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Author Topic:   Does the Christian God Play with Free Will?
Prozacman
Inactive Member


Message 76 of 83 (74872)
12-23-2003 2:00 PM
Reply to: Message 75 by Rrhain
12-22-2003 5:18 AM


I see what you're getting at. A scientist needs to to keep an open mind in a sense, because for example, Einstein realized that Newton's Laws of Motion did not account for everything in the universe; things that exist below the level of the atom. Perspective also helps when talking about the earth or sun being at the center of the universe. At the level of superclusters of galaxies the question doesn't matter because as maps of galaxies show, our whole galaxy(the milky-way) reduces to a central microscopic point! See for example the URL:http://www.anzwers.org/free/universe/galaxy.html and zoom out a few times. Fascinating.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 75 by Rrhain, posted 12-22-2003 5:18 AM Rrhain has not yet responded

  
soljafolife
Inactive Junior Member


Message 77 of 83 (78323)
01-14-2004 2:33 AM


Our will is only relative to God's will, which is absolute!
This is a message I wrote to a friend, not specifically about "free-will", but definitely in direct relation. It`s foolish for us to assume that we can do anything independent of God the Father. The word "free" by definition means "not controlled by obligation or the will of another", or, "not persuaded by any outside influences", this would include the influence of God also. If we were really "free" then there would be no point in praying for anyone, since God himself couldn`t influence them (and he`s All-Powerful). If we were truly "free" then we could chose to see the truth, whether, or not God wanted us to, but it`s evident that only God can open the eyes of the blind (Deut.29:4), so if he never opens your eyes you`ll never see! Some will say that God gives you a choice, then, if you pick the right one, he`ll influence you to live out that choice, but that wouldn`t even be consistent with scripture. Sure, God sets choices in front of us, just as Pharoah, the choice is already made, for the works were finished from the foundation of the world (age-Greek), which is found in Heb.4:3. Also, he has declared the end from the beginning, and from ancient times, the things that are not yet done, saying my counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure (Isa.46:9-11). There`s so much the scriptures say refuting the false notion of free will that I would be typing for hours, so before you read what I told my friend I`ll say one more thing; Everyone has a heart, and the heart is the will of the man (or woman), but God fashions the heart (Psa.33:15), so then EVERYTHING that is in the will of the man to do is because God made it so...........Enjoy!

Anyway, so you know, I believe that eventually, God shall recieve the restitution of All things (Acts.3:19-21) in the dispensation of the fulness of times (Eph.1:10), and when that happens, God shall be All in All (1Cor.15:28). For no man can say that Jesus is Lord, but by the Holy Ghost (Spirit--same thing, 1Cor.12:3), and eventually, At the name of Jesus Every knee shall bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;And that Every tongue shall confess that Jesus Christ is Lord (Phil.2:9-11). I can see that your intelligent, I just hope that you don`t assume that I`m saying anything, because most do (I`m not saying you are though). Just for clarification purposes, I never said that there wasn`t a Hell, or a Lake of Fire, or that sinners were not going to be in them. Likewise, I never asserted that Jesus Christ wasn`t the only way to the Father (14:6), what I am saying though, is that All have sinned come short of God`s glory (Rom.3:23) and we that we are saved by grace through faith; and that not of yourselves: It is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast (Eph.2:8,9), because if we couldn`t come to Jesus, unless God the Father was drawing us (John.6:44), then we shouldn`t be bragging anyway, because if we could`ve come to Jesus without the Father draw, then we would have
free-will, and Jesus would also be a liar, but we know that neither of these statements are true, because no one can resist the Will of God (Rom.9:19).
I`m not trying to preach to you, I`m just expressing what I believe God has revealed to me. If I`m wrong, then I pray that God open my eyes to the truth, for only he can open the eyes of the blind (Deut.29:4), and If I`m right, then All the glory goes to God. With that said, allow me to speak openly about the scriptures..............................If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable. But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of the that slept. For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For asin Adam All die, even so in Christ shall All be made alive. But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ`s at his coming. Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. For he (Jesus) must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet. The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death. For he (God the Father) hath put all things under his feet. But when he saight, All things are put under him (Jesus), it is manifest that he (God the Father) is excepted, which did put al things under him. And when All things shall be subdued unto him (Jesus), then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him (God the Father), that God may be All in All (1Cor.15:19-28). You see, the word "restitution" literally means, by definition, to return to the rightful owner All that was taken away, lost, or surrendered, and Jesus came to seek and to save that which was lost (Luke.19:10), and He can`t fail, for God is Love (1 John.4:8), it`s not an attribute (Love) of God, it`s what he is, and Love (Charity) never fails (1Cor.13:8), it`s impossible, because He`s All-Powerful. That`s also why he can`t lie, because how can you lie when everything you say is becomes the truth, even if God tried to spread a rumor, as soon as he spoke it, as a matter of fact, as soon as he thought it, it would become truth! He said let there be light, and boom!, there it was. So since God is All-Powerful, then whatever he wants to happen will happen, which means that if God want`s something to happen, then it`s impossible for anyone to stop it, likewise if He doesn`t want something to happen it`s impossible for anyone to accomplish it, because He`s All-Powerful. So if God isn`t willing that anyone perish (2 Pet.3:9)...........how can it happen?

