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Question on Free Will

TheMessenger

9 year(s) ago

First of all- don't kill me. This isn't intended to be another stupid debate over free will that goes around in circles forever ;) Anyway, how could we NOT have free will, because if we didn't, and we were REQUIRED to follow God, then how come there is a hell? God desires everyone to love him and to be in heaven with Him. So if we didn't have free will, there would be no hell, because everyone would have to follow Him, right? And also if there isn't free will, why do people go to Hell? Why are there other religions that people [i]choose[/i] to follow? It seems obvious to me that we do have it. We follow God or suffer the consequences. We choose which way we go, do we not? And if we don't, then how come there are atheists? And how come Dante can choose not to follow God? Is that not exercising free will? To say we DON'T have free will seems ridiculous to me. Just 1 response will suffice. I don't want to start another huge debate over this, and I find my questions to be valid. PS: My definition of free will is the ability to choose whether or not to believe in and/or follow God.

TheMessenger

9 year(s) ago

Well I'm glad to see we are at least having a half-way civilized discussion on free will :) I'm not going to do any quotes and all that, but I realize that when I said "We can control the options" and "God doesn't know exactly what will happen" that they were pretty controversial statements. I expected that- haha. I didn't say I believed everything I was saying though (yea, that totally made sense) it was just my random thoughts and food for thought. I'm still not understanding one thing though, and I'm going to spell out my misunderstanding as crystal-clear as possible: [i]Why[/i] do we need to pray for things to happen/not happen, etc, if everything is already set in stone, cut and dry, happening no matter what? It seems to defeat the purpose to pray about certain things like that if everything is already set to happen no matter what (although I do so anyway). I'm not saying you don't need to pray at all, like you should pray for help and comfort and all that, but praying about things that happen makes [i]no sense[/i] at all if we have no choice anyway. So, I'm asking for a somewhat simple explanation (if possible) with some scripture references. Trying to make things simple here ;)

Silent-K

9 year(s) ago

Because God commands us to pray, maybe?

MisterNathan

9 year(s) ago

[b]TheMessenger wrote:[/b] [quote][i]Why[/i] do we need to pray for things to happen/not happen, etc, if everything is already set in stone, cut and dry, happening no matter what? It seems to defeat the purpose to pray about certain things like that if everything is already set to happen no matter what (although I do so anyway). I'm not saying you don't need to pray at all, like you should pray for help and comfort and all that, but praying about things that happen makes [i]no sense[/i] at all if we have no choice anyway.[/quote] Picture this: there are multiple futures possible if I drop a pen. 1) it could roll away from me 2) it could roll towards me 3) it could bounce and roll a ) towards me or b ) away from me. 4) it could not move at all Calvinism states that only one of those futures is really possible, because it is foreordained. But what if it was foreordained for me to not drop the pen at all? In the same way, only one future is going to happen if one is foreordained to pray. However, one might not be foreordained to pray at all. Either way, prayer still works and can have an effect, depending on how God desires to respond to that prayer. The prayer would just be foreordained...just as everything else is. There is no logical problem with Calvinism...the problem only arises once you start off with a premise of free will then suddenly switch to predestination (for example...choosing to pray, but only the outcome is predestined).

TheMessenger

9 year(s) ago

[b]MisterNathan wrote:[/b] [quote][b]TheMessenger wrote:[/b] [quote][i]Why[/i] do we need to pray for things to happen/not happen, etc, if everything is already set in stone, cut and dry, happening no matter what? It seems to defeat the purpose to pray about certain things like that if everything is already set to happen no matter what (although I do so anyway). I'm not saying you don't need to pray at all, like you should pray for help and comfort and all that, but praying about things that happen makes [i]no sense[/i] at all if we have no choice anyway.[/quote] In the same way, only one future is going to happen if one is foreordained to pray. However, one might not be foreordained to pray at all.[/quote] Why would God not want certain people to pray? The bible says he desires us all to pray to Him and love Him, does it not?

Silent-K

9 year(s) ago

For anyone that isn't convinced that God is self-centered: [b]Isaiah 48:8-11[/b] (ESV) [color=#0000ff]You have never heard, you have never known, from of old your ear has not been opened. For I knew that you would surely deal treacherously, and that from before birth you were called a rebel. 9 “For my name's sake I defer my anger, for the sake of my praise I restrain it for you, that I may not cut you off. 10 Behold, I have refined you, but not as silver; I have tried you in the furnace of affliction. 11 For my own sake, for my own sake, I do it, for how should my name be profaned? My glory I will not give to another. [/color]

MisterNathan

9 year(s) ago

[b]TheMessenger wrote:[/b] [quote][b]MisterNathan wrote:[/b] [quote]In the same way, only one future is going to happen if one is foreordained to pray. However, one might not be foreordained to pray at all.[/quote] Why would God not want certain people to pray? The bible says he desires us all to pray to Him and love Him, does it not?[/quote] Well, we know from Proverbs 15:8 (MKJV) that "The sacrifice of the wicked is a hateful thing to Jehovah, but the prayer of the upright is His delight." There's one reason He wouldn't want someone to pray. It ultimately comes down to the fact that we can not know the entire will of God. We know what He tells us in the Bible, we know the beginning, we know the end, and we know how [i]we[/i] are expected to live out lives, but the rest...the details... Isaiah 55:9 MKJV For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts. The broad scope of His plan involving little things like whether we pray or we don't pray...that would come under "His ways and thoughts". [b]Dante wrote:[/b] [quote]If you'd read the bible, maybe you know, from Genesis onward, you'd soon realized that your god doesn't really give a crap about humans.[/quote] Just because He glorifies Himself above all things (and rightly so, since He [i]is[/i] the greatest Thing in existence), doesn't preclude Him from caring about anything else. "For God so loved the world..." - Jesus

waymaster

9 year(s) ago

Having answered these type of posts in the past, I've decided it best to begin by saying, that I know that I don't know the answer with full assurance. Also, I'm a little concerned about anyone who claims to. A problem that occurs with the question, is when an unsaved person "decides" not to seek Christ, because they have been told that it's already been decided. Another problem occurs when a person (many of them) decides that they are saved because they have made that decision. They left God completely out of it. The answer, for me when I do evangelism, is somewhere in the middle. I tell people that you do have a choice and you better make the correct one. Then, I also tell people that just because you made a choice does not mean that God has already regenerated your heart. That is the process that, apparently, only those who know they are sick, ever completely go through and actually receive eternally secure life. The rest of you may or may not be on the narrow path that leads through the narrow gate. God will judge your fate. If I didn't open up a big enough can of worms, anyone have an opinion on "Moral Government Theology"?

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