predestination


#1

I have a problem, one of my friends is a Baptist preacher and does not believe in the free will of mankind, he says “God saves people to show His love and damns people to show His Justice and people have no choice in this at all because no one seeks God or righteousness” then he throws a lot of scripture at me and I don’t know what to say.
I know he is wrong but I need some help on supporting scripture.


#2

[quote=cavemanV]I have a problem, one of my friends is a Baptist preacher and does not believe in the free will of mankind, he says “God saves people to show His love and damns people to show His Justice and people have no choice in this at all because no one seeks God or righteousness” then he throws a lot of scripture at me and I don’t know what to say.
I know he is wrong but I need some help on supporting scripture.
[/quote]

Wow. This is a real can of worms. As a start, it may help you to read the New Advent encyclopedia discussion on predestination at the following link:

New Advent - Predestination

In a nutshell, the Catholic position strikes a balance that recognizes both God’s omnipotence/omniscience and the individual’s free will. Thus, we believe that God wishes for all to be saved, although we understand that He knows some of us will choose not to accept that salvation that He offers to all.

Your Baptist friend’s position that God chooses to withhold salvation from some to “show His justice” implies that God’s love does not extend to all of the people He created. That is where your Baptist friend’s position runs afoul of Catholic doctrine, although his opinion is the standard Baptist understanding of predestination.


#3

Just a thought. If God really created people to go to hell wouldn’t that make God evil :confused: ? I thought that the bible says God does not will the death of the sinner, but calls ALL people to repentance.


#4

Hum ask him if he is calling Paul a lier when Paulsays in 1st Tim 2 verse 3&4 “This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.” ask if ALL don’t mean ALL


#5

[quote=littlesheep]Hum ask him if he is calling Paul a lier when Paulsays in 1st Tim 2 verse 3&4 “This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.” ask if ALL don’t mean ALL
[/quote]

Good point…

From the article I cited above:

[quote=NewAdvent]An unconditional and positive predestination of the reprobate not only to hell, but also to sin, was taught especially by Calvin (Instit., III, c. xxi, xxiii, xxiv). His followers in Holland split into two sects, the Supralapsarians and the Infralapsarians, the latter of whom regarded original sin as the motive of positive condemnation, while the former (with Calvin) disregarded this factor and derived the Divine decree of reprobation from God’s inscrutable will alone. Infralapsarianism was also held by Jansenius (De gratia Christi, l. X, c. ii, xi sq.), who taught that God had preordained from the massa damnata of mankind one part to eternal bliss, the other to eternal pain, decreeing at the same time to deny to those positively damned the necessary graces by which they might be converted and keep the commandments; for this reason, he said, Christ died only for the predestined (cf. Denzinger, “Enchiridion”, n. 1092-6). Against such blasphemous teachings the Second Synod of Orange in 529 and again the Council of Trent had pronounced the ecclesiastical anathema (cf. Denzinger, nn. 200, 827). This condemnation was perfectly justified, because the heresy of Predestinarianism, in direct opposition to the clearest texts of Scripture, denied the universality of God’s salvific will as well as of redemption through Christ (cf. Wisdom 11:24 sq.; 1 Timothy 2:1 sq.), nullified God’s mercy towards the hardened sinner (Ezekiel 33:11; Romans 2:4; 2 Peter 3:9), did away with the freedom of the will to do good or evil, and hence with the merit of good actions and the guilt of the bad, and finally destroyed the Divine attributes of wisdom, justice, veracity, goodness, and sanctity. The very spirit of the Bible should have sufficed to deter Calvin from a false explanation of Rom., ix, and his successor Beza from the exegetical maltreatment of I Pet., ii, 7—8.
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#6

Caveman, I will warn you that your arguments might be a waste of time. I had a similar discussion with a “Calvinist” Reformed friend of mine who thought the same thing. I showed him 1 Tim 2: 3-4. This is the greatest passage contradicting his argument. But he will see it differently, I guarantee it.

The hardest part of this whole topic is that Predestination is a very confusing subject. The Catholic Church believes in it to an extent, meaning God has predestined men to salvation but that we have free will that determines our salvation also. But God does not predestine men to hell. Confused yet?

Honestly, I had to kind of resign myself to the fact that this is one of the most difficult theological topics to understand. I find that my discussions of it were totally useless. It has no effect on my Christian life and the Bible is ambiguous on the subject.

Catholic Answers has been of little help. Only Jimmy Akin has written anything on it, again a confusing read. The apologists won’t touch the subject from my experience. They will send you to other resources. Understandably, it is a very difficult subject.

Good luck on your conversations. My recommendation: Give your friend 1 Tim 2:3-4. (Easy to remember (1,2,3,4) He will most likely fumble through some spontaneous interpretation that backs his belief. At that point just tell him, “Apparently you are your own authority on Scripture interpretation. I trust the Church’s interpretation which has been the same for over 1900 years. Sorry we can’t agree on this topic but I don’t see the need for more discussions when our scripture understanding is different.”