Listen, God can`t fail, and to fail literally means to "miss the mark", which translated from the Greek is defined by one word, "Sin". We know that there is no sin in God, because God can`t fail, so, with that being said, If Jesus said "If I be lifted up from the earth(which he has been) I`ll draw all men unto me" (John.12:32), and all men haven`t been drawn to him, in fact I`ll go further, All HAVEN`T heard of Christ, plenty have passed on without hearing of Him. He told the disciples to "Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature" (Mark.16:15), and while it`s obvious that he said that, it`s also abundantly clear that knowledge was still limited at the time, because the Apostles didn`t have access to automobiles, planes, telephones, pagers, the internet, etc. The printing press, which was invented by Johann Gutenberg, wasn`t available, until the year 1450. So, if God (who is All-Loving) can`t fail, and he made that statement in John.12:32, and MOST have passed on without even hearing of Christ, then that Must mean that he will draw All, eventually, every man in his own order (1Cor.15.23). I know that I`ve written a lot, but trust me, there`s much, much more. Please tell me what you think...........and if this is not making any sense, please tell what you think of this passage of scripture: For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manisfestation of the sons of God. For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope; Because the creature itself also shall be delievered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body. For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it (Rom.8:19-25). Just a side note, when it says "the whole creation" in ver.8 and when it says "the creature" in verses.19, 20, 21, these are literally translated as the words "every creature" as is illustrated in Mark.16:15 and Col.1:23. The words "to wit" in ver.23 simply means "in other words", and just so there`s no confusion, you can substitute the word "liberty" in ver.21 for the word "freedom" (they`re synonymous terms). Anyway, please write back, I`d love to hear what you think, until then, Peace!


  
soljafolife
Inactive Junior Member


Message 78 of 83 (78335)
01-14-2004 4:16 AM


Please forgive me, again, lol................
I know that in that, well, dissertation, there were a lot of spelling mistakes, but I was sleepy, so you'll have to excuse me.

About this "free-will" discussion: There are too many scriptures in the OT and NT that refute such an idea, plus, it just wouldn't make sense.

Keep in mind that I'm a christian, lol(seriously!).

People always say that "God will never force himself on anyone", and in the same breath make the statement, "God is All-Powerful". So let me ask you all a question. If God is ALL powerful, then that would mean that no one else has any power, correct?
The word "all" is one of the strongest words in the english language. It's right up there with the word's "yes" and "no" and "everything" and "nowhere" and "none"................the word "all" is an absolute word, meaning that it's all-inclusive, there's nothing left out of the word "all". I once told this to someone and they told me that the word "all wasn't absolute, but a mysterious word. I wanted to kick my computer when he typed that in. People, christians, religous people try to make everything so spiritual and deep, but there's nothing deep about the word "all". For example, if you have a bag of chips, and I ask you to give me "all" of your chips, and you give me two chips, well then, YOU DIDN'T GIVE ME WHAT I ASKED FOR, DID YOU! Therefore, I conclude that the word "all" is an absolute word.
Now that that point has been made, back to the original one I was trying to make.
If God is ALL powerful, like some proclaim that he is, then that would mean that no one else has any power, because he has "all" of it, and to say that God won't force himself on you is just preposterous (hope I spelled that right, lol), because to say that the same God that you proclaim to have ALL power has to force ANYTHING to happen would be a contradiction. To say that God forces ANYTHING is to say that there is ANOTHER force in the universe capable of giving the ALL powerful being resistance, but, because he is the force that causes all other forces to be, it's no longer a matter of forcing, but of his will being accomplished!
The longer you think about it, free will can't exist, because if it truly existed you could chose not to die!, but we know that it is appointed to each man once to die (Heb.9:27).....For in Adam "ALL" died (1Cor.15:22), so there's no escaping that. According to the bible, your already dead, if you want to be technical (how do you escape that reality if you have a free moral agency?)
You know, it's hilarious, and at the same time sickening to realize that the ones who go to the scriptures to justify their claims of "free thought", otherwise none as "free moral agency", they'll skip over completely the verses, scriptures, even whole chapters that condradict their beliefs. I was brought up to believe that the bible never, ever condradicted itself, that it never cancelled itself out. I've not always agreed with the things that I've written to this forum (whoever "chooses" to read it), but I'll say this, that if your going to use a scripture, then it most stand at FULL STRENGTH, regardless of what the others scriptures say, because each scripture MUST be in perfect harmony one with another. If not, then the book is a lie, and if I ever find that out (which I know I won't) I'll quit just as soon as I do. You can't pick and choose which scriptures you want, and which ones you don't. It's the whole book, or none of it, if your going to call yourself a christian.


