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Was the fall necessary and pre-ordained?

Discussion in 'Exploring Christianity' started by Tellyontellyon, Sep 23, 2021.

  1. Tellyontellyon

    Tellyontellyon Active Member

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    "I remember a story of a girl in Paradise who ate an apple once. Some wise Sapient gave it to her. Because of it she saw things differently. What had seemed gold coins were dead leaves. Rich clothes were rags of cobweb. And she saw there was a wall around the world, with a locked gate."

    - Catherine Fisher
     
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  2. Halbhh

    Halbhh Everything You say is Life to me Supporter

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    A person can invent any number of stories.

    But a more interesting one is the story of whether or not we trust the One Who is infinite, transcendent, who gives us the good, the wonderful feeling ground of being.

    After all, if you run off with other rebellious teenagers, after some time, you find out there is an emptiness in that rebelling. It is too self-circular, like looking at one's own bellybutton.

    What if you could gain that same independence and maturity without destroying your best relationship? Or having frankly left behind the transcendent, you could return to it. That's a better story. Here it is in one form:
    Luke 15:11 Context: He said, "A certain man had two sons.
     
  3. Abaxvahl

    Abaxvahl Well-Known Member

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    Nothing that is created is necessary or else it would violate the Christian teaching that God freely made all things, so no it is not necessary. Was it going to come to pass? Most certainly, for God knew what really would occur and be chosen by them, and what He knows is.
     
  4. BobRyan

    BobRyan Junior Member Supporter

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    Not sure what the OP has to do with the title of the thread - but as for the title of the thread - the fall of mankind described was not at all required or "necessary" or "pre-ordained" or "ordained".

    But it was "foreseen".
     
  5. OldWiseGuy

    OldWiseGuy Wake me when it's soup. Supporter

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    The fall was a rehearsal of the original fall, and necessary for the process of the "restitution of all things" to begin. Lots of lessons in that story.
     
  6. Tellyontellyon

    Tellyontellyon Active Member

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    I guess, I'm suggesting there could be a positive aspect to the fall, by moving from a place of innocent bliss, to an aware suffering..?
     
  7. timothyu

    timothyu Well-Known Member

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    There was a choice given to Adam and Eve, but it was an uninformed choice. It gave the consequences but not the reasoning behind each choice. Once those first humans decided to take it upon themselves to follow their own will, the millennia of discovering whose will was wiser, God's or man's, was put into practice. Those with the wisdom to look back and see the repetitions of man that doomed their ways to failure over and over again and see it practiced daily in our current lives which will lead to the same results, now have an informed choice to make which hopefully leads to repentance of the self serving ways of our own will in favour of the ways related to the will of God. The choice is still there but it is an informed one for those willing to listen and not put faith in the will and ways of mankind. Sadly many Christians in particular have tried to manipulate their religion in order to self justify having it both ways, but they are only fooling themselves. God lived among man many times as shown in the Bible, only to leave as the people turned to building this world and religion in our own image instead of His. When He does return as promised in the Lord's Prayer, there will no longer be any room for scoffers, their chance at repentance of their own ways gone, many's delusions they can have it both ways, no more.

    God made it clear:

    Luke 16: 15 And he said unto them, Ye are they which justify yourselves before men; but God knoweth your hearts: for that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God.

    James 1:27 Pure and undefiled religion before our God and Father is this: to care for orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.

    Romans 12:2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

    James 4:4 Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.

    Follow the counter-culture of the Kingdom as taught by Jesus, and reject the institutions of man. As Jesus told Peter and the other Apostles, truth comes only from the Father and not the mouths and minds of mankind.
     
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2021
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  8. BobRyan

    BobRyan Junior Member Supporter

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    If someone gives you a brand new never-existed-before cancer you have gone from a place of relative health to now knowing about a brand new cancer and aware of the suffering it causes.

    Is that helpful - given that it never existed before?
     
  9. timothyu

    timothyu Well-Known Member

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    If it leads to repentance for seeking it out in the first place.
     
  10. SuperCow

    SuperCow Member Supporter

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    I think you all are missing the point of the poster (or what should be the point) and slipping into paradoxical answers. If God knew Adam and Eve were going to sin before he created them, then his act of creation excludes the free will of the recipient, or at best it's a phony choice, because you were already given the disposition to sin upon your creation. We would all be part of an elaborate algorithm that is preset for every living thing.