#7

[quote=tdandh26]Just a thought. If God really created people to go to hell wouldn’t that make God evil :confused: ? I thought that the bible says God does not will the death of the sinner, but calls ALL people to repentance.
[/quote]

God is good by definition and we are wicked. He is just in condeming all of us to hell. We have no claim on Him whatsoever. It is by His mercy that any are saved at all, and that only because of His own purposes, having nothing whatsoever to do with any merit or goodness on our part.

[quote=littlesheep]Hum ask him if he is calling Paul a lier when Paulsays in 1st Tim 2 verse 3&4 “This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.” ask if ALL don’t mean ALL
[/quote]

In the vast majority of cases, if one checks the entire context of the verse and recognizes what is being addressed, the word ‘all’ does NOT mean all. Calvinists have exegeted this verse for the benefit of Arminians at length and yet every new generation seeks to raise the same tired questions. See the following books for responses:

The Cause of God and Truth, by Dr. John Gill.

The Death of Death in the Death of Christ, by Dr. John Owen.

Display of Arminianism, by Dr. John Owen.

The Five Points of Calvinism: Defined, Defended, Documented, by David Steele and Curtis Thomas.

The Reformed Doctrine of Predestination, by Loraine Boettner.

No Place for Sovereignty: What’s Wrong With Freewill Theism, by RK McGregor Wright.

Studies in the Atonement, by Dr. Robert A. Morey.

As respects I Timothy 2: 3-5, see the following:

thirdmill.org/answers/answer.asp/file/99756.qna/category/nt/page/questions/site/iiim

I cite the following:

gospeloutreach.net/tulip_defense.html

1 Timothy 2:3-4:
God desires “all” to be saved.
Answer**:** “all” (Greek pas) in Scripture does not necessarily mean every person on the face of the earth. (Matthew 3:5, 10:22; John 3:26; Colossians 1:23) Paul uses the word 22 other times in 1 Timothy and in many of these references it does not refer to “all existing examples of” something but rather “all kinds of” something or some other meaning (1 Timothy 1:15, 2:1-2, 6, 8, 11, 3:4, 11, 4:4, 8-10, 15, 5:2, 10, 20, 6:1, 10, 13, 17).

Particularly pertinent is 6:10, “For the love of money is the root of all evil” (KJV). Money was not the “root” of Satan’s rebellion or the Fall of Adam and Eve, or many other sins. However, money is “a root of all kinds of evil” (NKJV; note: There is no definitive article “the” in the Greek).

Similarly “all” in 1 Timothy 2:4 does not refer to every person who has or will live. It refers to all kinds of people as opposed to only Jews (Matthew 13:47; Acts 10:34, 11:18; Revelation 5:9).

Moreover, if God wanted every person to be saved, then everyone would be saved since His will always comes to pass. (Isaiah 55:11; Psalm 33:10, 115:3, 135:6) But the Bible clearly teaches some will be damned (Matthew 25:26; Revelation 20:11-15, 21:8).


#8

Moreover, if God wanted every person to be saved, then everyone would be saved since His will always comes to pass. (Isaiah 55:11; Psalm 33:10, 115:3, 135:6) But the Bible clearly teaches some will be damned (Matthew 25:26; Revelation 20:11-15, 21:8).

If God’s will “always” comes to pass, wouldn’t that contradict human free will altogether? Otherwise, you’re saying that God actually wants people to sin.


#9

[quote=exoflare]If God’s will “always” comes to pass, wouldn’t that contradict human free will altogether? Otherwise, you’re saying that God actually wants people to sin.

[/quote]

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Human beings are culpable for their sins. God is not. However the idea that humans have freewill is a notion superimposed upon the Bible and borrowed from Greek philosophy. Humans do NOT have free will. They have culpability. God has not defined how this is possible. He has declared in His Word that it is sinful to try to peer too deeply into such issues. They are off-limits to human inquiry.


#10

In the vast majority of cases, if one checks the entire context of the verse and recognizes what is being addressed, the word ‘all’ does NOT mean all. Calvinists have exegeted this verse for the benefit of Arminians at length and yet every new generation seeks to raise the same tired questions. See the following books for responses

Kinda figured that. I mean after all “is” don’t mean “is” either for them.


#11

[quote=flameburns623]Human beings are culpable for their sins.
[/quote]

No argument here.

[quote=flameburns623]God is not.
[/quote]

Again, no argument.

[quote=flameburns623]However the idea that humans have freewill is a notion superimposed upon the Bible and borrowed from Greek philosophy.
[/quote]

Could not disagree more. Greek philosophy included free will and deterministic theories. St. Paul is the source for Catholic teaching on free will. See the New Advent discussion of free will at the following link:

New Advent - Free Will.

