Why do some people receive the gift of faith and not others?
#41
(11-30-2011, 03:19 PM)Vetus Ordo Wrote:
(11-30-2011, 03:15 PM)cgraye Wrote:
(11-30-2011, 03:01 PM)Walty Wrote: Even if you reject the Thomistic argument for predestination, you must admit that God COULD save everyone, or at least the majority and He doesn't.  Why do you not believe Him to be a sadistic monster then?

The difference is entirely in the reason they are damned.  Are they damned because of a choice they made, when they were actually capable of making another choice, or are they damned because God did not give them the thing that they needed to avoid it, when he did give it to others?

God has mercy on whom He was mercy and He hardenth whom He hardeneth. This is clear.

God hardened the Pharaoh's heart, did he not? And how so? By withholding His grace from him, by letting him to his sinful devices. The same happens with the reprobate. They are damned in their own sins, they hate God and righteousness, there's nothing they can argue against their sorry fate.

Pharaoh is the perfect example.
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#42
(11-30-2011, 03:19 PM)Vetus Ordo Wrote: God has mercy on whom He was mercy and He hardenth whom He hardeneth. This is clear.

If by that you mean that his choice is either arbitrary or calculated so that some cannot actually avoid eternal damnation, then it is not at all clear.  I say that is impossible, because that is contrary to justice and love.

Quote:God hardened the Pharaoh's heart, did he not? And how so? By withholding His grace from him, by letting him to his sinful devices.

But did he do this as the consummation of Pharaoh's own choice?  Exodus 8:15 and 8:32 speak of Pharaoh as hardening his own heart.

Quote:The same happens with the reprobate. They are damned in their own sins, they hate God and righteousness, there's nothing they can argue against their sorry fate.

If they are damned because they lacked, by God's own choice, the thing they needed to avoid damnation, I'd say they have a pretty good complaint.
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#43
(11-30-2011, 03:01 PM)Walty Wrote: Well, then I guess the Scriptures propose a sadistic monster as well.  Forget predestination for a moment.  I think we can both admit that God is powerful enough to send all men to heaven if He so chooses.  And yet, as you have pointed out, most men end up in hell. 

Even if you reject the Thomistic argument for predestination, you must admit that God COULD save everyone, or at least the majority and He doesn't.  Why do you not believe Him to be a sadistic monster then?

I don't think I pointed out most men end up in hell, but that's not necessarily something I disagree with.  God could save everyone, yes.  He doesn't because it's not really love if it's not freely chosen.  God isn't a sadistic monster for allowing someone to choose to fall into hell.  But if he chooses hell for people (my understanding of what Thomism proposes, not an objective theological statement) by creating people in a state where hell is the default finality, out of which no one has the power to escape on their own, and the only one that can help refuses to do so, that is a sadistic monster.  I'm a little confused by your last post though, do you see those two as being the same thing basically?  They seem diametrically opposed to me.
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#44
(11-30-2011, 03:03 PM)Vetus Ordo Wrote: Predestination is Catholic doctrine, you can't deny it or pretend it doesn't exist. The same with election.

Do you have any sources I can read for myself.  I guess this is probably the prompting I needed to stop hiding from it.  If what you say is true, and I can't reject predestination and still be Catholic, though, I'll have to become Orthodox; I won't be able to avoid it anymore.

(11-30-2011, 03:03 PM)Vetus Ordo Wrote: This is simply not true.

Have a tally?  Admittedly, I don't either, but if you don't as well, then this is nothing more than 'yuh-huh' 'nuh-uh.'
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#45
(11-30-2011, 03:31 PM)Walty Wrote: Pharaoh is the perfect example.

Was Pharaoh not given ample opportunity to choose God before his heart was hardened?
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#46
(11-30-2011, 04:03 PM)Melkite Wrote:
(11-30-2011, 03:03 PM)Vetus Ordo Wrote: Predestination is Catholic doctrine, you can't deny it or pretend it doesn't exist. The same with election.

Do you have any sources I can read for myself.  I guess this is probably the prompting I needed to stop hiding from it.  If what you say is true, and I can't reject predestination and still be Catholic, though, I'll have to become Orthodox; I won't be able to avoid it anymore.

What will that get you?

Then you'll be part of a church that refuses to condemn divorce and contraception, and has denied Roman primacy for the last 1,000 years.

I think it'd be best for you to not focus so much on predestination and worry more about your internal spiritual life. You don't have to be a full fledged Thomist, you have a more Eastern view of things and I understand that. But don't let discussions like this cause damage to your faith, it might be best to not think about predestination so much.
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#47
(11-30-2011, 04:13 PM)K3vinhood Wrote: I think it'd be best for you to not focus so much on predestination and worry more about your internal spiritual life. You don't have to be a full fledged Thomist, you have a more Eastern view of things and I understand that. But don't let discussions like this cause damage to your faith, it might be best to not think about predestination so much.

