Absolute Predestination

Discussion in '2000-02 Archive' started by rlvaughn, Feb 24, 2002.

  1. rlvaughn

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    I would like discussion as well as polling on this subject. Some people believe that God has predetermined all that will come to pass. Some people believe that predestination only encompasses the salvation of the elect. Some people hold a view in between. What do you think? I hope I give enough options to make the poll realistic. If not, I would appreciate comments on that as well. Perhaps I can tweak it and do it over at some future point.
     
  2. rlvaughn

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    Explanations about the answers:
    1. Encompasses not only salvation but all other events that come to pass
    2. Encompasses biblical predestination refering only to the subject of salvation
    3. Encompasses God predetermining the salvation of the elect, certain historical events, but leaving choices to man
    4. Encompasses God predetermining some historical events but leaving salvation to the choice of the individual through faith (no specific atonement, etc.)
    5. Encompasses rejecting the idea of predestination in any form (man is a free moral agent)

    [ February 24, 2002, 09:21 PM: Message edited by: rlvaughn ]
     
  3. rsr

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    rlvaughn:

    I'm not sure I understand No. 4.

    Did you mean to put the "but" between "events" and "not?"
     
  4. rlvaughn

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    Number 4 should read "Encompasses God predetermining some historical events but leaving salvation to the choice of the individual through faith (no specific atonement, etc.)" What I am trying to present with no. 4 is that God may have predetermined the atonement, the rise and fall of empires, general historical occurrences, but did not predetermine before the foundation of the earth that a specific number of elect individuals would be saved. The word "not" should not be there. I will also go back and correct it in the second post to help clarify it for all. Thanks.
     
  5. SueLyn

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    rlvaughn, I would be more than happy to vote in the poll, just tell me which one means "God's choice of the person and the person's choice of God"? :confused:
    Sue
     
  6. Eric B

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    I think "salvation of a specific people" should be clarified. That could mean a group ("the entirety of whoever gets saved") or individuals ("each individual person who gets saved"). (I took it as individuals).
     
  7. rlvaughn

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    Well, if I correctly understand what you mean, no. 4 would probably be the closest - God chooses to save whosoever believes and whosoever chooses to believe will be saved.
     
  8. rlvaughn

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    I would be glad for any suggestions. I assumed that most people would take specific people and specific atonement in the context of predestination to mean that God chooses the elect and atones for them specifically or particularly.
     
  9. rlvaughn

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    At the time of this post, 11 people (42% of the respondents) have checked that they "believe that God predestined all that has and will come to pass." I am quite interested in this and must say that I am a little surprised that so many chose this response. I expected more to choose "that God predestined the salvation of the elect and some specific events," or that predestination only relates to salvation. I would be interested in more discussion from the viewpoint of those who hold absolute predestination. I would expect that all who chose that option probably are not in complete agreement. I am especially interested in how you relate this topic to the "free will" of man. Does man actually have any ability to choose, or is it all predetermined by God? Is the evil as well as the good predetermined? How do we reconcile this position and not make God the author of sin? I am not challenging - just looking for your thoughts. These are things upon which I have been meditating, and have not sorted it all out in a way that seems consistent.
     
  10. tyndale1946

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    Brother Robert as you know some of the Primitive Baptist are called Absoluters... They hold to absolute predestination of all things which I do not. I believe if I'm not in error that this belief is more in the eastern part of the country. You will find more Absoluters in Jeffs part of the country than in California. I'm not sure if there are many in Texas but I can't be positive. I do not believe that God is repondsible for every act of mankind and evil as the absoluters do. That means God is to blame for sin and every act of the devil. Not only that but to hold this view is to say God crucified his own Son! That is blatant heresy! Predesination as I believe the scriptures teach is a prior destination for his children to be where he is in Heaven and enjoy the benefits of the Lord thru eternity... Doesn't get any better than that!... Brother Glen [​IMG]
     
  11. russell55

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    Well, first of all, let me explain how I use the word predestine. Some people use that word only to apply to things God actively works, but I think that is an incorrect definition. I believe that it is more correct to use the word predestine for anything that God, before creation, decided would occur--anything that was His plan for history. Anything that was in the "counsel of His will" is predestined (or predetermined) by God to occur.

    Secondly, I think that it is impossible to reconcile these things completely in our minds. There is a certain point where we just have to say, "That seems to be what scripture says is true, so I believe it, even if I can't explain exactly how it works."

    How do I relate this to the "free will" of man? I don't, because I don't think man has "free" will. He has a will, he makes real choices, but his will is not "free." We make real choices because we look at all the alternative and make the decision that seems best to us, but all the factors that go into those choices are controlled by God--our genetic makeup, our circumstances, whether the Holy Spirit is working inside to work good choices or not, etc., are all within His control.

    Evil as well as good is predetermined, but God is never the active agent of an evil choice. The Holy Spirit never moves anyone to do anything evil.

