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Predestined to be a Christian or a non-Christian?

For topics that are more about faith, religion and religious organisations than anything else.
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Compassionist
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Predestined to be a Christian or a non-Christian?

#1 Post by Compassionist » February 24th, 2010, 10:39 am

Are Christians predestined by God to be Christians? Are non-Christians predestined by God to be non-Christians? If being Saved is predestined, how is this just?

Here are some relevant verses:

Ephesians 1:5 "Having predestined us to the adoption of children to himself by Jesus Christ, according to the good pleasure of his will,"

Isaiah 41:9 "I have chosen you, and not cast you away."

John 6:37 "All who the Father gives me, shall come to me. And him who comes to me, I will in no way reject."

John 6:44 "No man can come to me, unless the Father who has sent me draws him…"

John 6:65 "…no man can come to me, unless it were given to him by my Father."

John 15:16 "You have not chosen Me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you that you should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain…"

Ephesians 2:8-10 "For by grace you have been saved through faith and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them."

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Alan C.
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Re: Predestined to be a Christian or a non-Christian?

#2 Post by Alan C. » February 24th, 2010, 12:47 pm

Compassionist
Are Christians predestined by God to be Christians? Are non-Christians predestined by God to be non-Christians?
Well as there is no god, it's a non question, Christians (and all the other cultists) simply take on the religion of their parents.
The bible quotes mean nothing as the bible is a work of fiction.
Abstinence Makes the Church Grow Fondlers.

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getreal
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Re: Predestined to be a Christian or a non-Christian?

#3 Post by getreal » February 25th, 2010, 1:33 pm

Predestination is a basic tenet of the Church of Scotland and was the reason I gave up on it. It made absolutly no sense at all, and the more they tried to justify it, the more they tangled themselves up.

I did however, jump straight into the fire. I became a Catholic :D
"It's hard to put a leash on a dog once you've put a crown on his head"-Tyrion Lannister.

Compassionist
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Re: Predestined to be a Christian or a non-Christian?

#4 Post by Compassionist » February 26th, 2010, 10:50 am

Alan C. wrote:
Compassionist
Are Christians predestined by God to be Christians? Are non-Christians predestined by God to be non-Christians?
Well as there is no god, it's a non question, Christians (and all the other cultists) simply take on the religion of their parents.
The bible quotes mean nothing as the bible is a work of fiction.
Good point. I keep forgetting that and keep placing as much weight on it as I do on the Periodic Table!

Compassionist
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Re: Predestined to be a Christian or a non-Christian?

#5 Post by Compassionist » February 26th, 2010, 10:53 am

:smile:

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getreal
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Re: Predestined to be a Christian or a non-Christian?

#6 Post by getreal » February 26th, 2010, 11:03 am

My life so far is full of irrational errors and bias.
If decisions are made on the best available evidence at the time, then surely they are not irrational?

A nun said that (more or less)to me :)
"It's hard to put a leash on a dog once you've put a crown on his head"-Tyrion Lannister.

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Emma Woolgatherer
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Re: Predestined to be a Christian or a non-Christian?

#7 Post by Emma Woolgatherer » February 26th, 2010, 11:21 am

Compassionist wrote:Are Christians predestined by God to be Christians? Are non-Christians predestined by God to be non-Christians? If being Saved is predestined, how is this just?
I don't get the impression that many Christians in the UK believe in that kind of predestination these days. It was a Calvinist thing, wasn't it? And even Calvinism seems to have been reformed in a way that plays down the doctrine of predestination (see calvinism.org.uk). In the US, modern fundamentalist Christians seem more likely to be evangelical, eager to convert as many non-Christians as they can. But then again, some of them seem to believe in things like the Rapture, which involves the "saved" or the "Elect of God" being "caught up" in preparation for Judgment Day and Jesus Christ's Second Coming. It's rather confusing, but I don't see a lot of point in trying to make sense of it, frankly. It's muddled nonsense.

Emma

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getreal
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Re: Predestined to be a Christian or a non-Christian?

#8 Post by getreal » February 26th, 2010, 2:37 pm

I don't get the impression that many Christians in the UK believe in that kind of predestination these days
I think you may find that the Church of Scotland would not agree with that. Predestination and "justification through faith alone" remain the foundations of their beliefs.

http://www.oasisedinburgh.com/alpha/_vt ... otland.htm

I find it hard to think of a less humanitarian foundation for a church.
"It's hard to put a leash on a dog once you've put a crown on his head"-Tyrion Lannister.

