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OfflineFrog
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God's sovereignty and man's free will
    #2598905 - 04/24/04 09:58 PM (12 years, 7 months ago)

After some questions about God came up on this forum for which I had no answer, I found a site called GotQuestions.org. This week, I saw an answer to this question that I thought was relevant to recent discussions:

Question: "How does God's sovereignty and man's free will work together in salvation?"

Answer: It is impossible for us to fully understand the relationship between God?s sovereignty and man?s free will. Only God truly knows how that two work together. Scripture is clear that God knows who will be saved (Rom 8:29; 1Pet 1:2). Ephesians 1:4 tells us that God chose us ?before the foundation of the world?. The Bible repeatedly describes believers as the ?chosen? (Rom 8:33; 11:5; Eph 1:11; Col 3:12; 1Thess 1:4; 1Peter 1:2; 2:9) and the elect (Matt 24:22,31; Mark 13:20,27; Rom 11:7; 1Tim 5:21; 2Tim 2:10; Titus 1:1; 1Peter 1:1). The fact that believers are predestined (Rom 8:29-30; Eph 1:5,11) and elected (Rom 9:11; 11:28; 2Peter 1:10) for salvation is plainly clear.

The Bible also says that we have the free will choice ? all we have to do is believe in Jesus Christ and we will be saved (John 3:16; Rom 10:9-10). God knows who will be saved, God chooses who will be saved, and we must choose Christ in order to be saved. How these three facts work together is impossible for a finite mind to comprehend (Rom 11:33-36). Our responsibility is to take the Gospel to the whole world (Matt 28:18-20; Acts 1:8). We should leave the foreknowledge, election, and predestination part up to God and simply be obedient in sharing the Gospel.


I only disagree with the part that God chose us as a separate issue from us choosing Christ. I think God knew in advance who would choose Christ, and therefore chose that person. But I could be wrong.


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The day will come when, after harnessing the ether, the winds, the tides, gravitation, we shall harness for God the energies of love. And, on that day, for the second time in the history of the world, man will have discovered fire.  -Teilard


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Invisiblebert
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Re: God's sovereignty and man's free will [Re: Frog]
    #2598924 - 04/24/04 10:07 PM (12 years, 7 months ago)

Well, I for one do not enjoy being blackmailed.

"Our responsibility is to take the Gospel to the whole world (Matt 28:18-20; Acts 1:8). We should leave the foreknowledge, election, and predestination part up to God and simply be obedient in sharing the Gospel."

Nazis in WWII Germany had this exact same viewpoint. We are the chosen ones, we must spread the will of Hitler and be obedient and not question what we are doing or why we are doing it. Faith is fine, but by no means should you ever stop questioning. Whether it be cultural norms or the nature of reality.


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Persons denying the existence of robots may be robots themselves.


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Offlinefaelr
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Re: God's sovereignty and man's free will [Re: bert]
    #2598946 - 04/24/04 10:18 PM (12 years, 7 months ago)

Quote:

bert said: Faith is fine, but by no means should you ever stop questioning. Whether it be cultural norms or the nature of reality.




....and those questions should apply to the good and bad parts of a belief. some focus to much on the "bad!"....especially when they really aren't listening.


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where i walk, i walk alone. when i fight, i fight alone. i am no one and i am nothing. yet all is that i am.


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Invisiblebert
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Re: God's sovereignty and man's free will [Re: faelr]
    #2598952 - 04/24/04 10:21 PM (12 years, 7 months ago)

I wholeheartedly agree.  :wink:


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Persons denying the existence of robots may be robots themselves.


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Invisiblekaiowas
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Re: God's sovereignty and man's free will [Re: Frog]
    #2598956 - 04/24/04 10:22 PM (12 years, 7 months ago)

"I only disagree with the part that God chose us as a separate issue from us choosing Christ. I think God knew in advance who would choose Christ, and therefore chose that person. But I could be wrong."

so now you are going to disagree with the word of god? 

so god already knows, so then do we REALLY have free will by that assumption??

"God chooses who will be saved, and we must choose Christ in order to be saved."

yes I can just imagine Gandhi's soul in eternal torment right now    :confused:

yes I can imagine all the native americans who never heard of jesus before are now in eternal torment.

yes I can imagine the followers of the Tao, Buddha, all the tribes in Africa, even aborigines all in eternal torment.

shit, since god alreayd knows, then what good all of this???


