Author Topic: Predestination thinking in Orthodox believers  (Read 612 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline vorgos

  • High Elder
  • ******
  • Posts: 540
Predestination thinking in Orthodox believers
« on: November 20, 2015, 08:37:49 PM »
In conversations I've had with relatives I have been very surprised to hear ideas that are or stink of predestination.

I am talking about such things as, "What will happen, will happen" or "[If] it is meant to be" or if you are Greek, more often than not, "Its my destiny".

This leads then to people thinking that they are powerless to fight it and they take risks. Like my brother, who after having just lost a niece, is driving around with no sleep! I think, his thinking is that he is not destined to go just yet!!

Admittedly it is due to ignorance but how to make these people stop seeing it in that light? Talking theology with them is not helpful.

Offline Arachne

  • Trinary Unit || Resident Bossy Boots
  • Section Moderator
  • Taxiarches
  • *****
  • Posts: 7,824
  • Even if you win the rat race, you're still a rat.
  • Faith: Cradle Greek Orthodox. Cope.
  • Jurisdiction: Antiochian Archdiocese, UK
Re: Predestination thinking in Orthodox believers
« Reply #1 on: November 20, 2015, 08:43:38 PM »
Don't confuse predestination with plain ol' fatalism. :)
'When you live your path all the time, you end up with both more path and more time.'~Venecia Rauls

Blog ~ Bookshelf ~ Jukebox

Offline vorgos

  • High Elder
  • ******
  • Posts: 540
Re: Predestination thinking in Orthodox believers
« Reply #2 on: November 20, 2015, 09:30:54 PM »
Don't confuse predestination with plain ol' fatalism. :)

Good point but given that they are believers, in their own way, I think predestination is a good choice. If they were atheists then fatalism would be more appropriate I think.

Offline Carl Kraeff (Second Chance)

  • Taxiarches
  • **********
  • Posts: 7,908
  • Faith: Orthodox Christian
  • Jurisdiction: Diocese of the South (OCA)
Re: Predestination thinking in Orthodox believers
« Reply #3 on: November 20, 2015, 11:12:00 PM »
I think all of them boil down to "Thy will be done."

Offline Minnesotan

  • Archon
  • ********
  • Posts: 3,222
  • Milo Thatch is the ONLY Milo for me. #FreeAtlantis
Re: Predestination thinking in Orthodox believers
« Reply #4 on: November 21, 2015, 01:08:44 AM »
Don't confuse predestination with plain ol' fatalism. :)

Good point but given that they are believers, in their own way, I think predestination is a good choice. If they were atheists then fatalism would be more appropriate I think.

Fatalism, historically at least, was a belief associated with pagans. So it's possible that (via syncretism) such beliefs might have survived in those cultures.

Would the Russian avos' be an example of what you're talking about?
I'm not going to be posting as much on OC.Net as before. I might stop in once in a while though. But I've come to realize that real life is more important.

Offline vorgos

  • High Elder
  • ******
  • Posts: 540
Re: Predestination thinking in Orthodox believers
« Reply #5 on: November 21, 2015, 01:31:11 AM »
Don't confuse predestination with plain ol' fatalism. :)

Good point but given that they are believers, in their own way, I think predestination is a good choice. If they were atheists then fatalism would be more appropriate I think.

Fatalism, historically at least, was a belief associated with pagans. So it's possible that (via syncretism) such beliefs might have survived in those cultures.

the Greek moira known in English as Fate is still very popular in the Greek speaking populace. My sister basically used that very word...

Would the Russian avos' be an example of what you're talking about?

Yeah there is certainly quite a bit of that as well.

Quote
The Russian avos' (Russian: русский авось) describes a philosophy of behavior, or attitude, of a person who ignores possible problems or hassles and, at the same time, expects or hopes for no negative results or consequences. It is an attitude that treats life as unpredictable and holds that the best one can do is count on luck.[1][2]

It represents ungrounded optimism and can be summarized as "Whatever, I'm sure I'll get lucky".

How do you fight that?

Offline NicholasMyra

  • Merarches
  • ***********
  • Posts: 8,020
    • Hyperdox Herman
  • Faith: Orthodox
  • Jurisdiction: Partially-overlapping
Re: Predestination thinking in Orthodox believers
« Reply #6 on: November 21, 2015, 03:50:32 AM »
Is free will incompatible with fate and destiny? If so, why?
Quote from: Pope Francis
Thank God he said I was a politician because Aristotle defined the human person as 'animal politicus.' So at least I am a human person.

Vote for a Ministry section on OC.net

Offline vorgos

  • High Elder
  • ******
  • Posts: 540
Re: Predestination thinking in Orthodox believers
« Reply #7 on: November 23, 2015, 06:28:02 AM »
Is free will incompatible with fate and destiny? If so, why?

