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Father Figures, Free-Will and Predestination: A Conundrum

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posted on Sep, 29 2012 @ 09:30 AM
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Father Figures, Free-Will and Predestination: A Conundrum

I've been slowly adding to my list of "Inspirational People" on my Facebook profile. I know - Facebook! Yikes. But anyway, here are the "Inspirational People" I've added so far. They're all fictional characters from popular culture. Read into that what you will:

Captain James T. Kirk, "Star Trek TOS"
en.wikipedia.org...


Captain Christopher Pike, "Star Trek TOS pilot episode"
en.wikipedia.org...(Star_Trek)


Fox Mulder, "The X-Files"
en.wikipedia.org...


John Locke, "Lost"
en.wikipedia.org...(Lost)


Federal Bureau of Investigation Special Agent Dale Cooper, "Twin Peaks"
en.wikipedia.org...



Perhaps my list of inspirational people is in part derived from the fact that I never knew my father. Father figures and the like. But what do I know. I took only one introductory psychology course at a second-rate community college more than 20 years ago...

And if my "father figures" are a reflection of myself or my aspirations, etc, then... well - what do my choices in father figures say about me?

And of course all of that gets back to this:

Mental Process
en.wikipedia.org...


Which of course brings us back to religion. "How?", one might ask.
Here's how:


"If you’re male and you’re Christian and living in America, your father is your model for God. And if you never know your father, if your father bails out or dies or is never at home, what do you believe about God?
What you end up doing, is you spend your life searching for a father and God. What you have to consider is the possibility that God doesn’t like you. Could be, God hates us. This is not the worst thing that could happen. Getting God’s attention for being bad was better than getting no attention at all. Maybe because God’s hate is better than His indifference.
If you could be either God’s worst enemy or nothing, which would you choose?
We are God’s middle children with no special place in history and no special attention. Unless we get God’s attention, we have no hope for damnation or redemption.
Which is worse, hell or nothing?
Only if we’re caught and punished can we be saved."
- Tyler Durden, "Fight Club"
jacaller.home.mindspring.com...


Personally I believe that God's attention is equally focused on all things and everyone. We've never been abandoned by God. But we have been given the free-will to chose to abandon Him. This, I believe, makes Him somewhat sad. It's not particularly fun. Being sad that is. But if we weren't endowed with free-will, then... well? What would be the point. We'd simply be walking talking sacks of meat. Zombies, as it were. Surely God doesn't want us to be automatons. This of course is the crux of the matter. The debate between "predestination" and "free-will". Or "duality" in the sense put forth by Descartes. Which of course brings in quantum mechanics: the double slit experiment. Photons of light behave both as particles and as waves depending on whether or not the process is observed. You see... it's all connected. But how many countless books on popular physics and religion have been written about just such matters? That's a rhetorical question.

I'd like to explore these themes and get feedback. Perhaps this is a purely selfish endeavor: Myself trying better to understand ... myself. Be that as it may, I look forward to your comments and analysis.

Thanks,
TIWWA




posted on Sep, 29 2012 @ 09:51 AM
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If I may interject.

I never needed a father figure in my life, I was blessed to have the real thing. My children have also never needed to look elsewhere for a male role model, my husband, their father, has always been there for them.

"Dad we're out of popsicles!" "Yeah, who are you and what are you doing in my house?"

Of course our house is the neighbourhood hangout and my living room and kitchen seem to spontaneously spawn wayward waifs.

"Honey please don't eat things you find on the floor!"

If god has any function in producing good role models for kids.

"How may times have I told you to stay out of my purse!"

It's that he's seeded this earth with genuine good kind loving people who are glad to take a young person by the hand and teach them right from wrong!

"Not right now honey, mommy has a killer headache. Go ask your father, he's in back yard with a big box of firecrackers."

Does that help you any?
edit on 29-9-2012 by SassyCass because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 29 2012 @ 10:09 AM
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You are programmed, influenced by your faith in God

Christopher - Christ
Pike- Fish
'Fish Christ'

James-Jew apostle
Tiberius- Greek
Kirk- Scottish for Church
'Jew and gentile Church'



posted on Sep, 29 2012 @ 10:14 AM
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Originally posted by GeneralMishka
You are programmed, influenced by your faith in God

Christopher - Christ
Pike- Fish
'Fish Christ'

James-Jew apostle
Tiberius- Greek
Kirk- Scottish for Church
'Jew and gentile Church'


It's interesting that you used the term "programmed", since this thread is concerned with the contrast between predestination and free-will. But more to the point: I have a mind and I use it thank you very much.



posted on Sep, 29 2012 @ 10:17 AM
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reply to post by SassyCass
 


