Page 5 of 5 FirstFirst ... 345
Results 41 to 50 of 50

Thread: Christianity: Free Will, or Pre-Determination?

  1. #41
    Sage
    OlNate's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    Ontario, Canada
    Last Seen
    Today @ 12:57 PM
    Gender
    Lean
    Progressive
    Posts
    14,280

    Re: Christianity: Free Will, or Pre-Determination?

    Quote Originally Posted by Elvira View Post
    That is true, we can either accept it or reject it, just as many have done in the past...God draws those with the right heart condition...

    "No man can come to me unless the Father, who sent me, draws him, and I will resurrect him on the last day." John 6:44

    The Bible compares us to a potter's clay in the hands of the potter...do we see ourselves as soft clay in God’s hands, willing to be molded into a vessel that is desirable in His eyes or are we merely hardened, useless clay? Useless clay gets thrown aside...

    “Look! As the clay in the hand of the potter, so are you in my hand.”Jer. 18:6
    So, you think we do have the ability to thwart the will of God? That if the Holy Spirt selects us to be given the gift of faith, we are powerful enough to reject that? I tend to think not...which is kind of supported in the whole clay in the hand of the potter reference. I'm not aware of "useless clay" in the pottery world...but I do believe that an all powerful God could make useless clay into useful clay...I mean, he turned water into wine, soo...
    Life's too short...

    Quote Originally Posted by Mashmont View Post
    Winning comes so easily, I barely have to think about it. I've been called the Donald Trump of forum for good reason.

  2. #42
    Sage
    OlNate's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    Ontario, Canada
    Last Seen
    Today @ 12:57 PM
    Gender
    Lean
    Progressive
    Posts
    14,280

    Re: Christianity: Free Will, or Pre-Determination?

    Quote Originally Posted by Elvira View Post
    I think some are trying to apply simple science, as we know it, to God, and that is a real problem...there are certain things we attempt to apply to God and we just can't...they are past human understanding or science...that is where faith comes in...

    su·per·nat·u·ral
    ˌso͞opərˈnaCH(ə)rəl/Submit
    adjective
    1.
    (of a manifestation or event) attributed to some force beyond scientific understanding or the laws of nature.
    "a supernatural being"
    synonyms: paranormal, psychic, magic, magical, occult, mystic, mystical, superhuman, supernormal;

    https://www.google.com/search?q=supe...hrome&ie=UTF-8
    For sure. This is just an interesting discussion for me, I don't think I'm going to solve the mysteries of the universe today. We can endeavor to understand, as Christians, so long as we continue to have faith, the only prerequisite for salvation. In fact, given the personality of Christ in the New Testament, I think he'd approve, if he spent a fair amount of time chuckling at our attempts to understand what we cannot.
    Life's too short...

    Quote Originally Posted by Mashmont View Post
    Winning comes so easily, I barely have to think about it. I've been called the Donald Trump of forum for good reason.

  3. #43
    Sage
    Elvira's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2017
    Location
    Down South
    Last Seen
    @
    Gender
    Lean
    Undisclosed
    Posts
    17,383

    Re: Christianity: Free Will, or Pre-Determination?

    Quote Originally Posted by OlNate View Post
    So, you think we do have the ability to thwart the will of God? That if the Holy Spirt selects us to be given the gift of faith, we are powerful enough to reject that? I tend to think not...which is kind of supported in the whole clay in the hand of the potter reference. I'm not aware of "useless clay" in the pottery world...but I do believe that an all powerful God could make useless clay into useful clay...I mean, he turned water into wine, soo...
    Sure, we can work against God and His holy spirit..Satan has done so for centuries now, but that doesn't deter His will from being accomplished...He works with those who are responsive/obedient...He doesn't force anyone to be either...that is where free will comes into play...
    "No man can come to me unless the Father, who sent me, draws him..." John 6:44

  4. #44
    Sage
    OlNate's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    Ontario, Canada
    Last Seen
    Today @ 12:57 PM
    Gender
    Lean
    Progressive
    Posts
    14,280

    Re: Christianity: Free Will, or Pre-Determination?

