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The Calvinist/rationalist view

I am an Orthodox Christian in the lineage of Calvinist theology. That is, I believe in original sin, and the corrupt nature of man. I believe in predestination because I believe in an all-knowing, omniscient and omnipotent God who willed and decreed the final outcome of civilization here on earth. It is irreconcilable to me to think that God is omniscient and omnipotent and the great and intelligent designer while being one who does not know how the story ends. Yet, I do believe in free will as well. I believe that God gives us the mind, power and gifts to make decisions that while not ultimately defines our fate, ultimately puts us in circumstances that allow us be used by Him to reach out to others. Our free will enables us to reach people who are not predestined by God to be reached out to by us. Our free will enables us to make choices that lead to who we will reach out to. God's will is that we reach out to people - but perhaps he does not define who those are specifically.

I believe that men who believe in God but not Christ as our savior are not Orthodox Christians, but Christians in the tribal sense. They unite because they are descendants of those who believed that Christ had a role in defining morality in this world. Am I wrong for accepting those who do not ultimately believe that Christ is the way? Am I unequally yoked by accepting one who does not believe that Christ is the way, and not just a way to receiving the gift of salvation? This is a challenge for me because while I think I am to only be with someone with the same understanding of Christianity - original sin and a corrupt nature - I can grasp the good intentions of such forefathers who tried to adjust the strict view in order to save men from ultimate destruction or secularism. Men who are of the lineage of the New England theology have cultivated their views in a culture and environment that bred such liberal views of Christianity. Am I better than them or more holy? No. Am I more Christian than them? I think not. Can I align myself with them, however? Yes and no. Are they not as much a seeker as I am? Do they not raise questions that are valid? Am I to dismiss them? I cannot.

Yes, I am a product of rationalism and strict Calvinism as much as men are products of their culture and upbringing.

But I cannot reconcile this selfish desire in us with the notion that men are also moral agents. If we are moral agents with the ability to do good, why then this selfish nature? What is it that drives us to selfishness and freedom and liberation of having to serve others before ourselves? I cannot reconcile not having a corrupt nature with also having a tendency to be selfish. What is the origin of selfishness if not the corrupt nature of men? Isn't selfishness sin? If we are prone to be selfish, then we're inherently sinful. 

Am I better than others that have not the same view? I am not. Therefore how are we to reconcile differences? That is the question I struggle with.


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