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July 22, 2005 at 3:19 pm #1119
Does God pour out the same amount of Grace on all?
This came to me thru a conversation with a good friend.
Let me know your thoughts.
~VictorJuly 23, 2005 at 5:23 pm #5363
As a good Presbyterian, I am supposed to answer in the negative, since there is that pesky doctrine about Predestination.
But I think we’re swimming in it, frankly. I think we’re inundated with God’s grace, if we’d just pay attention. If it wasn’t that way, I think I’d likely be good and dead by now!July 23, 2005 at 8:16 pm #5364
[quote:3dmkmpw9]As a good Presbyterian, I am supposed to answer in the negative, since there is that pesky doctrine about Predestination.[/quote:3dmkmpw9]
I understand. But personally that was always a doctrine that bothered me. For a variety of reasons that I’m sure you have heard before. But it bothering me is not the reason as to why I stopped believing in it. Just don’t think it’s taught in the Bible or taught by historic Christendom.
[quote:3dmkmpw9]But I think we’re swimming in it, frankly. I think we’re inundated with God’s grace, if we’d just pay attention. If it wasn’t that way, I think I’d likely be good and dead by now![/quote:3dmkmpw9]
When you say WE, I’m assuming you are saying [i:3dmkmpw9]true believers[/i:3dmkmpw9], right? I agree with you that Grace is always available to those who respond to it, but I would disagree that it’s specifically for believers. That is if that is what you mean.
But even within the believers is Grace totally dependent upon the believers response or can God turn up the fire to kinda get his/her attention even more? This is indeed doing something MORE for a person, because we all know that God has done that in the Bible. And he doesn’t do it to all of us exactly the same. Some of us may just need a little bit of grace in order to respond. Others need an ear pulling for God to get our attention. Then others don’t respond at all.
Hope that clarifies things.
~VictorJuly 23, 2005 at 11:42 pm #5366
[quote:35ul6xog]I understand. But personally that was always a doctrine that bothered me. For a variety of reasons that I’m sure you have heard before. But it bothering me is not the reason as to why I stopped believing in it. Just don’t think it’s taught in the Bible or taught by historic Christendom.[/quote:35ul6xog]
Catholics believe in predestination, just of a significantly different sort than Calvinist protestants.July 24, 2005 at 3:29 pm #5367
[quote:xa7r2rnb]Catholics believe in predestination, just of a significantly different sort than Calvinist protestants.[/quote:xa7r2rnb]
Yeah I knew that. But when you say “predestination”, I know you mean a different thing by it, then Elka. So for the sake of clarification I usually don’t make that distiction until things are laid flat on table and understood. Just don’t like to complicate things is all. That’s just me.
PS-I believe I noted it another thread and did indeed make the distiction. I think it was with you Elka? So I figured that he already knew a bit of the difference.August 4, 2005 at 3:06 pm #5386
In answer to the original question, it must be said that while God gives sufficient Grace to all men to be saved, some men do receive more Grace than others.
For instance, Graces are bestowed by the sacraments, and a person who has received the extra Graces of the Sacrament of Baptism including the all important Sanctifying Grace has “more” Graces than an unbaptized person.
While this difference in the bestowal of Grace is sometimes partly caused by our Free Will (such as when we actually ask for Graces in prayer), it is not always so. It must be remembered thought that while some men have to struggle less than others to be saved, they are always given sufficient Grace to struggle and that having certain people struggle more is not necessarily something that is harmful to their salvation.August 4, 2005 at 3:46 pm #5387
Katholish, those were excellent points. Thanks for the addition.
~VictorAugust 5, 2005 at 9:30 pm #5391
Maybe it is the inherent distrust in grace bestowed through instruments other than God (say via priests, or sacrements) but we have a slightly different theology. We see this as a reflection of God’s grace, not a conduit for it. I think that’s splitting hairs, personally, but there you go.
I don’t know how we would go about quantifying something like Grace. So far, I’ve seen posts to the effect that God gives differing amounts of grace to different folks, and that seems an almost Calvinistic statement! Perhaps I’m just being spiritually hard of hearing ( ) but I think of Grace as something that we keep at arm’s length through sinfulness, hardened hearts. As soon as we ‘crack,’ don’t you think God is ready to pour out Grace upon us without reservation? Salvation — whether all at once, as Evangelical/Reformed thinking sees it, or throughout the believer’s life, which I understand to be the RCC position (please correct if wrong) is sufficient for our needs.August 6, 2005 at 5:35 am #5395
As Katholish said [b:jbn3q85h]enough grace[/b:jbn3q85h] is given for salvation to all. How do you quantify that? Beats me….