    Every choice must be a free blind choice. The Bible does not say God knew what their choice would be. God just had a contingency plan for every possibility. Also, I don't think the choice was uninformed. The reasoning was simple. Don't eat the fruit or you'll die. Be good and I'll make sure your life is happy. The only thing he missed was "by the way, if a talking serpent strides by telling you anything different, don't believe it."
     
  11. bekkilyn

    bekkilyn Contemplative Christian Supporter

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    I'm in agreement about a positive aspect to the fall.

    "We know that all things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose." (Romans 8:28)

    There is much more going on than humanity and physical life on earth, so there may very well be roles that humanity is able to play on a more cosmic and spiritual scale that would not be possible without the eyes of humanity being open and becoming "like one of us".

    Perhaps it would have been better to have remained in "ignorant bliss" but God was able to foresee that children would eventually begin to grow up, so to speak, and already had a plan in place for that eventuality and for the restoration not just of humanity, but for ALL of creation.
     
  12. Abaxvahl

    Abaxvahl Well-Known Member

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    I don't see why such creation excludes free will, neither do I see prophecy as excluding free will. How do you define it? Also if God doesn't know the future and all things in His own world I can not fathom how He'd be omniscient.

    As for the serpent it should be blatantly obvious to all, as it is obvious to us, that one does not disobey the infinite God for an infinite creature, this is in man's nature especially then, which was made in grace. Since sin requires knowledge I merely think Eve and Adam used the demon as an excuse and a pretext for what they wanted to do, there was no true "deception" (that is thinking they were doing good and not evil) or else there would not have been a Fall.
     
  13. timothyu

    timothyu Well-Known Member

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    It gave the consequences but not the reasoning behind each choice. We have had millenia to discover and ponder those reasons and how our self serving will contrary to the will of God has created every problem we encounter. That enables us to make an informed choice about whether we want to keep putting our will ahead of His. Instead of just saying do or don't to us, we actual get to live the original operator's manual manual. You know... that thing no one ever wants to read.
     
  14. Derf

    Derf Active Member

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    I think there's a case to be made that it was preordained, but not necessarily for the reasons, nor in the way, normally described.

    But I also think it could have been avoided, so I'm a bit conflicted on it.

    On the preordained side, there's a case to be made that it was necessary for all of Adam's race to suffer the same fate regarding the implementation of death, and that's so that a single act of redemption would be sufficient. Imagine that Adam and Eve were righteous in their adherence to the command not to eat of the tree, that they conceived and bore children, perhaps hundreds, and then two or three or fifty of their children ate of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. We could consider Adam's grandchildren or great-grandchildren, but it gets messy pretty quick, so we'll stop at children.

    So some number of original-sinner children, related through their father, but not to any of the other original-sinners through descendancy, have to be redeemed, separately, it seems. What does it take to redeem them? If Jesus, in our universe, is called "the last Adam" because He was descended from Adam, and therefore can stand in to redeem all of Adam's race, what about Bob's race, Adam's 7th child, with his descendants? What about Ebenezer, Adam's 15th child, and his descendants? Does Jesus have to be born into each family, live a perfect life, die on a tree and rise again two to fifty times. And if He eternally became one of Adam's race in our universe, how could He become one of Bob's race eternally, then also become one of Ebenezer's race eternally, and so on, and so on, in that other universe? How many "only begotten sons" does God have to offer?

    Thus, it behooved God to hurry the process along in order to be able to redeem all of mankind, and have the original sin start with the original man. That "hurrying along" appears to be the purpose of the evil Satan, while the good Satan (maybe named Lucifer) had a good purpose in the garden. Like this:
    [Psa 91:9-12 KJV] 9 Because thou hast made the LORD, [which is] my refuge, [even] the most High, thy habitation; 10 There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling. 11 For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways. 12 They shall bear thee up in [their] hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone.

    Somewhere the good Lucifer/Satan became prideful and became the evil Satan, who can only pretend to be an angel of light, and then he was available for the devious, but important, work of tempting Adam and Eve.

    I imagine that it might be possible that Adam and Eve could have stood strong on the first temptation, and maybe more, but they didn't. Satan didn't leave Jesus alone until he had tempted Him 3 times in the wilderness, and then he still sought other occasions. If Jesus was tempted with some similarity to Adam, then in the same way, God might have allowed multiple temptation events, if necessary with Adam. Adam's fall, then, happening as it did, becomes a sort of comparative blessing, because it allows God to offer salvation to all who are made in His image.

