Why Jesus cannot save the converts

Professing your belief in Jesus is totally unnecessary. You can commit the foulest offenses against Jesus or the Holy Spirit without worrying about the consequence because Jesus has anyway irreversibly predestined whether you go to heaven or hell!

Christian fanatics zealously announce, “Jesus Saves!” In this article, I will decisively argue that Jesus is powerless to save the converts. Let us begin with an understanding of what free will and predestination mean in Christianity.

Does one accept Jesus as the messiah out of free will or is it all predestined? In other words, are we saved from eternal damnation in hell by exercising our free will or is it a chance outcome decided by the divine grace of god (or his son Jesus, if you so prefer)? There is no problem in using these two interchangeably for they are one and the same.

There is some scriptural support for free will. Paul admonished his followers to make use of the freedom Jesus had bestowed upon them and not to misuse it again, thereby at least implying some role of free will.[1] Irenaeus (c. 180 CE) was more direct: “Man is rational and therefore like God; he is created with free will and is master over his acts.”[2] Origen (184-253 CE) believed in reincarnation and advanced the most coherent (i.e., logically consistent on a limited scale because it neither explains why the cycle of rebirth should be terminated in favor of an eternal heaven or hell nor is it scientific or correct) Christian argument by asserting that one’s deeds from previous lives predestine one to heaven or hell.[3]

Why does Origen talk about free will as well as predestination? Free will always remained a marginal idea within Christianity, which is an apocalyptic faith system. As a result, Christianity accorded the writ of providence precedence over personal freedom. Hence free will was always seen as a challenge to the divine will. Augustine of Hippo (c. 426 CE) confirms that free will has by this time become a controversial subject and discusses it at length in his work On Grace and Free Will.

Augustine is aware of the paucity of references to free will in scripture. So, even though he asserts that god has revealed the idea of free will in scripture he also adds a caveat that such a revelation is not in human, but divine language. However, he quickly forgets this caveat and invokes John 15:22 to argue in support of implicit free will. In this verse, Jesus claims, in a language quite comprehensible to humans, that since he has revealed himself to the Jews (who were hitherto sinless) they are now guilty of inheriting sin if they do not follow him. Evidently, the author of John 15:22 who implies that the Jews in discussion were not born in Original Sin was unaware of what the author of Romans 5:12 had written – that everyone since Adam is born in Original Sin. So, he unwittingly dismantles the foundational premise of Christianity. Augustine also argues, citing Proverbs 19:3, that a sinner cannot escape punishment claiming to have acted as predestined because he has free will. He also cites Matthew 16:27, “Jesus shall reward every man according to his works,” as an argument in support of free will.

He then cautions one not to deny the grace of god in favor of free will and advances his arguments in support of predestination by the grace of god. Now it is time to discuss predestination as the means to salvation.

What happens to a child born to Christian parents who dies un-baptized? What happened to those who lived before Jesus came to earth? Are they in hell? These categories of people could not have sought Jesus as their savior out of free will. Is it fair to condemn someone to hell without giving an opportunity? Predestination is a response to these ethical questions that confronted early Christians as much as it is a product of the Christian tendency to privilege the will of god over any human agency and effort.

Christianity teaches that one can be saved from eternal damnation entirely by the grace of god without any initiative on one’s part. In other words, by the grace of god, one is predestined to go to heaven or hell. Jesus claimed to have saved a criminal who was dying on the cross with him even though he had not professed his belief in Jesus.[4] The Ethiopian Eunuch,[5] Apostle Paul,[6] and the Philippian jailer[7] were also saved by Jesus before they proclaimed their belief in him. In the Parable of the Workers in the Vineyard[8] Jesus announces that “those who are last (to believe in him) will be the first (to be saved)” and since Jesus is the master of all humans he can do whatever he wants with them, i.e., he can arbitrarily grant some salvation while letting others burn in hell and their rewards need not be commensurate with their deeds. The conclusion here is that one could be saved by the grace of Jesus because of predestination even without proclaiming one’s belief in him by the agency of free will.

Augustine too privileges predestination by grace over free will when he cites Matthew 26:41 where it is said that a man can only avoid falling into temptation by receiving the grace of god. There are semantic differences in how various orthodox Christian sects define predestination but there is no substantive difference in their understanding.