But here is something that may help and give you a different outlook on it. I am going to paste a conversation with a good Eastern Orthodox friend of mine (he is in this forum).
[color=blue:jbn3q85h][b:jbn3q85h]Ted:[/b:jbn3q85h][/color:jbn3q85h]God gets things done by grace…but not by more grace. The Uncreated Grace is received by a willing receptive heart, who works with God to serve His purpose (synergy).
[color=red:jbn3q85h][b:jbn3q85h]Victor:[/b:jbn3q85h][/color:jbn3q85h]My problem with that is that God is fully DEPENDANT upon whether they (apostles, Mary, etc.) respond or not respond. If this is the case, then His purpose may not ever happen. Making Him powerless to bring about His purpose.
[color=red:jbn3q85h][b:jbn3q85h]Victor:[/b:jbn3q85h][/color:jbn3q85h] On the other hand with His ability to give more Grace at any moment; gives Him the ability to have full control at all times. Why does he do it to some and not others? For His purpose and for our salvation in some cases. That’s why. Not for that particular persons salvation.
Let me know your thoughts.
~VictorAugust 7, 2005 at 6:02 am #5396
I just feel the need to qualify what was posted here. Granted, Victor and I were having a conversation on grace, but I think I need to clarify what I meant. I had problems with the idea of MORE GRACE, because I felt that suggesting that God would give to some, what He would not give to others, makes Him a respector of persons. Victor told me that those who receive more grace from God receive it so that God could accomplish His purpose, and it doesn’t in any way effect their salvation. I found this problematic, because if we look at the Incarnation of God the Son alone, we know that God’s intent with all of us in the world is that we all be saved. If we want to talk about God’s purpose in the world, we cannot divorce His purpose from salvation. If we say that God would give some “more grace” for His purpose, then wouldn’t that “more grace” be technically given to all, that all souls might have that “extra boost” to accept and believe? So that not one is left behind? Is salvation separate from God’s purpose? And if it is not separate from His purpose, how can we say that God gives that “extra” or “more grace” to just a few? It seems to me that a God who is no respector of persons, would give to all, love and grace. In the end, it is SYNERGY, the freewill of that soul, to work WITH and not against God’s will, that makes it more receptive to the grace that God freely bestows on all.
Furthermore, I think I had issues with time, that Vic was trying to get me to look past. I had a problem with the idea that some had been given “more grace” from the get go, while others didn’t have that “extra”, because the particular souls who received would go on to be the Apostles, or the Blessed Virgin, etc. I felt conflicted, because if the Apostles and the Blessed Virgin are worthy of our emulation, it is because they submitted their will to God’s will, and were obedient and worked with God (synergy). To say that they “had extra” is essentially saying that if they didn’t have that extra, they wouldn’t have been able to do it. We know that the Apostles served God’s purpose, the foundation of His Church, but we also know that it wasn’t an issue of more grace. If more grace in the Apostles meant that God’s will would definitely be done, why would one of the Apostles deflect? Is it because only the eleven, and not Judas, got the “more grace”? But they did have grace, and they did respond to that grace, and it was Judas who WILLFULLY rejected that grace, which he held with the others for the 3 years of our Lord’s public ministry. Furthermore, if we say that they were spiritually great because they had more grace, it follows that a soul that yearns for God and is fighting the good fight as best as they can, will at one point say, “why Lord did you not give me this extra boost also, so that I might run the race better? Had I received the ‘more grace’ as some had received, perhaps I would not perish, perhaps I would have been greater in the struggle! Perhaps I would have been more resolute, or more helpful to your purpose in the world.” I’m sorry, I know I would think that if I knew that, through no fault of my own, a soul, WITHOUT his/her choice, was imbued automatically with something I did not have, because He was to serve a role that I wasn’t? Where is the freewill of man in this? Where is the justice, and the “No Respector of persons” in all this? Perhaps then, the Lord could get me to serve a similar role today, so that I may have that “extra, more grace”?