    The way Adam's fall would have to be preordained, in order for God not to have to claim authorship for sin, is that either the temptations would have an end (again, like Jesus's tempations), or that they would not be able to conceive children prior to sinning, which seems unrighteous for God, since He told them to be fruitful and multiply while they were still in the garden.

    These thoughts are surely not to be taken as any kind of truth, but purely speculation. Yet it makes some sense to me.
     
  15. dzheremi

    dzheremi Coptic Orthodox non-Egyptian

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    I thought that was pretty standard in Christian interpretation of Genesis, though...and I don't see what that has to do with the question of the fall being 'necessary' or not. Our father HH St. Athanasius the Apostolic (4th century) tells us of the fall:

    This, then, was the plight of men. God had not only made them out of nothing, but had also graciously bestowed on them His own life by the grace of the Word. Then, turning from eternal things to things corruptible, by counsel of the devil, they had become the cause of their own corruption in death; for, as I said before, though they were by nature subject to corruption, the grace of their union with the Word made them capable of escaping from the natural law, provided that they retained the beauty of innocence with which they were created. That is to say, the presence of the Word with them shielded them even from natural corruption, as also Wisdom says: "God created man for incorruption and as an image of His own eternity; but by envy of the devil death entered into the world." 4 When this happened, men began to die, and corruption ran riot among them and held sway over them to an even more than natural degree, because it was the penalty of which God had forewarned them for transgressing the commandment.
    This is from his masterwork On The Incarnation, chapter 1 (emphasis added), and represents the traditional view as still found in Orthodoxy and probably other more traditional confessions.
     
  16. SuperCow

    SuperCow Member Supporter

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    Why must God be omniscient? Why can't he choose what to see and what not to see? A prophecy doesn't necessarily mean he is omniscient. If he is omniscient, why does he regret his own choices? Genesis 6:6,7, Exodus 32:9,14 & 1 Samuel 15:11,35

    Does he know the future because he sees it, or controls it? Or does he control it to conform to his plan, but leave us our free will to do as we please, to see our heart, knowing in most cases that it will not affect his plans, and when it does he controls the situation like hardening Pharaoh's heart during the Exodus plagues.

    I don't think the thought even occurred to Eve to eat the fruit until the serpent gave her the impression she was missing something tantalizing. Then she lost trust in God, became greedy, stole something that wasn't hers, etc. Adam could have had all kinds of emotions when Eve gave her the fruit. Not wanting to lose his wife, thinking she got something he didn't, plus every reason Eve sinned.
     
  17. Abaxvahl

    Abaxvahl Well-Known Member

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    So He first knows all things and then wills to not know something? I am confused about how you think God's knowledge works there.

    As for those passaged of "regret" they are not actual regret or repentance but that God has acted like He repented, since it is from the human perspective that these things are said. When a judgment ceases suddenly it is like an about-face repentance, so it is said God repents. At other times it is to declare the enormity of sin, or other reasons.

    As for God's knowing the future He knows it which is a cause of what it is, like the plans of a building in the mind of an architect is a cause for how it is built. Still though man is a real cause of his acts and has a free will, although whether or not we mean the same thing by "free will" is questionable.
     
  18. Derf

    Derf Active Member

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    Are you saying God has the ability to know the future, but decides not to? Doesn't that tell us that the future is already settled? And if settled, God may as well know it, since even He can't change it. But if God can't even change His own future (settled, remember, because God knows what it is), then even God doesn't have free will, but everybody's fate, including God's, is in the hand of some higher power--higher than God's, or at least more omniscient.

    I agree with you that a prophecy doesn't mean God is omniscient. Most prophecies are about stuff God is planning to do, like destroy some nation because of their sin.

    But neither does omniscient have to mean you know everything that will happen in the future...unless the future is settled. So a settled future both makes God omniscient of decision He hasn't even made yet (not to mention our own), and makes Him a prisoner of that future.
     
  19. timothyu

    timothyu Well-Known Member

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    If you check into Jewish teaching they claim God created the Tempter to do exactly what his name implies with all in this realm. Once the Messiah comes he will be needed no longer.
     
  20. Derf

    Derf Active Member

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    I’ve heard that before, but then, just like us, if we act just like God wants us to, and He punishes us for it, God shows Himself unjust. God is just whether toward us or toward angels or any of His creatures.
     
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