Why do some people receive the gift of faith and not others?
#21
(11-30-2011, 10:36 AM)su Wrote: But, I think the main problem we find intellectually is the idea that some do not seem to be called at all. We can discuss whether God knows what would have been had God done differently (or if that even makes sense to consider), but I think it is clear that whatever seems to be to us is not necessarily so, and we can be sure what however it is, it is perfectly just and from the same loving merciful God we serve.

Personally, I think any time we see a case where a person is seemingly left out, that individual would have been worse off in a "better" situation for whatever reason. God destroyed Sodom because it had become too evil, but it was not the ultimate evil:

So, for these people, would they have been worse off if sin had not entered into the world?  Is their state in a fallen world where God has forsaken them better than what it would be if reprobation wasn't even on the table?  God didn't intend to hate people even before Adam sinned, did he?  Here is the crux of your statement, and ultimately the failure of predestination as a doctrine.  If this is true, it necessitates that God actively created people for hell.  Calvinism's double predestination becomes the logical end of  predestination theology.  Ultimately, God would have had to have planned and chosen for people to sin.  But such a belief is not Christian.
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#22
(11-30-2011, 12:34 PM)Melkite Wrote:
(11-30-2011, 10:36 AM)su Wrote: But, I think the main problem we find intellectually is the idea that some do not seem to be called at all. We can discuss whether God knows what would have been had God done differently (or if that even makes sense to consider), but I think it is clear that whatever seems to be to us is not necessarily so, and we can be sure what however it is, it is perfectly just and from the same loving merciful God we serve.

Personally, I think any time we see a case where a person is seemingly left out, that individual would have been worse off in a "better" situation for whatever reason. God destroyed Sodom because it had become too evil, but it was not the ultimate evil:

So, for these people, would they have been worse off if sin had not entered into the world?  Is their state in a fallen world where God has forsaken them better than what it would be if reprobation wasn't even on the table?  God didn't intend to hate people even before Adam sinned, did he?  Here is the crux of your statement, and ultimately the failure of predestination as a doctrine.  If this is true, it necessitates that God actively created people for hell.  Calvinism's double predestination becomes the logical end of  predestination theology.  Ultimately, God would have had to have planned and chosen for people to sin.  But such a belief is not Christian.

I think you should go back to the Scriptures.

The goodness of creation is not the sum of individual lives.  Did not Christ say that it would be better for Judas if he had never been born?  Does this mean that God is vengeful or that He should not have created men because He'd allow Judas to fall into hell?  No.

Remember that none of us are entitled to heaven.  If you are elected to the beatific vision it is a totally gratuitous gift.  It is not the result of your merit in any way.
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#23
"For what distinguisheth thee? or what hast thou that thou hast not received? And if thou hast received, why dost thou glory, as if thou hadst not received? " - 1 Corinthians 4:7

"He chose us in Him [Jesus Christ] before the foundation of the world that we should be holy and unspotted in His sight. He hath predestinated us to be His adopted children through Jesus Christ, according to the good pleasure of His will, to make shine forth the glory of His grace, by which He has made us pleasing in His eyes, in His beloved son." - Ephesians 1:4

"For many are called, but few are chosen." - Matthew 22:14

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#24
Romans 9:11-25 Wrote:"For when the children were not yet born, nor had done any good or evil (that the purpose of God, according to election, might stand,) not of works, but of him that calleth, it was said to her: The elder shall serve the younger. As it is written: Jacob I have loved, but Esau I have hated. What shall we say then? Is there injustice with God? God forbid. For he saith to Moses: I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy; and I will shew mercy to whom I will shew mercy.

So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy. For the scripture saith to Pharao: To this purpose have I raised thee, that I may shew my power in thee, and that my name may be declared throughout all the earth. Therefore he hath mercy on whom he will; and whom he will, he hardeneth. Thou wilt say therefore to me: Why doth he then find fault? for who resisteth his will? O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it: Why hast thou made me thus?

Or hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump, to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour? What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much patience vessels of wrath, fitted for destruction, that he might shew the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he hath prepared unto glory? Even us, whom also he hath called, nor only of the Jews, but also of the Gentiles. As in Osee he saith: I will call that which was not my people, my people; and her that was not beloved, beloved; and her that had not obtained mercy, one that hath obtained mercy."

God indeed elects some unto salvation and leaves the others to die in their own sins. This much is absolutely certain.

So when you wonder "Why is it that I, a miserable sinner, have faith but that priest over there doesn't or those indians lost in the jungle?", remember that faith is a gift of mercy not a salary due to a worker. God elects whom he wants, not you or I.
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#25
(11-30-2011, 01:25 PM)Vetus Ordo Wrote: So when you wonder "why do I, a miserable sinner, have faith and thate priest over there doesn't or those indians lost in the jungle?", remember that faith is a gift of mercy not a salary due to a worker. God elects whom he wants, not you or I.

