Christian memes

Elipe

Pelican
If the Calvinistic understanding of predestination is true then you have no reason to tell us about it or try to convert us to your way of thinking, since we’re either saved or condemned ahead of time and nothing you do or say can change that. Right?
But what if he's predestined to hell and not talking to us about it is part of his predestination, so talking about it and trying to convert us means that he is predestined to talk about it and try to convert us, thus showing that he is predestined for salvation? :hmm::hmm::hmm:
 

Godward

Robin
If the Calvinistic understanding of predestination is true then you have no reason to tell us about it or try to convert us to your way of thinking, since we’re either saved or condemned ahead of time and nothing you do or say can change that. Right?
Well, in Calvinst theology, there is still one thing that you can do: trying to find assurance of your salvation. Calvinist spirituality is thus not so much about spiritual growth (because that is seen as “works”) as it is about finding “certainty” that you are saved — or damned. Calvinists therefore try to find this assurance of their salvation by studying Scripture and in prayer, oftentimes hoping to experience a mystic revelation.

In fact, many old school Calvinists actually believe that they are predestined to hell simply because they did not (yet) have such a special revelation. I knew someone who believed this until a week before she died, when she finally got the revelation she hoped for. She was 100 years old — quite some time of believing that you are going to hell. So it is save to say that double predestination is basically a perfect recipe for bipolar disorder (manic depression).
 

Blade Runner

Ostrich
Orthodox
Well, in Calvinst theology, there is still one thing that you can do: trying to find assurance of your salvation. Calvinist spirituality is thus not so much about spiritual growth (because that is seen as “works”) as it is about finding “certainty” that you are saved — or damned. Calvinists therefore try to find this assurance of their salvation by studying Scripture and in prayer, oftentimes hoping to experience a mystic revelation.

In fact, many old school Calvinists actually believe that they are predestined to hell simply because they did not (yet) have such a special revelation. I knew someone who believed this until a week before she died, when she finally got the revelation she hoped for. She was 100 years old — quite some time of believing that you are going to hell. So it is save to say that double predestination is basically a perfect recipe for bipolar disorder (manic depression).
Haha, the most gracious rendering of this maddening way of thinking is that they "believe" but they are utterly confused in their belief.
 
If the Calvinistic understanding of predestination is true then you have no reason to tell us about it or try to convert us to your way of thinking, since we’re either saved or condemned ahead of time and nothing you do or say can change that. Right?

I don't know Calvin's doctrine directly, I know more about ideas preached by Charles Spurgeon, James Edwards and other 18th-19th century revivalist preachers who were heavily influenced by Luther, Calvin and other early Protestants.

I'm not interested in converting others to my way of thinking as much as getting a better understanding for myself.

My understanding is God saves us and gives us eternal life by His power even though we are naturally opposed to Him, loving our sin and spiritually dead. So He is the author of salvation and deserves all the credit for it. On the other hand, people who end up in hell go there because of their own free will to reject God's love and mercy. They do wrong on purpose and deserve their fate, God takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked and does not want them to go there.

This seems to roughly line up with what others said on this thread from an Orthodox point of view. How this works in each individual life is something only God knows.
 
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It is a finished product of free will that is viewed deterministically.

Elipe, thank you for your reply. I somehow missed it earlier.

Your entire post was spot on in my opinion, and very helpful to clear away the logical difficulty I have with this topic. The one sentence above is the closest to making perfect sense that I've heard on the subject.

Edit: I still stand by what I wrote earlier, that I now think it's wrong for me to probe endlessly into questions about "things that are limitless and unsearchable," as St. John Chrysostom warned. However it's always welcome when God suddenly shines light on a difficult topic.

Building on what you said, I would add that in addition to viewing all of time deterministically, God must also either directly or indirectly determine all of it.

God must determine everything fully in advance, because he both knows everything, and has total unchallenged power over everything in creation. Only by His choice does He allow men and angels to choose not to follow Him, for many reasons, but the first two that come to mind are that freedom is required for true love, and because God chose to make man in His image as a free being. Since God has power over all events, He must either determine them in advance, or make the choice not to. When he "hides his face," in a sense that determines the outcome, because anything God does not bless and preserve must perish and end up in the outer darkness. I will stop there. Thank you again for your illuminating reply.
 
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Dijkstra

Pigeon
Building on what you said, I would add that in addition to viewing all of time deterministically, God must also either directly or indirectly determine all of it.

God indeed is so mighty and beyond our comprehension, He alone can allow us to exercise free will while still making the results of our choices align with His designs. He knew the number of hairs on every head of every saint past, present, and future before the first day of creation; He never assigned salvation or damnation to us before we were created, He lets us choose to accept His mercy in Christ's sacrifice and resurrection. But most assuredly, His sheep do know the sound of His voice.
 

Coja Petrus Uscan

Crow
Orthodox Inquirer
Gold Member
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Athanasius

Pelican
Well, in Calvinst theology, there is still one thing that you can do: trying to find assurance of your salvation. Calvinist spirituality is thus not so much about spiritual growth (because that is seen as “works”) as it is about finding “certainty” that you are saved — or damned. Calvinists therefore try to find this assurance of their salvation by studying Scripture and in prayer, oftentimes hoping to experience a mystic revelation.

In fact, many old school Calvinists actually believe that they are predestined to hell simply because they did not (yet) have such a special revelation. I knew someone who believed this until a week before she died, when she finally got the revelation she hoped for. She was 100 years old — quite some time of believing that you are going to hell. So it is save to say that double predestination is basically a perfect recipe for bipolar disorder (manic depression).
I have been an old school Calvinist for roughly 30 years and know a lot of them, and have never once heard of a Calvinist awaiting a special revelation or believing they are predestined to hell due to not getting one. There is a strong emphasis on works as an outworking of a regenerate heart that wants to please the Lord. Our assurance is grounded on the promises of the Lord who called us keeping us (1 Tim 2:12, etc), not our pathetic abilities. And yet there is a tension in the Scriptures that requires balancing: threats, commands to keep to the straight path, calls to holiness, and yet also glorious promises that He will keep us through the means of grace (preaching, prayer, sacraments). Similarly, constant references to God ordaining paths and yet pushing our responsibity, as in Eph 2:8-10. These are complicated, maybe impossible things to hold in balance-- we are dealing with an eternal mind of God here-- and yet that's what is necessary.
 

GodfatherPartTwo

Kingfisher
I have been an old school Calvinist for roughly 30 years and know a lot of them, and have never once heard of a Calvinist awaiting a special revelation or believing they are predestined to hell due to not getting one. There is a strong emphasis on works as an outworking of a regenerate heart that wants to please the Lord. Our assurance is grounded on the promises of the Lord who called us keeping us (1 Tim 2:12, etc), not our pathetic abilities. And yet there is a tension in the Scriptures that requires balancing: threats, commands to keep to the straight path, calls to holiness, and yet also glorious promises that He will keep us through the means of grace (preaching, prayer, sacraments). Similarly, constant references to God ordaining paths and yet pushing our responsibity, as in Eph 2:8-10. These are complicated, maybe impossible things to hold in balance-- we are dealing with an eternal mind of God here-- and yet that's what is necessary.
I see a lot of strange straw men perpetuated here. Never heard of a Sola Scriptura Calvinist waiting for special revelation either.
 
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