Suffice it to say, that I do believe the more responsive a soul gets to God’s call, the more one will experience His Uncreated Grace. However, I believe that what they will experience is the grace that God freely bestows on all, and has ready and available to all. The more does not come from God, God is love, and allows the rain to fall on the sinner and the righteous. The MORE comes from that thirsty soul, who wills to experience grace more, and moves to the Mysteries of the Church. Like the Psalmist says, when one tastes and sees that the Lord is sweet, one wants to drink from that Sweetness that is never denied anyone, nor ever exhausted. But I disagree that God would willfully give more to someone, and not to another.
As for the question of whether or not God is dependant on us, and that His will might not ever be fulfilled if He is reliant on our freewill, I believed that this was an excellent question (Vic, you should have quoted me telling you that it was a great question ) I will tell you guys what I told Vic. I’m NOT AN EXPERT, but I personally find it difficult to think that God would allow us our freewill, only to qualify it. If anything, we hear that God sets before us life and death, and says CHOOSE life. We may never choose life. There are plenty around us who do not choose the path to life. Do we dare say that it is not God’s purpose that these souls too be saved? Heaven forbid! But God respects the gifts He’s given us! And if He can cast aside freewill occasionally, for His purpose, one must wonder why the thousands and millions of souls who go to their deaths rejecting God, weren’t worth his casting aside freewill, and giving them “extra grace”. One must wonder why the Prophets, whom God Himself, the Holy Spirit, spoke through, were not better received. If it was God’s purpose that Israel hear them, why did He not send down “more grace” to those hard hearts, that His purpose for sending the prophets–the believing of all men–would be fulfilled. Because doing this “more grace” would qualify His respect for the freewill He has given all of us.
I think the only way I can personally understand this is that yes, the Lord has foreknowledge. He knows a soul will be faithful or not, EVEN before it is or is not. He knows it, but He doesn’t make it happen. He has given us freewill, He tells us, “Choose to work with Me or against Me”. Like I said, I am not an expert, and I await your replies. I hope I haven’t offended anyone with what I wrote.
In Christ Jesus, the least,
Theodore (Ted)August 8, 2005 at 7:27 pm #5397
Dang OC, your posts are always LONG! lol, but I always enjoy them.
Anyway, one has to believe that more grace can and is given to some than others. The reasons are simple.
First, Sacraments. This is the simplest. If I go to Mass every week and you don’t, I am getting a ton of Grace which you aren’t.
Second, different people need different amounts, and different people ASK for different things. Atheists don’t pray for grace, Christians do. BUT, Christians might also pray that a certain atheist get God’s grace. And of course we know God always answers prayers. So while it is impossible to measure who has grace and who doesn’t, it is easy to say that some recieve more than others.August 8, 2005 at 8:40 pm #5398
I just feel the need to qualify what was posted here. Granted, Victor and I were having a conversation on grace, but I think I need to clarify what I meant. I had problems with the idea of MORE GRACE, because I felt that suggesting that God would give to some, what He would not give to others, makes Him a respector of persons. Victor told me that those who receive more grace from God receive it so that God could accomplish His purpose, and it doesn’t in any way effect their salvation.[/quote:1y1sy2lz]
[color=brown:1y1sy2lz]Here is one thing I should have clarified from the get go. I blame this on myself because I can totally see why Ted got this from our conversation.
Point to clarify is that God’s Grace ([b:1y1sy2lz]habitual grace[/b:1y1sy2lz]) does indeed effect a persons salvation. My point was that the main reason extra/more grace was poured out (for people who were predestined) was for God’s purpose. Salvation was a secondary effect. Furthermore I will point out some more points that will hopefully clarify things.
1. Sufficient [b:1y1sy2lz]sanctifying grace[/b:1y1sy2lz] (supernatural life, stays attached to soul, it’s a condition you are in) is given to all to be saved. (if you respond).
2. Habitual graces (supernatural push, does not attach to the soul) on the other hand are different per individual.
3. Some people do indeed respond more to God’s graces (sacraments, prayer, etc.).
I was talking about no.2 the whole time and never clarified that to Ted. I got confused myself as well so I apologize Ted. After having read this, you may have more questions. Let me know your thoughts.
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