Abandon All Fear

What nobody else seems to be saying…

[Amateur Theology] Predestination

Posted by Lex Fear on June 2, 2007

Time to visit this old cherub. I’ve been doing a bit of digging through my old computer files, seeing if anything can be updated or cast into the nether. I came across an old ‘apologetic’ I wrote.

It was written pretty soon after I had become a Christian, so you may find it a little over-simplified or a flawed exegesis. I’ve tried to remove most of the cheese. As always, comments welcome.

Q: Does God Pre-Destine?

Matthew 22:14

This verse implies that many have a plan and a destiny but few actually see this fulfilled, this would mean that we are predestined to either fail or succeed. However, this verse is taken out of context of the story, Matthew 22:1-13.

Jesus is using this story to demonstrate how the Kingdom of Heaven works. The original wedding guests are the original chosen people of God, the Jews. But some rejected God, thus, His overall plan for their lives. So the king in the story, representing God, then invites all people’s.

This was done through His son’s sacrifice, John 3:16 “For God so loved…”, the people on the street, the ordinary people, represent the world, and so God sends out his invitation to the world. The man who got in without the wedding clothes represents those who are not Christians, they are invited but not meant to be there because they have not put on the clothes of Christ. God’s challenge to the man gained no response – there must be a response to Christ, since there was not, the man was thrown out.

Jesus concluded that this is the way the kingdom operates. The story implies a different meaning to the verse – that there is a conscious choice to be made – and making the wrong choice ends with dire consequences, in short, we are not already fated to become something. The king has a dress-code, some choose to follow it and some don’t.

Ecclesiastes 3:11

This verse, in context with verses 1-10 and after, shows to be in conflict with the interpretation of the story above. It implies that everything has been predestined and planned to happen. But the fatal error that the author of Ecclesiastes makes is shown in 3:18, beginning, “I concluded…”. It shows that the author is thinking apart from God and he is basing his opinion on his own judgements. He goes on to liken us to animals and imply that we have no life after life. This we know is not true, so the author is in error.

Can we take this to be God’s speaking? There may be some truth to the passage but it must be balanced with the knowledge of the state of mind of the author.

Psalm 139

A psalm of David. This psalm at first glance definitely makes a strong argument for predestination. “All the days allotted to me…” proves it. Then surely, if God predestines, why would He predestine sin? did He?

We know David sinned with Bathsheba, 2 Samuel 11:27. David chose to do this and try to cover it up forgetting God. God was not pleased. So if God predestined this – why was He not pleased? 2 Sam 12:9-11, God promises a penalty for this sin, did He plan this? It does not say.

To believe that God predestined good is to say that he predestined evil. This cannot be so. God, a God of Love, one who cannot stand the sight of evil, create it with His own hands? What does Genesis 1:31 say?

It would mean He chose some but not all – predestining people to a life of Hell – so what of Romans 11:2. “God has not rejected his people…” In order to predestine people He would have to reject some. This is not so, people have rejected Him – this comes back to a choice.

Genesis 3:15-17

God gave man command over everything – but told him not to touch the tree of knowledge. Effectively, God gave man a choice to do good or bad, to obey or disobey. Man chose to disobey.

Genesis 6:6

How could God be filled with regret if He had already planned for this to happen? Yet He is filled with regret and plans to wipe out man apart from Noah and his family. Then in Genesis 8:21-22, God ultimately sums it up himself saying there will always be good and evil, from now on, starting from the fall, the disobedience to God. Therefore, there will now always be a choice between good and evil and He was not going to attempt to force people or stop people from making that choice. predestined?

Deuteronomy 30

God is open to forgive and ready to accept those who choose to love Him. Psalm 139 speaks of a God who knows our days, who we are and what we will do and Genesis 8:21-22 says He will not interfere with our decisions, only respond to them, Deuteronomy 30:1, in accordance with those choices we make.

Concluding with the story from Matthew 22:1-14. All are called but only some respond to the call. All are destined but only some fulfill that destiny, all have a choice and some reject God. Perhaps the only way to describe this is, as someone once quoted to me, “A truth is always found at a point between two extremes”. I’ll leave it at that.

Conclusions

Think about these things: Would Jesus’ sacrifice really be worth anything if there was already a set group of people destined to die and a set group destined to live? Would God go to all that effort of inspiring such a confusing and yet, life-giving book such as the bible, for us to make informed choices, if He controlled us and the decisions we make? Is God a dictator?

pre-Alex Fear 01/03/00

Since the writing of this my essential views have not changed. We have been given ownership of our lives to do with them what we will. God is patient, waiting to see if any will return the love he has shown us by letting us choose.

I currently believe that God can see the outcomes of our lives if things continue on their trajectory. But, I believe that God watches each of us eagerly, in hope, that we will overcome and create a new destiny for ourselves in which he would be involved intimately.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

 
%d bloggers like this: