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Jesus: Tales from the Crypt
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[QUOTE]Originally posted by The Bigfoot: [QB] [QUOTE]Originally posted by bdgee: [qb] I've never been able to accept claims by people that free will and Calvinism can or should co-exist in a person. They are, after all, totally disparate and, by design, particularly, with respect to religious matters that are non-Catholic, antagonistic. I point out that the assumption that free will and Calvanism can co-exist in a mind, with or without religious concern on a question, is logically absurd. I can and will grant that your religion is of your own free will, free from influence of any other entity and any reason or basis for it is not required. And I can accept the belief that you being religious is part of God's "plan", But not the two at one time, because it is impossible. To suggest that I waver on that point is the same to me as me suggesting that you ignore your religion on some matter. But, I have seldom if ever found a religious person that was willing to grant me that respect. [/qb][/QUOTE]Bdgee, I tend to agree with you but for the sake of nothing to do on a Saturday night I'll play devils advocate for a moment. If you were to approach a Calvinist about the seemingly impossible co-existence of Free Will and Predestination they would likely say this: God is in all things and created all things. Time is a thing that is measured by the instruments that God created such as the Sun and the orbit of the Earth etc.. As these things were created by God then it stands to logic that God exists both inside and outside time. As God exists inside time and does not influence directly our decisions we have free will. As God exists outside time he can look forward and see the results of our decisions, thereby we have predestination. As WE can not exist outside time and look forward Free Will and Predestination can indeed co-exist. My main problem with predestination (other than some theological and philosophical stuff I don't really want to get into) is the same as my problem with the church as a whole. Predestination is used by believers to separate themselves from the world. When a family who believes in predestination has a young member who is misbehaving...that person has demons to conquer. When someone they don't know enters their lives for a moment with pain/suffering/or hate...it was predestined. It was predestined is all the answer that is needed to shut the door and think no more about that person or problem. It gives an excuse to think less of those you don't know and to keep your generosity of spirit which Christ commands close to the comfort zone. Or if they do go outside their comfort zone it is with pessimism and classism. It affords the wealthy to think of themselves as favored by God when wealth is "supposed" to have nothing to do with the Christian religion. This mode of thought will not solve problems such as homelessness. It might force the homeless from the streets but it will not solve the problems that some of our neighbors do not have the resources, support, or capabilities to take care of themselves and their families. Such a solution would have to come from a mission with much more intimate ties to those around us. I use this issue as my example because helping and loving our brother is listed as the top priority of any Christian servant. Same holds true in many other areas of life and within the religion as well. How many people have been driven away from the church and the religion by those who make up its body? More than those who have been driven away by the basic tenants of faith for sure. [/QB][/QUOTE]
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