Post Reply
Switch to Forum Live View Predestination Question
5 years ago  ::  Jun 09, 2009 - 3:41PM #1
deVillenueve
Posts: 24

Over the years we have had perhaps a hundred or more threads on predestination.  We all know what is is and how it is defined in Presbyterian confessions, creeds and dogma. 


Does anyone here know of a Presbyterian who considers himself/herself to be of the "non elect" or damned group of Gods creation?  Does anyone know of anyone of any faith, or no faith, who subscribes to the doctrine of predestination who does not consider that they are among the elect or select group whom God has created for the purpose of having eternal life with Him.


This is not to debate predestination....that has been done over and over.  This is simply to ask if anyone who believes in predestination considers that they are in the "non-elect" group or knows anyone who considers themselves in the "non-elect" group. 


 

Quick Reply
Cancel
5 years ago  ::  Jun 09, 2009 - 9:10PM #2
spudette
Posts: 959

This thread interests me, in a large part because you say it is not to be a debate on predestination. I am not a Presbyterian, so if you will permit, I'd like to ask if I am correct in understanding predestination as God creating one group of people specifically for salvation, and another group specifically for damnation. I really want to understand different people's beliefs.

Quick Reply
Cancel
5 years ago  ::  Jun 09, 2009 - 10:56PM #3
deVillenueve
Posts: 24

Spudette,  the PCUSA is guided by a Book Of Order and The Book Of Confessions.  The latter contains the various creeds and confessions which are accepted as the beliefs of the church.


Among those confessions is the Westminster Confession Of Faith of 1647 which is perhaps the most significant instrument of Presbyterian belief and doctrine.


Chapter 3 Section 6.016 and 6.017 of the Westminster reads as follows:


"By the decree of God, for the manifestation of his glory, some men and angels are predestined unto everlasting life, and others fore-ordained to everlasting death.  These angels and men, thus predestined and fore-ordained, are particularly and unchangeably designed, and their number is so certain and definite that it cannot be increased or diminshed."   The Westminster goes on to say that God, according to his eternal purpose, made such decisions "before the foundations of the world was laid". 


The above is at the heart of Presbyterian doctrine and is expressed in the writings of John Calvin, the Westminster Confession and several other creeds and confessions of the Presbyterian church.


Those that God has predestined for everlasting life have come to be known as "the elect".   The entire Westminster Confession is, of course, available to be read on the internet as is the other creeds and confessions of Presbyterianism.

Quick Reply
Cancel
5 years ago  ::  Jun 14, 2009 - 5:36PM #4
spudette
Posts: 959

Thank you for your explanation, deVillenueve. To help me understand better, may I ask this: What do you believe is God's standard for choosing His elect? In other words, would He choose to save an unrepentant sinner, or to condemn a repentant one? even if the unrepentant one truly doesn't want any part of eternal life?

Quick Reply
Cancel
5 years ago  ::  Jun 14, 2009 - 8:30PM #5
deVillenueve
Posts: 24

Spudette, I will violate my own request of not getting into the nuts and bolts of predestination here.  Especially since you and I are the only folks hanging out here it looks like.


First, I am no expert so anything I say is opinion and what I understand from reading the Presbyterian creeds and dogma that make up their book of confessions.


My understanding is that your question is moot because predestination means that the fate of every person has already been decided by God even before they were born or "before the beginning of the earth".   Thus, as the Westminster says....some are born to inherit Gods kingdom and others are born to inherit eternal damnation and the matter is already decided before birth.


Although I am a Presbyterian I in no way, shape or form subscribe to such a belief and could not in a million years believe this dogma.  I believe firmly that God wishes all to inherit His kingdom and wishes that no one be excluded. 


To be a "legitimate" Presbyterian I suppose one has to believe in certain "essentials" of the Presbyterian faith.  However, no one knows what these essentials are and I dare say most Presbyterians have never read the Westminster confession all the way through.


And as I said on one of the other threads its probably just as well not to muddy the water any further by insisting that to be a True Presbyterian one must profess a belief in certain dogma of the church.  We are losing membership fast enough as it is.

Quick Reply
Cancel
5 years ago  ::  Jun 15, 2009 - 5:27PM #6
spudette
Posts: 959

Your answers to my questions lead me to conclude that there are many questions I would enjoy discussing with you. I realize that it would be hard to get answers to my questions without violating thread subjects. Do you have a suggestion?  I'm beginning to think that if we started a athread with no clear subject, I would be getting many different answers to the same question, and right now what interests me more is your opinion, because you dare to express your own opinions instead of just quoting from somebody's book.

Quick Reply
Cancel
5 years ago  ::  Jun 15, 2009 - 10:32PM #7
greenponder
Posts: 1,395

The non-elect would not believe in predestination.

Quick Reply
Cancel
5 years ago  ::  Jun 17, 2009 - 12:30PM #8
deVillenueve
Posts: 24

Spudette, I know what you mean.  I used to post here a lot under another name.  I was sorry to see the forum turn into what it did and I, as did many others, left.


It looks like the forum is hardly visited anymore so if you want to start a thread on a general subject of belief I will certainly chime in and post back and forth with you.


Warning you in advance I do not by any stretch claim to be a reliable source of theological truth and wisdom but I enjoy exchanging opinions and ideas. 


I value the opinion and perspective of those who are seeking and questioning as opposed to those who already know everything and just want to preach their True Christian™ dogma to everyone else.


I highly recommend John Wesley's great sermon "The Catholic Spirit" which deals with what should be our attitudes toward differences of opinion among Christians.  (Available on the web.)


Cheers and hope you are having a joyful day.

Quick Reply
Cancel
5 years ago  ::  Jun 17, 2009 - 2:00PM #9
spudette
Posts: 959

You're on, my friend. I've never started a new thread, not sure how to do that. I will try, and if it doesn't work out, I'll be asking you to start it. Smile I plan to call it Q's & A's about Presbyterian beliefs.


I too became disgusted with the attitudes found in so many threads of so many faiths, I came to B-net to find friends with whom to discuss differences in beliefs within Christianity, but mostly, friendship was not what I found...Cry

Quick Reply
Cancel
 
    Viewing this thread :: 0 registered and 1 guest
    No registered users viewing
    Advertisement

    Beliefnet On Facebook