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Emma Woolgatherer
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Re: Predestined to be a Christian or a non-Christian?

#9 Post by Emma Woolgatherer » February 26th, 2010, 9:32 pm

getreal wrote:
I don't get the impression that many Christians in the UK believe in that kind of predestination these days
I think you may find that the Church of Scotland would not agree with that. Predestination and "justification through faith alone" remain the foundations of their beliefs.
Well, I suppose it all depends on what one means by "many". :D The Church of Scotland has fewer than a half a million members (a number that's steadily shrinking). Even if you add in the other churches of Calvinist orientation, like the United Reformed Church and the Presbyterian Church of Wales and the Free Presbyterian Churches of Scotland and of Ulster, you're probably still going to have fewer than 750,000 members. And all those churches are in decline, I gather. And I doubt that all of the members actually believe all of their Church's doctrines. Actually, I doubt that many of them do. So it still seems highly likely to me that those who believe in predestination constitute a very small proportion of all the Christians in the UK. I may be wrong, but it'll take more than the Church of Scotland to persuade me of that. :)

Emma

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getreal
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Re: Predestined to be a Christian or a non-Christian?

#10 Post by getreal » February 26th, 2010, 10:14 pm

To be honest, I think the vast majority of churchgoers are unaware of these actual teachings. C of S certainly don't advertise the fact (though if you ask any minister, they will admit to these founding beliefs).

I attended sunday school till I was 12 and bible class till I was 15 and it wasn't untill I read about the reformation in an A level history book that I actually found out what "my" church actually stood for. When I spoke to members of my family who were still churchgoers at the time, they refused to believe that the church was actually founded on these beliefs; one of them actually suggested that the history book had been written by catholics as part of a smear campaign!!
"It's hard to put a leash on a dog once you've put a crown on his head"-Tyrion Lannister.

Nick
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Re: Predestined to be a Christian or a non-Christian?

#11 Post by Nick » February 26th, 2010, 11:34 pm

Hmmm... OTOH, it could be said that nearly all christians believe in predestination, as I have yet to find a 'believer' who does not think they are going to heaven..... Of course their beliefs are their own muddled invention and owe precious little to any theology.

So I was told at school, Calvin's mother believed she was predestined to damnation. What a bummer.

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Re: Predestined to be a Christian or a non-Christian?

#12 Post by Lord Muck oGentry » February 27th, 2010, 1:22 am

Nick wrote: So I was told at school, Calvin's mother believed she was predestined to damnation. What a bummer.
She was a cheery soul, I expect.

Mind you, on balance I prefer Wringhim and Gil-Martin:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Privat ... ied_Sinner
What we can't say, we can't say and we can't whistle it either. — Frank Ramsey

Compassionist
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Re: Predestined to be a Christian or a non-Christian?

#13 Post by Compassionist » February 28th, 2010, 5:51 am

getreal wrote:
My life so far is full of irrational errors and bias.
If decisions are made on the best available evidence at the time, then surely they are not irrational?

A nun said that (more or less)to me :)
I was actually thinking of the erroneous thinking styles described in the book "Irrationality" by Stuart Sutherland. Have you read it? Due to the common human tendency towards erroneous thinking, we even process the available evidence in flawed ways and make irrational choices while thinking that we are being rational! If you haven't read that book, you really must!

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Re: Predestined to be a Christian or a non-Christian?

#14 Post by Compassionist » February 28th, 2010, 5:57 am

getreal wrote:To be honest, I think the vast majority of churchgoers are unaware of these actual teachings. C of S certainly don't advertise the fact (though if you ask any minister, they will admit to these founding beliefs).

I attended sunday school till I was 12 and bible class till I was 15 and it wasn't untill I read about the reformation in an A level history book that I actually found out what "my" church actually stood for. When I spoke to members of my family who were still churchgoers at the time, they refused to believe that the church was actually founded on these beliefs; one of them actually suggested that the history book had been written by catholics as part of a smear campaign!!
If you read the book called "Irrationality" by Stuart Sutherland you will realise that such denial of evidence occurs due to cognitive dissonance and is extremely common amongst humans. We are Homo irrational - not Homo sapiens!

