A very interesting but lengthy article. I didn't have time to read everything but here are a few comments:
Scripture speaks always and only of predestination to full membership in Church.
Not so. God spoke of predestining His Son to death.The Eastern Fathers, absolutely all of them, and Westerners before Augustine
Partially correct. The Eastern Fathers, absolutely all of them that I can gather, did indeed subscribe to a synergistic view of God. Their foundation rests upon Saint John Cassian who was a student of Pelagius. The Westerner fathers, OTOH, are mix. Augustine, in his Treatise of the Predestination of Man ascribe his change of heart to Saint Cyprian, a great leader of the Western Church. And, if one is objective, the monergistic view was formally documented in the Council of Orange creeds about a 100 years after Augustine. So in that theory, God does not really love anyone, He merely uses the few for His own purposes, not for their sake
.Of course Augustine did not see this fact, or he would surely have stayed away from his theory.
I cant deny that a few western fathers may have erroneously held to the synergistic belief, but they were in the minority. The Pope (I forgot his name at the moment and dont have time to look it up) allowed both the eastern view and the western view to coexist as a favor to Cassian.
God has a great love for His elect-those that He has chosen. Augustine saw this and commented on it:(Hence, within that framework, he thought that the words of Romans 9:13,"I have loved Jacob and hated Esau" meant that God really hated Esau. And without even looking at Esau's life wanted to damn him) . Actually, St. Paul does not speak of any such thing
Why, then, does He not teach all that they may come to Christ, except because all whom He teaches, He teaches in mercy, while those whom He teaches not, in judgment He teaches not? Since, "On whom He will He has mercy, and whom He will He hardeneth." [Rom 9.18.] But He has mercy when He gives good things. He hardens when He recompenses what is deserved. Or if, as some would prefer to distinguish them, those words also are his to whom the apostle says, "Thou sayest then unto me," so that he may be regarded as having said, "Therefore hath He mercy on whom He will, and whom He will He hardeneth," as well as those which follow,to wit, "What is it that is still complained of? for who resists His will?" does the apostle answer, "O man, what thou hast said is false?" No; but he says, "O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Doth the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus? Hath not the potter power over the clay of the same lump?" [Rom. 9.28 ff.] and what follows, which you very well know. Augustine A Trestise on Predestination
Everyones life damns them. That is what original sin is all about. What Augustine recognized was that God has to intervene to overcome this damnation. Augustines argument is based upon Cyprians argument; you have nothing that hasnt been given to you by God. This would include your knowledge, faith, understanding, everything. Consequently, Esau, like everyone is damned.
But God revealed Himself to Jacob and not to Esau. If Esau didnt come to God it wasnt because of Esau trying very hard or that he lived a worst life than Jacob. It was because God chose to reveal Himself to Jacob and not to Esau, just like God chose to reveal Himself to Paul and not to the rest of the people on the Damascus road.
WE WERE ELECTED AND PREDESTINATED, NOT BECAUSE WE WERE GOING TO BE HOLY, BUT IN ORDER THAT WE MIGHT BE SO. - Augustine
posted on 02/22/2007 5:50:39 AM PST
Christ Once said....
"Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and that of the Gospel will save it. What profit is there for one to gain the whole world .
This means we must exercise our FREE WILL and completely deny ourselves.
There are no shortcuts like in Christianity and Predestination is a shortcut.
God WILLS us ALL to be saved!
God wants us to be participants in His abundant love,thus the more we participate the more Grace is given.
"In other words, we have to forget about ourselves and remember to stay focused on Christ and the needs of others. If we just live for ourselves, then we are going to fail to experience true love. We will live a mediocre life as opposed to the abundant life with which God wants to bless us. Remember that it is in giving that we receive. It is in forgiving that we are forgiven, and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life" ( Saint Francis of Assisi).
Predestination takes away the beauty of God,s Salvation plan for mankind.
We are not above angels and angels are NOT Predestined!
I see no need to go round and round on predestination because I see it as a distraction that is divisive amongst Christians.
From the words of Saint Teresa Benedicta of the Cross(Edith Stein)the Carmilite martyr killed at Auschwitz
"Do not accept anything as the truth if it lacks love. And do not accept anything as love which lacks truth! One without the other becomes a destructive lie."
I wish you a Blessed day!
posted on 02/22/2007 9:22:16 AM PST
("Above all gifts that Christ gives his beloved is that of overcoming self"St Francis Assisi)
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