Homosexuality, free will, and God’s omniscience

Question:

Taking everything you have said into consideration, I believe that you claim that people are free-willed and thus are responsible for their actions. However, if we believe that God is omniscient, then he timelessly knows all things. Among these things, he must have known long before who would have become homosexuals and what they would have done regarding their homosexuality. If God knows this, then homosexuals cannot will themselves to choose to act how they are acting regarding their homosexuality. Therefore, homosexuals cannot be blamed responsible for their actions over their homosexuality, because whatever they do regarding it has already been determined – whether carry the cross or give in to temptation, via God’s omniscience. Au contraire, if we hold onto saying that people have free will, then we have to deny that God is omniscient, because, if the future depended on the actions of man, then he does not perfectly know the future. And this, as Catholics, we will vehemently deny. What do you think about this, sir?

Also, as the church disapproves of homosexuality, it is just modest that it should acquire sufficient information and justification to believe in the wrongness of homosexuality. I see that you quoted verses in the Pentateuchregarding homosexuality in your blog. But, I think that explanations for the nature of homosexuality’s existence will provide me better context in understanding why the Church sees it as wrong.

Response:

Regarding predestination and the omniscience of God, your thoughts are similar to that of Calvinism, a heresy condemned by the Church.  God’s omniscience means that he knows all possibilities in the chain of events, how they branch out and link to the decisions of others.  It’s like as if God sees the whole city map and you are there in your car choosing this way and that.  Some roads leads to a cliff and God warns you not to go there: these are the mortal sins–read theTen Commandments.  Some roads lead to happy picnic places: these are the roads to heaven–theSacraments, Spiritual and Corporal Works of Mercy.  God wishes all men to be saved from eternal damnation.  “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life.” (Jn 3:16)  Below is along quote from the Book of Ezekiel:
As for you, son of man, tell your countrymen: The virtue which a man has practiced will not save him on the day that he sins; neither will the wickedness that a man has done bring about his downfall on the day that he turns from his wickedness (nor can the virtuous man, when he sins, remain alive).Though I say to the virtuous man that he shall surely live, if he then presumes on his virtue and does wrong, none of his virtuous deeds shall be remembered; because of the wrong he has done, he shall die.
And though I say to the wicked man that he shall surely die, if he turns away from his sin and does what is right and just,
giving back pledges, restoring stolen goods, living by the statutes that bring life, and doing no wrong, he shall surely live, he shall not die. None of the sins he committed shall be held against him; he has done what is right and just, he shall surely live. Yet your countrymen say, “The way of the LORD is not fair!”; but it is their way that is not fair. (Ez 33:12-17)

There are some things that we have to trust God’s Word: if he says that homosexual acts deserve the punishment of death (mortal sin), then consider them as such.  We have to trust God’s Wisdom, because it is God who created us and he knows what is best for us.  Surely your most powerful computer comes with a manual.  If you don’t read the manual, you may destroy your computer by over voltage, water spill, and high temperature.  In the same way, God has provided us with a manual on how to live properly: the Bible and the Church.  We have Christ as our model.

In the Old Testament, God warned the Israelites to eat only fishes: crabs and shrimps are forbidden because they don’t have fins and scales and they crawl.  Now we know that they have too much cholesterol.  God also forbade Israelites from eating fat: fat is only offered to God as aburnt offering.  Now we know that fat is bad for our heart.  God also forbade those with leprosy to go near other men: those with leprosy must be quarantined until they are healed.  Now we know that quarantine of those with diseases works: germs are transmitted by contact or proximity (sneeze and cough).  If God’s wisdom is shown in the laws of clean and unclean animals, the laws of burnt offerings, and the laws of leprosy, then we should also trust God’s wisdom when he condemns homosexuality, bestiality, and sorcery in Leviticus.

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On the linguistic and theological errors of Sen. Miriam Santiago: meaning of “multiply”, God’s authorship of Scriptures, and the divinity of Christ

Senator Santiago clashed with Cong. Manny Pacquiao on the meaning of biblical verses (ABS-CBN).  An INC member posted the news as a comment in my blog, so here is my response:

Submitted on 2011/05/18 at 1:49 pm | In reply to benjie.

