What scriptural evidence is there for...

Discussion in '2000-02 Archive' started by Joseph_Botwinick, Dec 27, 2002.

  1. Joseph_Botwinick

    Joseph_Botwinick
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    Free Will. I know that emotionally, I just don't like the idea of Five point calvinism, and that I would prefer to believe that we have free-will. But, sometimes our feelings don't change the truth and we can be wrong. Our feelings and emotions are not in question here, so please do not appeal to them. I would prefer to stick only with what scripture actually says. So, to repeat the question:

    What SCRIPTURAL EVIDENCE is there for free-will?

    Joseph Botwinick [​IMG]
     
  2. Joseph_Botwinick

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    No response yet? Cetainly there is at least one scripture that could be shown as evidence for free will. Certainly, by the time I get home tonight from Tae Kwon Do, there will be more posts here. See you all later.

    Joseph Botwinick [​IMG]
     
  3. Helen

    Helen
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    Hi Joseph,
    Our pastor calls it the "Holy Paradox" because there are Scriptural passages that can be used for both sides. With that bow to the Calvinists, here:

    Now what I am commanding you today is not too difficult for you or beyond your reach. It is not up in heaven, so that you have to ask, 'Who will ascend into heaven to get it and proclaim it to us so we may obey it?' Nor is it beyond the sea, so that you have to ask, 'Who will cross the sea to get it and proclaim it to us so we may obey.' No, the word is very near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart so you may obey it.

    See, I set before you today life and prosperity, death and destruction. For I command you today to love the Lord your God, to walk in his ways, and to keep his commands, decrees and laws; then you will live and increase, and the Lord your God will bless you in the land you are entering to possess.

    But if your heart turns away and you are not obedient, and if you are drawn away to bow down to other gods and worship them, I declare to you this day that you will certainly be destroyed. You will not live long in the land you are crossing the Jordan to enter and possess.

    This day I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live and that you may love the Lord your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him. For the Lord is your life, and he will give you many years in the land he swore to give to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

    Deuteronomy 30:11-20

    Now fear the Lord and serve him with all faithfulness. Throw away the gods your forefathers worshiped beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord. But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your forefathers served beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord."
    Joshua 24:14-15

    [wisdom is speaking]Then they will call to me but I will not answer;
    they will look for me but will not find me.
    since they hated knowledge
    and did not choose to fear the Lord...

    Proverbs 1:28-29

    "To the eunuchs who keep my Sabbaths,
    who choose what pleases me
    and hold fast to my covenant --
    to them I will give within my temple and its walls
    a memorial and a name better than sons and daughters;
    I will give them an everlasting name
    that will not be cut off.
    And foreigners who bind themselves to the Lord to serve him,
    to love the name of the Lord, and to worship him,
    all who keep the Sabbath without desecrating it
    and who hold fast to my covenant --
    These I will bring to my holy mountain
    and give them joy in my house of prayer.
    Their burnt offerings and sacrifices
    will be accepted on my altar;
    for my house will be called
    a house of prayer for all nations.'

    Isaiah 56:4-8

    "But as for you who forsake the Lord
    and forget my holy mountain,
    who spread a table for Fortune
    and fill bowls of mixed wine for Destiny,
    I will destine you for the sword,
    and you will all bend down for the slaughter;
    for I called but you did not answer,
    I spoke but you did not listen.
    You did evil in my sight
    and chose what displeases me."

    Isaiah 65:11-12

    [Jesus is speaking] You diligently study the Scriptures because you think that by them you possess eternal life. These are the Scriptures that testify about me, yet you refuse to come to me, to have life.
    John 5:39-40

    There are so many passages, Joseph. Consider also all of the hundreds of times the people are warned with "if...then" clauses, showing both the good and the bad.

    All of these mean nothing if man does not have a choice about how to respond to God.

    This took awhile, even though you wanted an answer fast because I had interruptions. [​IMG]

    [ December 27, 2002, 08:04 PM: Message edited by: Helen ]
     
  4. LadyEagle

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    Well, Helen, you beat me to the draw! I was ready to post some of these same Scriptures and when I looked, there you were! LOL! :D
     
  5. KenH

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    There is no argument that one must choose to repent and believe. I readily agree with that point. That is not, nor has it ever been, what the disagreement between non-Calvinists and Calvinists has been about. The disagreement has been over why one person chooses to repent and believe and another person does not choose to repent and believe in this age. We all agree that to be saved a person must choose to repent and believe.