I'm glad you've been blessed. I am also blessed in various ways. I don't need a father figure. That was one of the opening themes that led me to the whole predestination/free-will paradox. It would have been nice to have had a father , I guess. Although I've heard of some pretty awful fathers as well. You know... the wife beating children abusing type. So, maybe if I had actually had a father, he would have been one of those. More philosophical musings...

edit on 9/29/2012 by this_is_who_we_are because: typo



posted on Sep, 29 2012 @ 10:17 AM
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You have free will to sin, not to be reborn. You didnt ask your biological parents to give you birth to you, did you? same is true in a spiritual rebirth
edit on 29-9-2012 by GeneralMishka because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 29 2012 @ 10:19 AM
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Originally posted by GeneralMishka
You have free will to sin, not to be reborn. You didnt ask your biological parents to give you birth to you, did you?


According to the central thesis of the New Testament, we have free will to choose to be reborn by accepting Christ, or to be condemned by choosing otherwise. Take that as you will.

Reminds me of "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade"... Choose wisely.

edit on 9/29/2012 by this_is_who_we_are because: typos, added last two sentences



posted on Sep, 29 2012 @ 10:20 AM
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reply to post by this_is_who_we_are
 


John 6:44 No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.



posted on Sep, 29 2012 @ 10:22 AM
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reply to post by GeneralMishka
 


I gave you a star for that. But the answer to the predestination/free-will paradox remains... well... unanswered.



posted on Sep, 29 2012 @ 10:24 AM
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One of the other things that recently piqued my interest in this was the recent thread:

Jesus Christ's Superderterministic, Cosmological, Magnum Opus
www.abovetopsecret.com...
by NewAgeMan
started on 8/13/2012 @ 05:43 PM

I haven't read the whole thing yet. I should get back to it at some point.



posted on Sep, 29 2012 @ 10:29 AM
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Originally posted by this_is_who_we_are
reply to post by GeneralMishka
 


I gave you a star for that. But the answer to the predestination/free-will paradox remains... well... unanswered.


I dont know about the others, but 2 of your Father figures CHOSE their destinies. So Im impressed that you will consider Election. Pike chose paradise, but Kirk always denied it for some human value. May I suggest reading the Canons of Dordt? Its a foundational work of the Reformation and the doctrine of Election

www.reformed.org...://www.reformed.org/documents/canons_of_dordt.html

If you turn off your programming, you will see Election is the testimony of Scripture



posted on Sep, 29 2012 @ 10:32 AM
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reply to post by GeneralMishka
 


Canons of Dordt? I've never heard of it, but it definitely sounds like something right up my alley. Thanks.




posted on Sep, 29 2012 @ 10:33 AM
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reply to post by GeneralMishka
 


- PS I attend a church that supports a Calvinist doctrine. I don't know if that helps you see where my mind is at or not. Any input is welcome.



posted on Sep, 29 2012 @ 10:36 AM
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reply to post by this_is_who_we_are
 


Westminster Confession of Faith or similar confessions will compliment the Canons of Dordt. What statement or confession does your Church hold?



posted on Sep, 29 2012 @ 10:42 AM
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reply to post by GeneralMishka
 


The Doctrinal Statement of Calvary Bible Church
calvary-bible.org...

ETA:
It's rather long and specific, so I presented a link for your review.
edit on 9/29/2012 by this_is_who_we_are because: Edit to add



posted on Sep, 29 2012 @ 10:49 AM
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reply to post by GeneralMishka
 


Summarily they are the Five Points Of Calvinism:


Five points of Calvinism
The Five Points
of Calvinism

Total depravity
Unconditional election
Limited atonement
Irresistible grace
Perseverance of the saints

Calvinist theology is sometimes identified with the five points of Calvinism, also called the doctrines of grace, which are a point-by-point response to the five points of the Arminian Remonstrance (see History of Calvinist-Arminian debate) and which serve as a summation of the judgments rendered by the Synod of Dort in 1619.[8] Calvin himself never used such a model and never combated Arminianism directly. In fact, Calvin died in 1564 and Jacob Arminias was born in 1560, and so the men were not contemporaries. The Articles of Remonstrance were authored by opponents of reformed doctrine and Biblical Monergism. They were rejected in 1619 at the Synod of Dort, more than 50 years after the death of Calvin.

The five points therefore function as a summary of the differences between Calvinism and Arminianism, but not as a complete summation of Calvin's writings or of the theology of the Reformed churches in general. In English, they are sometimes referred to by the acronym TULIP[9] (see below), though this puts them in a different order from the Canons of Dort.
The central assertion of these canons is that God is able to save every person upon whom he has mercy, and that his efforts are not frustrated by the unrighteousness or inability of humans.