Well said, friend.
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#26
(11-30-2011, 01:11 PM)Walty Wrote: I think you should go back to the Scriptures.

The goodness of creation is not the sum of individual lives.  Did not Christ say that it would be better for Judas if he had never been born?  Does this mean that God is vengeful or that He should not have created men because He'd allow Judas to fall into hell?  No.

Remember that none of us are entitled to heaven.  If you are elected to the beatific vision it is a totally gratuitous gift.  It is not the result of your merit in any way.

Sure, creation is not the sum of individual lives.  But that isn't relevant to what I was saying.  If there was no original sin, if we lived in a perfect world the way God created it, would it be better for Judas if he had never been born?  Of course not! because the context in which Jesus asked the question is in a world already corrupted by sin.  So, the point I was trying to make was that one only need look at the world prior to the fall to see that God does not create certain people for election and others for destruction.  His creation never worked like that, he doesn't operate like that.  It is a preposterous supposition to think that God created the world with the intent, prior to the fall, to only call certain individuals.
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#27
(11-30-2011, 01:41 PM)Melkite Wrote:
(11-30-2011, 01:11 PM)Walty Wrote: I think you should go back to the Scriptures.

The goodness of creation is not the sum of individual lives.  Did not Christ say that it would be better for Judas if he had never been born?  Does this mean that God is vengeful or that He should not have created men because He'd allow Judas to fall into hell?  No.

Remember that none of us are entitled to heaven.  If you are elected to the beatific vision it is a totally gratuitous gift.  It is not the result of your merit in any way.

Sure, creation is not the sum of individual lives.  But that isn't relevant to what I was saying.  If there was no original sin, if we lived in a perfect world the way God created it, would it be better for Judas if he had never been born?  Of course not! because the context in which Jesus asked the question is in a world already corrupted by sin.  So, the point I was trying to make was that one only need look at the world prior to the fall to see that God does not create certain people for election and others for destruction.  His creation never worked like that, he doesn't operate like that.  It is a preposterous supposition to think that God created the world with the intent, prior to the fall, to only call certain individuals.

What do you make of all the quotations that we just gave you?  Scripture is pretty clear about this.

If man had never fallen then all men would be elected.  But God foresaw that man would fall, deemed it the better good to allow for certain men to fall into hell, and acted accordingly.
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#28
(11-30-2011, 01:44 PM)Walty Wrote: If man had never fallen then all men would be elected.  But God foresaw that man would fall, deemed it the better good to allow for certain men to fall into hell, and acted accordingly.

This is painfully obvious.

Melkite's hang-ups about election and predestination are purely emotional. We've been having this same discussion for years. He'll always come up with a new dodge.
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#29
(11-30-2011, 01:44 PM)Walty Wrote: What do you make of all the quotations that we just gave you?  Scripture is pretty clear about this.

If man had never fallen then all men would be elected.  But God foresaw that man would fall, deemed it the better good to allow for certain men to fall into hell, and acted accordingly.

For every quote that supports predestination there is another one that contradicts it.  Like the one where it's not God's will that any should perish?  Yet if someone perishes, according to Thomism, it is only because God willed it because nothing can happen that is not his will.

Vetus, I'm not merely being emotional with this.  I try not to think too deeply about predestination because this is probably the one issue that I can't reconcile with everything I believe to be true about God.  Despite some past truly emotional threats in the past, this is the one issue that could potentially cause me to leave the Church over.  The only thing that keeps me in the Catholic Church in regards to predestination is that I have my blinders up so to speak to prevent myself from actually finding out that predestination is Catholic doctrine that can't be denied.  I don't want to find out that I can't choose to either believe it or not, because then intellectually I would have to become Orthodox.
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#30
(11-30-2011, 02:03 PM)Melkite Wrote:
(11-30-2011, 01:44 PM)Walty Wrote: What do you make of all the quotations that we just gave you?  Scripture is pretty clear about this.

If man had never fallen then all men would be elected.  But God foresaw that man would fall, deemed it the better good to allow for certain men to fall into hell, and acted accordingly.

For every quote that supports predestination there is another one that contradicts it.  Like the one where it's not God's will that any should perish?  Yet if someone perishes, according to Thomism, it is only because God willed it because nothing can happen that is not his will.

There is an important distinction between God willing something and God permitting something.  He permits some to fall, but He does not will them to sin.

Also, I don't believe the Orthodox have any different opinion on this.
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