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Does God Have "Free Will"?

Discussion in 'Calvinism & Arminianism Debate' started by thatbrian, Feb 20, 2018.

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  1. thatbrian

    thatbrian Well-Known Member
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    Great! If that's the case, just come toward the light.
     
  2. utilyan

    utilyan Well-Known Member
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    You know there is a kinda rock bottom 12-stepper Christian who swears everyone had to be as evil as they were before they discovered what was right. So whoever is not a Calvinist does good acts for selfish reasons. We don't actually care about anyone or love anyone, we are just more like animals. Unlike the spiritual master race.
     
  3. thatbrian

    thatbrian Well-Known Member
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    The question is reasonable and it has an answer; therefore, it is not illogical.
     
  4. thatbrian

    thatbrian Well-Known Member
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    A man in a prison cell can read, do pushups, sit, stand, walk in circles, talk, remain silent. . . He is "free" and able to do countless things, except leave his prison cell.

    Our "free will" is limited by who and what we are. Unregenerate men can't please God, nor do they desire to. It's outside of the ability of their nature, like a fish flying.

    Millions of men worship idols and practice a pagan version of Christianity. They seek not God, but things. They please not God, because their worship is actually worship of self.
     
  5. JonShaff

    JonShaff Fellow Servant
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    Hebrews 11:6
    6 But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.

    I know i know, you're going to say that God regenerated that man, first, then he came to Him because of the faith that was put inside him.
     
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  6. utilyan

    utilyan Well-Known Member
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    Yet no man can become regenerate unless he by his own will chooses to listen to the gospel. The majority story should be as a Calvinist is "I was tied up against my will at gun point and forced to listen to the gospel.".

    Somewhere the "unregenerate" decided to listen to the gospel.
     
  7. SheepWhisperer

    SheepWhisperer Active Member

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    So, in essence, God can only "will" things within the parameters of His character, correct? Like, for example, "He cannot lie" . I can live with that. I'm GLAD he can't sin, and can't deny Himself or lie etc.. However, God still has a "will". But perhaps mankind has been given a "free" will? No? Observe.........

    1 Corinthians 10:13 There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.

    God makes a "way" for you to be "able" to escape or "bear" the temptation but , YOU make the decision whether to bear it, or succumb to it and be chastened by God for doing it. That is speaking of a SAVED individual of course. So again, do men have a "free" will? God seems to think so. Observe.......

    Deuteronomy 30:19 I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live:

    Now, about the question of a lost person's "choosing life". There is no "merit" whatsoever in "smiting your breast' and saying in effect "God be merciful to me a sinner", begging for God's mercy, namely to asking Jesus to save you to keep from frying in Hell for all eternity. It's a totally selfish act on the sinner's part. Yes, you have been given the power to "choose life" or reject it by God Almighty.
     
  8. Pastor_Bob

    Pastor_Bob Well-Known Member

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    Although a key attribute of God is His omnipresence, it would appear that He has chosen to act outside of the boundaries of His nature and remove His presence from those who are cast into Hell.
    Matthew 25:41 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:
    II Thessalonians 1:9 Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power
    ;

    Although a key attribute of God is His omniscience, He (God the Son) appears to have acted outside of His nature and limited His knowledge on at least one occasion.
    Mark 13:32 But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.

    So, it appears that God can do whatever He pleases, even if it is acting outside of what we perceive to be His nature.

    Now, let the arguments from authority begin!
     
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  9. thatbrian

    thatbrian Well-Known Member
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    Is there a place where God is not present? That language is relational, not proximal.

    Hell is the unmitigated presence of God.
     
  10. Pastor_Bob

    Pastor_Bob Well-Known Member

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    I have no problem with you believing that; however, I’m going to need more than just your statements. Please support your statements with Scripture.
     
  11. thatbrian

    thatbrian Well-Known Member
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    Is God omnipresent? The Church has believed He is for 2,000 years, and I agree.

    "If I ascend to heaven, you are there! If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there!" (Psalm 139:8)
     
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  12. Pastor_Bob

    Pastor_Bob Well-Known Member

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    I agree as well. I never said otherwise.

    Surely you see the obvious weakness of using this verse to refute the scripture I quoted above.

    What are your thoughts on the omniscience statement and scripture given?
     
  13. thatbrian

    thatbrian Well-Known Member
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    Do I really have to convince you of God's attributes?
     
  14. HeirofSalvation

    HeirofSalvation Well-Known Member
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    Yes.
    That is, any responsible and accurate definition of Free Will, certainly.
    As in God was free either to create or not create.
    God was free to make man and love him, or not to.
    He was free to make angels a party to grace if he so chose etc...
    Could he sin?
    Of course not. But then again, inasmuch as sin is that which is contrary to God's will, that's logically impossible by definition.

    Does God possess whatever perverted straw-man definition of Free-will that some might be tempted to dream up?
    No.
    Does he have responsibly and correctly defined free will?
    Of course.
     
  15. The Archangel

    The Archangel Well-Known Member

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    Forgive me for jumping in here...

    [9] And another angel, a third, followed them, saying with a loud voice, “If anyone worships the beast and its image and receives a mark on his forehead or on his hand, [10] he also will drink the wine of God's wrath, poured full strength into the cup of his anger, and he will be tormented with fire and sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. [11] And the smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever, and they have no rest, day or night, these worshipers of the beast and its image, and whoever receives the mark of its name.” (Revelation 14:9–11 ESV, emphasis mine)
    Of course, there's much that's going on here (especially depending on your eschatological view), but the bolded portion shows that the presence of God, in Christ, is present where this torment happening.

    Blessings,

    The Archangel
     
  16. thatbrian

    thatbrian Well-Known Member
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    I've used the definition of free will widely held by non-Calvinists, and my assertion is neither God nor man has Libertarian Free Will.
     
  17. JonShaff

    JonShaff Fellow Servant
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    So what's that? being able to do what that person *wants* to do?
     
  18. thatbrian

    thatbrian Well-Known Member
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    More like, wanting to do what you don't want to do.

    In the context of soteriology, some hold, "the position that the unbeliever’s free will is sufficiently self-contained, self-sufficient, and self-caused (without external coercion) so as to be able to accept or reject Christ as Savior, on his own, apart from God's enabling. It assumes that the sinful will is somehow capable, by virtue of being "free", to be able to choose to believe in God and follow him through Christ." The Error of Libertarian Free Will

    This is a big deal, because if someone correctly understands "free will", he finds himself in agreement with "Calvinism".

    ***Important clarification. Classical Arminians don't believe that men come to Christ unaided. They believe in "prevenient grace"; however, the average Evangelical does not speak of, or credit "prevenient grace". Most people are functional Pelagians.
     
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  19. agedman

    agedman Well-Known Member
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    It would really be good for those who desire and defend prevenient / preceding grace to actually prove such grace exists from Scripture and was not a human construct by Wesley in some attempt at reconciling Scriptures to his own bias and methodology
     
  20. JonShaff

    JonShaff Fellow Servant
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    Why does free will include doing what you do not want to do? That's called doing something *against your will*
     
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