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Why do some people receive the gift of faith and not others? - Printable Version

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Re: Why do some people receive the gift of faith and not others? - Melkite - 12-09-2011

(12-09-2011, 10:51 AM)Walty Wrote: Melkite, the idea that man's reception or rejection of God's grace lies with the man, that it is he who makes the final decision and not God, is the heresy of Semipelagianism.  It has been condemned by the Church on numerous occasions.

I believe that Molinism and Thomism can both be validly held by Catholics as neither have been declared as dogma, but, in looking at dogma and Scripture, Thomism seems to obviously be the right choice, in my opinion.  I wouldn't say that one has cut themselves off from the Church for disagreeing, however.

But is my understanding of what you are saying correct, or am I exaggerating it somehow?  How could Molinism and Thomism both be valid?  They seem irreconcilable to me, if my understanding of Thomism on this point is correct.  If one doesn't cut themselves off from the Church by rejecting the Thomist view, then wouldn't it mean that the council of Orange's canons aren't actually infallible?  Or does that mean that an interpretation that puts more emphasis on the will of man in responding to God's grace is acceptable and not inherently contrary to it?


Re: Why do some people receive the gift of faith and not others? - James02 - 12-09-2011

A Molinist accepts every Canon of Orange.  Molinism is a system of predestination.  St. Robert Bellarmine was a Molinist, for example.  I am not a Molinist, but I like using the system when debating to show how predestination and free will can work at the same time.  Think of it as the mechanics of predestination.  I'm more Augustinian, I believe.

Anyhow, if you asked St. Robert about predestination, the first thing he would say is that God predestined the elect for His own secret purpose according to His Divine Plan.  HOW this works is where they part from Thomists.


Re: Why do some people receive the gift of faith and not others? - Melkite - 12-09-2011

(12-09-2011, 12:25 PM)James02 Wrote: A Molinist accepts every Canon of Orange.  Molinism is a system of predestination.  St. Robert Bellarmine was a Molinist, for example.  I am not a Molinist, but I like using the system when debating to show how predestination and free will can work at the same time.  Think of it as the mechanics of predestination.  I'm more Augustinian, I believe.

Anyhow, if you asked St. Robert about predestination, the first thing he would say is that God predestined the elect for His own secret purpose according to His Divine Plan.  HOW this works is where they part from Thomists.

How does a Molinist interpret Orange?  The same way that I first interpreted it a few posts ago?  I think I'm probably not a molinist either, if there is still the belief that those whom God does not elect, have no possibility of being saved and yet they are still soley to blame for their damnation.  But to reiterate my question to you, is the Catholic teaching that God only loves those whom he has elected?


Re: Why do some people receive the gift of faith and not others? - James02 - 12-09-2011

Quote: How could Molinism and Thomism both be valid?

Neither is complete.  Both use the term "predestination", which is impossible with God as He is outside of time.  BUT, it is the best word we can come up with.

As I said before, the Church gives us a framework with limits.  As long as you are inside those limits, you are Catholic.  I can argue that Molinism is in error.  That is my right.  I may not call them heretics, because they are not.  That is why I am confident you won't find a Molinist disputing the Council of Orange.


Re: Why do some people receive the gift of faith and not others? - James02 - 12-09-2011

Quote: How does a Molinist interpret Orange?  The same way that I first interpreted it a few posts ago?
I don't think there is much interpretation needed.  It's pretty clear.

Quote: I think I'm probably not a molinist either, if there is still the belief that those whom God does not elect, have no possibility of being saved and yet they are still soley to blame for their damnation.
I assure you, a Molinist like St. Robert Bellarmine believes:  those that God did not elect have absolutely zero possibility of salvation.  They are stuck with their FALLEN NATURE.  Why God predestines some to election is a MYSTERY.  But it is NOT a mystery that those of the FALLEN RACE have absolutely no claim on God.  You can't have it both ways.  Either we have free will or we don't.  The reprobate have absolute free will.  When, not entirely, it is taught that God works to lesson their evil, and will even kill them early to minimize their torment in Hell.  That is speculation, but you can believe that.

And have you been to hell?  Can you report back to us that the reprobate's suffering in UNJUST?  If not, then you are a blind man passing judgment God.

Quote:  But to reiterate my question to you, is the Catholic teaching that God only loves those whom he has elected?
I have heard a very sound priest preach that God even loves the demons, as they are His creation.  There are nuances to phrasing this.  God is ALL JUST, so it is NECESSARY that the reprobate end in hell.  Outside of Time there are only two possibilities: with God, without God.  It is NECESSARY that the damned flee from PERFECTION.

Now let us look at a system of free will without election and grace.  What exactly will a man in this situation do to EARN Heaven?  What will he do to redeem his fallen nature so he can be JUSTIFIED, and therefore stand in front of the Beatific Vision?  NOTHING he can do can put God in debt.  His one little sin, only one, condemns him to hell.  Nothing impure can enter heaven. 

The problem you have Melkite, if I dig deeper, will reveal itself as a rejection of Original Sin.  From whence all the Modernism springs from.

  Fr. (St.) Feeney, pray for us.


Re: Why do some people receive the gift of faith and not others? - Melkite - 12-09-2011

(12-09-2011, 12:34 PM)James02 Wrote:
Quote: How could Molinism and Thomism both be valid?

Neither is complete.  Both use the term "predestination", which is impossible with God as He is outside of time.  BUT, it is the best word we can come up with.

