.” (En. in Ps. 102:7; cf. Ep. 194, 5, 19)

“Someone says to me: ‘Since we are acted upon, it is not we who act.’ I answer, ‘No, you both act and are acted upon; and if you are acted upon by the good, you act properly. For the spirit of God who moves you, by so moving, is your Helper. The very term helper makes it clear that you yourself are doing something.’”(Sermons 156, 11; Jurgens, III, 28)

“Wherefore, even eternal life itself, which is surely the reward of good works, the apostle calls the gift of God . . . We are to understand, then, that man’s good deserts are themselves the gift of God, so that when these obtain the recompense of eternal life, it is simply grace given for grace.” (Enchiridion of Faith, Hope, and Love, chapter 107; NPNF 1, Vol. III)

“[E]ven those good works of ours, which are recompensed with eternal life, belong to the grace of God, . . . the apostle himself, after saying, ‘By grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast;’ saw, of course, the possibility that men would think from this statement that good works are not necessary to those who believe, but that faith alone suffices for them . . . ‘Not of works’ is spoken of the works which you suppose have their origin in yourself alone; but you have to think of works for which God has moulded (that is, has formed and created) you. . . . grace is for grace, as if remuneration for righteousness; in order that it may be true, because it is true, that God ‘shall reward every man according to his works.’” (A Treatise on Grace and Free Will; Chapter 20; NPNF 1, Vol. V)

One thing to point out is that esp in the Early Church, there were legitimate differences which were later sorted out. St Augustine would have been one of the first to change his mind once the Church made a decision as to what the correct way of looking at the situation was.

This is true. After all:

“For my part, I should not believe the gospel except moved by the authority of the Catholic Church.” (Against the Epistle of Manichaeus 5, 6; NPNF 1, Vol. IV, 131)

Don’t forget that troublesome omniscience. The Christian God creates knowing PRECISELY what will happen to that person. A question could be asked about the manufacturer’s responsibility.

Please don’t start a debate. That’s not what the OP asked for, and it’s not going to help anyone.

Will do, but that relates quite directly to the “Elect of God.”

The easy solution to this is to stop believing in Unconditional Election.

Who are the elect in these scriptures verses. If they are no different from believers like us then why call them the elect (chosen ones).

Matt 24:22

And unless those days had been shortened, no flesh should be saved: but for the sake of the elect, those days shall be shortened.

Matt 24:24

For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders, insomuch as to deceive (if it were possible) even the elect.

Mark 13:20

And unless the Lord had shortened the days, no flesh should be saved: but for the sake of the elect which he hath chosen, he hath shortened the days.

Mark 13:22

For there will rise up false Christs, and false prophets; and they shall shew signs and wonders, to seduce, if it were possible, even the elect.

Mark 13:27

And then shall he send his Angels, and shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from the uttermost part of the earth to the uttermost part of heaven.

Luke 18:7

And will not God avenge his elect, who cry to him day and night: and will he have patience in their regard?

Rom 8:33

Who shall lay any thing to the charge of the elect of God? God that justifieth,

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