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Switch to Forum Live View Determinism, Predestination compatible with Christianity?
4 years ago  ::  Apr 08, 2010 - 7:29PM #1
Dusgfmo
Posts: 12

I am a United Church of Christ member.  Ever since I was a child I  have had thoughts  about determinism, even before I knew the term.  I  thought that  everything is caused by something else.  The decisions we  make are based  upon everything that has influenced us in the past.  Are  there other  UCCers who feel this way? 


Was there some of this thinking in  the German Evangelical, Reformed,  Congregational, and Christian  Connection predecessors bodies of the  UCC?


I'm not saying that  other people are wrong.  I've simply had this  leaning since I was a  child.


I was involved in an informal discussion and someone  asked me how I  reconcile this with my faith.  I never found them to be  incompatible.   They also found my belief to be disturbing and possibly  dangerous.

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4 years ago  ::  Apr 09, 2010 - 9:39AM #2
KatherineOrthodixie
Posts: 3,689

Perhaps if you defined how you understand determinism it would help me in this discussion. But the "logical fallacy" (if you will) of this particular pov seems to me that we think linearly about time, a human invention. I prefer the pov that God exists in a sort of eternal "now" - past, present and future (as we understand them). So that there are an infinite number of "futures" for us.

“The Law of the Church is to give oneself to what is given not to seek one’s own.” Fr. Alexander Schmemann
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4 years ago  ::  Apr 27, 2010 - 6:30PM #3
Bob_Bennett
Posts: 916

Apr 8, 2010 -- 7:29PM, Dusgfmo wrote:


I am a United Church of Christ member.  Ever since I was a child I  have had thoughts  about determinism, even before I knew the term.  I  thought that  everything is caused by something else.  The decisions we  make are based  upon everything that has influenced us in the past.  Are  there other  UCCers who feel this way? 


Was there some of this thinking in  the German Evangelical, Reformed,  Congregational, and Christian  Connection predecessors bodies of the  UCC?


I'm not saying that  other people are wrong.  I've simply had this  leaning since I was a  child.


I was involved in an informal discussion and someone  asked me how I  reconcile this with my faith.  I never found them to be  incompatible.   They also found my belief to be disturbing and possibly  dangerous.




 


Hi,


 


If you will or already do accept the non-traditional pov of reincarnation,  then there is a theology built up around the idea that we accept pre-determined life plans prior to each reincarnation.

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4 years ago  ::  Apr 28, 2010 - 12:32PM #4
Campbellite
Posts: 2,068

Apr 8, 2010 -- 7:29PM, Dusgfmo wrote:


I am a United Church of Christ member.  Ever since I was a child I  have had thoughts  about determinism, even before I knew the term.  I  thought that  everything is caused by something else.  The decisions we  make are based  upon everything that has influenced us in the past.  Are  there other  UCCers who feel this way?



As a theological cousin (Disciple of Christ), I think you are partly right. On the one hand, everything IS the result of countless decisions made by countless people who came before us. And these do influence who we are, and the decisions we make.


HOWEVER, that does not mean that our decisions are all pre-determined. Each decision, each choice, is an exercise of our human free will. Do I stop to help the guy lying on the sidewalk in a pool of blood (to cite a recent example) or do I just walk on by and ignore him? Any one of the 20 or so people who went by could have made a different choice than they did. What happened was not fate, it was not pre-determined before the foundation of the world. Had the first one who came upon him stopped, even if only to call 911, the outcome of the stabbing might have been different.

You are unique.
Just like everybody else.
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