Our Free Will

God in His infinite Wisdom, gives to each of us a mind, intellect and freewill. With our will we are to seek God’s WIll [Isa 43; 7 & 21].

What does this mean for us; for you personally?

God Bless you,
Patrick

Well, it means we can reject God’s Grace.

We can accept God or reject Him, we can sin or not sin.

In the immortal but bizarre words of Ken Kesey of the Merry Prankster fame “You’re either on the bus or off the bus.”

If you want my opinion I’ll give it to you.

But are you sure you want it?

It means humility. We can realize that God knows us better than we know ourselves, and He alone knows what is best for us. When we have deep faith in God, we let ourselves be led by Him w/trust and love (like a child), even when we don’t understand why something is happening the way it’s happening. Just let go and let God :slight_smile:

=tawny;11793295]We can accept God or reject Him, we can sin or not sin.

EXACTLY right!

Well, I don’t believe in total free will-- I believe that some are unable to choose to follow God’s will because their hearts are diseased. Like Pharoah, for instance.

With choice comes responsibility, so in the case of making a choice that couldn’t be more important, like submitting oneself to The Almighty, the responsibility is huge. Even so, just having an invitation to taste the fruits of grace, not to mention Paradise, is a tremendous gift.

In the case of the Pharaoh, one can possibly deduce that it was the diseases of a corrupt, moribund and Godless society that enabled parents to raise a child like the Pharaoh to develop into an adult of his ilk.

Diseased hearts are educated to be diseased.

This is where the concept of “societal free will” come in…

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Friends, why would God give us free will, only to remove it on the Day of Judgement/Resurrection?

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From someone who is outside a “Christian “profession I believe your observation about Pharoah is spot on.
As you may not be familiar with Ephesians 2:5"Even when we were dead in sins ,”(God)” hath quickened us together with Christ,(by grace are ye saved)"KJV.

In context Paul is here I believe ,referring to all converted believers( in Christ Jesus) " when we " ( were dead) : that is before being converted " in time past ye walked according to the course of this world ,according to the prince of the power of the air" ( Ephesians 2:2)

So though I personally would congratulate you regarding seeing the disease or deadness of Pharoah’s heart,as a Christian I don’t believe you go far enough and I would suggest Paul here is declaring all sons of Adam dead ;except those whom God has determined to quicken( or make alive).

Ephesians 2:1
“And you hath he quickened ,who were dead in tresspasses and sins”

Another verse that shows mans deadness ( spiritually speaking) is in The gospel of John chapter 5 verse 25 . Jesus in the previous verse( 24) has been talking of those " that heareth my word,and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life,and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death to life"

Now in the next verse Jesus is again ( I believe) talking of those who pass from death to life ( upon believing his word)
" Verily verily,I say unto you,The hour is coming and now is" notice this statement is present tense," when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God : and they that hear shall live"

My question then is :what dead man ever did anything but remain dead?

Answer: only He who was raised from the dead by the resurrection of The Lord Jesus Christ.

That’s not so much ‘deduction’-- it’s more along the lines of empty conjecture. Pharoah’s parents are altogether irrelevant to anything the Qur’an has to say about Pharoah and what he did (remember, I’m a muslim, so my understanding of Pharoah, Egypt and the exodus is based on the Qur’anic narratives). Even if he [Pharoah] had had a terrible childhood and lived in a society that was steeped in sin, was he less accountable than anyone else Moses and Aaron [peace be upon them] were sent to? bologna. He was given clear signs, chose to reject them and, oh yeah, even went as far as to murder every male child among the Israelites.

Don’t tell me he was just a product of his environment. Besides, we have Qur’anic evidence of a righteous son coming from a wicked father and vice-versa. Abraham [peace be upon him] had a pagan father and lived in a pagan nation, but he was a monotheist [Qur’an 21:51-71, 19:41-50]. Noah [peace be upon him] was pious, but one of his sons was evil, disobediant [6:84, 11:42-46].

Well, I appreciate your advice.

Yeah, I’m aware of Paul’s teachings on a basic level. I disagree with Paul on the means by which man becomes depraved as well as the extent of man’s depravity. Ephesians 2, coupled with Romans 9, is portraying that man can do nothing but sin until a spiritual regeneration (what christians call ‘being born again’). I would say that I agree with Paul [in Romans 9] when he says that some are raised up as vessels of wrath, but not because they were born as such-- but because they chose to be sinful. I don’t believe in the total depravity that Paul talks about there.

And my differences could be due to the fact that the Biblical and Qur’anic narratives of Pharoah are different in several ways. I don’t believe man is born hell-bound, but that man runs headlong into Hell (i.e. they make a choice to do it).

=drac16;11796729]Well, I don’t believe in total free will-- I believe that some are unable to choose to follow God’s will because their hearts are diseased. Like Pharoah, for instance.

