Christ Once said...."Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me. ...This means we must exercise our FREE WILL and completely deny ourselves.
You forget about Augustine's prayer, "Command what you will, and give what you command." I believe that this is the very heart and nature of God. God commands and God must give what He commands. While I cannot explain why God behaves in this manner, it is true nevertheless. God commands that we go out and make disciples, but does any of us really believe that we make disciples? God commands that we pray, yet He knows and supplies our needs. On and on. In reference to the above, Christ indeed tells the masses that whoever wishes to follow him must deny himself and follow. But, God must grant us the ability to deny ourselves.Predestination takes away the beauty of God,s Salvation plan for mankind. We are not above angels and angels are NOT Predestined!
The great Pelagius error was the he was unable to understand this duel nature of God. In Pelagius mind God commands and we must obey. This is what the heart of the gospel has become, a heresy that was started and condemned in the very early church.
So I thought about predestination. But rather than take away the beauty of God, it underscore the richness of God's love for us, those who God has chosen. God selected you and me and many others while we were sinners, totally incapable of helping ourselves. Like Paul on the Damacus Road, He opened our eyes to the truth. Doesn't that in itself make us want to be obedient to Him?I see no need to go round and round on predestination because I see it as a distraction that is divisive amongst Christians.
Admittedly, what is hard to understand is the reprobates and why God does not save everyone. The only thing I can say is that He doesn't.
It's the issue that divided Pelagius from Augustine, the eastern church from the western, the Protestants from the Catholics, and now the Reformers from the rest of the Protestants. There is only a remenant of us left who truly believe God exclusively saves man.
It does seem very distractive and divisive and it would be a lot easier (believe me) not to say anything when we are such a small minority. It's hard to convince 95% of today's Christians that they have the wrong view of God. I really am a very pleasent sort of person-really-and it's against my nature to sound so nasty. But if I'm going to be true to the western church fathers, the creeds, the history, and the Reformers, then I must speak correctly on how I see the scriptures and let the chips fall where they will.
May God be merciful where I'm wrong. May He shed light where I am correct.
posted on 02/22/2007 5:39:10 PM PST
The difference between ST Augustine and Calvin and Luther was that the the reformers had underlying reasons for rejecting the sacraments was the more fundamental premise of absolute predestination. Those will reach heaven who have been pre-determined to be saved. The very meaning of "grace" was changed. Instead of being a free gift of God's mercy, that we are to accept and cooperate with, grace was re-defined as the selective mercy of God which those receive who are destined to be saved.
ST Augustine understood that the Sacraments are channels of Divine Grace.
Something for you to readhttp://www.therealpresence.org/essentials/sacraments/acc33.htm
"But if I'm going to be true to the western church fathers, the creeds, the history, and the Reformers, then I must speak correctly."
If you truly thought about what your saying here ,it would mean that you would believe that the Eucharist is truly Jesus Christ- because ALL of the Early Fathers were in complete agreement.
But, you don,t, because of your loyalty to John Calvin.
In a sense,John Calvin,s loyalty allows you to be confused.
ST Augustine Knew the Eucharist is Jesus...
'And was carried in His Own Hands: how carried in His Own Hands'? Because when He commended His Own Body and Blood, He took into His Hands that which the faithful know; and in a manner carried Himself, when He said, 'This is My Body.'" Augustine, On the Psalms, 33:1,10 (A.D. 392-418).
Don,t you realize that you are elevating a doctrine of Predestination above the Sacraments?
posted on 02/23/2007 9:47:18 AM PST
("Above all gifts that Christ gives his beloved is that of overcoming self"St Francis Assisi)
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