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Annnnnnd I had a light saber and my friend was there and I said "you look like an indian" and he said "you look like satan" and he found a stick and a rock and he named the rock ooga booga and he named the stick Stick and we both thought that was pretty funny. We got eaten alive by mosquitos but didn't notice til the next day. I stepped on some glass while wading in the swamp and cut my foot open, didn't bother me til the next day either....yeah it was a good time, ended the night by buying some liquor for minors and drinking nips and going to he diner and eating chicken fingers, and then I went home and went to bed.---senior doobie


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OfflineCleverName
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Re: God's sovereignty and man's free will [Re: Frog]
    #2599005 - 04/24/04 10:47 PM (12 years, 7 months ago)

"god" chooses? knows? plays favorites?

this also rasies an issue called "the scandal of particularity." this theological phrase refers to "the doctrine that god's doings can focus like a burning glass on particular times, places, and people(s) in the interest, to be sure, of intentions that embrace human beings universally."

the essence of the doctrine is that god plays favorites.

in its crudest form, this doctrine manifests itself in the declarations of proessional athletes on national television that the Almighty helped them triumph over their opponents.

its easy to dismiss thenotion of a god who fixes sporting events, but all religions assert in one way or another that god plays favorites.

the founders of the great western faiths-abraham, jesus, muhammad-were supposidly singled out by god for special treatment. the religions they founded proclaim that those of us that act in a certain way and believe certain things will also be divinly favored.

buddhism and hinduism, too, promise that good behavior will be rewarded and bad punished through the abstract mechanism of karma.
the pious monk goes to nirvana after death, and the nasty industrialist is reincarnated as a cockroach.

all these schemes ask us to believe in some sort of supernatural moral accountant who, like santa claus, keeps tabs on our nightiness nd niceness in order to determine our fate in the afterlife.

any god who, on the one hand, can care to keep a pendantically minute account of individual shortcomings, and on the other hand can feel such partialities, and load particular creatures with such insipid marks of favor, is too small-minded a god for our favor.

to my mind, the scandal of particularity is the root of all religious evil. the conviction of certain idividuals and peoples that they are divinely chosen leads to religious self-righteousness, fanaticism, intolernace.


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if you can't find the truth right where you are, where else do you expect to find it?

this is the purpose


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Offlinezappaisgod
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Re: God's sovereignty and man's free will [Re: Frog]
    #2599015 - 04/24/04 10:50 PM (12 years, 7 months ago)

A belief in god is by definition psychotic. Get help and stop wasting your time with nonsense


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OfflineCleverName
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Re: God's sovereignty and man's free will [Re: zappaisgod]
    #2599022 - 04/24/04 10:53 PM (12 years, 7 months ago)

play nice now


--------------------
if you can't find the truth right where you are, where else do you expect to find it?

this is the purpose


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OfflineZahid
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Re: God's sovereignty and man's free will [Re: zappaisgod]
    #2599039 - 04/24/04 11:00 PM (12 years, 7 months ago)

Quote:

zappaisgod said:
A belief in god is by definition psychotic. Get help and stop wasting your time with nonsense




You can teach an asshole to hunt, but .. ah I forgot what I was going to say.


--------------------


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OfflineProtester
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Re: God's sovereignty and man's free will [Re: Zahid]
    #2599101 - 04/24/04 11:24 PM (12 years, 7 months ago)

God gives every one a chance at salvation, It is personal choice as to who accepts him and who does not. But god is all knowing he created the universe and knows you down to your very soul thats how he knows who will accept him and who will not. You cannot change some ones mind whos heart is turned to stone.


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I work my shitty 9-5 and I pay my taxes, I'm not hurting anybody else. So why do you care what i do in my spare time.


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OfflineFrog
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Re: God's sovereignty and man's free will [Re: Frog]
    #2599353 - 04/25/04 12:30 AM (12 years, 7 months ago)

Well, the reason I posted this thread is because I have always believed in free will, even given the existence of God, and it doesn't make sense to me that according to the person that answered that question, it appears that free will exists, and yet it doesn't, at least in conjunction to choosing to accept Christ.

What also bothered me was that it appears that this conclusion can't be explained, so we have to just accept it.

I don't think that because I am questioning this that I am going to hell, but it didn't seem fair to not post this since I have read what others have written on the subject when attacking Christianity, with regard to having free will, if there appears to be no answer in the bible as to whether we truly have free will if we choose to accept Christ.

I still believe we have free will to choose Christ, but it appears that not only did God already know who would choose and who wouldn't, but God already chose those of us who would decide to believe, first. And now it appears that there's no answer in the bible for this.

I think I'm being redundant.

I just thought it was interesting.


--------------------
The day will come when, after harnessing the ether, the winds, the tides, gravitation, we shall harness for God the energies of love. And, on that day, for the second time in the history of the world, man will have discovered fire.  -Teilard


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OfflineFrog
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Re: God's sovereignty and man's free will [Re: Zahid]
    #2599366 - 04/25/04 12:33 AM (12 years, 7 months ago)

(I'm not trying to jack this thread, but you have as your avatar a character from one of my most favorite movies, "Ice Age".  :grin:  My other favorite movie is Groundhog Day.)