With choice comes responsibility, so in the case of making a choice that couldn’t be more important, like submitting oneself to The Almighty, the responsibility is huge. Even so, just having an invitation to taste the fruits of grace, not to mention Paradise, is a tremendous gift.

Dear friend in Christ,

I think your missing a critical point in your position on Pharaoh: It was the SINS of this man that lead to his inability to KNOW God. He certainly was given the opportunity to “know-of” God; but then man has to freely choose to cooperate with that grace to get to the next level in the essential relationship, God-man relationship.

His inability was not his freewill being impeded; but his impeded wisdom and understanding wrought by his choose to sin rather than submit to God.:thumbsup:

I’m not a christian, so I don’t think it’s appropriate to call me a friend “in Christ”. Even though we both believe in a Christ, it is not the same Christ. :stuck_out_tongue:

I agree that Pharoah’s sins lead to his disbelief, but to say that God gave Pharoah the same amount of grace and guidance that He gave [and still gives] everyone else is, in my opinion, to compromise the holiness of God. He’ll punish wrongdoers and reward good-doers on Judgment day, right? so why limit this to a one time thing? If God is Al-Quddus, The Most Holy, it follows that He also punishes sin in this lifetime-- not just the next. The hardening of a heart is His punishment; it’s not punishment on an innocent person, but on a law breaker.

Just my two cents.

=drac16;11800803]I’m not a christian, so I don’t think it’s appropriate to call me a friend “in Christ”. Even though we both believe in a Christ, it is not the same Christ. :stuck_out_tongue:

I agree that Pharoah’s sins lead to his disbelief, but to say that God gave Pharoah the same amount of grace and guidance that He gave [and still gives] everyone else is, in my opinion, to compromise the holiness of God. He’ll punish wrongdoers and reward good-doers on Judgment day, right? so why limit this to a one time thing? If God is Al-Quddus, The Most Holy, it follows that He also punishes sin in this lifetime-- not just the next. The hardening of a heart is His punishment; it’s not punishment on an innocent person, but on a law breaker.

Just my two cents.

Abrahams OUR Father right:rolleyes: We’re friends,:slight_smile:

God Bless you,
Patrick

My friend, I appreciate your thoughts, but your response to PJM is really my response to your post in regards to the Pharoah. :slight_smile:

I took the liberty to highlight the relevant part of your post…one “chooses” to be sinful partly because of the environment in which one is raised, both within the family structure and the societal structure.

One cannot segregate the human heart from the environment in which it is nurtured or “not” nurtured (whichever the case may be) and the condition of society is also dependent on the spiritual condition of the human hearts that compose it.

This moulds our free will into a necessity to adhere to a two-fold moral purpose. The constant refining of ones own spiritual condition AND the refining of the spiritual condition of the structures of human society.

:slight_smile:

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No, I don’t think you care about what I said in response to you, because if you did, you would’ve examined the texts I quoted and responded accordingly (offering counter-exegesis or pointing out where I may be wrong). Instead, you decided to ignore it, take a different post of mine, rip a few words out of context and then re-state what you originally said.

You don’t want a dialogue, you want a monologue.

I’m terribly sorry to have upset you drac.

I will bow out of this thread :slight_smile:

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As we are both trusting in (I would say ) differing manufacturer’s Manuel’s ,I can only use as my source that which I believe God has shown ( or revealed) in my experience ,to be his only true revelation to mankind.
Nevertheless I think we almost agree on certain points.
Firstly your equating Rom 9 and Ephesians 2 with our need for “spiritual regeneration” my soul well likes. “Except a man be born of water and of the spirit ,he cannot enter into the kingdom of God”(John 3:5)

You also state that men " chose to be sinful" as a result "man runs headlong into hell "
Colossians 3:6 “For which thing’s sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience”

Although you may exempt yourself from this description " children of disobedience" I know in my heart,it speaks truly of me.

For me the words of Jesus to a rich ( in his own eyes) young man (Mark 10:18) sheds some light on the universality of that sin which captivates the heart of man.

And Jesus said unto him ,Why callest me good?there is none good but one,that is God."

As this young man only perceives Jesus to be a (holy ) teacher and like himself :only a son of another man ;Jesus in condescending to such a view, but in reality (testified of his Father through those signs wrought in the power of the Holy Ghost) he was God incarnate in the person of " the Son of God",in reply,I say to a mere human view of his person : it is my belief that Jesus declares" none good but God" only.
So by a simple calculation : if only God is Good ,everyone else is bad.

But by your statement that man “chose to be sinful” by implication I am sure you mean some( you) chose not to be so but rather chose to be good"
For me the holy word of God says just such a belief is in reality a boast.
If the distance ( betwixt God and Man) was so great that only through the offering up of his eternal (and spotless) sacrifice upon that altar ( at Golgotha) “his only Son” could sinners be forgiven; then how great is that sin within the heart of everyman?

“For by grace are ye saved through faith,and that not of yourselves ,it is a gift of God .Not of works,lest any man should boast”(Ephesians2::8,9)

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