Somehow I’ve manged to get surrounded by calvanist. I couldn’t tell you where they came from or how they got here, or if its necessarily a bad thing they’re here. But anyway. With them came the subject of predestination. This subject, I’ve learned, goes a 100 ways very quick. At first what I didn’t like about it is- it’s as if we’re trying to standardize God’s ways. As if cramming god in a box was a worthy foundation of Faith in a omnipresent being.. At the same time, certainly I agree it’s an interesting discussion. I wouldn’t base my faith on it, but a good discussion all the same worthy of pursuit… Maybe that’s just my open minded nature speaking.
In the monergist train of thought the elect are called and can not resist the call to god.
In the synergist train of thought the elect are called, but some simply refuse the call to god.
Then there is the debate between the Armenians and the Calvinist, of which pretty much sounds like the 2 groups listed above. The question really is: “How far does free will go”?
In my experience with God there doesn’t appear to be a standard method in how people are called or for the matter become Christian. I can see plainly in the Bible people like Saul were sorta blackmailed, if you will, in that he was made blind until he met with one of Christ’s disciples. Equally I’ve read people like Noah whom honestly we know nothing about his stance with God prior to the ark. We Just know that he was called to build an Ark and so he did with out question, there after following god…. the same I think could be said for Mary and many several others in the bible. They were called and they just went along with it not questioning anything. Samson particularly stands out to me for monergist. God created him to be a larger then life barbarian with the sole function to defeat the Philistines.
In my own life I feel like I’ve seen a mix of the 2, monergist and synergist. A friend of mine on facebook whom blogs “A Christmas Child” was a very unlikely candidate for Christianity, coming from a strictly Taoist home in Southeast Asia. Yet somehow someway she became christian… Stark Christian at that I’ll let you read her story on her blog, it’s Truely fascinating how god worked in her life. In my own experience I would confess there was a certain kind of leading, or call. I wouldn’t say I was forced, rather there was just a feeling and a series of events nudged me along… much like Christmas Child in many ways.
Yet at the same time I’ve seen people struggle with this feeling and nudging. Literally it just tore them apart and made them angry or stressed virtually all the time. The more they fought it the more bitter and nasty they became, they even developed severe health issues along the way. The day came they got over their bitterness and went about their ungodly lifestyle washing their hands completely of god. To some degree it was as if God just let them go in the process.
Perhaps that makes me a synergist, the belief one can refuse gods calling. On the top of my head I can think of 6 people I’ve watched go through what I’ve described. If I hadn’t seen it for myself then sure call me that. Yet I can see instances where people simply could not resist. It’s not often, Infact it seems very rare. The disciples are a perfect example, Jesus simply said to them “Follow me”, and they did.
While I like the calvanist I think they make a bigger deal out of this then necessary. Some however seem to walk a thin line between being elect and what was called being pure.
In the early church a poisonous belief invaded Christianity called Gnosticism. The Gnostics believed all kinds of things, but chief among those beliefs were essentially their poop did not stink. The leaders were pure because they were of the elect… how else could they be the leaders after all. They carried secret wisdom usually from pagan sources, they saw scripture as a “code” of some kind written in a way only the elect could understand. What was written in plain language was just there for the ignorant fools to believe something more simple to suit their simple lives and limited understanding. According to them most people were too stupid to go to heaven, because God created them to be inferior of the elect. (Today we might call this illuminati) In a word they believed scripture carried a double speak, littered in complex metaphors for secrete knowledge only the elect and Truely worthy of god could understand. The elect in Gnosticism did not need to be saved by Jesus they were saved from birth. Because they were incapable of committing any sin they often did whatever sin they wanted. They participated in ritual prostitution, taught interfaith beliefs or universalism, added made up things and books to scripture and many many things christians today simply would not tolerate… (I should hope anyway).
I uploaded a 4th century book called “Against Heresies” By Ireneous under the library section of this blog. The whole book details and refutes Gnosticism. It begins in the first chapter describing gnostic beliefs, should anyone be interested.
The line between gnostic purity and predestination is very Very thin to begin with, some Calvinist (I’ve noticed) describe the same model of gnostic purity when discussing predestination…. more so monergist. This may not be intentional rather a misunderstanding of the argument. However the road to hell is paved with good intentions. Predestination can get complicated but really it’s simply an argument in how does god get people to come to him. The question is the approach, not whether we’re worthy of hell by default…. As the scriptures plainly tell us over and over again we are all worthy of death, and our poop does indeed stink.
Personally I don’t really care about predestination, it’s a non issue to me I’m just happy I’m christian and my father loves me. Sure there was a convoluted series of events guided by a feeling, perhaps in that I am elected. However if I am, I consider it not my duty to discus ways in which god is limited, or flirt with the ideals of Gnosticism. If I am elected by god, my duty is to fight for him, spread his message, study his word, and worship him. My throne is not above god, next to god, or for the matter do I even have a throne. I am elected to be a servant and a soldier. We as Christians must never forget this, To say otherwise is satanic.
God’s ways are his own, who can know it?