Free Will

If God can change men's hearts but doesn't, in order to respect Free Will, and the end result is their going to hell, or to put it another way, if God could save them and He simply refuses to do so how is it that it is not God's fault that they go to hell?

It does no good to say "well God didn't want them to sin and they did so that is why God is sending them to hell", for if you could, if you really had the power, to stop some one from doing wrong, without it causing you any harm, and you don't; you are just as culpable for that wrong as the person who actually carries out the act!

You and I are at a table and Rastus is standing behind us. I take Rastus and tie him to a chair and put a baby in a microwave, punch in 5 minuets and hit go and then immediately leave the room. Now you are sitting there in a chair un-impeded by any physical constraint and (just for the sake of argument, I know you would never do this) you just sit there and watch. What court, with the sworn, eyewitness testimony of Rastus, in any part of even the most backward corner of this earth, would not fry *both* you *and* me to a crisp?

If God can stop evil and He won't stop evil than how does He escape the charge of guilty?

You say "why God doesn't change their hearts is unknown to me, but then again, it makes sense, since he cannot have true love from a puppet [for,] for him to force them [to love Him] would not be real love [...]" and I say where is your verse?

You say that God's purpose in allowing evil is so that He can experience "true love" from man. And I say that even *if* the power of contrary choice is necessary in order for there to be such a thing as "true love" (which is something I vigorously deny for Jesus CANNOT choose to sin, for Jesus cannot sin period, but nobody would deny that Jesus truly loves God!) even if we mistakenly allow for that notion, how is that any different from saying, as the Calvinist does, that God's purpose in allowing evil is so that He can demonstrate His mercy and His wrath?

At least we have a verse that says exactly that. At least we can point to the Bible and say that God's revelation to man is that when the question is asked, "Why does God blame people for not listening? Haven't they simply done what he made them do?" the answer is "Has the potter no right over the clay, to make out of the same lump one vessel for honored use and another for dishonorable use? What if God, desiring to show his wrath and to make known his power, has endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, in order to make known the riches of his glory for vessels of mercy, which he has prepared beforehand for glory."

Is that not your question? Is this not what you are asking? If God's will reigns over the lives of men and they cannot resist His will, if Calvin and Calvinism are true and God is the final arbiter of who will and who will not be in heaven. If you (mening me, Tulka┬ž) are correct and only God can make them listen than why does God blame people for not listening? Haven't they simply done what he made them do? How can God punish those who are simply doing what He made them to do? If that is not your question - to the tee - than I know not how to ask it more plainly.

I say God allows evil for His glories sake for that is expressly what God's word the Bible says in Romans Chapter 9. You say God allows evil for true loves sake because that makes sense to you. But why God allows evil is besides the point for both of us have to admit that God does, in fact, allow evil. The question is still, "How can a Good God allow evil?" You have only answered why, you have never answered how it is that a Good God can allow evil!

So you see, free will, having been crafted to absolve God of evil, fails badly in its task. For all free will states is WHY God allows evil and says nothing about how He is still good having allowed it in the first place.

Also, if you hold to the Bible then when you are trying to support the WHY of God's having allowed evil, than having a verse that states specifically what you hold and clearly supports your position is necessary!

And if you want to say that free will, the power of contrary choice, is NESSARY in order to truly love than Jesus, someone that cannot sin and so lacks the power of contrary choice, CANNOT truly love!

great post bro :) as always its very encouraging to read your posts.

I think that I should add something...what we really see here is carnal reasoning being used by people..

Lets say that someone is out drinking every weekend, doing X at the local raves, getting at all the local hotties as much as he can...why do we say that is a sin?

We say its a sin because the bible calls it that. Carnal living is when someone is living a lifestyle that is not in submission with the scriptures.

So whats carnal reasoning? the same thing...only its not external...its internal. Its not enough to submit to God what we do externally, thats good and will bring glory to him, but its not all thats nessessary. We need to submit to God the very way that we think.

Trying to defend Gods standard for living by abandoning his standards thinking won't be successful and will leave the believer in quite a delimma in the long run I believe.

Josh

Congrats on the kids my man!

"If God can change men's hearts but doesn't, in order to respect Free Will,..."


I don't think it's respecting "Free Will" as it is His will.


"and the end result is their going to hell, or to put it another way, if God could save them and He simply refuses to do so how is it that it is not God's fault that they go to hell?"


