Freewill a mistake by God?

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by canadyjd, Mar 23, 2011.

  1. canadyjd

    canadyjd
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    I had an opportunity to speak to a young man recently about his religious beliefs. He told me he had been a baptist, then a catholic, and now didn't believe God existed at all.

    The reason, he said, was that God made a mistake by giving mankind freewill. Mankind uses that freewill to rebel against God, and all sorts of evil (war, murder, rape, etc...) occurs because of that mistake by God.

    Since God made a mistake in giving mankind freewill, he argued, then God isn't perfect like the bible says He is. Since God isn't perfect like the bible says He is, then God isn't really God (as described by the bible) but "something else".

    My question to everyone, but especially those who believe freewill exists, how would you answer the charge that giving mankind "free-will" was a mistake by God, given the bible declares God to be perfect and full of love and compassion?

    peace to you:praying:
     
  2. Winman

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    Freewill does allow for rebellion and sin, but it also allows for love and obedience. Without freewill a man can be neither good or evil, he is simply a robot or a puppet.
    When God placed Adam and Eve in the garden, he placed the tree of knowledge of good and evil in easy reach. Did he do this to tempt them? No, because he clearly and sternly warned them they would die if they ate of it. This is a warning, not a temptation. But placing this tree in reach gave them the ability to show love and obedience, or hatred and rebellion. If God had put a great wall around this tree, man could neither be obedient or disobedient. How can man glorify God if he cannot choose to love and obey God of his own free will?
    Jesus said, If ye love me, keep my commandments. If we cannot make a choice to obey Jesus, we cannot love him.
     
    #2 Winman, Mar 23, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 23, 2011
  3. J.D.

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    How can it be a "mistake" if it ultimately accomplished God's plan and purposes?
     
  4. canadyjd

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    The young man would ask you if God's plan and purpose was to have war, murder, rape, and all sorts of evil in the world.

    The young man's argument was that it was a mistake because it resulted in evil. If God were perfect, as the bible says, and full of love and compassion, He would not have allowed evil to come into the world.

    That is why giving mankind "free-will" was a mistake, according to the man.

    peace to you:praying:
     
  5. menageriekeeper

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    Jd, I'm guessing this man would be equally horrified with the idea that not only did God allow evil into the world, but He purposed it and only saves a select few and send the majority to suffer endlessly in hell.

    There is no arguing with folks like this. Leave him with 1 Corinthians 1: 25 and let the Word and the Spirit do their job.
     
  6. J.D.

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    Perhaps it was necessassary for evil to come into the world so that God might separate lovers of evil from lovers of good. If there were no evil in the world, we would not know the joy of forgiveness. If there were no evil in the world, God's glory would not be magnified as it is in the praises of the redeemed.

    I know you know all that, but your friend will probably cast doubts on any answer you or I can give. Let's pray for him.
     
  7. J.D.

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    Yes, mankind is generally horrified at the thought of a Absolutely Sovereign God; and yes, his only hope is the work of the Holy Spirit.
     
  8. canadyjd

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    He didn't express any "horror" concerning the doctrines of grace. What he had been exposed to all his life was that mankind had "free-will" and the doctrine of free-will had left him disillusioned and near atheism.

    Quite frankly, from an unbeliever's viewpoint, he was very rational. God made a mistake by giving mankind "free-will" since it resulted in all sorts of evil coming into the world? Is this notion of God consistent with the "perfect" God of the bible, who is love and full of compassion?

    peace to you:praying:
     
  9. canadyjd

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    Of course, brother, thank you for reminding me.

    to menageriekeeper : Thank you for the response, and yes, I understand that God's Word and Holy Spirit can break the hardest heart.

    peace to you:praying:
     
  10. J.D.

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    I think your friend's question hits at the heart of Theology Proper. If things happened that God did not intend, then he must be imperfect. However, if all things (including evil) happen because God intended them, then he is perfect as long as things work out to His intended ends. The fact that God intentionally allowed evil to enter the world is a hard pill for man to swallow. But it is that very resistance to God's intensions that reveal our rebellious nature.
     
  11. canadyjd

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    I was somewhat impressed that someone so young (about 20) and not yet "educated" in theology could so well articulate the "problem of evil".

    The solution, as you have stated so well, is to embrace God's soveriegnty.

    peace to you:praying:
     
  12. J.D.

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    I believe all forms of unbelief and atheism has "The Problem of Evil" at the root. And admitting that a "problem" of evil even exists is tantamount to admitting that God exists. After all, if there is no God, what is "evil"? Can anyone define evil in a Godless world? No, no one can define evil without admitting to the existence of good and good's First Cause, God.