As I said before, the Church gives us a framework with limits.  As long as you are inside those limits, you are Catholic.  I can argue that Molinism is in error.  That is my right.  I may not call them heretics, because they are not.  That is why I am confident you won't find a Molinist disputing the Council of Orange.

Ok, but does God only love those whom he has elected?

So, is one who is not elect incapable of changing, only because God sees their course from outside of time, and not because God is willing them to not be saved?  Or is it because, completely irregardless of what they will do or who they will be in the confines of time, God has chosen to save some and the rest are doomed because he truly doesn't love them and has no desire to elect them as well?


Re: Why do some people receive the gift of faith and not others? - James02 - 12-09-2011

Quote: Or is it because, completely irregardless of what they will do or who they will be in the confines of time, God has chosen to save some and the rest are doomed because he truly doesn't love them and has no desire to elect them as well?

This is where you subtlety reject free will.  It is BECAUSE of what they will FREELY do, that they are not saved.  If they sin one time, then they can not bear the sight of the beatific vision.  Probably a large portion end up in Limbo, but you don't have to believe that.

Out of the WHOLE FALLEN RACE, God sent His only Son to provide a means to Salvation.  NO ONE has a claim on that FREE GIFT.  And He gives that Gift for His own secret (classical meaning) purpose to those we call the elect through Grace.  The reprobate stay in their natural state.  They are the city of man.  Some God justifies and sanctifies for the City of God.  Why did flaming homo Oscar Wilde convert on his deathbed and get baptized, yet Apostle Judas, who walked around for 3 years ("wasting his time") end up, most likely, in hell?  Why were you born to hear the Truth, yet some naked savage will not?  Is it something you did to "earn"?  It is all a Mystery.  But any other system will fall apart.  You deny Original Sin, and you will bring out of the pits of hell: Vatican II.


Re: Why do some people receive the gift of faith and not others? - Melkite - 12-09-2011

(12-09-2011, 12:52 PM)James02 Wrote: I assure you, a Molinist like St. Robert Bellarmine believes:  those that God did not elect have absolutely zero possibility of salvation.  They are stuck with their FALLEN NATURE.  Why God predestines some to election is a MYSTERY.  But it is NOT a mystery that those of the FALLEN RACE have absolutely no claim on God.  You can't have it both ways.  Either we have free will or we don't.  The reprobate have absolute free will.  When, not entirely, it is taught that God works to lesson their evil, and will even kill them early to minimize their torment in Hell.  That is speculation, but you can believe that.

That's pretty much what I needed to know.  I'll begin visiting area Orthodox churches this Sunday.  You're right, we can't have it both ways.  We either have free will, or we don't.  It cannot both be God's decision that we are elect and our free will decision to damn ourselves.  If God does not choose to elect us, and there is nothing we can do to escape hell for being born into a situation we did not choose, then we do not have free will in the matter.  It's impossible to argue around that one.

(12-09-2011, 12:52 PM)James02 Wrote: Now let us look at a system of free will without election and grace.  What exactly will a man in this situation do to EARN Heaven?  What will he do to redeem his fallen nature so he can be JUSTIFIED, and therefore stand in front of the Beatific Vision?  NOTHING he can do can put God in debt.  His one little sin, only one, condemns him to hell.  Nothing impure can enter heaven. 

So do Catholics not believe in synergy anymore?


Re: Why do some people receive the gift of faith and not others? - James02 - 12-09-2011

Trent:

Quote: CANON I.-If any one saith, that man may be justified before God by his own works, whether done through the teaching of human nature, or that of the law, without the grace of God through Jesus Christ; let him be anathema.

CANON II.-If any one saith, that the grace of God, through Jesus Christ, is given only for this, that man may be able more easily to live justly, and to merit eternal life, as if, by free will without grace, he were able to do both, though hardly indeed and with difficulty; let him be anathema.

CANON III.-If any one saith, that without the prevenient inspiration of the Holy Ghost, and without his help, man can believe, hope, love, or be penitent as he ought, so as that the grace of Justification may be bestowed upon him; let him be anathema.

But pay special attention to this:
Quote: CANON IV.-If any one saith, that man's free will moved and excited by God, by assenting to God exciting and calling, nowise co-operates towards disposing and preparing itself for obtaining the grace of Justification; that it cannot refuse its consent, if it would, but that, as something inanimate, it does nothing whatever and is merely passive; let him be anathema.

CANON V.-If any one saith, that, since Adam's sin, the free will of man is lost and extinguished; or, that it is a thing with only a name, yea a name without a reality, a figment, in fine, introduced into the Church by Satan; let him be anathema.

CANON VI.-If any one saith, that it is not in man's power to make his ways evil, but that the works that are evil God worketh as well as those that are good, not permissively only, but properly, and of Himself, in such wise that the treason of Judas is no less His own proper work than the vocation of Paul; let him be anathema.

CANON IX.-If any one saith, that by faith alone the impious is justified; in such wise as to mean, that nothing else is required to co-operate in order to the obtaining the grace of Justification, and that it is not in any way necessary, that he be prepared and disposed by the movement of his own will; let him be anathema.

Perfection, this side of heaven.


Re: Why do some people receive the gift of faith and not others? - Vetus Ordo - 12-09-2011

(12-09-2011, 01:24 PM)Melkite Wrote: I'll begin visiting area Orthodox churches this Sunday.

So you're not comfortable with election but you're comfortable with a church that rejects Scripture?