Saint Augustine says something to the same effect in City of God
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#48
(11-30-2011, 03:39 PM)cgraye Wrote: If by that you mean that his choice is either arbitrary or calculated so that some cannot actually avoid eternal damnation, then it is not at all clear.  I say that is impossible, because that is contrary to justice and love.

God's will is uncaused.

The elect are not chosen because God foresaw their positive response to grace. That scenario would make man the cause of his own salvation rather than God. This cannot be. The supreme potter elects some vessels unto honour and leaves others unto dishonour, the Lord shows mercy on whom He wills and hardens whom He wills, that much is abundantly clear.

And it's also clear that unless a certain soul is foreordained to be in the Book of Life that he or she cannot escape reprobation, not because God positively wills sin and evil but because He chooses some to perish in their own sins and others to victoriously deligh in His mercy.

Quote:But did he do this as the consummation of Pharaoh's own choice?  Exodus 8:15 and 8:32 speak of Pharaoh as hardening his own heart.

The Pharaoh "hardened his own heart" because of his own sins. Scripture shows us both sides of the same coin. The ultimate cause of this hardening of heart is what St. Paul expands upon: God, the first cause, hardened the Pharaoh's heart, He withheld His grace from him and the Pharaoh then wallowed in his own wickedness and consummated his own demise.

Quote:If they are damned because they lacked, by God's own choice, the thing they needed to avoid damnation, I'd say they have a pretty good complaint.

They have not because no man is entitled to mercy. All are born in a state of reprobation and wickedness.

"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?" (Romans 9:20)
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#49
(11-30-2011, 04:06 PM)Melkite Wrote:
(11-30-2011, 03:31 PM)Walty Wrote: Pharaoh is the perfect example.

Was Pharaoh not given ample opportunity to choose God before his heart was hardened?

That's not what Scripture says.  By what you're asserting, it should be said that Pharaoh hardened his own heart with his free will.  But that's not what Scripture says.  It says that the Lord hardened his heart.

It does not say that, "Many are called, few answer."  It says, "Many are called, few are chosen."


What are we to make of this?
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#50
(11-30-2011, 04:38 PM)Vetus Ordo Wrote: God's will is uncaused.

The elect are not chosen because God foresaw their positive response to grace. That scenario would make man the cause of his own salvation rather than God. This cannot be. The supreme potter elects some vessels unto honour and leaves others unto dishonour, the Lord shows mercy on whom He wills and hardens whom He wills, that much is abundantly clear.

That is nowhere near abundantly clear.  St. Augustine originally held that the elect were chosen because God foresaw their positive response to grace, before reversing his opinion.  And that would not make man the cause of his own salvation, because he would not have what he needed to attain it without God - but it would make man the cause of his own damnation, which is in harmony with perfect justice.  Man can make two choices, he chooses evil, thus he is punished.  It seems clear to me that if the reverse is true, it is God who is the cause of damnation.  I don't see how this is any different from the so called double predestination of the Calvinists.

Quote:And it's also clear that unless a certain soul is foreordained to be in the Book of Life that he or she cannot escape reprobation, not because God positively wills sin and evil but because He chooses some to perish in their own sins and others to victoriously deligh in His mercy.

God deciding not to give a person what he needs to avoid or repent from sin is exactly equivalent to him explicitly willing them to be damned (which is explicitly contradicted by the scripture quoted above, incidentally).  This might not be the case, except that everyone is born with the effects of original sin, biasing the odds against him, so to speak.  St. Augustine called our will so distorted, and the Fall so extensive, that in the postlapsarian world we can only choose evil.  I do not see how God, completely outside anything you say or do, deciding to withhold the thing that you need to escape this fate (and eternal fiery torment, no less), can possibly be reconciled with being perfectly just.

Quote:The Pharaoh "hardened his own heart" because of his own sins. Scripture shows us both sides of the same coin. The ultimate cause of this hardening of heart is what St. Paul expands upon: God, the first cause, hardened the Pharaoh's heart, He withheld His grace from him and the Pharaoh then wallowed in his own wickedness and consummated his own demise.

Then I fail to see how Pharaoh could, in justice, be held accountable for that sin, since the thing he needed to avoid it was denied him.  In fact, the entire problem with God being the initiator of every act of will, in that he decides what the act will be, is that it then renders every punishment for sin unjust, since the choice to sin did not come from the one being punished.

Quote:They have not because no man is entitled to mercy. All are born in a state of reprobation and wickedness.

Which was also God's choice.  And if that's the way he wanted to run his ship, fine, God's God.  But when the price for lacking the thing that he chose not to give you and you could not acquire any other way is to burn forever, then that is not justice.  You don't have to be entitled to mercy to be treated with justice.  And it is not just to punish someone for something that it is not within his power to control.  If it is in God's nature to be perfectly just, this is impossible.

Quote:"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?" (Romans 9:20)

If you're damned and can't do anything about it, why not?  Might as well voice your complaint on your way to your eternal agony that you had literally no chance of avoiding.
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