Is God Crossing my Stars? Part 1

Is God Crossing my Stars: A Quick Question of Fate and Predestination (For Teens!)
Part 1: Background
By Joe Martinez

So, last weekend I was on a bus ride to the mountains for a Confirmation retreat with a local parish. One of my friends was on the trip and since the journey was so long we started talking about various theological (i.e. Catholic/religious/Jesus involved) things--not that we need an excuse to do that.

So, my friend asked me to explain to him what I knew about a certain theology called 'Predestination.' Now, I want to say right from the start, that I am not talking down this theology. But it's important that the Catholic viewpoint on this topic is known. So, I'm going to tell you what I told him (with a few extra details) so that if you happen to be a Catholic looking for info, you'll be a little more knowledgeable and if you happen to be a protestant or a nonchristian reading this, you'll understand Catholics a little more.

So, you may have heard of the term 'Fate.' Right? Actually, if you haven't heard that term, you should probably go home (if you're not home) and watch a bunch of Disney movies (I don't know for sure if those have fate in them, but I hope you get my point that the idea is very widespread). I am only nineteen so if you really are a teenager, I'm not too far from your generation. And I know, that we grew up with movies and cartoons that threw this idea of fate at us all the time.

Fate seems to be (in pop culture) related to the idea of living in a world where your life is going to follow a very direct path of events and you cannot do anything to change it.

How about Romeo and Juliet? "Two Star Crossed Lovers." Freshmen study them every year. God deemed their love affair unworthy and twisted their fate to end in death, right? What is the actual Christian perspective on this?

The problem is that there is no united perspective on Fate. Many Christian churches believe outright that the world is preDESTINED to follow a path that God set for it. For all intents and purposes, it follows a fate set by God. This isn't about strict apologetics, so I won't talk about the churches that believe this here. I think you may be able to private message me or drop an email if you'd like more information on the topic for any reason. Just keep in mind that the following portion is about a different belief than that of the Catholic belief I will mention later.

Anyway, the way I've had it explained to me (and please correct me if I'm wrong at any point if you know any better) was that in a predestined reality. God has already decided the fate of every man, woman, and child to walk the earth. He has decided if you are going to go to hell already and he has decided if you will go to heaven and these two things happen because he either chooses you to be with you or not.

They work heavily off, I believe, Revelations (such as 20 and 17), where it says that the names of the chosen are written in the book of life and any who are not in that book will be thrown into the fire. There may be more textual evidence, but we can just take them at their word. I'm not here to debate scripture, this is simply to give you some background.

So, again, you are either sent to hell or sent to heaven because of where God calls you. How does that affect your life on earth? What I have heard is that if you are one who is called to heaven, no matter how much bad you do on earth, someday God will call you to Him. Someday you will have a conversion. This is why some of these churches preach simply accepting Jesus as your personal Lord and savior (some, not all) because if you accept him, you're probably one of the people he's calling to heaven. If you don't, you're probably not one of the chosen.

A minister with this kind of belief said to my friend that the idea behind this belief is it gives God more glory when he chooses you. Why would he be put through the terribleness of rejection? As it says in John 15:16, "It was not you who chose me, but it was I, who chose you." Right?

So these are some of their major contentions. Not too bad of an argument. And again, I am not trying to tear this down. However, for part two, when I bring up the Catholic perspective on fate, it is important to know the alternative choice to our belief.

Anyway, fight the good fight, people.

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