Free Will?

Discussion in 'Other Christian Denominations' started by Dylith, Oct 22, 2006.

  1. Dylith

    Dylith
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    I am seeking a better understanding of religions in general. I have come to this board to discuss several theological ideas with baptists so that I can further my understanding of the baptist community.

    First, I wanted to ask your views on the topic of Free will. Does your faith allow for the freedom of man's will? Personally, through my studies I have come to the conclusion that free will doesn't really exists in the scriptures. What are your thoughts?
     
  2. canadyjd

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    I don't think the moderators are going to allow you to post in the "Baptists Only" forum.

    The doctrine of "free will" finds a wide variety of expressions and understanding among Baptists , however.

    peace to you:praying:
     
  3. Dylith

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    Oh I didn't notice, this was the only theology sub-forum I saw. I am not here to push a specific belief, I am just curious about the beliefs of the baptist community.

    In fact, the only reason why I stated my opinion is because in all of the other forums that I have visited not stating your own opinion when starting a thread is "looked down upon."

    I Just want to know who here believes in free will and why and who here does not and why, and if there is a general concensus among the Baptist community.
     
  4. l_PETE_l

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    Man does have free will, but lacks ability to do anything Godly on His own.
     
  5. Dylith

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    So how do you define godly? Godly as in being good? Do you feel that we have the ability to choose God? To what extent specifically does our free will run?
     
  6. dan e.

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    I would say that the will of man is not free in the sense of being able to choose his/her own decisions that are righteous, or unrighteous. Things that are good, or bad. In other words, there is something in the nature of humanity that naturally draws us to make decisions that are selfish, and what the Bible would declare is wrong (or, sin). It is like feeding a bail of straw to a lion in a cage. That lion would sit in the cage, and starve to death. It would not come across it's mind to eat the straw. It is not in it's nature. Likewise, humans, left on their own, will naturally make decisions that revolve around the self, and their own well-being, and are contrary to Scripture. I believe that it takes a drawing from the Spirit of God, and a change of the heart, for us to make decisions that are righteous and Godly. When becoming a Christian, the Bible teaches that the Holy Spirit dwells inside of you, and gives you the sense and ability to understand and make righteous decisions. The Apostle Paul describes our will before becoming Christians as being slaves to sin. Once a Christian, the Holy Spirit frees you from that slavery, and makes us a new creation. Although still influenced to revert back to our old ways, we have the ability, through the Holy Spirit, to make right decisions. To put it this way, before being a Christian we have an old pair of shoes on (representing the will that is not free, but naturally sinful). When the Holy Spirit changes us, we put on a new pair of shoes (we become new creations). We still may sometimes be tempted to put back on our old pair of shoes. Some may disagree with details of what I've said. But that is my view.
     
  7. l_PETE_l

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    well said Dan
     
  8. reformedbeliever

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    Many here would believe in libertarian free will. They may advocate amoral choices. They would not believe that God in His providence, causes outside factors that cause us to make the choices we make. They think that this would make Him the author of sin. I personally do not believe we make amoral decisions, normally. I believe that God's providence causes us to make the decisions we make. As far as doing anything that would be against God's nature, He allows mankind to do as they willingly do.... sin. God is sovereign and mankind are responsible for their sin. The Bible teaches both, so I teach both. I can not put my arms around it, but I can't quite put my arms around the fact that God is one God in three persons (trinity). There are many truths taught in the Bible that I think we as theologians, need to just allow to be truth. It is true whether we believe it or not... His truth does not depend on us. Scripture is God breathed and is inerrant in the original autograph. When we as theologians try to advocate what is not in His revealed word, we are in error.
     
  9. canadyjd

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    Mankind has "humanwill" that is far from free, though we are responsible as moral agents for the decisions we make.

    The idea of "free-will" is the second oldest lie on earth, just after "thou shall not surely die". The lie of Satan to Eve was that she would be "like God" knowing good and evil. The obvious conclusion is that if they ate of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, they would no longer have any need for God in their "free-will" choices. They could always choose the good over the evil.

    The idea of "free-will" was a lie from the beginning.

    peace to you:praying:
     
  10. Dylith

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    Thank you for your response.

    Just to make sure I understand what it is you are saying:

    I understood most of your thoughts, but there was one point that seemed a little blurry to me. Do you believe that people have the free will to become Christians?
     
  11. TomMann

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    Dylith, I believe you were politely informed that this is a Baptist only forum. So I would wonder why you are continuing to post??????
     
  12. whatever

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    I don't think there is a consensus about anything among Baptists except for fried chicken and maybe the sin of non-Baptists posting in the wrong forums. I personally like fried chicken and I don't care who posts where, but it ain't my board so it doesn't matter what I think about that.

    As for free will, I think you really need to define it before you can expect to get any good information. You might try the "Other Christian Denominations" forum. (I first typed "Demoninations" - perhaps a Freudian slip?)
     
  13. Pipedude

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    That's an important point. Volition is a mystery. It inheres in the image of God, which we bear as humans.

    You will get no agreement as to the definition of "free will."
    Another excellent observation.
     
  14. Dylith

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    Oh, Well I won't post any new topics. Might as well not let this topic go to waste though. I really wanted responses from a purely baptist community though so I thought I'd try. I'd just attend baptist worship services, but the nearest baptist church to me is a little far out owing to the fact that I do not own a car. i'm not in this forum to answer theological questions, just to ask them.
     
  15. Dylith

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    Ok, ok i'll leave. :) didn't realize it was that strict. My apologies.

    Dylith out.
     
    #15 Dylith, Oct 22, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 22, 2006
  16. Helen

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    Dylith, in one way the Baptists are like Jews: get two of them talking and you will have three opinions!

    The Bible tells us to seek God, to choose this day whom we will serve, and God even invites the nonbeliever to reason with Him. Do we have the free will to believe? If we don't, the Bible is a waste of time, evangelism is nonsense, and we are all spiritual robots.

    God gave us the freedom to choose what road we wish to take in life. Keep in mind, though, that to want something does not necessarily mean you can make it happen. You can want salvation and an eternity in heaven, but you cannot make it happen yourself. That is something Jesus did, and it is only in Him we can get that love and acceptance and joy and peace we really all do want. So believing in the sense of casting one's total trust and life on Christ is the key to the whole thing.

    We can 'do' one thing for ourselves: we can give up. And give up to Him. He has done everything else. But we do have that choice -- to live for ourselves or to give up to Him and ask Him to take over and live in us. The latter is what 'born again' means, for He does not refuse the heartfelt longing of a person for Him, no matter how unworthy we feel (in fact, if a person feels 'worthy', then they are trusting in themselves and not in Him), and He then gets rid of our old sin nature and inbues the person with a new nature and the gift of the indwelling Holy Spirit. That person is then predestined to become transformed to the image of Christ. That is the 'predestination' the Bible speaks of. No one is predestined to become a believer, but all believers are predestined to be conformed to the image of Christ and in Paul's letter to the Philippians (1:6) we read the promise that He is faithful to complete the good work He has begun.

    So we cannot achieve or maintain salvation for ourselves, but we have been given the gift of being able to freely want or reject it in the person of Jesus Christ.
     
  17. El_Guero

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    To be fair, what is your statement of faith?

     
  18. dan e.

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    Wow, I didn't realize it was that strict either. My goodness.
     
  19. webdog

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    Why not ask to have this thread moved to the "other christian denominations" forum? Us baptists post there too, you know! :D
     

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