Fate versus Destiny

Fate is defined as "the will or principle or determining cause by which things in general are believed to come to be as they are or events to happen as they do; an inevitable and often adverse outcome, condition, or end; the final outcome,the expected result of normal development, the circumstances that befall someone or something."

In a likewise unenlightening manner, destiny is defined as "a predetermined course of events often held to be an irresistible power or agency; the course of events believed to be controlled by a superhuman power; a power that is believed to control the future."

Predestination is defined as "the doctrine that God in consequence of his foreknowledge of all events infallibly guides those who are destined for salvation; the belief that everything that will happen has already been decided by God or fate and cannot be changed."

The Prechristian Greeks believed in the Fates — three goddesses, Atropos, Clotho, and Lachesis, who determine and control the destiny of a man's life, which is symbolized by a skein of thread: Clotho spins the thread of life, Lachesis determines the length of the thread of life, and Atropos cuts the thread of life. In Norse mythology they were known as the Norns.

Judaism comes closest to the truth: Destiny, in Yiddish, is "beshert." By fulfilling your personal destiny, you thereby achieve your function in completing the destiny of the world, which is to gather and return to God all the fallen sparks of Light-as-life to achieve Tikkun Olam, or "mending a world in the Almighty's Kingdom."

Yet these "explanations" merely beg the question of Why are the terms fate and destiny defined in the same way? On the Via Christa we have resolved the question in this way:

Fate is what happens when you do nothing to achieve your God-ordained destiny, which is to return to Him as an experienced and perfected soul. To return to God, you must do more than rest on the dubious laurels of "being saved by Jesus." His vicarious atonement does not pay your soul debts, but merely defers your final payment.

"I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect." – Genesis 17:1. Perfection is your destiny. Achieving your destiny is choosing to do everything you can to work out your own salvation by sacrificing all self, obeying all law, and serving God in all that you think, say and do.

The doctrine of predestination is no more than the result of man's misunderstanding — or incomprehension — of the difference between free will and the embodied soul's freedom to choose the path he will walk.

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Edna Miriam Lister
1884 –1971
The original Pioneering Mystic,
American Idealist, Founder, Society of the Universal Living Christ, minister, teacher, author, wife, and mother

../Edna Lister


Merriam-Webster. "Destiny."Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary. Accessed 18 Apr. 2021.

Merriam-Webster. "Fate."Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary. Accessed 18 Apr. 2021..

The Holy Bible. King James Version (KJV).

Merriam-Webster. "Predestination."Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary. Accessed 18 Apr. 2021.

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