--------------------
The day will come when, after harnessing the ether, the winds, the tides, gravitation, we shall harness for God the energies of love. And, on that day, for the second time in the history of the world, man will have discovered fire.  -Teilard


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Re: God's sovereignty and man's free will [Re: kaiowas]
    #2599665 - 04/25/04 02:03 AM (12 years, 7 months ago)

good points man... I think the problem with all Jesus based, and many other religions is the lack of tollerence for other beliefs.... This is a MAJOR flaw in all religion, and none of the prophets who founded them intended for it to be this way..... but even Jesus predicted this...I think organized religion can offer many important things to being 'spiritual' but the whole force behind them is twisted and misconstrued... which is why I do not go to church anymore... every where around me is 'church'


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OfflineFrog
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Re: God's sovereignty and man's free will [Re: zappaisgod]
    #2599668 - 04/25/04 02:04 AM (12 years, 7 months ago)

You may be right
I may be crazy
Oh, but it just may be a lunatic you're looking for
Turn out the light
Don't try to save me
You may be wrong for all I know
But you may be right


--------------------
The day will come when, after harnessing the ether, the winds, the tides, gravitation, we shall harness for God the energies of love. And, on that day, for the second time in the history of the world, man will have discovered fire.  -Teilard


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OfflineFrog
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Re: God's sovereignty and man's free will [Re: bert]
    #2599684 - 04/25/04 02:10 AM (12 years, 7 months ago)

Quote:

bert said:
Well, I for one do not enjoy being blackmailed.

"Our responsibility is to take the Gospel to the whole world (Matt 28:18-20; Acts 1:8). We should leave the foreknowledge, election, and predestination part up to God and simply be obedient in sharing the Gospel."

Nazis in WWII Germany had this exact same viewpoint. We are the chosen ones, we must spread the will of Hitler and be obedient and not question what we are doing or why we are doing it. Faith is fine, but by no means should you ever stop questioning. Whether it be cultural norms or the nature of reality.




I agree that we should be questioning in some beliefs, such as Hitler's beliefs. Those beliefs are the result of man at his greatest hour, eh? But you're comparing what Hitler wanted people to believe and do to what God wants us to believe and do. Not exactly an evil proposition.

How are we being black-mailed???


--------------------
The day will come when, after harnessing the ether, the winds, the tides, gravitation, we shall harness for God the energies of love. And, on that day, for the second time in the history of the world, man will have discovered fire.  -Teilard


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OfflineFrog
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Re: God's sovereignty and man's free will [Re: kaiowas]
    #2599695 - 04/25/04 02:14 AM (12 years, 7 months ago)

Modifying my "disagreement" a bit, now that I've had a little more time to think about it, but not saying I have hit it on the head, yet, cuz I'm still thinking about this...

Maybe God knew we were going to choose Him because He already knew us.  Keep in mind that this presumes that we are all Christians in this discussion.  I don't know how you could discuss this if you don't believe in God except to say that I am crazy.  :grin:

But whether we are incarnated for the first time or this is our thousandth time being here, God already knew us as the spirits we were in that other dimension known as "heaven". 

Maybe He knew us so well that He knew there was no chance that we would not choose Him.  So maybe it wasn't exactly predetermination, just sure knowledge, because He intimately knew those of us who would be incarnated here that would choose Him.

Does this make sense?  I'm still figuring this out, so feel free to yell.


--------------------
The day will come when, after harnessing the ether, the winds, the tides, gravitation, we shall harness for God the energies of love. And, on that day, for the second time in the history of the world, man will have discovered fire.  -Teilard


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Invisible2Experimental
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Re: God's sovereignty and man's free will [Re: Frog]
    #2599709 - 04/25/04 02:20 AM (12 years, 7 months ago)

"Maybe God knew we were going to choose Him because He already knew us. Keep in mind that this presumes that we are all Christians in this discussion"

God IS us... we are the very essence of 'him' so yes, that statement is correct... except the part about being christian... who is to say a druid or catholic does not know god?? Even though many people distort public religion, there are many who would seem blasphemous to the christian religion, who are actually closer to god tha n themselves


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OfflineFrog
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Re: God's sovereignty and man's free will [Re: CleverName]
    #2599714 - 04/25/04 02:22 AM (12 years, 7 months ago)

Clever, I don't think it means that God is playing favorites. I think He just already "knew" us, before we were incarnated as humans. He knew our "spirits" and knew that we would choose Him. He chose us first, but knew, at the same time, that we would choose Him.


