What Calvinists, Jesuits (and Muslims) don’t understand about divine providence.

If nothing exists without God’s causing it to exist, and nothing is moved without God acting as the first Mover – how can we avoid concluding that every human choice is wholly and entirely caused by God and that the human will is moved infallibly by God’s providence? In short, if God causes all things, how can man be truly free?

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Editor’s note: Like the Protestant Christian Calvinists, Muslims also believe in a form of “double-predestination”.  According to that (false) principle, God is the only cause of everything … all is preordained by God alone … and no mortal has freedom of will, in any case.

Of course, if double-predestination was indeed true, it logically follows that God could not convict anyone for sin … nor would a holy redeemer be necessary … nor would there be any need for a Judgment Day … since consent of the will is absolutely necessary if one is to be found guilty.

Islam’s “double predestination” and Osama bin Laden’s death: Was it “written?”

All of Islam believes in something very close to John Calvin’s (errant) concept of “double predestination” – where a person’s life is predestined to a particular path, and that person is totally unable to do anything to change their fate. Hence, whatever happens is the will of Allah … something not only permitted but (by implication) actually intended … by God.

Catholics believe in in a form of divine predestination that does not prevent our free will choices, that let’s man be man, and God be God … all at the same time. This section from the Catechism of the Catholic Church explains how that typically works. Read it carefully:

“Jesus handed over according to the definite plan of God”

599 Jesus’ violent death was not the result of chance in an unfortunate coincidence of circumstances, but is part of the mystery of God’s plan, as St. Peter explains to the Jews of Jerusalem in his first sermon on Pentecost: “This Jesus [was] delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God.”393 This Biblical language does not mean that those who handed him over were merely passive players in a scenario written in advance by God.394

600 To God, all moments of time are present in their immediacy. When therefore he establishes his eternal plan of “predestination”, he includes in it each person’s free response to his grace: “In this city, in fact, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, gathered together against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed, to do whatever your hand and your plan had predestined to take place.”395 For the sake of accomplishing his plan of salvation, God permitted the acts that flowed from their blindness.396

Catholics would rightly tell you that God gives each of us free will, and once our earthly existence is complete, God fully intends to judge us for our free will actions (or lack thereof) in response to the grace he also gives to us.

In spite of our most grievous sins and screw-ups, we can still be assured that God’s plan will indeed prevail, since it’s not all that difficult for the creator of the heavens and the earth to work around our little messes, in order to ultimately bring about his will and his plan. (Thank God!)

In this, there is a subtle but clear distinction between ordinary (Catholic) predestination … and Islam/Calvin’s (totally erroneous) double predestination.

Without a human will that is truly free, there could be no fair and impartial divine judgment for sin. Furthermore, the erroneous concept of double predestination makes God (not man … not even the devil) guilty of all the world’s evils. From this, it should be fairly easy to surmise precisely why both Satan and Osama bin Laden endorse and and promote it.

As for the intentions of John Calvin, the 15th century protestant reformer … I’ll leave that one up to you.

Muslims, much like Calvinist Protestants, believe in “double predestination”


Q: I’ve heard that Muslims typically believe in predestination … that men are only powerless “pawns” in God’s overall plan … and that everything  happens “because God wills it”. How do Catholics balance their concept of personal free will, with the concept of God’s all powerful, sovereign will/plan?

A: It all depends on whether you believe in mere predestination … or in “double” predestination. Muslims and Calvinists typically believe in “double predestination” … where some people are irrevocably destined (by God) to Heaven and some are irrevocably predestined to Hell … and neither group has the ability to do anything at all to change that divinely predetermined destiny.

You’ve probably heard the old excuse, “The devil made me do it!” In this case, it’s “God made me do it!”

Of course, if free will does not exist, then it would be virtually impossible for God to hold anyone responsible for committing sin. From there, the matter of personal responsibility, merit, divine judgment, and the necessity (even the practicality) of our redemption in Jesus Christ, becomes a very slippery slope, indeed!

Catholics believe in in a form of divine predestination that does not prevent our free will choices, that let’s man be man, and God be God … all at the same time. This section from the Catechism of the Catholic Church explains how that typically works. Read it carefully:

“Jesus handed over according to the definite plan of God”

599 Jesus’ violent death was not the result of chance in an unfortunate coincidence of circumstances, but is part of the mystery of God’s plan, as St. Peter explains to the Jews of Jerusalem in his first sermon on Pentecost: “This Jesus [was] delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God.”393 This Biblical language does not mean that those who handed him over were merely passive players in a scenario written in advance by God.394

600 To God, all moments of time are present in their immediacy. When therefore he establishes his eternal plan of “predestination”, he includes in it each person’s free response to his grace: “In this city, in fact, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, gathered together against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed, to do whatever your hand and your plan had predestined to take place.”395 For the sake of accomplishing his plan of salvation, God permitted the acts that flowed from their blindness.396

Please explain the idea of FREE-WILL

hypno

Q: Please explain the idea of FREE-WILL.

I am a believer in God, but the concept of Free-will makes no sense—it is unexplainable?

A: This is an example of limited predestination, from the Catechism of the Catholic Church:

“Jesus handed over according to the definite plan of God”

599 Jesus’ violent death was not the result of chance in an unfortunate coincidence of circumstances, but is part of the mystery of God’s plan, as St. Peter explains to the Jews of Jerusalem in his first sermon on Pentecost: “This Jesus [was] delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God.”393 This Biblical language does not mean that those who handed him over were merely passive players in a scenario written in advance by God.394

600 To God, all moments of time are present in their immediacy. When therefore he establishes his eternal plan of “predestination”, he includes in it each person’s free response to his grace: “In this city, in fact, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, gathered together against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed, to do whatever your hand and your plan had predestined to take place.”395 For the sake of accomplishing his plan of salvation, God permitted the acts that flowed from their blindness.396

Note the two different “threads” that operate in the above statement.

God does what only God can do, knowing all and seeing all, from eternity.

Man does whatever he chooses, but in the end, God’s will always prevails, because God is more than capable of taking into account all the feeble and ill considered actions of mankind.

Those who deny free-will are more in line with Calvin’s discredited theory of  “double predestination” which makes life meaningless, salvation unnecessary, judgment a joke, and the concept of a redeemer essentially superfluous.