Caryn’s 23 things – and then some

Racing into Library 2.0 with LOL and others

Predestination?

Wow, I’ve missed a couple of Lents on this, haven’t I!  Oh, well, I’ve been going to Bible study right along.

I was raised partly #Presbyterian (I just looked for the entry on my religious history to link to, but I don’t see one – I can’t imagine I never wrote it!), but I didn’t know until fairly recently that they are #Predestinationists.  What reminded me of this is that as part of my Lenten reading this year, I’m reading a book that was the text for one of my Sunday school classes in high school, called Will the Real Phony Please Stand Up?  It’s a study of the letter of James in the New Testament.  I’ve only just started it, but already I’ve encountered the concept that God knows what we’re going to do, what’s going to come of it, and whether we’ll get to Heaven or not because of our accumulated actions.  This makes the whole philosphy clearer to me!

[later – found it: http://carynw.xanga.com/569211552/musing/]

I’ve always thought #predestination was a very weird concept, and I’ve always wondered why Predestinationists were often among the strictest Christians.  Why bother, I’ve always thought, if God has already assigned you to Heaven or hell?  Go with the sex, drugs, and rock-and-roll, and let the chips fall where they may (or rather, are going to anyway).  This book, though, has made me actually see what it is.  It is a belief that one’s fate is predestined only in the sense mentioned above, that God knows what you’re going to do, and therefore where you’re going to end up.  However,  I believe that God sees the entirety of #Eternity, including all of time and of our lives, and can watch us “in action,” as it were.  Boethius, whom I’ve referred to in this blog (http://carynw.xanga.com/449300975/2-am-musing/), had a great simile for this: Imagine God watching all of us like a person watches a sports match.  Just because you watch someone do something doesn’t mean you’re making them do it, and the same with God.  Just because Te knows what’s going to happen, that doesn’t mean Te is making it happen.  We do still have free will, and can decide our own actions, and it is as a result of these actions that our fate is decided.  God isn’t assigning us anywhere – we have free will, and we can use it as we please.

It turns out that Predestinationism is just more or less what I think, but viewed through a lens of time rather than Eternity.  It does explain, I guess, why they’re so strict, anyway, but I think a more expansive view of free will and what we do with it is warranted.

March 11, 2012 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , ,

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