    I hope this helps explain my position a bit and answer your questions. If you want to know more, feel free to ask.
     
  12. rlvaughn

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    russell and glen, Thanks for your comments on absolute predestination. I appreciate your perspective, russell, for most of mine is from Primitive Baptists who are Absolute Predestinarian. Most of them would hold a position different from yours. It might almost be understood as if God is the director and producer of a movie, and all we are doing right now is just watching it played out exactly as He has planned it (to the minutest detail).
     
  13. tyndale1946

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    Brother Robert am I understanding you correctly that you believe in the doctrine of Absolute Predestination of all things?... Brother Glen :confused:
     
  14. Jeff Weaver

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    Hi Bro. Glen and All.

    Re, Absolute Predestinarian Primitive Baptists, yes we have some here in the east, but not as many as before, they are fragmented to the four winds, and many of them are returning to the regular Primitive Baptist faction. I went to church today at a church that did this very thing about 10 years ago.

    The doctrine of Absolute Predestination is a hard one. I believe this, that God is God, and in that I define Him to be in my mind all powerful, all knowing, existing without beginning or end. To that extent, he would have knowledge of every thing whatsoever that has happened in the past or will happen in the future. He could have known some other course of events, and that would be the course of events that would transpire. I think it has to be this way. If you believe God is all knowing, and all powerful, existing from infinity backward to infinity forward there is no logical way around it, IMO.

    Now,I further divide his predestination into an active and passive part. The active predestination is that of election of his people. The second part of predestination is passive, or permissive, or things that God suffers to be so.

    Now having said all that, and probably gotten myself in trouble, I don't consider myself an Absoulte predestinarian. I do believe in Absolute foreknowledge. I also believe God is a being who doesn't exist in time as we understand it. I believe he created time for us.

    And further, I don't think there is alot of difference in some of our [Primitive Baptists] people who claim to hold the "absolute predestination" and those who don't. But there are some who believe that God's will is entirely active, and there is no passive or suffering part to it. That is where I will part ways with them. Is this clear as mud?

    This is why I don't discuss theological ideas on the computer, I can't see the reaction, to try to work out any misunderstanding.

    Many years ago I met many of the people involved in the division of Primitive Baptists over absolute predestination. I don't think they should have ever divided over it, I think it was a linguistic problem for the most part on most of the people. The African-American Primitive Baptists had the same issue about the same time, ca. 1930, and worked it out much as I think I have in my mind, at least that is the impression I have from those I have discussed it with. Others might have different experiences.

    I hope I have offended no one, but with trepedation that I have offended everyone. I think a lot of the argument is a linguistic one that I can offer no easy solution to fix.

    Jeff Weaver

    [ March 03, 2002, 10:25 PM: Message edited by: Jeff Weaver ]
     
  15. tyndale1946

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    Jeff now that makes more sense!... Brother Glen [​IMG]
     
  16. russell55

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    Actually, I believe something quite similar to that. I believe that God had a plan before the foundation of the world--a plan that included every minute detail--and He is working in each moment of history to bring that plan to fruition, either by actively working things or by selectively allowing things. But every single thing that happens happens by God's choice--a choice to either work something or allow it.

    Where my viewpoint might differ from the play scenario in the quote is that I believe God accomplishes this without ever doing violence to the will of any human being, and without ever being the active agent of anything evil. We are not simply watching a play, but active participants in it. We will never vary from the script, but at the same time, we make real choices to do what we do.

    But I really can't see how God could predestine big historical events without predestining the minute details, for every big event is made up of millions of minute details. And not even a sparrow falls apart from our Father....
     
  17. Nelson

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    (Emphasis mine on above quote) Something like the movie The Truman Show?

    [ March 06, 2002, 09:17 AM: Message edited by: Nelson ]
     
  18. rlvaughn

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    No, not yet. I only expect to at the time God has absolutely predestinated me to believe that. ;) Actually, Brother, I was only trying to explain how I felt my Absolute Predestinarian Primitive Baptist friends believe it. I do tend to agree with Jeff, that a lot of the division over the issue is a matter of semantics (basically, that we explain the same thing in different ways). But I do ultimately think that whatever God has planned will come to pass; I just don't think He planned my every single sneeze and cough (but if He did, that's OK by me [​IMG] ). To me there is no question if He could, just whether He did. Now maybe that's clear as mud, too.
     
  19. rlvaughn

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    Probably the main difference on this between you and those to whom I refer would be that they would not say He is working, but has worked.
    I don't really have any difference from you on this, but I know some who would disagree with you on both points; first, making the human much like a programmed robot, and, second, believing that God has predestined the evil as well as the good.
     
  20. russell55

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    Well, He certainly knew every sneeze and cough before hand and chose not to suppress it. Isn't that planning for it?

    As far as I can see, a God with omniscience is a God with a plan that includes every little tiny detail.
     

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