I was just wondering what is the church's view on predestination?
Predestintation refers to what certain branches of christinaity believe in which states that God has determined the destination of every human being....whether they are going to heaven or hades no matter what they do on earth of good and bad. Also, that they have to pass three things in earth to be considered "saved" from hades, but their destination is still determined by God even before they were created. The three tests are that they should be baptised, believe that Jesus Christ is the only and one saviour, and do good things while on earth.
I agree with those three things....but I just don't agree with predestintation and I actually don't c it fair...I mean yeah everything happens by the will of God, but I doubt tht God would just determine something before He sees the doings of people while they are on this earth. So anyone who knws what the church's view on this...or have any thoughts..please reply
Thanks and God Bless,
So you see they do not believe that man has the power to save Himself or that man even has any input as to where he will spend his eternal destiny.They do however believe that repentance,faith in Christ,baptism,a godly obedient life, are all evidences that God has called a person,elected and chosen a person for eternal life in Christ.They are signs and assurances given by God to a person in order that they might know that they have truly been accepted in Christ. This is known as "making your calling and election sure".Its not that any of these things contribute to a persons salvation but rather they are external proofs that a person is already chosen in the Beloved,accepted in Christ,elected in Jesus Christ before the foundation of the world.
Alot of people attribute the doctrine of predestination to the teaching of John Calvin and other teachers of the Reformed Theological movement, but in truth it was the great St. Augustine who developed and expanded this controversial teaching.
Most Protestants,Evangelicals,Pentecostals,etc today reject the doctrine of predestination as taught by Augustine and Calvin believing that God desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the Truth.
You bring up an important and a much debated topic. Predestination. ý
The Coptic does not believe in predestination. Let me give you an example just to ýillustrate how things work. this is a very limited example to God's ability, but it helps ýpaint the picture (at least it helped me)ý
Imagine someone standing on top of a building on the corner of two main streets. he sees ýtwo cars coming to the intersection. He knows that they will crash but can't do anything ýabout it. His knowledge does not mean that these cars are destined to crash, but because ýof his position, he knows what will happen.ý
Same with God, God is limitless. He is all knowing. He is not constrained by time. He ýknows what we will do before we are even born. He knows how we will end up from the ýbeginning of time. This does not mean that He destined it, but He has an advantage in ýknowing. Perfect example, He knew that Adam would sin, yet He gave him the choice. In ýour daily lives, we are given choices, however God knows what we will choose but the ýchoice is still ours. He knew that Judas would betray Him, Yet He gave him the choices ýand even warning signs. Judas choose to betray Him anyway. God's will is for all of us to ýbe saved, but He leaves it up to us to choose. We can't be saved without Him, but we ýhave to choose to be saved (Baptism, repentance and confession, and communion)ý
I know it is kinda confusing because we are trying to understand God. Just try to keep in ýmind that God's knowledge of the future does not mean it is His will or His destiny for ýus. He, however, works thru our good and bad choices for the better of mankind. I heard ýthis phrase once and it makes me think "God is the author and coordinator of our lives" ýHe doesn't control our actions or circumstances but He uses them.ý
I hope my 2 cents help.ý
So thanks guys for replying...and if any one have more info...ur welsome to reply...it did help
Anyone can correct me if I am wrong...but I thought that predestination only refers to where we end up after judgment.
As far as the Orthodox Church is concerned, there isn't any explicit dogmatic definition or teaching concerning the issue of predestination, other than the general acceptance of the unanimous patristic consensus:
1) Justin Martyr in his 1st Apology affirms that God foreknows that certain men, who are not yet born, will carry out their salvation by penance." (Apology 1:28)
Here we should note, that Justin prefers the word foreknowledge rather than the word predestination.
2) Saint Irenaeus in his Against Heresies, 4:39,4, says:
"God, who foresaw every thing, hath prepared for each, a worthy dwelling; for those who follow the pure light and move towards it, He hath prepared this pure light in abundance, but for those who
turn away and flee from it and blind themselves in any way from it, He hath prepared a corresponding darkness, and He inflicts upon them the pain that they have merited."
3) Theodoret commenting on Romans 8:29-30, notes that the predestined, are “those whose inclinations and resolves have been foresknown, and have been predestined and called from on high."
4) Saint Ambrose commenting on the same passage says that it "...indicates that predestination follows the foreknowledge of human merits..."
5) St. Hilary of Poitiers states that divine election isn't the result of an indiferent judgment on Gods part, but that there is a difference which is based on the evaluation of human merits.
6) St. John of Damascus in his treatise On the Orthodox Faith (3:29-30) addresses predestination, reproducing the consensus of patristic commentaries, supporting the position that predestination is based on divine foreknowledge such that God does not will sin or the reprobation of sinners.