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getreal
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Re: Predestined to be a Christian or a non-Christian?

#15 Post by getreal » February 28th, 2010, 10:47 am

Yes, I read it a while ago. It's very good. It's very readable.
"It's hard to put a leash on a dog once you've put a crown on his head"-Tyrion Lannister.

Marian
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Re: Predestined to be a Christian or a non-Christian?

#16 Post by Marian » February 28th, 2010, 2:37 pm

Why assume there is pre-destiny in the first place? Isn't that just another way of removing responsibility for making our own choices as well as falling back on erroneous thinking? It's easier to live in our heads then to make changes in the real world.
How do you define pre-destiny anyway? If we think of it as god having pre-ordained everything, then we needn't worry that it's all fu**ed up. He'll take care of it...one way or the other.

I don't know if I can handle reading a book about Irrationality. All I need to do is step outside and it's everywhere. :wink:
Transformative fire...

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Re: Predestined to be a Christian or a non-Christian?

#17 Post by Compassionist » March 2nd, 2010, 11:52 am

getreal wrote:Yes, I read it a while ago. It's very good. It's very readable.
I am glad you enjoyed it.

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Re: Predestined to be a Christian or a non-Christian?

#18 Post by Compassionist » March 2nd, 2010, 11:59 am

Marian wrote:Why assume there is pre-destiny in the first place? Isn't that just another way of removing responsibility for making our own choices as well as falling back on erroneous thinking? It's easier to live in our heads then to make changes in the real world.
How do you define pre-destiny anyway? If we think of it as god having pre-ordained everything, then we needn't worry that it's all fu**ed up. He'll take care of it...one way or the other.

I don't know if I can handle reading a book about Irrationality. All I need to do is step outside and it's everywhere. :wink:
Well, the book 'Irrationality' helps the reader to understand the ubiquitous irrationality amongst this species. I explained before that there is a subtle but significant difference between causalitism and theistic predestination in the Biblical or the Quranic sense. Causalitism (as conceived by me) states that all things occur according to causality and all living and non-living things are prisoners of causality. Causality rules! Very simple yet very profound. Since all are prisoners of causality, all are worthy of compassion. This includes murderous lions and religious terrorists and sadistic torturers and deadly viruses. All we need to do is realise that everything is proceeding according to causality and show compassion to all. If we fail to realise this, that too is inevitable and is not anyone's fault. All are equal prisoners of causality. By my faith all are saved! See you in the omnibenevolent heaven!

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getreal
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Re: Predestined to be a Christian or a non-Christian?

#19 Post by getreal » March 2nd, 2010, 1:00 pm

all things occur according to causality
Can you explain that in different words. I'm having difficulty getting my brain cells around the concept as I think I have a very literal brain. Philosophy really confuses me, but I'd like to understand :)
"It's hard to put a leash on a dog once you've put a crown on his head"-Tyrion Lannister.

Marian
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Re: Predestined to be a Christian or a non-Christian?

#20 Post by Marian » March 3rd, 2010, 2:23 am

Marian wrote:Why assume there is pre-destiny in the first place? Isn't that just another way of removing responsibility for making our own choices as well as falling back on erroneous thinking? It's easier to live in our heads then to make changes in the real world.
Any chance you'd be willing to answer the first two questions I asked since you've done a beautiful job answering the second question?
Compassionist wrote:Very simple yet very profound.
I think quite often this is why people latch onto religions of various sorts. The appeal is to have life and its difficult decisions reduced to
something beyond our control. Yet, life seems to be a mixture of random, non-random and free agency.

Since all are prisoners of causality, all are worthy of compassion. This includes murderous lions and religious terrorists and sadistic torturers and deadly viruses. All we need to do is realise that everything is proceeding according to causality and show compassion to all. If we fail to realise this, that too is inevitable and is not anyone's fault. All are equal prisoners of causality. By my faith all are saved! See you in the omnibenevolent heaven![/quote]
I am sure as hell not going to show compassion to all. That is a huge disaster in the making as there are all sorts of people in the world willing to take advantage of that compassion.
There is a difference in cognitive awareness between the lion and terrorists/torturers. The latter have choice whereas the lion reacts. PS. Lions aren't murderous; that would imply intent.
It is not inevitable that I don't buy into hard determinism; I'm making a choice.
Transformative fire...

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