    Quote Originally Posted by Elvira View Post
    Sure, we can work against God and His holy spirit..Satan has done so for centuries now, but that doesn't deter His will from being accomplished...He works with those who are responsive/obedient...He doesn't force anyone to be either...that is where free will comes into play...
    So if he can only work with those who are responsive/obedient, then must we assume that he has limitations?

    Satan is not a human, so that's a bit of a difficult analogy...I don't know what the relationship between God and his angels is about. I do know that God, in every recorded conflict with Satan, wins...

    Also...regarding the point about God not forcing anyone to do anything...ok...but, coming at it from a different angle, if faith only comes from the Holy Spirit as a gift, one that is not given to anyone, is he giving a choice to those he does not call? They cannot become a Christian unless they have faith, which comes at the discretion of the Holy Spirit. You cannot choose to be a Christian. So, again, I'm still left unconvinced of the scope or even existence of freewill.

    (By the way, Elvira, I'm enjoying talking to you on this, and I hope you are looking at this as just a conversation. If I'm offending you, please let me know, or feel free to drop out, this isn't meant to be a take-no-prisoners debate, I'm just enjoying riffing with you, hope that's cool)
    Life's too short...

    Quote Originally Posted by Mashmont View Post
    Winning comes so easily, I barely have to think about it. I've been called the Donald Trump of forum for good reason.

  5. #45
    Sage
    Elvira's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2017
    Location
    Down South
    Last Seen
    @
    Gender
    Lean
    Undisclosed
    Posts
    17,383

    Re: Christianity: Free Will, or Pre-Determination?

    Quote Originally Posted by OlNate View Post
    So if he can only work with those who are responsive/obedient, then must we assume that he has limitations?

    Satan is not a human, so that's a bit of a difficult analogy...I don't know what the relationship between God and his angels is about. I do know that God, in every recorded conflict with Satan, wins...

    Also...regarding the point about God not forcing anyone to do anything...ok...but, coming at it from a different angle, if faith only comes from the Holy Spirit as a gift, one that is not given to anyone, is he giving a choice to those he does not call? They cannot become a Christian unless they have faith, which comes at the discretion of the Holy Spirit. You cannot choose to be a Christian. So, again, I'm still left unconvinced of the scope or even existence of freewill.

    (By the way, Elvira, I'm enjoying talking to you on this, and I hope you are looking at this as just a conversation. If I'm offending you, please let me know, or feel free to drop out, this isn't meant to be a take-no-prisoners debate, I'm just enjoying riffing with you, hope that's cool)
    No, I don't think God has limitations, He merely chooses not to act or react at times, respecting the fact that He did create us with free will...there's a difference...He can, but He doesn't...just like He could have destroyed Satan, along with Adam and Eve at the very beginning, but He didn't...His desire was to give mankind a chance, regardless of what or who rebelled against Him, among other things...

    OK, so Satan is a spirit creature...how about man and all the things he has done down through the ages to thwart God's will being accomplished, intentionally as well as unintentionally...

    We have to be receptive to God's calling us and that is an ongoing process..the result of not being receptive is the fact that some fall away, even after they become Christians...the Bible speaks of that also, it's likened it to a dog returning to its vomit...it happens...God does not forsake us, we forsake Him...

    No offense taken, Nate...I enjoy talking to you as well...you're always respectful...presentation is everything, even when we disagree...
    "No man can come to me unless the Father, who sent me, draws him..." John 6:44

  6. #46
    Sage

    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Location
    new zealand.
    Last Seen
    Today @ 01:46 PM
    Gender
    Lean
    Other
    Posts
    6,331

    Re: Christianity: Free Will, or Pre-Determination?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rexedgar View Post
    What I was trying to say is, if we (people) evolved, did we all evolve at the same rate and here we are? I get the various ages, stone, bronze, industrial, people caused those by experimentation and discovery and recording for the future. Using a food analogy, were all the cookies done at the same time or are there some in different states of evolution, individual ingredients, partially mixed batter and so on. We just seem to be, with no earlier forms of us in the pipeline. Are we stil evolving or is it more adapting?
    Speaking about things such as stone age or bonze is talking about social evolution. On that subject the answer is no, we did not all advance at the same rate. For example the aborigenes of tasmania had still not invented fire by the time captain cook first landed.