However, the fact that the opposite concepts of free will and predestination find support in scripture did not escape the attention of some Christian theologians. The apologetics of Augustine and Thomas Aquinas are examples of Christian efforts at harmonizing these conflicting ideas.

Augustine begins with a citation of Zechariah 1:3 where god says, “You turn unto me and I will turn unto you,” and argues that here the act of a man turning to god symbolizes free will whereas the reciprocal act of god turning to man symbolizes grace. However, he hastens to add that it is an anathema to claim that the grace one receives is according to one’s deeds performed out of free will and insists that the very act of one turning to god is the result of god’s grace. He corroborates this point by citing 1 Corinthians 15:9-10 where Paul informs us that he received the grace of god while he was still persecuting the Christians. He again invokes Paul, “But be a co-laborer with the gospel, according to the power of God, who saves us and calls us with His holy calling—not according to our works but according to His own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus.”[9]  In other words, one’s free will itself is the product of divine grace. Augustine does not realize that if free will is predestined then it is no longer free will. I wonder whether Augustine was speaking in “divine language” when he made this statement. After this, Augustine slides into meaningless gibberish by uttering such phrases as “eternal life is grace for grace.”[10]

Some Christian theologians correctly recognized that free will and predestination are irreconcilable and mutually exclusive. Suppose that you are predestined to hell. But, you sincerely believe in Jesus out of free will and attain heaven as a reward for the deeds performed out of free will. This scenario would be a damning repudiation of predestination and falsify it. Recognizing this, Thomas Aquinas reiterated the conventional Christian position that every soul is predestined to heaven or hell and that deeds performed out of free will cannot alter this outcome. He also rebutted Origen’s opinion which we encountered earlier by citing Paul, who says in Romans 9:11-12 that God predestines one even before one is born and not by the deeds one performs. In doing so, Aquinas inadvertently refutes Matthew 16:27 where Jesus had promised that he shall reward every man according to his works. Aquinas then makes his own uniquely nonsensical explanation that deeds performed out of free will were themselves predestined, a statement which is as much of an oxymoron as “a planned spontaneous act.”[11]

Aquinas might have been a mediocre philosopher and poor logician but his stance of discarding free will for predestination is biblically supported as the following verses illustrate:

  1. “Jesus chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us for adoption to son-ship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will.”[12]
  2. “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith — and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God.”[13]
  3. “And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.”[14]
  4. “He has saved us and called us to a holy life – not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace.”[15]

Apologists such as Augustine and Aquinas were forced to indulge in verbal sophistry and make illogical statements because they were attempting the impossible in trying to reconcile free will and predestination. They were unable to explain away the fact that their scripture provides two mutually exclusive and contradictory means to salvation. Inadvertently, they end up discarding free will in favor of predestination.

Predestination delivers a fatal blow to the core Christian doctrine requiring one to believe in Jesus. Here is the reason. To predestine a child (or an adult) to go to heaven or hell, Jesus has to be omniscient. In that case, nothing, not even Jesus’ omnipotence, would be able to change the destiny of that person. If Jesus uses his omnipotence to reverse the destiny of a person, then it automatically follows that he was not truly omniscient to begin with because what he foresaw has now been annulled. For Jesus to remain omniscient, which is a precondition for predestination, he cannot be omnipotent. This means that Jesus can never change your fate based on your beliefs.

Hence, your acceptance of Jesus as your savior has no effect on whether you go to heaven or hell. In other words, professing your belief in Jesus is totally unnecessary. You can also commit the foulest offenses against Jesus or the Holy Spirit without worrying about the consequence because Jesus has anyway irreversibly predestined whether you go to heaven or hell! Now you also know that the common Christian assertion that Jesus is omnipotent and omniscient is false!

[1] Galatians 5:1

[2] Against Heresies 4:4:3

[3] http://www.newadvent.org/summa/1023.htm

[4] Luke 23:43

[5] Acts 8:26-39

[6] Ibid 9:18

[7] Ibid 16:25-33

[8] Matthew 20:1-16

[9] 2 Timothy 1:8-9

[10] St. Augustine: On Grace and Free Will, Kindle Locations 2, 10, 33, 141, 153, 164, 176, 196-198, 279-281, 306

[11] http://www.newadvent.org/summa/1023.htm

[12] Ephesians 1:4-5

[13] Ibid 2:8

[14] Romans 8:30

[15] 2 Timothy 1:9

Adapted from What Every Hindu Should Know About Christianity

Featured Image: timaborges.wordpress.com

Disclaimer: The facts and opinions expressed within this article are the personal opinions of the author. IndiaFacts does not assume any responsibility or liability for the accuracy, completeness, suitability, or validity of any information in this article.

