PREDETERMINED–This word refers to ‘the establishment of, or a decision about, something in advance of its occurrence’. We see signs of, and actual events of, predetermination on a regular basis, particularly in the political sphere. When one party controls all three branches of government in the USA, it is a given fact that they can and will do as they please—their only obstacle would be a contestation in the Supreme Court by any objectors.
In the sphere of religion, there seem to be some, maybe many, who believe that God has predetermined everything in their lives including their eternal fate in either heaven or hell. I have to take great exception to that philosophy for one simple reason—God is perfect which means that, among other things, God cannot possibly ‘take sides’. I think the confusion arises in the differential understanding between the concepts of ‘predetermining’ and ‘knowing’. I’ll attempt to explain the difference.
Shortly after publishing my little book, Wilderness Cry, I got a phone call from one of my good Catholic friends. He was in a near-state of convulsion—he requested an immediate audience with me—I readily obliged . About thirty minutes later, I welcomed him into my house—in his hand, he was holding eight type-written pages of questions. As he sat down to a cup of coffee, in a very trembling and excited voice he said ,”You are a determinist”, and I said, “I am a what?” He said, “In your book, you say God has already pre-determined everything that’s going to happen. My reply was a very calm, “You must read my book again more slowly and carefully. I said nothing of the sort. Please allow me to explain”—and explain I did.
I’ll call him Joe for convenience. I said, “Joe there’s a big, big difference between ‘knowing’ what’s going to happen and ‘making’ it happen. Please allow me to explain that difference with a simple example.” I did explain to Joe with a very simple example. I asked him no note his presence in my house. I advised him that I knew for a fact that, sooner or later, one way or another, dead or alive, he was going to leave my house. However, just because I knew that fact, I was not the determiner of that action—more than likely, I would just be a friendly observer.
Joe’s eyes got wide open, and after a moment or two of pause, he excitedly exclaimed, “Oh yea, I get it now. God knows what will happen, but he is not directly making it happen. He’s just a casual observer. Why didn’t I see that when reading your book? That’s exactly what you say. I guess I wasn’t being openminded, as you had suggested, while reading it. You just answered all my questions. Thank you so much.” And with that, he tore the papers in half and placed them in a nearby trash can.
We sat for two more hours discussing the ramifications of my definition of God’s essence—Joe was ecstatic. After another cup of coffee, he excitedly remarked that he couldn’t wait to get home and explain to his wife—and with that, just as I had known, he departed my house—I knew it all along.
God is a Perfect Rational Being . That Rationality imagines all, pervades all, allows all, and observes all. It knows for certain the consequence of each action that has occurred or ever will occur. God’s perfection demands a ‘hands -off’ demeanor and attitude. If he were to interfere, God would be breaking his own rules, which in itself would negate any sense of perfection. Therefore, God cannot possibly be pleased or displeased; he cannot possibly change his own nature—consequently, physical miracles are impossible.
Begging God to ‘make something happen’ that is contrary to his own nature is unwittingly blasphemous. I realize that you, I, and all so-called Christians have been taught to, beg God for all sorts of things. That’s the God of the Jews whom could be bargained with—that is not the Perfect Being who created the perfect building blocks of everything in a universe so vast as to be incomprehensible. That is not the God who exist in eternity—a state of being where no time (change) is possible. If there were change, then there would be time, and eternity would be destroyed—God cannot possibly do that to himself.
So, in summary, we must recognize that the Perfect God who created every perfect tiniest particle of energy, of which every gravid entity is made, and commissioned them with his Will, The Holy Spirit, to remain perfect in both form and function, knows exactly what each has done and will do forever. That is the only determination he ever made. God has not pre-determined any action by anything, but he knows exactly what will be the consequence of any and all actions.
There is a monstrous difference between knowing and causing.
If you have not already read my two little books, Wilderness Cry and Peace in Spirituality, I strongly urge you to do so. If you already have read them, I would encourage you to re-read, and read again and again, if necessary, until you grasp their full meaning. You will find total peace with your God—furthermore you will learn the real identity of your God. He has been known by probably a thousand different names in the past—names such as God, Yahweh, Allah. Brahma, Zeus etc., but his real identity has been hidden by religion. And that, my friends, as Robert Frost said in his famous little poem, The Road Not Taken, “has made all the difference”.—perpetual discord and wars—the word ‘sad’ is totally inadequate to describe our predicament.
In rebuttal or retort you may say, “but we have free will”, and I say, “the will is only free to choose what the intellect presents to it as the better of two choices”. Only in an irrational (insane) person could it be otherwise. Then you may ask why my intellect does not see the same ‘better’ as yours? The answer to that lies in the fact that each intellect has been pre-conditioned by billions of different experiences in its life—therefore, what seems ‘good’ to one intellect may seem ‘not so good’ to another. A simple example—why do some people vote conservative while others vote liberal? The answer lies in how our intellects have been preconditioned by selfish considerations. And I say ‘selfish’ because each time we vote or do anything, we do it with an attitude of what we consider to be in ‘our best interest’. And if we do something which we think is in the best interest of someone else, we wittingly or unwittingly are doing it for a selfish reason of self-satisfaction, or for the purpose of making ‘brownie points’—even Mother Theresa admitted that.