--------------------
The day will come when, after harnessing the ether, the winds, the tides, gravitation, we shall harness for God the energies of love. And, on that day, for the second time in the history of the world, man will have discovered fire.  -Teilard


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Invisiblebert
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Re: God's sovereignty and man's free will [Re: Frog]
    #2599771 - 04/25/04 02:43 AM (12 years, 7 months ago)

Quote:

Frog said:

I agree that we should be questioning in some beliefs, such as Hitler's beliefs. Those beliefs are the result of man at his greatest hour, eh? But you're comparing what Hitler wanted people to believe and do to what God wants us to believe and do. Not exactly an evil proposition.

How are we being black-mailed???




I used Hitler as an example to emphasize my point that neither you nor anyone knows God's intentions, if God does exist. Hitler was a Christian and he invoked the Lord's name many times in order to further his goal of Aryan domination (he honestly believed he was working for the good of the world). Here is a quote by Hitler.

?Hence today I believe that I am acting in accordance with the will of the Almighty Creator: by defending myself against the Jew, I am fighting for the work of the Lord.? -Adolph Hitler

?I may not be a light of the church, a pulpiteer, but deep down I am a pious man, and believe that whoever fights bravely in defense of the natural laws framed by God and never capitulates will never be deserted by the Lawgiver, but will, in the end, receive the blessings of Providence.? -Adolph Hitler

So while even you may be good intentioned, the fact of the matter is that any human can never ever know God or what he intends. Not even your guru.
One can easily be led down dark paths of blindly trodden foot. So while God may exist, or not, I do not invest my belief in the Bible's teachings because there is always a filter.

Blackmail is when one uses threats to influence someone. Telling people that all non-Christians go to Hell fits the description (even if Christians believe it is in the best interests of others).


--------------------
Persons denying the existence of robots may be robots themselves.


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OfflineFrog
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Re: God's sovereignty and man's free will [Re: bert]
    #2599828 - 04/25/04 03:13 AM (12 years, 7 months ago)

Quote:

bert said:
I used Hitler as an example to emphasize my point that neither you nor anyone knows God's intentions, if God does exist.  Hitler was a Christian and he invoked the Lord's name many times in order to further his goal of Aryan domination (he honestly believed he was working for the good of the world).  Here is a quote by Hitler. 

?Hence today I believe that I am acting in accordance with the will of the Almighty Creator: by defending myself against the Jew, I am fighting for the work of the Lord.?  -Adolph Hitler

?I may not be a light of the church, a pulpiteer, but deep down I am a pious man, and believe that whoever fights bravely in defense of the natural laws framed by God and never capitulates will never be deserted by the Lawgiver, but will, in the end, receive the blessings of Providence.?  -Adolph Hitler




I agree with you that many people cite God as the authority behind their actions and beliefs, even when those same actions and beliefs are evil.  That's why we each of us have a brain:  To discern what's right and what's wrong. 

I have never understood this proposition:  "Because an evil person in the past invoked God's name when terrorizing humanity, I can never believe in God, and I hereby proclaim all Christians assholes." 

I like to do my own research on God, and mainly the bible is the mainstay of my research.  If someone does something in the name of God, but those actions are inconsistent with the bible, I figure that that person was probably using God as a Machiavallian justification.

Quote:

So while even you may be good intentioned, the fact of the matter is that any human can never ever know God or what he intends.  Not even your guru.




I totally agree with you, and I hope that in all the things I write, that I am not coming off sounding like I know God's mind.  I'm stumbling along, here.

Quote:

One can easily be led down dark paths of blindly trodden foot.  So while God may exist, or not, I do not invest my belief in the Bible's teachings because there is always a filter. 




Agreed, again.  But see, I'm pretty smart.  I may also be crazy, but let's put that aside for a minute or two or even longer.

I never do anything blindly.  Okay, I take that back.  I do lots of things blindly, but I also question anything that doesn't make sense.  As I've posted in this forum on several occasions, I have read the bible, I've gone to bible studies, I've read books, I've listened to various speakers, I've gone to college (which is the greatest place for debunking religion, imo), and I've talked to numerous people.  I, personally, am not proceeding blindly.

Quote:

Blackmail is when one uses threats to influence someone.  Telling people that all non-Christians go to Hell fits the description (even if Christians believe it is in the best interests of others).




Well, I know.  But keep in mind that if you don't believe in God, then there's no hell to worry about.  :grin:

:headbang:  <-----  I only put this here because I can't seem to find the right opportunity to use it, and he's so cute!!!


--------------------
The day will come when, after harnessing the ether, the winds, the tides, gravitation, we shall harness for God the energies of love. And, on that day, for the second time in the history of the world, man will have discovered fire.  -Teilard


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