What is free will?

Discussion in 'Other Christian Denominations' started by Earth Wind and Fire, Dec 17, 2011.

  1. Earth Wind and Fire

    Earth Wind and Fire
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    What is free will? Here is the easiest definition I have found: “God does not assert any power or influence over the will of human beings.”Is this true & if so, what are the implications?
     
  2. Jerome

    Jerome
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    Where did you find it?
     
  3. marke

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    When God sets before man two choices and asks man to choose one, God has played a role in presenting the choices, but man will contribute his part when he makes the choice. God will give the man the freedom to make his own choice without having the choice made for him by God.
     
  4. savedbymercy

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    It is a Myth

    One of the most misleading things that ever came out of the mouth and mind of the natural man, 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.


    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 ?

    Secondly, Jesus told them whose will they will do, He did not say that He gives them a choice !
     
  5. The Biblicist

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    Free will is the ability to choose between alternative choices without any external coercion according to your own emotional or intellectual desires!

    In this sense man's will is just as free as God's will!

    However, free will is not some independent entity that exists separate from the internal influences of human nature in man or divine nature in God.

    Free will is not an self-governing entity that acts independently of a human being or the divine Being. In other words, God's will does not operate independent of God's nature. Nor does man's will operate independent from man's nature. The will is the servant of man's heart just as the divine will is the servant of God's heart. Neither the will in man or God act contrary to the heart but simply serves to express emotional and intellectual desires when faced with alternative choices
     
    #5 The Biblicist, Dec 17, 2011
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  6. marke

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    You may be entirely correct, but I am not sure. This issue may be a little over my head for detail. When I think of freewill as it pertains to man's responsibility to God, I simply believe God has giving command to man to obey His word, but man has the liberty (or 'freewill', if you like) to obey or not, whichever he chooses. The choice is man's but the consequences are ordained by God regardless of the will of man.
     
  7. The Biblicist

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    There are only two Greek terms translated "will" in the New Testament.

    1. Boulomai
    2. Thelema

    The first characterizes the will as the expression of the intellect or determinate thoughful choice.
    The second characterizes the will as the expression of the emotional (love, hate) choice.

    Thus the will is simply the expression of our intellectual or emotional (love/hate) desires and thus the expression of our heart.

    Jesus told some they do not come to the light because they LOVE darkness and HATE light. As long as this is the condition of the heart man "can not" choose light and hate darkness simply because he "will not" do so until his heart changes from hate of light to love of light and love of darkness to hate of darkness.
    The same is true of the mindset of man in Romans 8:7; 1 Cor. 2:14. His mindset is in a state of war (enmity) and there is determination not to "submit to the law of God and neither indeed can be."

    Hence, the real issue concerning the will of man and his choice to come to the light revolves around the issue of how is the heart (mind/emotion) changed from hating to loving the light and from resistant war to submission to God's authority??? The will is simply the servant of heart expression and nothing more!
     
    #7 The Biblicist, Dec 17, 2011
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  8. Heavenly Pilgrim

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    HP: That is the silliest notion concerning a free will that I have ever heard. Sounds like someone is creating a paper duck to shoot at. Did savedbymercy put you up to this thread?:eek::)
     
  9. The Biblicist

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    We call this change of heart - repentance! However, who changes the heart? God or man? How would this relate to the Old Testament statement "Turn us and we shall be turned"??
     
  10. Heavenly Pilgrim

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    No one that I have hear of would even suggest such a notion as the OP suggests. God can force man to do anything whatsoever He wills. Man has no power to stop the hand of God. Never the less, when God forces mans hand to act in a particular fashion, moral blame or praise ceases to be predicated of the outcome.

    The question of free will is, does man have the power in and of himself to be the creator of his own moral choices or intents? Is man a first cause in his moral intents? To those questions I would say unequivocally yes. You may ask, but how does one know that he has such a power? God instilled conscience testifies by way of excusing or condemning ones intents. We know intuitively when we willing and freely choose to violate known commandments of God, either subjectively and intuitively known via God-instilled revelation or by study of His Word or by training from our parents and others. We know intuitively when we deserve and when we do not deserve moral praise or moral blame.

    One of the most basic notions that clearly testifies to a free will, is a clear consciousness of our will being a proper seat of praise or blame. Scripture clearly praises and or blames men for their intents, again showing that the will is indeed free and as such part of a responsible being, rightfully incurring moral praise and blame.

    Individuals like savedbymercy are simply not looking in the right place, the best place of revelation God has given to man to testify of a free will, i.e., the conscience. Looking at Scripture alone, to form ones mental philosophy, is sheer folly. Scripture assumes a mental philosophy but it does not spell it out in terms like ones own conscience testifies. Even the conscience of savedbymercy, while denying a freewil in their theology, knows intuitively via conscience when he/she is to be morally blamed or praised and why. He/she intuitively knows that they are responsible moral beings regardless of the inconsistencies in the theology held.

