Do we really have free choice?

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by reformedbeliever, Dec 21, 2006.

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  1. reformedbeliever

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    If God knows all that will be, who will be saved and who will not, do we really have free choice? Whether you believe that God bases His choice of people to salvation upon His foresight of who will believe or base it upon God's foreknowledge of who will believe, we will believe, or not, based upon what God already knows. How are our choices free? Don't everyone fall over each other trying to be the first to answer.
     
  2. Helen

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    Suppose I am looking at a child climbing a tree. I can see exactly where every branch leads. But that does not stop the child from choosing exactly where he is going, assuming he does not fall out of the tree. Now, condense time so that I am outside of it. I can see what the child is going to do start to finish. Does that mean I have determined it?

    No, it does not.

    God knows our choices and holds us accountable for them, but He does not make them for us.
     
  3. reformedbeliever

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    False analogy. You are not God. Helen, I appreciate your trying to answer, but really, I've heard all those arguments.

    Does God know what we will choose? Yes
    Can we choose other than what God knows we will choose? No

    Any other answers for this question?
     
  4. Joseph_Botwinick

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    Suppose I am with my 3 year old at Mcdonalds and my son is about to run in front of a car. The Arminian dad would allow my 3 year old child to get run over because he doesn't want to interfere with his free will choice. The Calvinist dad would grab my 3 year son by the arm and yank him back out of danger regardless of his free will choice.

    Merry Christmas!:wavey: :laugh:

    Joseph Botwinick
     
  5. reformedbeliever

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    You should feel special Helen. Usually Joseph answers with one sentence or one word. You merited three. :laugh:
     
  6. Joe

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    Genesis 6: 5-6
    5: The the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually
    6: And the Lord was sorry tht he had made man on earth, and He was grieved in his heart

    To me, this implies the Lord was not expecting the wickedness of man to be as great as it was, and the Lord was was sorry he made man. This appears to back up the argument that we DO have free choice, as somehow, the Lord allows us to choose. And after we do choose, the Lord can decide he is grieved enough to regret making us in the first place. Grieved enough to give us only two choices, heaven or hell (Both created by him)
    Not a very uplifting thought, since if the Lord is grieved, Hell is likely the destination.
     
    #6 Joe, Dec 21, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 21, 2006
  7. reformedbeliever

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    Thanks Joe. That is anthropomorphic language that God used. Do you really think God was surprised?
     
  8. Joe

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    Reformed,
    I believe in a way he is surprised. Since he is all knowing, if he chooses to "fast forward" the tape to what will occur, he can. Somehow he knows, but at times, he doesn't know. I know it doesn't work this way, but it's the closest analogy I can come up with. I would also like to hear others responses.
     
  9. Jim1999

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    Why does not anyone talk about the permissive will of God when discussing the so-called free will of man?

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  10. Joe

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    Joseph,

    I think the athiest dad would have shown his child the movie "Super Size Me" so they wouldn't have been at Mickey D's in the first place :laugh:
     
  11. reformedbeliever

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    Well Joe.......... nice cat, and welcome to the bb. Joe do you think God has anything to learn from man? God is all knowing and He knows the beginning to the end. He has decreed all that happens. Anthropomorphic language is speaking in human terms or giving God human characteristics for man to be able to relate. God was not surprised at all. God knew exactly what evil men were going and are going to do.
     
  12. reformedbeliever

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    Hello Jim. I appreciate your comments and really enjoy reading your posts. I'm not so sure I agree with all the supposed wills of God. I think what God wills, He accomplishes. I know He takes no pleasure in the destruction of the wicked, but He knows the wicked will perish, and what He knows to be will be. I don't buy into the argument that 2 Peter 3:9 is God's permissive will. I think Peter was writing to the elect. The all in the Timothy verse is the same as all sorts of. I do not think that God is really willing that none (inclusive) will perish. I think He is willing that some will.
     
  13. Not_hard_to_find

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    Those two questions/answers do not indicate God made the choice. What statement is missing between them?
     
  14. Joe

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    Hmmm....Reformed I have yet to decide.I am tempted to say God knew the beginning until the end, yet some verses seem to condradict that. This has been a struggle for me for a while now...I don't know if God learns from man, but I know he gains pleasure from man. Thanks for the welcome!

    Jim, I don't know why that is. Maybe we become self centered when talking about free will since it automatically means taking personal responsiblity.
     
    #14 Joe, Dec 21, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 21, 2006
  15. swaimj

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    When I got up this morning, I opened my drawer. In the drawer were blue socks, brown socks, grey socks, and white socks. I picked up the white socks and I put them on and I have worn them all day today.

    Or did I pick the socks?

    God knows the end from the beginning. He planned every great event and every small incident; consequential and trivial from before time began. He has always known all things. He knew that I would pick white socks. He ordained that I would pick white socks. He gave me the intellect to choose white socks and the ability to pick them up and put them on. He did not wonder what I would choose. He knew it. He planned it. He ordained it. He brought it about.

    And yet I chose the white socks freely and I could have picked any other pair in the drawer and I could have chosen to forego socks altogether.

    If a person goes with scenario one and denies scenario two; he denies God's sovereignty. If a person goes with scenario two and rejects one. He is a fatalist.

    So I conclude that both are true. I cannot explain it. I cannot reconcile it. Yet, both sides of the picture are true.
     
  16. Not_hard_to_find

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    Suppose it's your 30 year old son -- do you still jerk him by the arm?
     
  17. Jim1999

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    Swaimj,
    Good to see you.

    Both are possible when we consider the permissive will of God under the absolute sovereignty of God. I draw two circles, one with the other. The larger circle being the sovereign will of God. It is absolute. The small circle being the persmissive will of God. This is man's sphere of operation and that relative free will is there, but still under the sovereign will of God. God maintains absolute sovereignty, and man has a relative free choice. Man can never pass into the outer circle. That is God's alone.

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  18. reformedbeliever

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    I suppose I'm a fatalist then. How can we choose other than what God knows? We can not. I do know we are responsible for our *choices*, but i'm not sure why. The Bible says so, so we are. If that is fatalist... so be it. Should we lie to people and tell them different?
     
  19. reformedbeliever

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    Where does this permissive will come from Jim? Seriously. Are we trying to appologize for our doctrine? Or for God?
     
  20. Joe

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    Yes, that sounds right Jim :thumbs: It's just relative to how much influence God has on our decisions "within the smaller circle". Are our decisions completely ours? Well no, not all of them because the holy spirit can guide us.
    Confusing stuff....:tonofbricks:
     
    #20 Joe, Dec 21, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 21, 2006
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