    Example:

    Believer:What is evil?
    Atheist: Killing 6 million Jews by Hitler, that was evil.
    B: If there is no God, how do we know that what Hitler did was evil?
    A: Because killing is wrong.
    B: But Hitler and his followers considered it a good thing to kill. Who are you to judge Hitler? How do we know that killing is wrong?
    A: Morals are subjective. It is the subjective opinion of most people that killing is wrong. Truth is subjective.
    B: If truth is subjective, why do you speak as if truth actually exists? And why do you speak of morals, as if there really were such a thing? Can you justify your opinion that killing is evil without using moral terms?
    A: No, I can only describe evil in moralistic terms.
    B: So you admit that morality exists? And by admitting that morality exists, are you admitting that truth exists, and that there must be foundational truths, and ultimate truths, and an Ultimate True Being that objectively determines what truth is, what morality is.
    A: Yes, I admit that morality exists, and that truth exists, but I still refuse to believe there is a God, and openly embrace an irrational worldview.
     
  13. menageriekeeper

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    :confused:

    So our choices are:

    a) God made a mistake when he allowed mankind freewill, because that in turn led to evil in the world

    or

    b) God intentionally created evil in the world

    Maybe I'm not seeing your point or you aren't seeing mine, I'm not sure. But which option leads to no evil in the world? Cause what your young man seems to be saying that a perfect God wouldn't allow evil.

    You and I both agree that not only is there evil in the world but God allows it (or created/willed it) but the fact of evil has no bearing on the perfection of God or His authority as master and creator of the universe to allow or create whatever He pleases! We would also agree that in the end God will have His way.

    The problem here is not this young man's view of freewill and the problems it may have caused. The problem is that this young man isn't willing to submit to a God who doesn't fit his (the young man) ideas of how the universe should be run. Its the same problem Adam and Eve had. They wanted what they wanted rather than what God wanted. They in essence refused to submit to the authority of He who created them. And that is exactly what your young man is doing. He's just found a more elaborate excuse than "the serpent said..."
     
  14. psalms109:31

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    Come to Christ

    All of us come to Christ in trust, Christ does the work it isn't that hard, His yoke is a light burden. It doesn't matter how you come just come.

    You probable should tell that person the same thing you would tell a Calvinist son or daughter who was raised up all their life being told they were chosen before the foundation of the world predestined for eternal life and chosen in the womb and when they got to be adult left God and said I make my own choices.
     
  15. Osage Bluestem

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    I would tell the kid that his mind has been warped by false doctrines and he should study Calvinism to learn the truth.
     
  16. psalms109:31

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    Children of God

    I heard many excuses like that one, they end up blaming God and or the people of God.

    That the people of God said that God changed them and they live like everyone else does, I don't see any change in them, they are hypocrites. That if God is going to send people to hell without no chance of redemption, I will rather go there.

    They can blame God and His people all they want when they end up in condemnation prepared for them, they would see the chance for their escape, but they choose the darkness themselves.

    Oh ,yeah those of you who think of us as hypocrite you should become a Christian, so there will be at least one that isn't.
     
    #16 psalms109:31, Mar 23, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 24, 2011
  17. jbh28

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    This is the classic question of the problem of evil.

    1. God is great
    2. God is good
    3. Evil exists.

    The problem is when we believe all three of these truths. How can a good God allow evil if he is powerful enough to not have allowed it? You can try to give him some answers, but we really don't have a full complete answer that they will be satisfied with. So...

    Just give him the "gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. " Answer his questions the best you can but try let the gospel do the work.
     
  18. canadyjd

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    From a unbeliever's or "free-will" perspective, perhaps those are the only options. I don't believe those are the only options.
    It's not just that God wouldn't allow evil. In his view, God isn't perfect (as the bible says He is) because God made a mistake when He gave mankind free-will.

    Every truth he has been taught about God, in his mind, has been brought into question because he has logically evaluated the doctrine of "free-will" and has come to the conclusion that God made a mistake.

    Quite frankly, this was the first time I've heard someone articulate the argument that "free-will" was a mistake. From an unbeliever's view point, I can see why that would make sense.

    What I'm trying to ask you (if you believe in "free-will), is can you explain why giving mankind "free-will" was not a mistake, given that it has led to indescribable cruelty and evil?
    So, you are saying the problem is that this young man wants to be the master of his own destiny?

    peace to you:praying:
     
  19. menageriekeeper

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    I'm absolutely saying that this young man doesn't want to submit to the authority of his own Creator and he has sought "logic" as an excuse for not doing so.

    He is already, on the premise of freewill and on the premise that God requires mankind to believe, the master of the two potential destinies God allows man: heaven or hell. He can choose to believe and pilot his boat right on up to heaven, or he can choose not to and take the fast elevator to hell.

    Why was creating freewill not a mistake? Would he have rather not existed at all? Or how about would he have rather been born perfect only to go poof! at the first sin he freely commits? Or how does being a robot sound to him? What sort of universe would he have created?

    Oh wait! He is the creation and not the Creator! He doesn't get to choose those things. He gets to live within the bounds his Creator gave him and he gets to choose from those same two paths I talked about above. He doesn't need an explanation of why freewill wasn't a mistake. What he needs is to submit to the God who created him and leave off his rebellion because he doesn't like being the clay and he'd rather be the potter.

    What was it the serpant told Eve? "You'll be like God!" and this kid evidently had rather believe Satan's lie rather than live with God's truth.
     
  20. canadyjd

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    Thanks for the feedback

    peace to you:praying:
     

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