Like I wrote, most people today speak of fate and destiny as something predetermined. We are powerless to do anything about it. But as rational beings we DO have the ability to choose. The ability to make changes to our environment. Of course we are all limited by our nature and circumstance.

We ought to understand that while God knows all things beforehand, yet He does not predetermine all things. For He knows beforehand those things that are in our power, but He does not predetermine them. For it is not His will that there should be wickedness nor does He choose to compel virtue. So that predetermination is the work of the divine command based on fore-knowledge. But on the other hand God predetermines those things which are not within our power in accordance with His prescience. For already God in His prescience has prejudged all things in accordance with His goodness and justice.

Did God make a couple get married and have a child who will later die or did two persons choose to get married and choose to have a child who happened to pass away?

While our choices are not unlimited, and we cannot control everything, we do have the freedom to choose. We choose to sleep and drive rested, and we choose to wear our seatbelt. We chose to use our intellect to reduce the death toll.

So if the terms used as stated above, I think they are incompatible.
« Last Edit: November 23, 2015, 06:38:09 AM by vorgos »

Offline Gebre Menfes Kidus

  • "SERVANT of The HOLY SPIRIT"
  • Merarches
  • ***********
  • Posts: 9,675
  • Trolling Babylon 24/7, without apology!
    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?ref=profile&id=1456515775
  • Faith: Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo
Re: Predestination thinking in Orthodox believers
« Reply #8 on: November 23, 2015, 06:51:28 AM »
I do think we have to do a better job dealing with the many references to predestination and election in scripture. For example, as much as I love the Orthodox Study Bible, there are no notes or articles that address predestination.


Selam
"If we are wiser than children, then we are fools."
+ Gebre Menfes Kidus +

Offline Indocern

  • High Elder
  • ******
  • Posts: 621
  • Faith: Orthodox Christian
  • Jurisdiction: Eastern Orthodox
Re: Predestination thinking in Orthodox believers
« Reply #9 on: November 23, 2015, 03:54:01 PM »
In conversations I've had with relatives I have been very surprised to hear ideas that are or stink of predestination.

I am talking about such things as, "What will happen, will happen" or "[If] it is meant to be" or if you are Greek, more often than not, "Its my destiny".

This leads then to people thinking that they are powerless to fight it and they take risks. Like my brother, who after having just lost a niece, is driving around with no sleep! I think, his thinking is that he is not destined to go just yet!!

Admittedly it is due to ignorance but how to make these people stop seeing it in that light? Talking theology with them is not helpful.

God have something in mind for each of us, we as christians don't believe in desteny, we believe that all is God's will.
« Last Edit: November 23, 2015, 04:04:20 PM by Indocern »

Offline vorgos

  • High Elder
  • ******
  • Posts: 540
Re: Predestination thinking in Orthodox believers
« Reply #10 on: November 23, 2015, 07:20:51 PM »
In conversations I've had with relatives I have been very surprised to hear ideas that are or stink of predestination.

I am talking about such things as, "What will happen, will happen" or "[If] it is meant to be" or if you are Greek, more often than not, "Its my destiny".

This leads then to people thinking that they are powerless to fight it and they take risks. Like my brother, who after having just lost a niece, is driving around with no sleep! I think, his thinking is that he is not destined to go just yet!!

Admittedly it is due to ignorance but how to make these people stop seeing it in that light? Talking theology with them is not helpful.

God have something in mind for each of us, we as christians don't believe in desteny, we believe that all is God's will.

That last part could be misunderstood. My understanding is that God either wills it, for example creation, or allows it, a sickness.

Quote from: On Suffering
The world is in bondage to the devil which St. Paul calls "groaning in travail" (Rom. 8:22), until the Savior returns. Until that day, God allows suffering as an aid for our salvation. God is not the cause of suffering. Since it does exist due to the devil's deceit and mankind's general weakness, wickedness and sin, He offers us the chance to use it so that we might be healed and saved in the forgiveness of sins. He does not send us suffering. He permits us to use it for our own good.

Offline Ainnir

  • Elder
  • *****
  • Posts: 349
  • Faith: Christian
  • Jurisdiction: none
Re: Predestination thinking in Orthodox believers
« Reply #11 on: November 26, 2015, 10:41:14 AM »
My understanding is that God either wills it, for example creation, or allows it, a sickness.

Quote from: On Suffering
The world is in bondage to the devil which St. Paul calls "groaning in travail" (Rom. 8:22), until the Savior returns. Until that day, God allows suffering as an aid for our salvation. God is not the cause of suffering. Since it does exist due to the devil's deceit and mankind's general weakness, wickedness and sin, He offers us the chance to use it so that we might be healed and saved in the forgiveness of sins. He does not send us suffering. He permits us to use it for our own good.

This is my understanding, too, but I used to believe the other way.