Kalavai Venkat is a Silicon Valley-based writer, an atheist, a practicing orthodox Hindu, and author of the book “What Every Hindu should know about Christianity.”
  • Don Charly

    The discription of the author itself is a contradiction. How can a practicing Hindu can be an atheist? A practicing Hindu means he believes in supernatural powers which cannot be seen and worship them. So he cannot be an atheiest even if he want ti be. Also the author’s immense hatred towards Holy Spirit and strong support and belief in other spirits shows that tge auther is not an atheist but a hard core theist. What the author has done here is laying his hands on Para Brahma, placing himself above God, just as Jews did when they decided to crucify Jesus – Para Brahma. This sin has tge same magnitude as that of Lucifer in the first place. Bible(Para Brahma) also says that the sins against Holy Spirit will not be forgiven in this life. It warrnts a punishment before another chance is given to that soul later.

    • Gavamayanam

      Well sir you show a very shallow understanding of Hindusim. There are atheistic philosophies of Hinduism that do not accept the para brahma like sankhya and yoga and Mimamsa. They accept only the individual soul Atma as a bundle of bliss(Not tainted with original sin!!!) and consider moksha as release of the atma from prakriti. This state is called kaivalya and this does not pre-suppose any para brahma or need for a savior to die on a cross for somebody else sins. It is attained through inner meditation and reflection alone as exemplified in the Yoga sutra.

      In Vedic terminology Atheistic and naastika are not the same. Please understand this. Also what a contradiction . You say the para Brahma was crucified, but the Upanishads describe it as purana. How can the purana be crucified? And why the great god the creator of the manifold universe needs to sacrifice his son to save the world? Is this god so impotent with his unimaginable powers? Krishna in the Gita talks about the nature of the Atman

      “The atman cannot be cut with weapons, burnt with fire, wet with water or dried by wind”.

      What a grand conception of the atman this is as compared to the “God sent down Someone who died for somebodies sins”. If so has this person died for all sins of yet unborn people too? What about the sins committed after one accepts Christ as his savior? Also what about the fate of people who were born before this promise? Will they go to heaven or hell? If they go to heaven why do you need Christ in the first place? Seems like everything was OK before Christ came and his coming has spoiled things. Also how can one say that a baby born thousands of years after the supposed original sinning is also a sinner when even its parents cannot be held responsible? What about really good people who did not believe in Christ? Do they go to heaven or hell? What about the fate of all those murderous Conquistadors who murdered rapped and plundered infidels and non believers , in the name of Christ? They go to heaven too?

      • Don Charly

        Gavamayanam, you look like a true seeker of truth. You are asking a lot of questions here but one time reading of the Bible will automatically answer 95% of those questions. I encourage you to read the Bible once. I suggest you browse this site before that to get a general idea.

        http://jehovah.freeservers.com/

        Let me tell you something. Hindus worship all spiritual powers bigger than human in this universe. It tells about Para Brahma as the root cause of everything but practically do not worship it and attack it in every opportunity. Para Brahma on his part was talking to and through Abraham the first man who came back to God after the fall of mankind at Paradise and his children Israel. Abraham loved God even more than his only son. So God was pleased and in the right time send His only son as a man and made Him a sacrifice price for the sins of the whole humanity before Him and after Him. Then he sent his disciples to all over the world telling whoever believes in that sacrifice and the Godhood of Jesus will be saved. As you know since Para Brahma owns the whole universe only his rele will survive and all contradictory rules will stand nullified. So please give your ears to Para Brahma.

        You can read Bible online at
        https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Genesis+1&version=NIV

        Thanks.

        • PV

          You are a either gullible innocent or a certified charlatan. When you utter things like Abraham was the first man, planet earth was only 6000 years, December 25th was the DOB of Jesu, X-tianity is the ONLY path to heaven (while all others are ways to sin), JESU is the only son of God etc etc, then, it can be stated emphatically that you are a lost soul, a brainwashed-beyond-redemption being, and a cluless vagabond who “worships” with false faith that piece of wood with a malnourished figurine strung on it.