    Non-Calvinists believe the person chooses to repent and believe upon some amount of work by the Holy Spirit on his heart, and that the Holy Spirit may not always be successful. Calvinists believe that the person chooses to repent and believe, that the work of the Holy Spirit on his heart also supplies the "want to" to choose to repent and believe, and that this work of the Holy Spirit is always successful.

    Let's remember that whether one is a non-Calvinist or a Calvinist, we are all going to the same place to worship and serve God forever. We may argue over the why aspect but that is secondary to the result of salvation. Frankly, I don't have to understand it, I simply rejoice to know I will spend forever with God. [​IMG]

    [ December 27, 2002, 08:24 PM: Message edited by: Ken H ]
     
  6. LadyEagle

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    Did it ever occur to anybody there may be some points of Calvinism that are correct & some points of non-Calvinism that are correct? :eek: That Calvin was just a mortal & now he knows the truth, whether he was right or wrong?

    I'm with you, Ken, I don't have a need or a desire to debate it or understand it. Paul said we presently "see thru a glass darkly" and we can't even begin to fully comprehend or understand the wonder of God. I'm just thankful God Loves Me & Sent His Son to Die in my place. And that I responded to the tug of the Holy Spirit on my heart those many years ago. Period. [​IMG]
     
  7. Joseph_Botwinick

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    Ken,

    Actually, I believe that Calvinist say that God Chooses who will and who will not be saved (doctrine of election / Limited Atonement) and that they have no choice but to be saved (Irresistable Grace). Therefore, it is God who chooses for us and there is no free will. Is this not correct, or is there some other way of understanding these two particular doctrines of Calvinism?

    Joseph Botwinick
     
  8. postrib

    postrib
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    Some, in their desire to glorify God's sovereignty, claim that free will doesn't exist. But I praise God that in his sovereign omnipotence he doesn't make us robots without any free will. Just as he doesn't make the unelect continue to lust (James 1:13-14), so he doesn't make the elect continue to serve (Hebrews 6:4-6, Hebrews 10:26-31).

    A danger in teaching "no free will" is that it causes people to begin thinking: "God has no right to judge me for sinning if I don't have any choice in the matter." At the judgment, Jesus will hold us responsible for every one of our free-willed actions (2 Corinthians 5:10), even the smallest (Matthew 12:36-37), even though before he made us he knew what every one of our actions would be.

    Before creation, out of the infinite possible sequences of everyone's free-willed actions, God chose that single strand which would best reveal his mercy and wrath (Romans 9:22-23). Our free will and God's sovereignly predestinating us (Ephesians 1:5-6, Romans 9:11-23) co-exist in creation just as the probability of quantum mechanics and the determinism of Newtonian physics co-exist. There's no determinism at the quantum level, nor at the level of our free will.

    Some say because our will is finite, it isn't free. But free will doesn't have to be infinite to be free. Even if we had only a single decision to make in our entire lives between only two options, still we would have a free will to choose either A or B.

    Some say because our will isn't omnipotent, it isn't free. But free will doesn't have to be omnipotent to be free. There are many things that even God can't do, such as die (Deuteronomy 32:40), change (Hebrews 13:8, James 1:17), lie or break his promises (Titus 1:2, Hebrews 6:18), be tempted by evil or tempt anyone with evil (James 1:13), be hatred (1 John 4:8) or darkness or have any darkness in him at all (1 John 1:5). Is God then without free will?

    http://www.geocities.com/postrib
     
  9. Aaron

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    I've looked and looked and can't find any evidence for free will in the Scriptures. ;)

    We all have a will. It simply isn't free.

    We all make choices, they just aren't free ones.

    Now, he whom the Son sets free, will choose life. Those still in bondage to sin will but choose death.
     
  10. Joseph_Botwinick

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    I believe that a Calvinist once said that either God is completely soveriegn or he is not soveriegn at all. Either God chooses for us or he does not choose and we have free will. I don't think you can have it both ways.

    Joseph Botwinick [​IMG]
     
  11. russell55

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    Well, sort of. God chooses those out of the mass of already condemned humanity those He will bring to salvation. He does not necessarily make a choice in regards to those who will not be saved--he simply leaves them alone to do what comes naturally to them.