I was going to start this topic too but you were faster..
I still don't get it .. I mean God gave us the choice but He knows what we will choose so what is the point of having the choice?
Predestiny is just laying out the road for us to walk it.! I dont see why we have to walk it if God knows where we end up. No matter what our decisions or choices will be .. we will still end up where God has placed us.
Also about the example with the building and the crashing cars..I believe this example is only vaild if what is about to happen was unknown .. to God everything is known... Iam trying to say that God would know that those cars were going to hit because he made that decision for them long before it happened .. so yes he could have changed it!!
It just bothers me that I know my life is destined .. no matter what I do or DO NOT DO , nothing will affect the outcome of my life because it is very limited to changes! It is like putting a baby in a crib you know your boundaries, the baby will crawl around but at the end will be stuck in the middle!
I dont see it as fair at all that we are predestined .. why cant we really have a chance to change? This really means that our brains are useless because no matter how hard we think about avoiding sins or all of that .. it is still of no use .. you are either going to heaven or to hell no matter what you do!! I just dont get it guys! >:(
First of all I would like to say that I strongly agree with what Copticboy and Iqbal had to say about this topic, but if you excuse me, I would like to add a little analogy that fairly depicts how God deals with us when it comes to predestiny and free will. I hope it is helpful.
Take a baby starting with their first steps. The baby will fall once, twice, a numerous amount of times. Now you may ask, where are the parents to prevent all this falling from happening? The parents are surely present. The parents know that in order for their child to overcome their disadvantage and learn to walk he/she must endure many hardships (falling). If you notice the parents although they know that this child is definitely going to fall at first, they allow that to happen. So therefore, the parents know that the child is going to fall, but they do not do anything about it because they want their chilfd to learn. Likewise with God. In order for us to learn to "walk" we must fall and God gives us the free will to choose whether to do good or evil. By doing evil, we are falling, but then we must get back up.
Think about it, God gave us free will because He loves us. If we were created without free will, we would be like robots under the control of God and only do what is good. If this is true where is God's love to us. By His love, He gave us the choice to do evil and good. Just like the parents would like their child to learn to walk without falling, God would like us to live a righteous life, but for most of us, we must fall to learn, so we get back up by repenting and confessing.
As far as the church is concerned, it does not believe in predestiny, but the abundant knowledge, grace and love of God.
I hope this helped in making your view on this topic a bit more clearer.
Okay! Im sorry for being slow .. but .. I do not see where is the free will!!I mean our free will does not matter because at the end our destiny is set! so we have a FAKE freewill because while we think we are making choices and decisions .. these choices and decisions are already set for us to make .. so we are basically passing by points in life .. for instance what college i will go to .. that is already set by God..once I "make" that decision I passed by this point which God has set for me .. then Where am i going to work .. okay i pick the place but it was already chosen for me so there is the other point i passed by that God set for me..then who am i going to marry .. ookay him .. well God already chose that for me .. God makes the choices and we automatically do it .. if we agree that was already preset and if we do not that was already preset too .. so no matter what .. everything is known to God that we will do it or we will not do it !! u know?
What is the difference between people in the Old Testement and everybody in the New? In the OT, there was no way that anybody could enter heaven. Everybody was sent straight down to hades. Wether they were good or bad.
After Christ coming down and being crucified and resurrecting, He opened the gates of Heaven and took all the righteous people out of Hades. After that, we were able to go to Heaven. In other words, we had hope of going to heaven. In the OT they didn't have that.
So us believing in predestination would mean that if we're going to hell, we're going to go no matter what, meaning that no matter what we do, we would go to hell.
Taking away our hope. In doing so, we would be denying any belief in the death, resurrection, and ascension of our Saviour.
God knows what we're going to do. He doesn't make us do it though. He knows if your going to make a left turn or a right turn when walking down the street, but He doesn't interfere at all in which direction you choose to go...He only forsees it.
I know it might not be to clear still, but thats the best i could put it.
Pray for me weakness..
I understand how you are approaching this, now let me leave you with a little comment that will get you thinking. If everything is preset or predestined for us, let us take your example of college, you said:
[quote author=OstazaCoptic link=board=4;threadid=1175;start=0#msg20114 date=1107820093]
so we are basically passing by points in life .. for instance what college i will go to .. that is already set by God..once I "make" that decision I passed by this point which God has set for me ..
Now wouldn't you say that since my life is already set before me, I can just sit back and relax because I know that God has prepared something for me. You are in school now, you are not going to do your work because you are expecting God to have set something for you. Do you really think that you will get anywhere in life if you do not struggle?
Although God may have a foreknowledge, this does not effect the way we make our choices.