  
Cold Foreign Object 
Suspended Member (Idle past 1458 days)
Posts: 3417
Joined: 11-21-2003


Message 79 of 83 (82893)
02-03-2004 10:53 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Rrhain
05-27-2003 10:48 PM


You are right.

God does "force" Himself onto some people.

Paul the Apostle and Jeremiah are two good examples.

You are also right when you observe that God empowers unbelief.

What you miss in Pharoah's case is the fact that he chose to use his free will initially to resist God/Moses.

The point is that IF a person chooses to resist God He will get fed up with you and give you an eternal shove toward unbelief.

What happened to Pharoah was written, in part to warn us that God has the option to treat us like Pharoah IF we do the same toward His Son.

The amount of chances that any given person gets is only known to God.

Pharoah demonstrates that God will not be defied without consequences.

Free will is so free that even God Himself DOES NOT KNOW if a person will choose to trust Him or not given the opportunity to do otherwise.

God is ready to react in either case but He does not know for certain until a person does what they actually do.

Genesis 22:12 proves my point. " now I know " was what God told Abraham. And until that moment God did not know if Abraham feared Him and Abe was at least 120 years old in that passage.

I also want to say that this topic of yours was objectively written. Much respect to you. WT


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by Rrhain, posted 05-27-2003 10:48 PM Rrhain has not yet responded

  
Chris
Inactive Member


Message 80 of 83 (87147)
02-17-2004 9:31 PM


First, I'm sorry because I couldn't read all 6 pages of posts.. I just want to give my oppinion on Pharaoh.

In Genesis 15:14 -> And also that nation, whom they shall serve, will I judge: and afterward shall they come out with great substance.

GOD made the Pharoh unwilling to let the Hebrew go out, until GOD fullfill HIS promise with Abraham (GOD said: judge).
So.. after the Egypt got GOD's judgement, Pharaoh was willing to let the Hebrew go.. like what GOD said.
I think GOD hardened Pharaoh heart, because it was his judgement.

Also I read somewhere, that we all have been writen.. or have destiny to go to hell or Heaven from the begining.
So GOD knows, who is going to be a falling Christians or not. Just like Pharaoh, he deserved it. (I'm sorry for other guys who took offence, I believe only in Jesus, so I can only say that).
While this thread's title is about Christians' God.
Just an oppinion.

[This message has been edited by Chris, 02-17-2004]


  
Ben!
Member (Idle past 2032 days)
Posts: 1154
From: San Diego, CA
Joined: 10-14-2004


Message 81 of 83 (170338)
12-21-2004 4:27 AM
Reply to: Message 28 by Rrhain
06-07-2003 12:02 AM


Rrhain,

I was looking at threads on free will, and I came across yours coming from the "Christian God" perspective. I flipped through some of the posts, and I didn't see a satisfactory response. I wanted to get your opinion on the following line of reasoning. I'll quote two relevant messages just to try and make referencing easier for all.

Exodus 9:12: And the LORD hardened the heart of Pharaoh, and he hearkened not unto them; as the LORD had spoken unto Moses.

Exodus 10:1: And the LORD said unto Moses, Go in unto Pharaoh: for I have hardened his heart, and the heart of his servants, that I might shew these my signs before him:

Exodus 10:20: But the LORD hardened Pharaoh's heart, so that he would not let the children of Israel go.

Exodus 11:10: And Moses and Aaron did all these wonders before Pharaoh: and the LORD hardened Pharaoh's heart, so that he would not let the children of Israel go out of his land.

Exodus 14:4: And I will harden Pharaoh's heart, that he shall follow after them; and I will be honoured upon Pharaoh, and upon all his host; that the Egyptians may know that I am the LORD. And they did so.

Exodus 14:8: And the LORD hardened the heart of Pharaoh king of Egypt, and he pursued after the children of Israel: and the children of Israel went out with an high hand.