          Correct your mistake first and foremost. You have committed an unspeakable sin by equating ParaBrahma in all its’ forms with a non-Indic, flesh and blooed alien human called Abraham. Inculcate yourself and then instill that fact into your progeny.

          Second, no body cares, what Abraham ate, played and toyed with in his time. Who really knows whether he believed in a God entity?

          On the other hand, here’s an immutable fact that you should imbibe. In the remainder of your life, spend time knowing about the great saints born in the Indian civilization …in the native tradition of Sanatana Dharma (Hinduism). These saints are divinity personified who walked amidst humans. They existed throught out the centuries. Many came millenia before Jesu and many after his time passed. Every Indian saint, in his or her own way, brought folk closer to God. Each Indian Hindu saint was ever so magnanimous, compassionate, faithful, ever-immersed-in-divine-bhakti, and ever serving of their communities and societies. These saints lived on alms. They were independent but still knew their ultimate goal. They were not housed in an opulent pope palace, riding around a secure mobile, sleeping on a rich bed or giving special appearances from a balcony. OK?
          Know about Dattatreya. Read about Nisargadatta Maharaj. Try to comprehend “tat tvam asi”

          Third, after living on this planet for so long, you should have realized that you are born in Bharat varsha. It’s traditions see a divine spark all around..starting with the fellow human to that tree or stone that you just passed by. If you fail to realize it, you can assure yourself that you wasted a lot of time. Folks like you should realize that changing religion is like changing your mother. Do you discard your own mother? How awful of you!

          Do you really require an alien cult established by Jesu? What do you need saving from? Save you from what? If Jesu is indeed divine, know this. He does not want you to change your faith by becoming a slave to him. He does not want a religion under his name. He would have abhorred the very idea of an organized religion like X-tianity and absolutely despised the church and it’s mafia.

          I said much in here and I doubt that you have the grey cells to grasp the points that I made. But, then, I hope you would contemplate on these points. If ever, you elevate Jesu to any platform, know that, there are Indic saints who shine like gazillion suns compared to Jesu.

          May Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva save you in this world and all others from the sinful ways!

        • Gavamayanam

          Oh !!!seeker truth? Please stop and spare me of this? I can see that you are a Jehovahs witness. I have been in Christian schools both protestant and catholic and seventh day Adventists and not one of them agree with the other and each call the other heretics and as people bound for eternal damnation. I’ve read the Bible and found it utterly for immature people who find it difficult to critically think. Not for people who have gone through the process of Vedantic and yogic thinking where we need not rely on some messiah to save us from some sin committed by some great great great great etc etc grandfather? That too because Eve ate the fruit from the tree of knowledge? What imbecility is this? When was getting knowledge a sin!!!

          Just answer my earlier questions if you can or if not, please refrain by this kind of prosyletization by using Hindu concepts. We need not be told as Hinds that we worship all spiritual beings greater than humans. In fact it is the Veda that makes the statement “Aham Brahmasmi” “I am myself brahman”. This would be a heresy in Christianity. This is the level to which the Veda elevates man. Thus kaivalya or the state of being pure consciousness can be attained by every soul without an external person to die for. We do not need any other extraneous books like the bible to second this.

          Also please tell me if the para brahman did not create any other god and there was no other god and Jesus was the only son of god why are there 14000 sects in Christianity were each one claims the other as heretics and bound for hell fire? What did your monotheism achieve? Why were catholics and protestants both believers of Christ and believers of the “One and the only Lord god the father of heaven”, at war with each other just 300 years ago? 1000s of innocent Catholics and protestants were killed by both sides. Where was Christs love for his Children then? If you are so clear that Jesus is the truth why on earth such whole sale slaughter within you Christians? What about the wiping off of entire civilizations, what about the inquisitions in Goa and the rest of the world?

          Don’t dare to equate the grand Upanishadic conception of the para brahma with some person whom we never knew existed or not. Not to surely a person who is a martyr and we need not attain Brahmic bliss with blood of somebody, yuck!!! Brahman is bliss itself and each individual can attain it in himself, surely no one need to die for anothers sin. Duh!!! what a disgusting concept!!!

    • Jhandoo Balmaa

      NOW LOOK HERE YOU SHAMELESS FOTHERMUCKER ..