I hope this was helpful
I see why you are confused. There is a difference between knowing what will happen and ýcausing something to happen. For example, when my nephew started walking, we knew ýhe will fall, we didn't destine him to fall, we knew what will happen. The example I gave ýearlier of the two cars, the man on the roof is not causing the accident, he has no control ýý(not that God doesn't have control) but he (the man on the roof) is not interfering with the ýaccident, he just has the advantage of seeing from a different angle. ý
Another example, Imagine watching a movie with a friend who saw it before. Your ýfriends knowledge of the events that are taking place does not affect the plot of the movie ýin any way, shape or form. Obviously this is different than in our lives but I hope it helps ýgetting the point across.ý
Now, here is the reason why Pre-destination is a hoax. God created us, He went thru great ýtribulation to save us, He died for us, He did everything, short of breaking His own law, ýto save us and send us to heaven. So, if it was up to Him and we have no say in it, then ýwe are all going to heaven an no one will go to Hades or hell because God wills it so. ýHowever, It is against God's will that anybody sins, but we do so because it is our free ýwill. Even the Angels, the devil who was an arch-angel had free will to sin, God didn't ýpredestine him to sin, God Knew he will do it. ý
Knowing doesn't make things happen. Let me know if this helps!ý
Predestination is a paradox, but it is taught in Scripture - see Romans 8:28-30 for example. Somehow through the sovereignty of God both the free will of man and the predestination of God are both possible. God predestined those he knew would choose Him. I don't know how, but this is certainly not the only paradox within the Christian faith. The doctrine of the Trinity - how can 3 be 1? Yet clearly they are. The Coptic doctrine of the Eucharist is another paradox. The elements are the body and blood of Christ, and yet you are not cannibals (as NT believers were accused!). These things cannot be explained in our language or understood by our finite minds, yet we accept by faith their truthfulness. They are part of the mystery of Christ.
Though the concept of three persons existent in one being, is surely incomprhensible, it is surely not illogical. In fact, I could spend all day speaking about how logical it is, using all the metaphysical jargon etc, yet though I have proven using strict rules, definitions, and formulas, that it is indeed logically coherent, and that a multipersonal God is indeed logically necessary, I will still never grasp or comprehend with my finite mind the infinite and incomparable God.
So, in a nutshell, God has foreknowledge, but He doesn’t decide on where you’re going; you make that decision….
I hope I helped…if there’s anything you need me to clarify just ask! Take care, GB++
Foreknowledge is not god looking ahead at merits, but precisely the exact meaning of the word. Fore-knowledge. Knowing every little detail in every living object's life. This does not mean controlling it, but having knowledge of it.
We are saved by by grace, faith, and works. For two or one lacking the other(s), we would not be saved. For if we love God and believe in him but kill, steal, and rape we certainly won't enter the kingdom of God (I don't even see how love and crime can meet).
2."God does not give faith to everyone."
Faith is not something to be given, but felt. God does not "give" faith, he shows you how get to it. You CHOOSE whether to get to it or not. (You do that by church, prayer, fasting, ect.)
Now as someone stated before, we believe in single-predestination, which is that Christ calls all people to him. This is portrayed many times in the Bible, unfortunately I don't have the exact verses.
As far as works. I do not believe we are saved by works. A faith that is coupled with works saves. But it is because it is a real faith. A "faith" that does not produce good works is not really true faith. James is real clear about that. Paul is just too clear about that. However, I do believe that works always proceed from real faith, which is a gift to us. And we can see how that works comes from grace. ;) , and that good works come from God in this way. Obviously, if someone is of the faith, or has the gift of faith, to be more specific, they will not be following evil. They will make mistakes, sure, but it won't be a constant habit that is something they are striving for. They will be fighting against the temptation to sin in one way or another. About foreknowledge, I certainly believe that God knows all things, even before the foundation of the world (or before the world was created), as the Scripture is real clear about. Now, I understand that it has been quite contraversial that about the fourth century that there was two ideas about the book of life. Obviously, the Book of Life was written before the foundation of the world. Our name doesn't go in during our lifetime, it was there before we were born, or it wasn't. However, are names ever erased? And this was the disagreement at that time. Of course, Augustine did not believe God erased names, and I agree with Augustine. However, it was controversial then as it is now, I suppose. However, if God is erasing, it would put God's foreknowledge as questionable. Because if God foreknew of a man's rejection of him, why would the name be written, just to be erased? I suppose I would caution folk not to see election or predestination as something protestant (for they grabbed onto the subject, and went in a rather wild direction with it), but as something that has been taught on and talked about for two thousand years at least. I can see where there could easily be a reaction to favor works and free will due to what protestant churches have done, and are doing. Just because we see some folk in left field, it doesn't mean that we have to go to the right side of the field and completely out of the ball field. Perhaps I'm exaggerating a bit, but I'm trying to make a point. One doesn't want to distort the Gospels and Epistles in reaction to protestantism. Paul has much to teach on the subject, and we must follow this teaching.