Exodus 14:17: And I, behold, I will harden the hearts of the Egyptians, and they shall follow them: and I will get me honour upon Pharaoh, and upon all his host, upon his chariots, and upon his horsemen.

Notice that it doesn't say that Pharaoh is just a stubborn guy who won't listen. God directly tells Noah that the reason Pharaoh won't listen is because god is going to directly, concsiously, deliberately, and purposefully harden Pharaoh's heart.

Now, my argument is going to be simple. It's clear from these passages that God doesn't say HOW he is going to harden the Pharaoh's heart. Now, assuming I know your definition of "messing with free will," it is your interpretation of the language that God will do this by messing the Pharaoh's free will. But I think you can't rule out other interpretations of the language, some of which either avoid God changing free will "directly," or change the meaning of free will.

What are these interpretations? Well, what do the following quotes mean to you?

A boss, speaking to a customer writes:

Sure, I'll have him do it in the morning.

A father, speaking with his teacher about his child writes:

He's not doing his homework? I had no idea. He'll do it from now on--I'll MAKE him do it

I think you get the idea. We use this kind of language all the time. I think it's a common device in movies and comedy. Certainly women are world-famous for this kind of manipulative behavior as well.

Now, clearly God has other means for "hardening the Pharaoh's heart" besides mystically manipulating his free will. Maybe God can conjure up some experiences for the Pharaoh, by manipulating physical situations, that causes the Pharaoh to lose faith in God. I don't think you can eliminate other avenues of manipulating feelings.

If that's right, then I think it's interesting to talk more about what "playing with free will" is. And maybe that was the point of your original post; I don't believe you ever defined what "playing with free will" means. Maybe we want to consider such manipulations to be "playing with free will."

If you want to go that path, that's an interesting path, but one that's not incompatible with your movie, my poor understanding of the bible, or how people interact in general. But I think it's important to show first that this path is available, and not just the path of some "mystical" manipulation of free will.

What do you think?

Thanks.
Ben


This message is a reply to:
 Message 28 by Rrhain, posted 06-07-2003 12:02 AM Rrhain has not yet responded

  
Tusko
Member (Idle past 70 days)
Posts: 606
From: London, UK
Joined: 10-01-2004


Message 82 of 83 (170392)
12-21-2004 10:40 AM
Reply to: Message 48 by Rrhain
12-09-2003 7:58 PM


I'm afraid I'm continuing the dirty habit of responding before I've finished reading the whole thread, so I hope this question isn't totally irrelevant/already answered/unhelpful. If this is the case just ignore it, I'll get to the answer eventually.

Rrhain said:

And the fact that god told them not to eat from the tree is essentially irrelevant. Adam and Eve were innocent. They didn't understand the difference between good and evil since they hadn't eaten from the tree. And since obedience is a function of knowing good and evil, there is no way Adam and Eve could be expected to obey the commandment from god not to eat from the tree.

I'm not picking a fight because I'm really hazy about this myself. My question is this: is a knowledge of good and evil really necessary precondition for obedience? A very young child might have an understanding of what behaviours might please or displease a parent, but not necessarily have much understanding of good and evil. As far as I can see, Adam and Eve lack of knowledge of good and evil doesn't mitigate their disobedience. A lack of knowledge of good and evil shouldn't affect their ability to obey God's word, should it?

I'm really liking the topic. Free-will is such a problematic area. Its of central importance to most Christian world-views. Its seems to be the glue that holds it together. And yet I find it very hard to imagine the existence of free-will in either a universe created by an omni-everything god, or in a godless, mechanistic one. As far as I can see, it only makes sense in a universe occupied by dieties that have limits to their knowledge and power - and thats assuming that God's aren't somehow mechanistically governed, and I don't know how that would work.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 48 by Rrhain, posted 12-09-2003 7:58 PM Rrhain has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 83 by GreyOwl, posted 01-03-2005 2:53 PM Tusko has not yet responded

  
GreyOwl
Inactive Member


Message 83 of 83 (173476)
01-03-2005 2:53 PM
Reply to: Message 82 by Tusko
12-21-2004 10:40 AM


Not to derail this topic, as I find it quite interesting, but a page or so back Rrhain made the comment: "Here's a thought: The Bible is actually a work of the devil. The character of god is really the devil and the character of the devil is really god. What better way to get souls than to make them think they're following the embodiment of all that is right and good?".

Wasn't there a science-fiction book about this, or a similar, premise? Does anyone know the name or author of that book?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 82 by Tusko, posted 12-21-2004 10:40 AM Tusko has not yet responded

  
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