B/c God has sovereignly ordained that such decisions be made from a free will and not an automaton. You could stop your child from doing any evil, by killing them tomorrow, yet you don't. Why? B/c killing them or preventing them from doing evil would mean incapacitating them. And you realize that this in and of itself is an even greater evil. Why? B/c allowing them the chance to do evil, they are also allowed to heed your instruction and do a great amount of good. If God prevented all evils it would do the same to us.


"If God can stop evil and He won't stop evil than how does He escape the charge of guilty?"


Is it possible to stop evil, without stopping all good? Could life go on, happy and free of evil in a world with no possibility of anyone doing evil?


"You say "why God doesn't change their hearts is unknown to me, but then again, it makes sense, since he cannot have true love from a puppet [for,] for him to force them [to love Him] would not be real love [...]" and I say where is your verse?"

2Pe 3:9 The Lord is not slow to do what he has promised, as some think. Instead, he is patient with you, because he does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants all to turn away from their sins.

Luk 13:34 "Jerusalem, Jerusalem! You kill the prophets, you stone the messengers God has sent you! How many times I wanted to put my arms around all your people, just as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you would not let me!


"The question is still, "How can a Good God allow evil?" You have only answered why, you have never answered how it is that a Good God can allow evil!"


Actually, you have only answered the "why" by using Romans 9 and "for His glory." My answer to the "why" is that preventing it, would mean an even greater evil. And the "how" is found in God's sovereignty.





OH, and congrats on the kids as well!

Puzzled





We need sin, Adam was framed!

IMHO for an excellent Romans 9 study, go here: http://www.xenos.org/teachings/nt/romans/dennis/index.htm


You'll need the RealOne player for the Real Media format teaching, but it's worth it.


In essence, Romans 9 is the key chapter for both free will and predestination theologies. If to you, Romans 9 is speaking about personal salvation then you're going to lean toward Calvins teachings, but if Romans 9, to you, speaks of national election or election for service then your going to feel better with the Free Will'ers.




Puzzled

Also, what specific verse, Tulkas, states that Jesus could not sin?


Could Jesus die? Could Jesus be tempted? Could Jesus' will differ from his father's will?





Puzzled

Basically, I think the Bible shows man has free will (though I don't believe in an eternal hell- I am a free will universalist - which I guess is not really "free will" but eventual soft determinism)

Siamang, quick couple of questions for ya. You contend that the people who die without having turned to God are later drawn to God whilst in a temporary hell of sorts? Is that right?

Could you propose that once in this metaphysical state, whatever this may consist of, having been freed by the sinful and limited physical nature, are more apt to respond to God?

How do you currently explain this afterlife repentance?



Just curious.


Thanks,

Puzzled... and for good reason

I think it is important to first understand that we humans are not the center. God is the center. Everything God does is for His glory. He did not create the heavens and the earth just to save man. He created all that is to bring glory to Himself. He is glorified when a person accepts him and in turn goes to heaven because it shows his love mercy and grace. He is also glorified when a person rejects him and goes to hell because it shows that he is true to his word and he is just. So often we fall into the mindset that everything revolves around us, and until we realize that that is not the case, we will continue to ask the question: why does God not just make everyone love him. Lastly we must understand that His ways are not our way and His thoughts are not our thoughts, just as the heavens are higher than the earth so are his thoughts higher than our thoughts and his ways than our ways. He runs the universe as he sees fit. Who are we to question HIm?

oh yeah and Jesus is God, so He is not forced to love Himself. He just does. God is perfecta nd therefore Jesus is perfect.

naMsdrawkcaB,

Me thinks you read Romans 9 as dealing with personal salvation. That's cool, folk have been doing that for many moons. Might I suggest you hear how Arminians interpret Romans 9 by going to http://www.xenos.org/teachings/nt/romans/dennis/index.htm

You'll need the RealOne player for the Real Media format teaching, but it's worth it.


Also, if you have a good Calvinistic interpretation of Romans 9 I'd like to hear it, or read it, or whatever. I've read Piper's take on it, and although it's good, it wasn't convincing IMHO.




Puzzled

puzzled, thanks, I will look at that. I am still trying to decide what i feel the Bible truly says about predestination. Anything that presents a different side is helppful. thanks a lot man