    Speaking of biologica; evolution which is what the OP was refering to then the answer is more or less yes. Nature did not just produce man but a few variants such as cro-magnon of which man was the eventual successor.

    Ypur last statement is somewhat of a tautology. evoving is adapting.

  7. #47
    Sage

    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Location
    new zealand.
    Last Seen
    Today @ 01:46 PM
    Gender
    Lean
    Other
    Posts
    6,331

    Re: Christianity: Free Will, or Pre-Determination?

    Quote Originally Posted by OlNate View Post
    lol...first, thanks, Soy, for not blowing it up, and staying within the boundaries of the chat. I promise, I won't try to convert you.

    So, I get what you're saying, but evolution is chaotic, a series of random mutations, with the most beneficial mutations leading to survival and shaping of the species, but disconnected from any kind of directed plan (speaking strictly from my understanding of the scientific definition of evolution, without doing a quick Google to make sure, but I think I'm mostly right, or at least right enough for this discussion). God, on the other hand, has stated he has a specific plan in mind, and that we are a part of it. He has also said he has a plan for each and every one of us individually.

    If we say he has the means to do anything - as Elvira pointed out, "nothing is impossible for God", then the only thing we need to determine is IF God would use his power to direct us to execute his plan, or if we, as humans, have the power to thwart his plan by choosing to do what we want to do instead.
    God has a specific plan for each and every one of us individually. ???? Where did you read that?

    The closest i can think of is,
    Ephesians 4:11:12
    So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up.

    So back to the evolution analogy. It does not require every member of the species to evolve only that enough do to continue the species. Or in other words until god makes you a prophet you can sin as you please.

    Unfortuanately elvira as far as i can see argues by cliche. There is no sense in her words just conviction.

  8. #48
    Sage
    OlNate's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    Ontario, Canada
    Last Seen
    Today @ 12:57 PM
    Gender
    Lean
    Progressive
    Posts
    14,280

    Re: Christianity: Free Will, or Pre-Determination?

    Quote Originally Posted by Elvira View Post
    No, I don't think God has limitations, He merely chooses not to act or react at times, respecting the fact that He did create us with free will...there's a difference...He can, but He doesn't...just like He could have destroyed Satan, along with Adam and Eve at the very beginning, but He didn't...His desire was to give mankind a chance, regardless of what or who rebelled against Him, among other things...

    OK, so Satan is a spirit creature...how about man and all the things he has done down through the ages to thwart God's will being accomplished, intentionally as well as unintentionally...

    We have to be receptive to God's calling us and that is an ongoing process..the result of not being receptive is the fact that some fall away, even after they become Christians...the Bible speaks of that also, it's likened it to a dog returning to its vomit...it happens...God does not forsake us, we forsake Him...

    No offense taken, Nate...I enjoy talking to you as well...you're always respectful...presentation is everything, even when we disagree...
    Right on, good. I know religion can be a touchy subject, and it can get personal very quickly. Just give me the benefit of the doubt that I'm not trying to be a jerk, no matter how feisty I get in debate mode, and we'll be all good...

    I personally don't think humans can thwart God's will, so I look at your analogy a little differently. Again, see elsewhere where I've said that things can look negative at the time, but in hindsight were critical to accomplishing something positive. I tend to think that any plan God has in mind is far too complicated for us to understand. Does Satan serve a purpose? If not, why keep him around? Do bad situations create a ripple effect leading to something positive? If not, why allow bad situations to happen? Do we actually work against God's plan, or our perceived contrary activities further it in some way we cannot understand?

    Is it possible that the perception of choice is more for our comfort than a reflection of reality? Freewill goes against so much of what we see in the Bible...there is much more on obedience and ownership (we are God's people, God's creation - God's property)... We can't even save ourselves. How does freewill serve God's plan?
    Life's too short...