    Nope. Those who are saved make the positive choice to come to Christ. The effectual work of the Holy Spirit makes Christ attractive to them, so that they invariably make the choice to come to Him rather than reject Him.

    Well, God chooses us, and so we choose Him. Whether we have free will or not depends on your definition of free will. If by free will you simply mean that men are able to go through life making real choices according to their desires and in accordance with their nature, then Calvinists believe in free will. If, by free will, you mean that men are autonomous, or that they can freely make choices that are in opposition to their nature, then Calvinists don't believe in free will.
     
  12. Pastor Larry

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    The concept of free will is a concept that is Scriptural. I believe it is most often misdefined, as evidenced by Helen's definition.

    Free will, theologically, is not the power of contrary choice, but the power to choose in accordance with the nature. God is a free being; he is not bound by anything outside himself. Having said that, he is bound by himself. Therefore he cannot do anything at all (e.g., he cannot sin). Yet his inability to sin does not mean that he is not free. He is free and able to do all things that are proper objects of his power.

    In the same way, man created in the image of God, is free ... free to do all that is in accordance with his nature. He can make any choice he wants to, including the choice to serve God if he so desires. Natural man, because of depravity which affects his will, will not seek God (Rom 3:10-12) and cannot please God (Rom 8:5-8). He does not even desire to do so. Thus, he is not kept out of salvation against his will but rather because his own free choice is to reject. It is in accordance with his depraved nature. He desires to reject the biblical commands of God and in so doing is held responsible for them.

    On the other hand, God implants in some a new nature, leading them to certain belief because their new nature has spiritual understanding (2 Cor 2:14; Eph 4:17ff; Eph 2:1-10; etc.).

    In summation, "free will" is not explicated in Scripture. We are left to put together the teachings of Scripture about the freeness of God (who can't do everything) and the fact that man, like God, is bound by his nature. When viewed against the backdrop of Scripture, I think free will becomes a pretty easy subject. But then that's just me ...
     
  13. Joseph_Botwinick

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    If God, in all of his soveriengty, chose soemone to be saved, are you saying that they could resist his election and grace and thwart the will of God? I believe that "Irresistable grace" and the "Soveriengty of God" teaches contrary to that. If I am correct, there is no free will. Either God is completely soveriegn or we have free will.

    Joseph Botwinick [​IMG]
     
  14. russell55

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    Actually, Calvinism says that both real human choice (and thus human responsibility) and God's sovereignty over human choices are compatible. We may not be able to explain it, but nevertheless we believe it is true, because we believe this is the picture painted by scripture.
     
  15. Aaron

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    ...for I
    except you [enslave] me never shall be free,
    Nor ever chaste, except you ravish me.


    John Donne
     
  16. Aaron

    Aaron
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    More to the point...

    Could Pharoah have chosen to do other but harden his heart?

    Or if you believe merely in predestination according to foreknowledge, if God knew that you would not accept Christ, is there any possibility at all that you would?

    [ December 28, 2002, 12:14 AM: Message edited by: Aaron ]
     
  17. russell55

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    If God in all His sovereignty chooses to bring someone to salvation, then when the time is right, the Holy Spirit will draw them so that rather than finding Christ unattractive, they will find Him (and the gospel) attractive, and they will willingly come. They will not desire to resist.

    And in response to that faithful choice to come, God will justify them, and they will no longer be a child of wrath, but an adopted son (or daughter) of God.
     
  18. Joseph_Botwinick

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    If irresistable grace is true, then there is no way to resist the grace of God, and man has no free will to choose not to. If God is soveriegn, then man has no choice to make. Whatever is going to happen will happen. They were pre-wired and elected to choose or not to choose God.

    Joseph Botwinick [​IMG]
     
  19. Aaron

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    Irresistable grace is true, praise God. That is right, there is no way to resist it, just as you could not resist being conceived and born the first time, you cannot resist being born the second time.
     
  20. KenH

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    Does it really matter, Joseph? Why make such an issue of it? Just believe what you believe about the matter and let sleeping dogs lie. As long as a person is saved, it doesn't matter if he chooses by his free will or by God making him free to choose. Maybe instead of "wasting" time here arguing we should be encouraging one another instead. Maybe we should all heed Paul's admonition -

    1 Timothy 6:4(NASB)
    4 he is conceited and understands nothing; but he has a morbid interest in controversial questions and disputes about words, out of which arise envy, strife, abusive language, evil suspicions
     

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