The Catholic Defender: Predestination
Have you ever heard anyone talk about “Predestination”?
What is this doctrine of Predestination? Is it biblical?
A Predestinarian is one who believes in predestination.
According to the Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary, this is what it says: “destined, fated, or determined beforehand; to foreordain to an earthly or eternal lot or destiny by divine decree.”
The term “double predestination” simply means that, just as God predestines some, but not all, to eternal salvation, so he predestines others to eternal punishment; this second part of “double” predestination, God’s appointment of all but the elect unto eternal destruction, is sometimes called “reprobation”; and those who are not the elect are thus called the “reprobate”. This implies that:
1) God sovereignty chooses some men for salvation; 2) God does not choose all men for salvation; 3) there is no possibility of obtaining salvation apart from God’s sovereign election.
The obvious implication is that God’s eternal choice involves the salvation of some and the damnation of others.
Here is the kicker, “the doctrine that God in consequence of his foreknowledge of all events infallibly guides those who are destined for salvation.” This theological belief system was developed by John Calvin and his followers who attempts to stand on the sovereignty of God.
Anti-Catholic Mike Gendron denies that he believes in this “double predestination”, but that he recognized the predestination as shown in Ephesians Chapter 1. However, the more he talks the more he goes right back into double predestination. In either case, the outcome is the same, the doctrine of free will is denied.
How the bible speaks against Gendron and those who follow him, “Moreover, not even Titus, who was with me, although he was a Greek, was compelled to be circumcised, but because of the false brothers secretly brought in, who slipped in to spy on our freedom that we have in Christ Jesus, that they might enslave us, to them we did not submit even for a moment, so that the truth of the gospel might remain intact for you (Galatians 2:3-5).”
This is exactly what happened when a number of Catholics visited Mike Gendron in an “open forum” where we were told we had to give up our freedom in following Jesus Christ, His baptism, His Eucharist, His Catholic priests, His Church.
Calvinism or “reformed” logic takes it’s position from Romans 9:14-16, “What then are we to say? Is there injustice on the part of God? Of course not! For he says to Moses: ‘I will show mercy to whom I will, I will take pity on whom I will’. So it depends not on a person’s will or exertion, but upon God, who shows mercy.”
This scripture does not make God out to be a monster, it reveals that he is merciful even when we do not deserve it. We cannot demand it. Romans 8:37 states, “Know in all these things we conquer overwhelmingly through him who loved us.”
The doctrine of Predestination throughout the past few years have taken shape through other movements such as “Once Saved Always Saved” and “Born again” as these church groups seek to reach out to the predestined saved.
All of this is a distortion full of false misrepresentations of the bible and Christianity. No one would deny that God does not know the future and our status, but the issue revolves around the purpose of sending people to heaven or hell predetermined.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church (600) states, “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 people 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.’ For the sake of accomplishing his plan of salvation, God permitted the acts that flowed from their blindness.”
Romans 8:28, “We know that all things work for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose. For those he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, so that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.”
Ephesians 1:3-6 states, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavens, as he chose us in him, before the foundation of the world, to be holy and without blemish before him. In love he destined us for adoption to himself through Jesus Christ, in accord with the favor of his will, for the praise of the glory of his grace that he granted us in the beloved.”
Ephesians 1:11-14 states, “In him we were also chosen, destined in accord with the purpose of the One who accomplishes all things according to the intention of his will, so that we might exist for the praise of his glory, we who first hoped in Christ. In him you also, who have heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and have believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, which is the first installment of our inheritance toward redemption as God’s possession, to the praise of his glory.”
Those who are baptized and and confirmed in the Catholic Faith, who were “sealed with the promised Holy Spirit” is a great sign of predestination.
A faithful father who leads his family in Catholic family devotions such as the rosary is a great sign of predestination. But this is not saying that some were destined by God to go to heaven or hell.
From the CCC (1744) Freedom is the power to act or not to act, and so to perform deliberate acts of one’s own. Freedom attains perfection in its acts when directed toward God, the sovereign Good.
James 1:25 stats, “But the one who peers and perseveres, and is not a hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, such a one shall be blessed in what he does.”
Galatians 5:1 states, “For freedom Christ set us free; so stand firm and do not submit again to the yoke of slavery.”
John 3:16 states, “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life. The Catholic Church has always believed in free will, that God in his infinite love for us, gave his only begotten Son, that everyone who chooses to follow Him might not perish and be saved.
Jesus said, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, then I will enter his house and dine with him, and he with me. I will give the victor the right to sit with me on my throne, as I myself first won the victory and sit with my Father on his throne (John 3:16).”
Now we are getting into the nuts and bolts of the truth on this issue, “For there is one God. There is also one mediator between God and the human race, Christ Jesus, himself human, who GAVE HIMSELF AS A RANSOM FOR ALL”.
The definition of free will according to the dictionary, “the power asserted or moral beings of choosing within limitation or with respect to some matters without restraint of physical or divine necessity or casual law. It is the ability to choose between alternatives so that the choice and action are to an extent creativity determined by the conscious subject.”
Moses once exclaimed, “Whoever is for the Lord, let him come to me” (Exodus 32:26), I love the phrase, “choose this day whom you shall serve”!
Joshua 24:15 states, “If it does not please you to serve the Lord, decide today whom you will serve, the gods of your fathers served beyond the River of the gods of the Amorites in whose country you are dwelling. As for me and my household, we sill serve the Lord.”
The picture becomes more clear, we are given free will to follow God or to go another way. Jesus died on the cross for all people so that they might have eternal life. We are given the choice.
John 10:9 states, “I am the gate. Whoever enters through me will be saved, and will come in and go out and find pasture.” It is free will. This is the rank and file of the laity, the faithful who choose to follow the teachings of the Catholic Church are on the right path.
For the Apostles and their successors, the clergy, the leaders of the Church, Jesus states, “It was not you who chose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit that will remain, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name he may give you. This I command you: love one another.”
We are the result of the faithfulness of the people of God for 2,000 years in their faith, their hardships, their witness. The true great sign of predestination are those who loves the Lord and contends for the faith in daily living. God does not cast into hell people, people choose it by their rebellion, their rejection of the true faith.