    We know intuitively that justice demands that if one is to be praised or blamed in moral issues. contrary choice is absolutely necessary. If one can do nothing other than what one does under the very same set of circumstances, no morality, no moral blame or praise, can be justly predicated of such actions. No reasonable person denies the truth of such a first truth of reason in reality, but many (Calvinist's and those leaning hard towards Calvinism especially) deny such a truth in their theology. Their error lies in trying to establish their mental philosophy without careful examination of the best source of God given knowledge concerning this issue, the conscience of man. Their approach could be likened to a judge throwing out the best available evidence in a court case and kidding himself that justice will be served.

    One has to bear in mind there are some who would deny a fly is sitting on their nose when the fly is in plain sight for all others to see precisely where such a one denies it sits. Take for instance savedbymercy and his/her comments.
     
  11. The Biblicist

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    Complete and absolute perversion of the position set forth. Indeed, the OP states the very opposite, that God does not coerce the human will! Did you even read it? If you did, then why make an accusation that directly contradicts what the OP states????????




    This is not the question! The OP is not considering PROOFS of a free will but rather what is the DEFINITION of a free will! Conscience may be considered a PROOF right versus wrong choice but has nothing to do with defining what is free choice.

    Man is not the first cause of the power of choice! Nor is man the first cause of moral absolutes. Neither is man the first cause of determination of what is moral verus immoral. Man did not "create" that power! God did! God is the first cause in regard to all the above things including the power of choice or the human will. Man is only the responsible cause of evil choice because God made him responsible by explicitly instructing him before hand what was the evil choice and what would be its consequences. Man is the responsible cause of evil intents.




    Nobody asked that question! The OP did not ask that question!






    In the case of Adam, SPECIAL REVELATION is what explicitly defined right versus wrong (Gen. 2:16) and thus is what informed the conscience what to approve and disapprove. Hence, the original source of conscience is SPECIAL REVELATION not general revelation!

    Hence, what is absolute foolishness is to depend upon natural revelation for salvation knowledge guided by conscience as no such general revelation of salvation exists in nature! Hence, it must be sought through SPECIAL REVELATION for conscience to appropriately know right from wrong in regard to choice in salvation options!

    This should be obvious except to spiritually blinded persons who put their trust in natural revelation and untrained conscience! It pleased God through the foolishness of preaching the gospel to save and that by definition is SPECIAL REVELATION concerning Jesus Christ as the Savior from sin. Jesus said, "NO MAN COMETH TO THE FATHER BUT BY ME" and thus without SPECIAL revelation of Christ there is no savlation (Jn. 17:2-3; 2 Cor. 4:6).
     
  12. billwald

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    "Free will" probably means that humans act according to their nature same as other critters do. For example, cats don't like water and exercise their free will to avoid swimming unless the situation is life threatening. In humans, the nature/nurture question comes into play. For example, most humans naturally adopt the religion and other teachings of their parents.
     
  13. quantumfaith

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  14. The Biblicist

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  15. Earth Wind and Fire

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    HP....you better get your head looked at. Is it your common practice to vilify fellow Christians who ask common sense questions? Or is it a level of insecurity on your part to read into things that arent there?
     
  16. Jerome

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    Well, where did you find this definition?
     
  17. Earth Wind and Fire

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    His (Quantums ) point is to provide definition for my question & thank you for doing that, the more I read the more I put the pieces together. While my question is construed as simplistic, I believe it to be the core thinking of the majority of common logical thinking population out there in the world.

    actually the wiki definition was an interesting read because it went through the motion's of defining what "Free Will" is for many different faiths. And since I was a RC for 32 years of my life...I found the RC definition most interesting.....here is a sampling:

    ...where Schillebeeckx states:"“Daring to call human beings to life creatively is from God's perspective a vote of confidence in humankind and in its history, without any condition being placed on human beings or any guarantee being asked of them. The creation of human beings is a blank check for which God alone is a guarantor. By creating human beings with their own finite and free will, God voluntarily renounces power. That makes [God] to a high degree dependent on human beings and vulnerable.”

    Perhaps this to a large degree why today I'm not a RC. I dont want God to be vulnerable. I dont want to be given a pass to sin & then be given absolution then go back to sinning.
     
  18. Earth Wind and Fire

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    In a book.
     
  19. Heavenly Pilgrim

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  20. Earth Wind and Fire

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    Why the one on a shelve. Would you like to guess the color? :laugh:
     

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