      IF YOU ARE SO DAMN CONVICED ABOUT THE SUPERIORITY OF YOUR SHITTY DESERT CULT .. ATLEAST PRESENT YOUR OWN ARAMAIC/LATIN NOMENCLATURE .. & STICK YOUR OWN GODDAMN JARGON

      WHAT KINDA OF A SCUMBAGS ARE YOU .. TO SHAMELESSLY STEAL & USURP DHARMIC HINDOO WORDS .. & THEN, APPLY THEM TO SEMITIC MESSIANIC CRAP, WHICH HAS NOT THE REMOTEST CONNECTION WITH DHARMA ??

      THERE IS NO MENTION OF PARA BRAHMA .. ANYWHERE IN THE TESTAMENTS OR THE GOSPELS

      AND WHO THE FUCK TOLD YOU .. THAT YOUR EXCRETA-BRAND BIBBAL IS PARA-BRAHMA ??

      ARE YOU ON DRUGS ??

      • Gavamayanam

        This is called inculturization Jhandoo. Using Hindu terms as if though it means the same in Christianity. Here are a few items of misuse.

        1. God and para brahma are not the same. The christian god from the old testament seems to be a childish god afraid of his siblings AKA other gods. He is a jealous god and afraid of partners and sends down plagues or flood water when poor inept humanity wavers from his laws. The old testament god seems to be totally “death”‘O’Phiic. He kills children with bears, even infants aren’t spared. When he sort of sobered down in the new testament he never could over come his “Death”O’Philia. He then sent his son to earth, got him tortured and killed to die for humanities sin and the original sin(Was there anything morbid than this concept?). But the Upanishadic concept of para brahman as satyam jnaam anantham etc is grand an inspiring. The para brahman is portrayed as bliss itself which one enjoys within ones innermost self. He never needed to send any of his sons or daughters etc to die to purge sins. Unbelievably infantile.

        2. Obsession with sin. The first premise of Xtianity is to accept one is a sinner. Whereas the Veda calls humanity the “Sons and daughters of the immortal”. It exhorts everyone to find immortality within themselves. Not to be consumed with feelings of a imagined sin committed by Adam(Again was he born 6000 years ago)?

        3. Shamelessly claiming that shakti and Mary are one. This i have seen in the villages. Despite the fact that shakti is the female god principle, but Mary is a human women who was supposed to have borne the immaculate conception. Shakti was never born or died. Mary is no nowhere to be seen now. Also the protestants do not accept Maries worship

        4. Imitation of Hindu sanyas wearing ochre robes of sanyasa and naming oneself with Yesuananda an so on,

        5. Using of Hindu rituals like chariots for the gods, temple festivals(Velankanni for example imitates this).

        7. Calling the bible as Veda and Agama. This itself is fundamentally wrong. The Veda were taught only through oral traditions with proper intonation since time immemorial with each mantra having Rishis. Whereas the extant bible is a collection of gospels written by men. Which gospel entered the bible was decided in the Nicenean council. So there was nothing like a long unbroken tradition like the Vedic chanting tradition that takes pains to preserve every alphabet. But a random selection of Gospels that suited the political vested interests of the powers of the time. Many apocryphal gospels, gnostic gospels never saw the light of day. How can the bible which was a written text be compared to the Veda which is apaurusheya , a mantra tradition were exact chanting of mantras in a given order and specific sounds are important. The Veda has many inbuilt mechanisms to preserve the text as much as possible from corruption and a big body of science like Shiksha, chandas etc to validate it. The bible never has such things and there was never any effort to build a systematic science of preservation like the rishis built into the Veda. Calling the Bible the Christian Veda is atrocious.

        I could go on and on. But enough is enough. People

  • krishnamoorthy

    Sri Sri once said we can choose free will or predestination between past and future. Suppose you say past is destiny and future is free will then we will be liberated from bondage. Suppose you say past is free will and future is destiny then you will be bonded.

    • PV

      You mean the opulent “Sri Sri RaviShankar”? He is a wonderful comedian in a way. Anyhow, in this context, let me just say that predestination masquerades as “Free Will” and “Free Will” is just the illusion you are given when you are already predestined. In this multi-verse of infinite combinations and infinite choices, every choice has a predetermined end. And, that is “Maya” for you. Try to understand that and may be convey it to Sri Sri R. Shankar, if at all possible.