Why do some people receive the gift of faith and not others?
(12-17-2011, 11:32 PM)Doce Me Wrote: Melkite

Thoughts on Reprobation

God can't cause sin. God by His almighty power and wisdom destines a man to hell only by  (1) from eternity permitting the man's sin and (2) causing the punishment for the sin.  I do not believe that reprobation is God leaving some men in a pit where the only thing possible for them is to sin (albeit freely) and be damned - since Christ (at least) there is no such pit.  It would be just - man does not deserve grace to be available - but with Christ there is mercy not only justice.  There is no pit.  A man is reprobated ABSOLUTELY JUSTLY if and only if he freely dies in the state of sin - if he rejects mercy. Reprobation is caused by God, but is due to man's sin (there would be no need for permission or punishment if there were no sin).  IT IS COMPLETELY JUST.

Why does God allow any kind of evil in the world (even physical evil)?  Why does He permit the particular evils that He does?  This mystery  of reprobation seems to be basically an instance of this mystery of evil.  Why does God permit this totally undeserving sinner to die in his sin, and not this other one? God's eternal plan and power and causation of all creation include His wise prevention of some evils, and yet not of others.  God from all eternity PERMITS the evils and CAUSES the consequences, and OF COURSE from all eternity KNOWS who and what and how many. The same is true for man's good and evil willing.

A Different Perspective On Predestination

I think one sometimes helpful (although non-standard) view of predestination  is to say that the Elect include everyone except the Reprobate.  God made all of us out of love, became man, and died for us out of love.  We are taught in catechism that God made us all .. to be happy with Him in heaven.  We do not deserve heaven by strict justice   Christ's grace is not owed to us, but He gives it readily if we accept it.  He doesn't give equally to all!  But he gives it - enough to be saved, for that is His purpose for us - if we don't resist it.  We have to intentionally turn away from God in order to be in the Reprobate.  If we don't:, that is if we (by God's power) follow all His commands and love Him with all our heart..., we will be in the Elect (even if not all will be great saints).  All we have to do is fall back on God's graces ("all" is a lot, but it is due to God not us). But we have to deliberately die in the state of sin to be in the reprobate. 

This is not to say that it is EASIER to be among the elect, or that there are more of the elect.  Certainly not.  But Christ's grace is sufficient for us, however easy it is to resist it.

The Hardest Thing

How on earth can God move our will but at the same time we will freely?  Believing this can help make predestination a little easier to grasp (but definitely not easy, at least for me)...God does elect us if WE are good (careful!), but it is ONLY because God is the COMPLETE cause of our goodness.  God ELECTS us from all eternity if WE work out our salvation in THIS life... but ONLY because HE is working it out in us - in every motion of our will.  God's election of us, and His working out our salvation,  for HIM occur in His "eternal now" (as it were, simultaneously!), because He is outside of time.  (I am thinking aloud, trying to understand. I haven't made this too clear)

God is all and we are nothing.  We can do nothing without him.  But free willing is something, something good, something magnificent - it  (along with the intellect) is why we say we are created in the image of God.  To say we can will good without God's causing it is to say that we for an instant don't need God.  But without God all is nothing.   God can't change that, any more than He can change being God. Don't think of God as a kind of superman or  puppet master, who would force the will if he moved it.  That is not God.  God transcends the will and all our understanding of it. The most awesome part is that God leaves us as an absolutely true secondary cause of our willing - exactly how we know it.

Predestination is taught by the Church.  Try to understand it, and to accept what you don't yet understand (or won't until heaven).

These are some very edifying thoughts. Hopefully, they help!

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Re: Why do some people receive the gift of faith and not others? - by INPEFESS - 12-18-2011, 04:49 AM

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