About faith, I believe that faith is felt, but it is a gift that is felt. It is God who gives it. We do not conjure up faith on our own. There is one Christian faith, and other "faiths" are not really faith. Not all men have faith, as the Scriptures plainly says. We do choose God through the faith that He has given us...doubtless. However, we are drawn by God, for no man can be saved unless he is drawn of God. Man cannot just choose God on his own. To think this would be absurd in light of all the Scriptures that talk of man having to be drawn to God, especially in John 6. However, it is true, that AFTER God has given man faith, man CHOOSES to follow. If faith has not been given, man will be in rebellion and NOT CHOOSE God. He will reject, unfortunately. We have to be chosen of God to be saved, it is Scriptural. Many protestants I hear about are saying that God chooses every person. That is wrong. Hany Hanna gave a very good sermon at church about this subject about being chosen, and it would have fitted this dialogue well. We should be very thankful as Christians to be chosen! Not for any good of ourselves, but that we were born sinful and God has showed us great mercy indeed!
And this is where you and I disagree. I believe God gives the way to faith. He may strengthen faith if he sees a person in despair, yet he doesn't randomly grant it to anybody, for that would not be just, and we worship a god of justice. As I said before, God set the way to find and feel faith. You choose whether to find it and feel it or not. Just because God knows what you are going to pick doesn't mean he picked it for you. Humans do not chose God on their own. See, each one of us is put before us the Bible. We choose whether to read it or not. For those of us who do read it and seek God, he helps them through. For those who do not, he does not help (on this matter), for they did not seek him in the first place.
As for the book of life, (and predestination for that matter) can you give quotes please?
i was wondering the same question, about predestination, so i asked H.G. Bishop Youssef, and he explained it in a odd way. he said it's like a man in a really tall building, looking down at the street which happens to be on a hill. on this street are to cars. each on one side of the hill. the cars happen to be driving headed dircetly at each other, the man at the top of the building (god) has the foresight to know that there will be an accident. however, one of the drivers (us) can change his path to avoid the other car (sin).
H.G. also said that unlike any normal man, god has the ability to see wat will happen before it happens. but he rarely changes wat will happen, but it is because of his foresight that he helps us in a minor way.
sorry if i didn't explain it very well
The deification/salvation of a human is brought about by synergy. This means that it is the effort of both the recipient and the giver of grace.
Now God exists in eternity...outside of time. This means that all of the universe's history is "mapped out" before Him in "one instant" (I'm going to have to use unavoidable anthropomorphisms). Now if we were to place our selves in "God's shoes", what would we see? One compound, synergistic rise of said person towards salvation/deification.
Now for the main question: what is causing this person's "rise" towards salvation? Is it God or is it the person? We see that because of the compound nature of synergism, that it is no longer meaningful to ask such questions. Because of the very nature of synergy (without separation or confusion), it could be looked at as God causing it (this would be the part Blessed Augustine over-stressed).....or it could be looked at as the person doing it completely on their own (which is the part the heretic Pelagius over-stressed). This is just like Christ's one Nature/Personhood, wherein we say that everything that Christ did/underwent, was done/undergone by His Entire Nature, not just half of it. We cannot say His "Godhead" did this, while His "humanity" did that, this is the mistake of Pope Leo. And yet, paradoxically, we can say that His humanity was deified (i.e. His flesh was/is worthy of worship) and His Deity was "humanified" (i.e. clothed with humanity), so we can say His humanity performed miracles, and His Godhead suffered by sheer logical conclusion of His One Personhood. This is not "confusion" or "monophysitism". Just like when two oxen tug a cart, we can say "yes" to the question, "Did ox 'a' tug the cart?" and "yes" to the question, "Did ox 'b' tug the cart?" This is because both together tugged the cart, which by logical extension also means that each one individually tugged the cart....and yet they are two oxen. We don't confuse the oxen. How much less does such reasoning "confuse" the Divine and Human in Christ?
What I'm driving at is this: did God infallibly "cause" this person's salvation by inalienable fiat? Yes. Did this person freely choose by his own personal, naturally-given resources to save himself? Yes. One does not "precede" the other. They both happen at the same time. For God there is no "precede" or "succeed" because He is outside of time. It's a sort of Leibnizian "pre-established harmony" of two beings, if you will.....kinda like two people's hands which move the triangle over the ouija board: one is not "pushing" or "pulling" the other; they are working in harmony to such an extent that it is so mysterious how two people spelled something out that either one could not do by himself (please do not take this allegory too literal.....also, do NOT use ouija boards, for they are evil).
....actually....I followed Bulgakov for about the first five words of the first sentence then went on my own little tangent.