Benjie,

By quoting Sen. Santiago, I assume you as an INC believe her arguments. The good senator knows grammar well but she does not know what she is saying. The phrase “Go forth and multiply” I cannot find in my Bible (NAB). (Can you find it in your Bible?) The verses I found are these:

“God created man in his image; in the divine image he created him; male and female he created them.28 God blessed them, saying: “Be fertile and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it. Have dominion over the fish of the sea, the birds of the air, and all the living things that move on the earth.” (Gen 1:27-28)

The good senator knows grammar and high-sounding words, but she does know the meaning of simple word like “multiply”. Multiply does not mean to work with other men as stewards of the earth. There is another word for that: cooperation. Rather, the word “multiply” means to grow in number until humans “fill the earth”. The necessary condition for “multiplying” is to be “fertile”. A woman is considered “fertile” if it can grow a male seed planted on it into a baby. Otherwise, the woman is considered “barren”, as a way to compare a woman’s womb to a land where not even a grass grows. For example, Sarah and Elizabeth were barren because they have grown old and they did not have any child (until God blessed their womb and they gave birth to Isaac and John). Thus, contraception, the means to make a woman effectively infertile through pills and condoms, is against the commandment of God to be fertile and to multiply.

According to Sen. Santiago the Bible was not written by God and not even by any of the eyewitnesses to God since…. it was written at least 70 years after the death of Christ? This is a theological error. This is what the Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches:

105 God is the author of Sacred Scripture. “The divinely revealed realities, which are contained and presented in the text of Sacred Scripture, have been written down under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.”69 “For Holy Mother Church, relying on the faith of the apostolic age, accepts as sacred and canonical the books of the Old and the New Testaments, whole and entire, with all their parts, on the grounds that, written under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, they have God as their author, and have been handed on as such to the Church herself.”70 106 God inspired the human authors of the sacred books. “To compose the sacred books, God chose certain men who, all the while he employed them in this task, made full use of their own faculties and powers so that, though he acted in them and by them, it was as true authors that they consigned to writing whatever he wanted written, and no more.”71 107 The inspired books teach the truth. “Since therefore all that the inspired authors or sacred writers affirm should be regarded as affirmed by the Holy Spirit, we must acknowledge that the books of Scripture firmly, faithfully, and without error teach that truth which God, for the sake of our salvation, wished to see confided to the Sacred Scriptures.”72 108 Still, the Christian faith is not a “religion of the book”. Christianity is the religion of the “Word” of God, “not a written and mute word, but incarnate and living”.73 If the Scriptures are not to remain a dead letter, Christ, the eternal Word of the living God, must, through the Holy Spirit, “open (our) minds to understand the Scriptures.”74

The Ten Commandments were written by God: “When the LORD had finished speaking to Moses on Mount Sinai, he gave him the two tablets of the commandments, the stone tablets inscribed by God’s own finger.” (Ex 31:18)

I may be mistaken, but I assume Sen. Santiago is Catholic and not INC. If she is Catholic, she needs spiritual care (and maybe psychiatric care, too). As a spiritual work of mercy, she needs to be taught that Christ is God and his apostles saw him. The Bible says no one has seen God, but the verse does not stop there: “No one has ever seen God. The only Son, God, 12 who is at the Father’s side, has revealed him.” (Jn 1:18) “Have I been with you for so long a time and you still do not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? (Jn 14:9)

Rebuilding Philippines as a Christian Civilization through the Ten Commandments

The laws of a country must be based on Truth. “What is Truth?” Pilate asked Christ. Christ is the Truth, for he said: “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” So great a claim is backed by signs that prove his divinity, and the greatest of these is the Sign of Jonah: the Resurrection of Christ from the dead. If the Resurrection never happened, then Christ is a false prophet and Christianity is a false religion. And the twelve apostles–these twelve cowards, most of them only fishermen–will just remain in the upper room, hiding, for fear of the Jews. But the Resurrection did happen. And the apostles, filled with the Holy Spirit, went to preach to the whole world, baptizing new converts, and suffered martyrdom in the name of Christ.

But there are many groups calling themselves Christians, each group offering its own interpretation of what God has revealed as written in the Bible. One group says contraception, abortion, and divorce is okay. Another group says they are not. So on what branch of Christianity must be laws of a country be based? The laws of a country must be based on firm ground. If something is taught to be true years and centuries ago, the same teaching must still be taught as true today until the world ends. Contraception, abortion, and divorce cannot be wrong in the first centuries of Christianity but can be true now, as what Protestants in the US now claim. This is impossible Truth is timeless. Is there a group of Christians whose truths remain immutable in time? Yes, there is: it is the Catholic Church. Therefore, the laws of a country must be based on the teachings of the Catholic Church. The ideal country is a Catholic State. The ideal country is the City of God.

The Liberals rebel against union of the God and the State. What they want is to build a City Without God, a City of Man. They want to make a city that rises to the sky, piercing the clouds to very abode of God, as the men of the Babel did. They want to make a Paradise of universal brotherhood of men without the Fatherhood of God. We have seen these Utopias in the last century in the form of Fascism, Nazism, and Communism. They all failed. Nature abhors the vacuum. If you remove the God from the State, a demonic spirit will find it empty and swept clean. He will live in it and he will invite seven other demons to live with him: Pride, Covetousness, Lust, Anger, Gluttony, Envy, Sloth. And the state of the State will be more terrible than the first. If you want an example, look to the West.

