Please sort this out...

Discussion in '2005 Archive' started by GrannyGumbo, Jun 13, 2005.

  1. GrannyGumbo

    GrannyGumbo
    Expand Collapse
    <img src ="/Granny.gif">

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2002
    Messages:
    11,414
    Likes Received:
    0
    I regularly post on our local newspaper forum. Recently a new poster joined and has posed some questions noone seems to be able to answer to his satisfaction. I will copy his post here and I'd appreciate any help...if not, I understand. Many thanks in advance. (If I do reply to him and use your info, I will give you credit if you'd like...or, if you care to answer him yourself, I can pm you the website).

    ***This is the post: "It is incredible to me that fundamentalists know what is wrong with everyone else's religion but they can't logically explain their own.

    In my questions about God vs. Evil all I got in the way of answers from the fundamentalists was the standard irrational nonsense which amounted to "I don't know".

    Hopefully I will get some logical answers to my next question. If I don't then I will assume that every time I scratch the surface of a fundamentalist all I actually end up with is an agnostic.

    Fundamentalists believe God is all knowing. I would hate to think anyone who believes in God would say God's knowledge is limited. That would make no sense at all and would indicate God is not allmighty.

    So if God knows everything...past, present and future then God knows what you will do in the next second, in the next minute, the next hour, the next day and so on and on. Since God knows every act you will commit before you commit it and you can't change what God already knows then you are bound to do exactly what God knows you will do. Which eliminates the notion of free will and therefore eliminates the idea of judgment.

    Would someone care to explain away that dilemma?"
     
  2. James_Newman

    James_Newman
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2004
    Messages:
    5,013
    Likes Received:
    0
    I suppose it eliminates the idea of judgment in the mind of some, but not according to the word of God. According to Romans 9, God shows mercy to whom He will. Even if you could say that God already knows what you are going to do (He does) you would be wrong to say that He could not judge you for it.

    Romans 9:19-23
    19 Thou wilt say then unto me, Why doth he yet find fault? For who hath resisted his will?
    20 Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus?
    21 Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honor, and another unto dishonor?
    22 What if God, willing to show his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction:
    23 And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory,

    We may not be able to understand everything in the Bible, but we can't go erasing the clear teachings of scripture just because we don't get it. It doesn't cause me concern to believe that God can foreknow everything I ever do while still maintaining my free will and responsibility to live holy. It just means that He is God and I am not.

    Psalms 131:1 A Song of degrees of David. LORD, my heart is not haughty, nor mine eyes lofty: neither do I exercise myself in great matters, or in things too high for me.
     
  3. Brian30755

    Brian30755
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2005
    Messages:
    550
    Likes Received:
    0
    What he's saying isn't making sense to me.

    1. Yes, we have free will.

    2. Yes, God judges sin and yes, a day of judgment is coming for all of us.

    3. Yes, God knows everything. He knows what we will do in the next second, in the next minute, the next hour, the next day and so on and son.

    I don't understand how or why he's saying that number 3 makes number 1 not true. Yes, we have free will. Yes, God knows what we're going to do. I don't understand why he thinks both of these can't be true.
     
  4. Pastor Larry

    Pastor Larry
    Expand Collapse
    <b>Moderator</b>
    Moderator

    Joined:
    May 4, 2001
    Messages:
    21,763
    Likes Received:
    0
    IT is based on faulty thinking. The fact that an outcome is known beforehand does not eliminate responsibility. Something is wrong when it is wrong, not when it is not known about beforehand.

    This is no problem for free will. Free will is not the ability to do anything at all. Man has free will, but isn't free to spend the next ten days (or ten minutes) underwater without a mechanical breathing appartus. Free will means that one can operate freely according to his nature. He can do what he wants to do. And so he does. God's knowledge (and decree of determination, IMO) does not limit one's free will. One's free will operates within the bounds of God's knowledge and plan.

    This is a typical question from someone who has not been taught to think critically about worldview issues. It is a common ruse to try to undermine God. This guy may be honest in asking it. Most are not.

    But as Mark Twain was reported to have said, It is not the things I don't understand about God that bother me; it is the things I do understand. This questioner has plenty of things he does understand to respond to. To chase a rabbit trail is the ultimate example of denial of responsibility.
     
  5. Gold Dragon

    Gold Dragon
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2005
    Messages:
    3,837
    Likes Received:
    3
    Some may use it as a ruse, but many honest inquiring Christians ask these same questions. I believe the problem lies with trying to impose a human temporal understanding of determinism on a God who is beyond the temporal.
     
  6. Pastor Larry

    Pastor Larry
    Expand Collapse
    <b>Moderator</b>
    Moderator

    Joined:
    May 4, 2001
    Messages:
    21,763
    Likes Received:
    0
    Didn't I say that?
     
  7. Gold Dragon

    Gold Dragon
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2005
    Messages:
    3,837
    Likes Received:
    3
    Didn't I say that? </font>[/QUOTE]Yes you did.
     
  8. Bob Krajcik

    Bob Krajcik
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2000
    Messages:
    1,282
    Likes Received:
    0
    Those that are not saved see Jesus that way. They are not satisfied with Him. When they see Him, there is no beauty that they should desire Him (Isa 53:1-3; 1Cor 2:14).

    I hope this is some help. Were a person to know that God shall bring every work to judgment, Ecclesiastes 12:14 (KJV) For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil, and were that person to discover they were on a path that led to destruction because of their own sin, and were that person sorrowful at offending our Righteous God, and if that person realized God is merciful to the broken hearted, then that person would convert and cry for mercy and turn from his own path. Their remaining on the path of destruction with a fatalist attitude shows they do not fear the Lord. God does know the end of a matter from the beginning. Man is shown the end result of their own sin. They are commanded to repent and turn from their wicked ways. Not all have faith, and not all fear the Lord thus there is no change in their path (Ps 55:19; Rom 3:16-18; 2Thess 3:2).

    By grace,
    Bob Krajcik
    Mansfield, Ohio
     
  9. jdcanady

    jdcanady
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2005
    Messages:
    393
    Likes Received:
    0
    God vs. Evil? Or "Why evil?"

    If God is truly all powerful (He is) and all knowing (He is) and all loving (He is) then why did He allow Adam and Eve to sin? Why not create them so that it was not possible to sin. Why put the tree of the knowledge of good and evil in the garden in the first place?

    Many put the focus on some concept of free-will. God wanted us to choose Him of our own free will so He had to make us with the ability to choose or reject. "God didn't want a bunch of robots", they say.

    I don't see us as having "free-will". The term implies the ability to choose without an outside influence. The sin in our life (both orgional sin and moral sin) influences our decisions.

    Martin Luther proposed that our sin was an elephant and we were a gnat on the elephant's rear end. To the extent the gnat controls the movement of the elephant is how much control an unbeliever has over the sin in his life. If the gnat can defeat the elephant, we can defeat sin and choose God.

    There are other influences in our lives. Satan and his demons influence our decisions. Other people under the control of their own sin influence our decisions.

    Those who advocate the position of free-will would have the unbeliever fighting all these influences on their own and the only person in the universe that can help (God) sits on the sidelines, rooting for them I guess, but making no effort to "force His love upon us".

    Fortunately for us, scripture is clear that God alone has free-will and He has decided to show mercy on His sheep. He draws them by His Spirit, who changes their very nature (regeneration), convicts them of their sin, brings them to repentance, gives them faith to believe, unifies them in their assemblies, illumines their minds with the truth of His word, and keeps them for the day of Christ's coming.

    What then is the answer to the question, "Why evil? He did it for His sheep.

    First, God did not create mankind because He was lonely or needed us for some reason. He created us to worship Him, ascribe glory to Him, and enjoy Him forever. To accomplish that, God had to reveal Himself to His creation.

    By allowing evil into the world, God set in motion His plan that culminated in the Cross. The cross of Christ reveals something about the nature of God that could not be revealed without the fall of man.

    Those who worship God in heaven will know that He loves them so much He is willing to die for them. Our understanding of that fact allows us to ascribe more glory to Him, and to appreciate and enjoy Him much more than we could have otherwise.
     
  10. Humblesmith

    Humblesmith
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2005
    Messages:
    698
    Likes Received:
    0
    The dilemma is due to a fault in the logic.....in logic, it is, if I remember correctly, officially called a "false dilemma". It incorrectly compares two things that appear to contradict, but in fact do not.

    The fault is in the emphasis on "God knowing before". This is a true statement, but applied falsely to this situation. Just because God knows exactly what we will freely choose, it does not follow that our freedom is removed.

    Further, God is not limited by time. While from our perspective God knows "before", from His perspective He is eternal.....God is in one big "now". Think of it this way: Yesterday I freely chose to wear a white shirt. I freely chose this white shirt, no one forced me, it was my decision. I could have freely chosen a brown shirt, but yesterday I chose the white one of my own free will. Today, my choice (to wear a white shirt yesterday) is determined (fixed), and can't be changed. But God is not bound by time....God knew two days ago that I would freely choose a white shirt yesterday.

    So the answer is quite simple if you know the quirk in the language.
     
  11. ituttut

    ituttut
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2004
    Messages:
    2,674
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hi GG: I would ask first whoever this person is if they believe the Bible is the Word of God. If not, you are spinning your wheels for you will not be able to prove the believable to the unbelievable.

    If the answer is yes, then ask why they do not believe Isaiah 55:8-9, "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. 9. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts"?

    The answer is God's thoughts are higher than theirs, so they’ll not understand. Christian faith, ituttut Galatains 1:11-12
     
  12. Dave Ekstrom

    Dave Ekstrom
    Expand Collapse
    Guest

    Some excellent responses to this question. The questioner sounds like an Open Theist. The problem arises because he insists on defining free-will in terms of always having an alternative. Defined that way, he's right. If God infallibly knows Jones is going to wear a white shirt tomorrow, then Jones is not free to wear a brown shirt.
    But who says that alternative choices is the right definition of free will? I think it's bogus. As someone else already stated, if Jones chose to wear the white shirt without being compelled by anyone else, then Jones' choice was free, regardless of whether or not God already knew that he would wear it and not the brown one.
     
  13. Dave Ekstrom

    Dave Ekstrom
    Expand Collapse
    Guest

    Fallacy of Alternative Choices
    Someone came up with this "counter-factual," a scenario that shows the fallacy of this claim about alternative choices. I've adapted it.
    Jones is going to buy a parcel of land. There are two parcels available that meet his criteria, one in Marinette, WI and one across the river in Menominne, MI.
    Smith owns the parcel in Marinette and wants Jones to buy it. Unknown to Jones, Smith has invented a Hypno-Ray Gun. If Jones attempts to buy the parcel in Menominee, Smith will hypnotize him and tell him to buy the one in Marinette.
    Jones is looking at the two brochures. Before Smith can shoot him with the Hypno-Ray Gun, he chooses to buy the parcel in Marinette. With an evil snicker Smith realizes that Jones, of his own free will, chose the parcel in Marinette, even though Jones really was determined to buy it anyways.
    Many philosophers have conceded that this counter-factual proves that alternative choices is not a true definition of free will.
     
  14. HankD

    HankD
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 14, 2001
    Messages:
    15,126
    Likes Received:
    320
    It can't be "explained away".
    There is an answer but we are unable to find it.

    Ecclesiastes 8:17 Then I beheld all the work of God, that a man cannot find out the work that is done under the sun: because though a man labour to seek it out, yet he shall not find it; yea further; though a wise man think to know it, yet shall he not be able to find it.

    Isaiah 55
    8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD.
    9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.

    And in reality you/we don't want to know it:

    John 3
    19 And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.
    20 For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.
    21 But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.

    Stop trying to blame God for your evil and come to the light.

    HankD
     
  15. Humblesmith

    Humblesmith
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2005
    Messages:
    698
    Likes Received:
    0
    I just don't see it as being complicated.

    1. There is no conflict in God's foreknowledge and our free will.

    2. There is no conflict in a being not limited by time (God) determining something in time.
     
  16. Deborah B.

    Deborah B.
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2004
    Messages:
    147
    Likes Received:
    0
    I don't see how people make this concept so confusing, because it is not confusing at all. Just because God can "see into the future" does not mean that He takes away or changes any of the choices that we make and our free will. Kind of like if you were looking out your window and watching children playing outside and you could fast foward into the future and watch what the children were doing the next day, etc. You would know what the children were going to do beforehand, but that would not change actions that the children choose to do themselves (their free will).
     
  17. Sularis

    Sularis
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2000
    Messages:
    940
    Likes Received:
    0
    Man ya'll just make it more complicated then need be

    Deborah excellent last post - I agree with you atm

    Just answer the question folks - dont go into a long diatribe about how the question is evil incarnate to you - it really clogs up the boards - just like this post is ;)
     
  18. GrannyGumbo

    GrannyGumbo
    Expand Collapse
    <img src ="/Granny.gif">

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2002
    Messages:
    11,414
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thank you all very much for your sincere responses! Many have "tried" to help this man, to no avail; we are all 'agnostics'. Tho' I haven't brought all of his replies back over here, this is the latest one:

    "Excuse me? This is exactly why I posed the dilemma. To prove that people like you who claim to speak for God and claim to know what God IS or ISN'T going to do actually know nothing. I have given you every opportunity to explain the nature of God both as it relates to "good vs. evil" and as it relates to "free will" and all you and your "helpers" can do is quote scripture that has nothing to do with the subject at hand and retreat into agnosticism. And yet, YET after proving that you know absolutely nothing about the nature of God you STILL have the audacity to inform me what God thinks about me. Pardon me if I don't put any stock into information about God coming from someone who has proved they know absolutely nothing about God. Apparently your God is a God of blood lust. Mine isn't. I prefer to use my God given mind to search for truth. You prefer to close your mind and accept anything that you think benefits YOU in the long run. Eventually we will see which one of our positions God prefers. My truth seeking wisdom or your self serving ignorance."
     
  19. jdcanady

    jdcanady
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2005
    Messages:
    393
    Likes Received:
    0
    Granny

    His mind is made up. It has been my experience that once someone is losing a debate and they fall back into name-calling and personal attacks, you are better off moving on to something else. Don't forget his name and avoid him in the future. He will forge a god in his own mind according to his own liking and according to what makes him feel the best, rather than on the clear teaching of scripture.
     
  20. Exile

    Exile
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2004
    Messages:
    46
    Likes Received:
    0
    The "God is beyond time" theory to explain predestination is a popular one, but it seems to posit a universe where time unwinds with little or no divine intervention. God simply sees things happen and then He reacts. But there's no question that God does ordain certain events (the Crucifixion, for example), so why can He not direct various episodes in my life to suit His purposes? Would I know the difference if my thoughts were influenced by Him or came fully from my own heart? I doubt it. I sometimes wonder why we get so upset about free will, when we're not aware of when (or if) it is being violated. In any case, it's a fallacy to assume free will (defined as autonomous self-determination) is necessary for moral responsibility. No biblical passage demands that connection.
     

Share This Page

Loading...