"Total depravity:" This doctrine, also called "total inability," asserts that as a consequence of the fall of man into sin, every person born into the world is enslaved to the service of sin. People are not by nature inclined to love God with their whole heart, mind, or strength, but rather all are inclined to serve their own interests over those of their neighbor and to reject the rule of God. Thus, all people by their own faculties are morally unable to choose to follow God and be saved because they are unwilling to do so out of the necessity of their own natures. (The term "total" in this context refers to sin affecting every part of a person, not that every person is as evil as possible.)[10] This doctrine is derived from Augustine's explanation of Original Sin.

"Unconditional election:" This doctrine asserts that God has chosen from eternity those whom he will bring to himself not based on foreseen virtue, merit, or faith in those people; rather, it is unconditionally grounded in God's mercy alone. God has chosen from eternity to extend mercy to those he has chosen and to withhold mercy from those not chosen. Those chosen receive salvation through Christ alone. Those not chosen receive the just wrath that is warranted for their sins against God[11]

"Limited atonement:" Also called "particular redemption" or "definite atonement", this doctrine asserts that Jesus's substitutionary atonement was definite and certain in its purpose and in what it accomplished. This implies that only the sins of the elect were atoned for by Jesus's death. Calvinists do not believe, however, that the atonement is limited in its value or power, but rather that the atonement is limited in the sense that it is designed for some and not all. Hence, Calvinists hold that the atonement is sufficient for all and efficient for the elect.[12] The doctrine is driven by the Calvinistic concept of the sovereignty of God in salvation and their understanding of the nature of the atonement.

"Irresistible grace:" This doctrine, also called "efficacious grace", asserts that the saving grace of God is effectually applied to those whom he has determined to save (that is, the elect) and, in God's timing, overcomes their resistance to obeying the call of the gospel, bringing them to a saving faith. This means that when God sovereignly purposes to save someone, that individual certainly will be saved. The doctrine holds that this purposeful influence of God's Holy Spirit cannot be resisted, but that the Holy Spirit, "graciously causes the elect sinner to cooperate, to believe, to repent, to come freely and willingly to Christ."[13]

"Perseverance of the saints:" Perseverance (or preservation) of the saints (the word "saints" is used to refer to all who are set apart by God, and not of those who are exceptionally holy, canonized, or in heaven). The doctrine asserts that since God is sovereign and his will cannot be frustrated by humans or anything else, those whom God has called into communion with himself will continue in faith until the end. Those who apparently fall away either never had true faith to begin with or will return.[14]
en.wikipedia.org...


I see that Dort is mentioned here, at the beginning of the Wikipedia article.

I should read this as well, later:
Synod of Dort
en.wikipedia.org...

edit on 9/29/2012 by this_is_who_we_are because: Dort link



posted on Sep, 29 2012 @ 10:57 AM
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That is long. If I had to guess, since Baptism is by profession of Faith & Calvinist, your Church has roots in the Reformed Baptist tradition. However, somewhere along the line they dismissed their older Reformed Confession and introduced the one you have now.

Those 5 points of Calvinism are the 5 main doctrines in the Canons of Dordt



posted on Sep, 29 2012 @ 11:15 AM
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Originally posted by this_is_who_we_are

Originally posted by GeneralMishka
You have free will to sin, not to be reborn. You didnt ask your biological parents to give you birth to you, did you?


According to the central thesis of the New Testament, we have free will to choose to be reborn by accepting Christ, or to be condemned by choosing otherwise. Take that as you will.

Reminds me of "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade"... Choose wisely.

edit on 9/29/2012 by this_is_who_we_are because: typos, added last two sentences


To think that we are bestowed free will but are only offered one choice in which to enjoy that free will seems to me determinism. In order to enjoy the ability of choosing on our own accord, we must also pay the price of being condemned. If we "choose" to accept Christ, we aren't really choosing, we are allowing our fears of condemnation, or God's threats, to choose for us.

If we ultimately accept Christ, we submit to determinism and become automatons, for we allow the morals and doctrines of someone else to control our ways of life as if we come pre-programmed. We by default must accept fate and the prophecies of the Bible, therefore we give in further to determinism, even if it isn't known a priori.

If we reject Christ, we embrace free-will, for we then must form our own morals and our own doctrines.



posted on Sep, 29 2012 @ 12:29 PM
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reply to post by NiNjABackflip
 


It certainly is a conundrum. This is probably the one sticking point for me. And one of the reasons for the thread is to get feedback that I may work through the paradox. There must be a reasonable explanation somewhere.

edit on 9/29/2012 by this_is_who_we_are because: typos



posted on Sep, 30 2012 @ 05:32 AM
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reply to post by GeneralMishka
 


Then it seems we're on the same page.
I'll still look into the Canons of Dort as well.





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