    Quote Originally Posted by Mashmont View Post
    Winning comes so easily, I barely have to think about it. I've been called the Donald Trump of forum for good reason.

  9. #49
    The Hammer of Chaos
    Goshin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Dixie
    Last Seen
    Today @ 05:55 PM
    Gender
    Lean
    Independent
    Posts
    45,412

    Re: Christianity: Free Will, or Pre-Determination?

    Quote Originally Posted by OlNate View Post
    Ok, but if God knew beforehand which way I'd jump, before I was ever born, did I make that choice? More specifically, is it possible for me to jump in a *different* direction than the one God knew I would before I was born? If not, did I actually have a choice? If so, doesn't that imply either that God makes mistakes, or that our will is greater than God's?

    And how do you think this plays into his plan? Will reference Isaiah 46:3-11, so as not to confuse with the whole "God has a plan for each of us" sentiment, I'm talking about God's plan in totality. If it's purely freewill, could we not defeat God's plan any time we wanted? Does that imply we are mightier than God?

    Finally, if faith is a gift of the Holy Spirit, and we are only saved by grace, through faith, is inclusion in Heaven, and, in fact, Christianity itself, actually a decision on our part?


    I'm not Calvinist.

    I also don't claim to have all the answers. I believe that a being who is omniscient, omnipresent, omnipotent and eternal is beyond mortal comprehension to a large degree.

    Without going into forty-eleven bits of scripture or trying to explain five decades of thought processes on the matter, I believe God has a plan for each person but each person has free will to do otherwise. Yet God knows what we actually will do.... foreknowledge does not change agency however, as seeing a thing does not mean you made that thing happen.

    When you look out a window and see a child jump, and in that moment predict his landing site as a mud puddle, your observation does not alter the agency of the child in choosing to puddle-stomp. Perhaps you let the child go outside, knowing there were puddles and knowing kids are prone to puddle-stomping, but told him not to. This doesn't change the child's exercise in free will. It just means you let them choose.

    I for one am glad not to be a robot running a pre-set program, even if it means I get some mud on me at times, even if sometimes the mud was from someone else's splashing.

    Fiddling While Rome Burns
    ISIS: Carthago Delenda Est
    "I used to roll the dice; see the fear in my enemies' eyes... listen as the crowd would sing, 'now the old king is dead, Long Live the King.'.."

  10. #50
    Sage
    Visbek's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Last Seen
    Today @ 09:48 PM
    Lean
    Other
    Posts
    14,201

    Re: Christianity: Free Will, or Pre-Determination?

    Quote Originally Posted by Elvira View Post
    As I stated earlier, nothing is impossible with God...you might wanna be careful of putting Him in a small, little box of human terms and understanding with the implications of your statements and/or beliefs...
    This is not about putting him into a box. It's not even really saying anything about the deity. It is simply a recognition of the basic logical consequences of saying "everything is possible."

    To wit: Declaring that "God is benevolent" is putting God in a human box. You're insisting that God meets -- or is limited by -- the human conception of "benevolence." How is that justified? It isn't, because you are putting your God in a small, little box of human terms and understanding.

    Similarly, "humans can't understand God" cuts both ways. If I can't understand him, neither can you; and we are back at an inability to ascribe any properties to the deity. If humans cannot develop a consistent understanding of God, then that applies to all humans, and has the same consequences for humans.

    Fortunately, it is logically possible for an omnipotent deity to know the future, without suspending free will. That is, if the deity and formulation of omnipotence are both logically valid.

    By the way, none of what I'm saying is new to theologians. Quite a few are familiar with the problems of ascribing omnipotence and omniscience to a deity.
    "Everyone should listen to me all the time about everything." - Rosa Diaz

    "When the mistakes fall disproportionately on one side, it is no respect for the notion of truth to pretend that everything is even." - Lee McIntyre

Page 5 of 5 FirstFirst ... 345

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •