The Free Will of Man

Discussion in 'Other Christian Denominations' started by Heavenly Pilgrim, Jan 12, 2012.

  1. Heavenly Pilgrim

    Heavenly Pilgrim
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    One teaching that has its roots in not only the OT and Jewish thought, but the NT testament as well and clearly expressed by ECF, is the notion of the free will of man. The notions of original sin as taught by Augustine, denied that fundamental doctrine of the Church and supported by Scripture. There was no induction into the Church by pagan thought any notion of the free will of man. It had existed as excepted truth from the foundations and development of spiritual matters, as clearly attested to in OT writings and Jewish beliefs. Yet, this clearly well established notion was jettisoned by Augustine in his insistence that his notion of original sin be made mandatory dogma Church wide. His denial of the freedom of the will was absolutely and pivotally based upon the denial of free will. It was the driving factor in establishing Augustinian original sin, which induces inherited guilt.

    It is also interesting to see why it was he felt the teachings, he once clearly supported of the free will of man, needed to be discarded for the belief of the bondage of the will, as continued in the writings of Luther, Calvin, and others. It was not via the study of Scripture or the study of the ECF, but rather he looked introspectively at his own life as a pagan, and his seeming inability to will in any other direction than to follow the impulses of his flesh in fornication. Couple that with the clearly pagan notion that sin lied in the constitution of the flesh and not in the will, and Walla, we have a novel doctrine of original sin being introduced into the Church in direct opposition to over several thousand years of strongly held beliefs within the OT and Jewish religion as well as the NT Church and beyond, that man possessed a free will.

    It was this departure of belief in a free will, in direct opposition to the long standing belief in the free will of man, that opened the door to the novel doctrine of original sin Augustinian style.

    Try and find ECF who denied the free will of man besides Augustine. Even Augustine himself not only believed in the free will of man, but wrote no less than three volumes in support of it after being taught by Ambrose. He then turned from the teaching of the Church and his teacher Ambrose, and changed his mind in personal reflection, denying the clear teachings of the Church when he introduced the notion of original sin sans the free will of man.

    Of a truth, no notion of original sin can be understood without proper reflection into the Scriptural notion and long held beliefs prior to Augustine, of the free will of man.
     
    #1 Heavenly Pilgrim, Jan 12, 2012
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  2. The Biblicist

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    This is simply not true! The doctrine of original sin has nothing to do with the individual will or actions of Adam's descendents at all.

    Original sin is characterized by the FREE WILL CHOICE exercised by HUMAN NATURE in its TOTALITY as it consisted in ONE MAN. Thus "by one man's offence MANY be dead....were made sinners."

    Bondage of the will is CONSEQUENTIAL to the FREE CHOICE to sin by the totality of Humanity as it consisted in and thus participated in "one man."

    You will pervert, deny, and distort the BIBLICAL doctrine of original sin, and must do so, in order to establish your rationale that bondage of the will is responsible for the doctrine of original sin when in fact it is not. Bondage of the will has its basis in other scriptures dealing with the total depravity of human nature.

    The fact is that original sin is based upon an entirely different set of scriptures than the doctrine of bondage of the will. Moreover, there are theologians of many different persuasions in regard to the issue of the will who all believe in the doctrine of original sin.

    Original sin has to do with "one man" not with post-reproduced "many" and with one "offence" not post-individualized "many" and therefore the "will" of "one man" not post individualized will of many.

    Original sin has to do with the original man and the original sin whereas the issue of the will in regard to post-fallen man has to do with the consequences of the fall in other human beings.

    When you say that we deny FREEDOM OF THE WILL you pervert our position as the Biblical doctrine of original sin teaches that the FREE CHOICE OF HUMAN NATURE consisted and acted in "one man's offence" while the consequences of that offence permeated the human nature reproduced through Adam and Eve.
     
  3. plain_n_simple

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    So in short, he took his eyes off Him, and looked at self for direction and wisdom? Putting himself in bondage when he once was free.....
     
  4. Heavenly Pilgrim

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    HP: If morality is determined by a choice of the will, and man is born in such a state as to be a sinner and that continually, there is but one logical conclusion. Man has no freedom of the will. When men like Augustine and Cyprian, determined in their mind that it was absolutely impossible for them to stop the licentious pagan practices of wickedness, they concluded that fate of being born in human flesh alone was the sole cause. Being born a human in human flesh, which they obviously determined due to their pagan indoctrination was the cause of any and all evil in their lives as set forth by a guilty conscience, to be free from such inner guilt as a pagan came only by one source, i.e., via philosophical conclusions that they were not to be blamed due to the flesh that caused the problem in the first place. It boils down to a philosophy that proclaims, I am not so bad, you are not so bad, for neither of us in reality had any choice but to follow the flesh. The flesh is likened to a small boat being tossed by a violent wind. It is simply forced to go whether so ever it listeth.

    It is like the philosophical theory of Biblicist so common in Calvinistic circles or those leaning hard towards Calvinism. One can only 'choose' in the direction as ones flesh directs it to choose........ and then acts as if the will of man is free because it makes a choice(?) to follow the necessitated path the flesh determines it will act.

    What an absolutely convoluted contradictory philosophy such notions imbibe. 'Freedom to do' only what is necessitated by the flesh? That is the standard Calvinistic catch phrase, while in reality there is not one ounce of freedom in such a notion. The relationship that lies between the will and the doing is one of necessity, not freedom. One can 'ONLY do' as one wills. If one does something other than what it originally willed, it is living proof ones will has changed, or something unforeseen prohibited one from carrying out their chosen intention. Of a truth, there is not the least shred in the statement that one is "free to do as one wills." It is a mere sophism to give the appearance to be in accordance to freedom, when in reality it is nothing other than a statement depicting a system of necessity, not freedom. Their so-called "freedom to do" is no freedom at all. They blindly believe they have left the necessitated Calvinistic system, when in reality they are inseparably united to it and it logical consequences, via the notions of original sin.

    Original sin, in any Augustinian sense (attaching guilt via Adam's sin), and the bondage of the will, are two inseparable notions bound fast together, and never the twain shall they escape the logical consequences of the necessitated system they both imbibe.
     
  5. Heavenly Pilgrim

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    HP: If one is born into a state that one is bound to follow the dictates of ones self as you clearly say our will is bound to due to Adam's sin, it most certainly does effect the individual will and determines by necessity the actions of all of Adam's descendants, i.e., to sin and that alone and that continually.
     
  6. The Biblicist

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    Your whole argument completely ignores that the doctrine of original sin deals with the whole of human nature as it consisted in one man and that his free choice was the free choice of the entire existent human nature.

    You simply ignore that and make a jump to the individualization of that human nature through the process of reproduction.

    The doctrine of original sin deals with original sin "by one man" and one man's "offence" rather than many men and many men's offences.

    You place the cart before the horse in dealing with original sin. You argue from the post-fallen condition of men backwards instead of from the fall of man forwards.

    You ignore that all "men" with their individualized human nature were participants in one united human nature in the person of "one man" - Adam and thus all of human nature acted when Adam acted. Therefore you deny that FREE CHOICE was the choice of the entire human nature as it existed in one man! Hence, bondage of the will to sin is the consequence of that participant free will sin. Thus all men sinned when Adam sinned because all men were literaly and actually in Adam as one undivided human nature acting in Adam. Hence, "by one man's offence MANY be dead....MANY were made sinners.

    Adam acted in that capacity just as Jesus acted in the capacity of a SUBSTITUTE in his life and on the cross for "many" and thus when he died to sin for all those created in Christ (Eph. 2:10) died just as all those created in Adam died spiritually when when Adam died spiritually. This is precisely why only two men in human history are called "Adam" (first versus last or second).
     
    #6 The Biblicist, Jan 13, 2012
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  7. billwald

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    Is there an objective test for the free will of man? Exactly how do you know you have free will? In other words, how do you know the Holy Spirit or Satan isn't steering you on a subconscious level?
     
  8. The Biblicist

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    There are generally two tests. There is the test of Biblical truth (Isa. 8:20; 2 Tim. 3:16) and there is the test of manifest "fruit" of the flesh versus the Spirit (Gal. 5:16-23).

    It is probably true that "fruit" is inclusive of true versus false doctrine as well, but fruit of manifest character traits of the flesh versus the Spirit are more subjective and experiential.

    19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,
    20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,
    21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.
    22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
    23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
     
  9. Iconoclast

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    Free Will does not exist ...except as a false philosophical concept from the mind of Fallen man.
    Scripture speaks of mans will as self will.

    Jesus is the true Image bearer. He said this:
    Our will is never .....free.....to sin.......we are able to sin,but that is not "FREE".....

    Jesus never desired to think independantly of the will of the Father.

    Satan did.
     
  10. The Biblicist

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    I think "free" refers to freedom from EXTERNAL coersion in regard to alternative options and in that sense Adam was created with a "free" will. In that sense even fallen man has a "free" will.


    The problem is not the will but the heart. The will is but the servant of the heart. Indeed, the two Greek words translated will have in view the will under the direction of either the intellect or emotional aspect of man.

    Man is always presented with alternative options and is "free" from external coersion in choosing the alternative options. However, the will is not "free" from internal coersion. The heart is in bondage to sin and the will is but the servant of the heart. Man never ever chooses anything that he either does not intellectually select or emotionally select.

    The heart of fallen man LOVES darkness and HATES light and his choices are always in keeping with his heart. That is why he needs a NEW heart that will reflect choices in keeping with that NEW heart for "with the heart man believeth unto righteousness" (Rom. 10:10).

    Repentance is a change of heart where the heart no longer LOVES darkness but HATES darkness (repentance) and no longer HATES light but loves light (faith)
     
  11. Heavenly Pilgrim

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    HP: Strange, because from so many on this board that never really happens in the life of a believer for they keep right on sinning...with at least one preacher on this board claiming to sin every day in thought word and deed. He certainly is not the first or the last with such a testimony. How can one be said to be repentant if they still are sinning? What good is repentance if one has no change of life in regard to sin?
     
  12. savedbymercy

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    The Myth of God giving men freewill !

    One of the most misleading things that ever came out of the mouth and mind of the natural mind of men, is that God has given men a freewill. I have been reading, studying, and pondering scripture for well over 30 years now, and not once, have I seen the verse that says God is given men a freewill.

    I will be showing by scripture, how that hypothesis is simply not true, and therefore just the reasoning of the natural mind of men.

    Lets look first at a scripture of what Jesus said of some:

    Jn 8:44

    44Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do.

    First of all, which one of us had the freewill choice to choose who our Father would be ?
     
  13. Heavenly Pilgrim

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    HP: Every one that has sinned has chose their father in the sense of who they would follow. Adam chose his father to be Satan when he chose to willingly reject God's commands and disobey.

    Everyone that obeys the gospel is choosing their Father to be God. No one forces anyone to be saved. We have the ability to receive or reject the gospel message, both acts chosen by ones free will.

    For however long you have been studying, you have certainly been blinded to the truth in this area.
     
  14. The Biblicist

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    Did you choose your natural father? Did your supervise your physical birth? Did you choose your specific DNA?

    Paul states that physical birth is analogous to his spiritual birth when he said:

    Gal. 1:15 But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb, and called me by his grace,
    16 To reveal his Son in me,...."

    Note that Paul is PASSIVE in all of these things listed and only God is the ACTIVE agent in every thing listed. There is no "WE" or "Jesus and ME" in Paul's physical or spiritual birth.

    Remember, Paul was on his way to Damascus to persecute Jesus Christ when Christ saved him in spite of himself and his plans.
     
  15. savedbymercy

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    hp

    Thats a Lie. No one chooses who their Father is ! God chooses whose our Father, both Naturally and Spiritually !
     
  16. billwald

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    The Bible teaches that anyone who loves his neighbor is being steered by the Holy Spirit and anyone who does not love his neighbor is being steered by Satan.
     
  17. savedbymercy

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    The Godly knows that the freewill of man is a myth, because of such scriptures as:

    Ps 80:3,7,19

    Turn us again, O God, and cause thy face to shine; and we shall be saved.

    vs7 Turn us again, O God of hosts, and cause thy face to shine; and we shall be saved.

    vs 19 Turn us again, O LORD God of hosts, cause thy face to shine; and we shall be saved.

    Ps 85:4

    Turn us, O God of our salvation, and cause thine anger toward us to cease.


    This expresses first of all, a humble acknowledgment of God's Sovereignty, and secondly, a realization of inability and no confidence in the flesh.

    This is not the sentiment of those who believe and promote the myth that God has given men a freewill.
     
  18. Moriah

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    God knows our hearts, even before we are born. God knows who would choose His Son, and who would not. In addition, God also knew whom He would make Apostles, for the most important event in human life. How do you think this proves that we cannot choose to believe in Jesus after learning of Jesus? Paul says he was NOT naturally born. Why does that not show you that we all do have a choice? Paul was not naturally born; see 1 Corinthians 15:8. Jesus caused Paul to believe in him! Jesus caused Paul to believe in him by speaking to him on the road to Damascus. Since Paul says he was abnormally born, this shows we NATURALLY have a choice to believe in Jesus or not, without a special enabling, as taught by those who believe we do not have a choice.
     
  19. Moriah

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    Jesus does not normally reveal himself to those who do not love him, Jesus reveals himself to those who DO love him, see John 15:23. Jesus revealed himself to Paul, Paul in turn was ABNORMALLY born, abnormally born because Paul did NOT believe in Jesus. Paul believed in Jesus only after Jesus did something supernatural, and that supernatural act was to speak to Paul, after Jesus had already died and after Jesus ascended to heaven. Jesus gave Paul mercy, even though he did not believe in Jesus and even persecuted Christians. Again, this should show you that we naturally have a choice to believe in God, or not.
     
  20. Moriah

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    What you speak are lies. God SHOWS He ACCEPTS us by giving us His Spirit. God who KNOWS OUR HEARTS SHOWS He accepts us by giving us His Spirit. THAT is the WORD OF GOD. What you speak is the words of man.

    Acts 15:7-8 After much discussion, Peter got up and addressed them: "Brothers, you know that some time ago God made a choice among you that the Gentiles might hear from my lips the message of the gospel and believe. God, who knows the heart, showed that he accepted them by giving the Holy Spirit to them, just as he did to us.
     

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