The discussion includes the following quote:

**Free Will and the Christian Religion **

The problem of free will assumed quite a new character with the advent of the Christian religion. The doctrine that God has created man, has commanded him to obey the moral law, and has promised to reward or punish him for observance or violation of this law, made the reality of moral liberty an issue of transcendent importance. Unless man is really free, he cannot be justly held responsible for his actions, any more than for the date of his birth or the colour of his eyes. All alike are inexorably predetermined for him. Again, the difficulty of the question was augmented still further by the Christian dogma of the fall of man and his redemption by grace. St. Paul, especially in his Epistle to the Romans, is the great source of the Catholic theology of grace.

[quote=flameburns623]Humans do NOT have free will. They have culpability.
[/quote]

They have both. It is precisely *because * humans have free will that they have culpability for their sins. If there were no free will, there would be no culpability.

[quote=flameburns623]God has not defined how this is possible. He has declared in His Word that it is sinful to try to peer too deeply into such issues. (Where?) They are off-limits to human inquiry. **(Where does the Bible say that?) **
[/quote]

Yes, he has allowed His Church to teach us in the matter, and the church concludes as stated in my earlier posts, that God desires for all to be saved, but salvation requires our participation, and free will results in some not acheiving salvation.

One other thought: Some earlier posts argue that if God wants all to be saved, why would He not simply save all, therefore He obviously does not want all to be saved. The argument fails to note the distinction between God’s love for ALL of His creation - giving rise to His desire for universal salvation, and His infinite Justice - which results in the damnation of those who, by their free will, decide not to attain the salvation that God makes available to all.

-Peace


#12

I’m a Protestant and a dedicated anti-Calvinist, but I’m going to weigh in alongside flameburns623 here and assure you that there is NO argument you can make against Calvinism that hasn’t already been made and answered 10,000 times. Yes, I mean 10,000 times. Pjs2ejs’s thought that “He will most likely fumble through some spontaneous interpretation” is far, far from the truth. I know of no group within Christendom who know the Scriptures and the principles of sound exegesis more than do Calvinists.

Except, of course, me :angel1:


#13

Wow - if they really knew the Scriptures, then they would be Catholics!


#14

Kevan, to refer to FLAMEBURN’s quote, to say that all doesn’t mean all is a bit of a fumble. When I have heard Calvinists discuss Predestination, it sounds like fumbling.

Just because they have heard the argument 10,000 times does not mean they are accurately defending against it.

I stand by my comments of Predestination being one of the most difficult theological subjects. I don’t think it is worthy of argument. It is almost impossible to understand. The church believes there is still much mystery in it.


#15

thank you all for the posts, I will use 1 Tim. 2: 1-6


#16

[quote=Pjs2ejs]Kevan, to refer to FLAMEBURN’s quote, to say that all doesn’t mean all is a bit of a fumble.
[/quote]

Even though I believe that God wants all to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth, the Calvinist objection that “all” seldom (if ever) means “each and every” is irrefutable.

To discover this for yourself, get a concordance and start looking up ten or so consecutive occurrances of the word in, say, Matthew’s gospel. When you see something like “All the city came out to hear John,” you understand naturally that it excludes nursing babes, most invalids, various uninterested people, deaf people, etc. And you will see this again and again.

Despite this, I still believe God wants all to be saved :slight_smile:


#17

Good point on the “all”.

Just remember that it also applies to Mary, where we read that “all” have sinned.


#18

[quote=flameburns623]Human beings are culpable for their sins. God is not. However the idea that humans have freewill is a notion superimposed upon the Bible and borrowed from Greek philosophy. Humans do NOT have free will. They have culpability. God has not defined how this is possible. He has declared in His Word that it is sinful to try to peer too deeply into such issues. They are off-limits to human inquiry.
[/quote]

Very interesting this topic “Predestination”. Im curious though, does one who believes he or she does not have free will know for sure of where they will wind up, you know in heaven or the other place???
And if so, how can it be determined?


#19

Another point on the “all” business. St. Thomas Aquinas takes the “Calvinist” position on this. Yes, I know that his overall view differs from Calvinism (particularly on the issue of perseverance), but the differences are slighter than you might think.

Edwin


#20

[quote=flameburns623]Human beings are culpable for their sins. God is not. However the idea that humans have freewill is a notion superimposed upon the Bible and borrowed from Greek philosophy. Humans do NOT have free will. They have culpability. God has not defined how this is possible. He has declared in His Word that it is sinful to try to peer too deeply into such issues. They are off-limits to human inquiry.
[/quote]

If humans have no free will, then there is little or no meaning to the word “sin”, as to "sin is to make a choice for oneself and against God. But if one has no free will (the ability to choose one thing or another) then there is no choice; it is a compelled act.

The concept of no free will flies in the face of everday experience.


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