Why do some people receive the gift of faith and not others?
#34
(11-30-2011, 02:38 PM)Melkite Wrote:
(11-30-2011, 02:20 PM)Walty Wrote: He doesn't choose to condemn to hell, He merely refrains from giving certain individuals the gift of heaven, a gift which they do not deserve in the first place.  Those two things may sound like the same thing, but they are not.

I can see the difference abstractly, but look at it practically.  If because of the fall, all people deserve hell, and no one can escape that fate on their own, then God is confronted with a fact: unless I choose to help these people, they are going to hell - there is nothing they can do to escape it.  By choosing to not help them, he is choosing to condemn the hell.  Just as we can sin by omission, God can choose by omission (if Thomism bears out).  If we choose not to act, that itself is an action.  Likewise, if God chooses not to act, that is his choice not to save someone, and so can't be considered, practically, to be passively allowing them to go to hell.  It's like if I tell you if you do A, then I do B, you knew before hand, so you can't get upset if I do B when you do A knowing I will do B if you do A.  If God knows that someone can't escape hell without his help, and after that knowledge chooses not to help them, he is effectively choosing for them to go to hell.  He is the only one with the power to choose one option or the other.

But you're equating two similar things.  They are not the same.  And, again, you are only upset with this because you view each man as deserving to gain heaven, at least in potentiality.  This is not God's will, and it is not the greatest good for mankind as a whole.

You have to accept that, in order for us to be who God wants us to be as creatures, hell and the permission, even the omission of God's grace to save some, is necessary.  God, being so far above and beyond our understanding, cannot and does not offend justice.  This decision is not only just, but it is in our best interest in the end.

It's too easy for us to sit here and either condemn Christianity or condemn its God just because it sounds this way or that.  At the end of the day, this is a mystery.
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Re: Why do some people receive the gift of faith and not others? - by Walty - 11-30-2011, 02:44 PM



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