What is the law of Christ? The law of Christ is the commandment of Love: “Love one another as I have loved you.” Christ is our model on how to love our neighbor. “I solemnly assure you, whatever you have done to the least of my brothers, you have done it to me.” We must love our neighbor because we love Christ.

Christ’s law of love is the essence and perfection of the Ten Commandments:

  1. I am the Lord your God.  You shall not have strange gods before me.
  2. You shall not speak the name of the Lord your God in vain.
  3. Remember to keep holy the Sabbath day.
  4. Honor your father and your mother.
  5. You shall not kill.
  6. You shall not commit adultery.
  7. You shall not steal.
  8. You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
  9. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife.
  10. You shall not covet your neighbor’s goods.

These laws must be the basis of the laws of our country.  They must be enshrined in our courtrooms, unlike in the US where they are now forbidden.  If we want a more detailed analysis of these laws, we must read the Catechism.  There you shall find all concepts that the Catholic Church has compiled in her two thousand years of thinking about the Ten Commandments:

  1. Doubt, Heresy, Apostasy, Schism, Despair, Presumption, Indifference, Hatred of God, Superstition, Idolatry, Divination and Magic, Irreligion, Atheism, Agnosticism
  2. Blasphemy, Perjury
  3. Sunday Rest
  4. Respect for Parents and Authority
  5. Legitimate Defense, Homicide, Abortion, Euthanasia, Suicide, Scandal, Drug Addiction, Experimentation on Humans, Organ Transplants, Kidnapping, Hostage Taking, Terrorism, Sterilizations, Amputations, Mutilations, Cremation, Anger, Hatred, Just War, National Defense
  6. Chastity, Lust, Masturbation, Fornication, Pornography, Prostitution, Rape, Homosexuality, Conjugal Fidelity, Fecundity of Marriage, Periodic Continence, Contraception, Gift of Child, Large Families, Adultery, Divorce, Separation, Polygamy, Incest, Free Union, Trial Marriage
  7. Private Property, Universal Destination of Goods, Theft, Promises, Contracts, Commutative Justice, Legal Justice, Distributive Justice, Restitution, Games of Chance, Slavery, Integrity of Creation, Economic Activity, Social Justice, Economic Initiative, Responsibility of the State, Business Enterprises, Access to Employment, Just Wage, Strike, Social Security Contributions, Unemployment, Rich Nations, Direct Aid, Full Development of Human Society, Lay Faithful, Works of Mercy, Human Misery
  8. Witnesses to the Gospel, Martyrdom, False Witness, Perjury, Rash Judgment, Detraction, Calmny, Flattery, Adulation, Complaisance, Boasting, Irony, Lie, Duty of Reparation, Request for Information, Secret of the Sacrament of Reconciliation, Professional Secrets, Civil Authorities, Sacred Art
  9. Concupiscence, Modesty, Purification of Social Climate, Moral Permissiveness
  10. Envy, Poverty of the Heart

These are a mouthful.  Volumes of Books have been written about them by the Catholic Church.  Many laws were made based on them by Catholic States and Monarchies.  The Ten Commandments is the prescription for the happiness of man while he is still on earth, and the prescription for gaining heaven in the next life.  The Ten Commandments should, therefore, come before the Constitution of the State.  The Ten Commandments should be the basis of the laws of the State.  This is the yoke of Christ.  The State must govern under the yoke of Christ.  Christ promised:

Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart; and you will find rest for your selves. For my yoke is easy, and my burden light. (Mt 11:28-30)

If men refuse to the yoke of Christ, the wooden yoke of the cross, God will give them the yoke of Muhammad, iron yoke of the crescent (c.f. Jer 28:13). And this is what happened to Europe. They removed God and Christianity from their constitution and they ended up inundated by waves of Islamic colonization.  The Muslims refuse to integrate because they obey a different law, the Shariah law.  Europe is now dotted by mosques.  Arabic is now spoken in many European enclaves.  Women wear veils.  And the clerics preach hatred against the Christians and Jews.  In 2050, because of Europeans low birthrate after decades of contraception and abortion, Christian Europe shall be forgotten and the continent shall be called Eurabia.  As foretold by the Prophet Jeremiah:

Beware, I will bring against you a nation from afar, O house of Israel, says the LORD; A long-lived nation, an ancient nation, a people whose language you know not, whose speech you cannot understand. Their quivers are like open graves; all of them are warriors. They will devour your harvest and your bread, devour your sons and your daughters, Devour your sheep and cattle, devour your vines and fig trees; They will beat flat with the sword the fortified city in which you trust. Yet even in those days, says the LORD, I will not wholly destroy you. (Jer 5:15-18)