Friday, January 30, 2004

Predestination

My Christian Thought class has just sent me on a new theological mission. In talking about the attributes of God, we discussed His omniscience and how that affects our free will as His creation. A few of the following points were brought up.

If God is omniscience, or all knowing, He knows what we have done, are doing, and will do. At the same time, He has a plan for each of us and for creation as a whole. Yet, can we choose things that will change this plan, or are we bound to eventually choose His plan? And if He truly does give us a completely free choice, does He instead facilitate situations that will compel us choose His plan? Is our will then truly free?

In speaking of God's will for us, we cannot escape the subject of predestination. Some members of the class proposed the theology that God makes us all for a specific purpose in order to accomplish His will. This is a purpose we cannot escape. This theology gives us warm fuzzies if one fulfills this purpose with a good and moral life. However, this must also pertain to all individuals, whether they live for good or evil. For example, if this theology holds true, Judas was created for the purpose of betraying Christ. The Sanhedrin was created for and fulfilled the plan of God in carrying out Christ's crucifixion. Even if they were not created for doing evil, God's plan was carried out by their choosing evil. If this is so, good and evil seem to become relative. The ultimate act for humans on this earth is to fulfill the plan of God, and we do right when we do His will. Was Judas and the Sanhedrin then doing right in fulfilling God's will for their lives by crucifying Christ? Are such individuals blessed or damned for this? One student brought up a verse (that I have yet to verify), that apparently says something to the effect that 'some are created for damnation and some for righteousness'. Is it simply "Sorry, you got the lucky number and have to be the bad guy."?

My apologies if the above makes no sense at all. I am obviously still in the process of thinking these matters through. I realize that this may seem an elementary theology, but it's the first time I've seriously desired a convincing answer. Any insights or opinions would be welcome. Perhaps this is something that our human minds cannot make sense of, but in the event that it's not, I want to know.

(If there are any lengthy opinions, please feel free to e-mail them to me rather than fitting them in the comments box.)

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