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  #11  
Unread 21st April 2010, 01:07 AM
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Originally Posted by drich0150 View Post
I believe that you simply misunderstand what free will actually is.
Misunderstand the definition of free will? Is there a definition of free will in the Bible that you can point me to?

I believe "free will" to be the ability to choose an action outside of the expressed will of God. In essence Free will is the ability to sin.
Ahhh... YOU believe that definition, but that's clearly not a definition you can find in the Bible, is it?

Free will is not the ability to do whatever one wants. If that were the case then gravity would be impeding upon my free will.
I think is very obvious that ANY of us referring to free will are pretty convinced that it has nothing to do with physics. So, I don't see the point of mentioning gravity as possibly interfering with anyone's free will.

Even with Pharaoh's harden heart he could still choose to sin.
The point is that GOD hardened Pharaoh's heart so that he was forced to sin by not letting god's people go!
In other words, Pharaoh sinned because God hardened his heart. Maybe Pharaoh would've let god's people go if God hadn't hardened his heart!

As could all of those who were slaughtered...
Woe, remember we are talking about infants and toddlers here. They could NOT choose to sin, as they were not mature enough to discern between good and evil. I don't care about the adults being slaughtered. I mean, it makes sense if god wanted to kill them as sinners, but the innocent children and babies?? Come on!


As far as the animals are concerned if you've ever eaten meat then, you shouldn't have much to say about that.
You are joking, right?
If I have eaten meat, what does that have to do with anything?
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  #12  
Unread 21st April 2010, 01:25 AM
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Originally Posted by jpark43 View Post
Yes, God can override our free will.
If god can override your free will, then what's the use of having free will in the first place?

I'm afraid the free will argument isn't very popular.
It might not be very popular for you, but it is for many other Christians. They use it often when they run out of arguments when debating difficult issues.


The true response to questions involving the fall of man is this:
It was for His Son. It was a part of God's perfect will. God demonstrated His love for His creation by dying for our sins.
So, the fall of man was planned by God? It was part of his perfect will?
Can you see the contradiction?
Fall of man = part of God's perfect will.
Perfect for who? Clearly not for man.
If the fall of man was planned by God, why on earth is man guilty??


2. Not everything in the OT is from God. There are some Jews, who, being opposed to God, planted certain false accounts into the Scripture.
Well, Jews planting false accounts into the Bible sounds like a very malicious plan indeed. But you CANNOT deduce this from the Bible. This theory is clearly yours, not found in the Bible.


For example, the supposed Scripture where God calls a bat a bird. If God is the Creator and knows His creation, why would He say this?
Exactly, that's why I have stopped believing the Bible to be the word of god.

And if God desires a relationship, then why is there so much written code in the OT? Clearly, these certain Jews who belong to Satan have added to or changed the Scripture.

Now even if John 8 might not be the words of Jesus, I count it as true and it demonstrates that God never commanded these things (stoning, killing (although that doesn't mean one should resist government; government sanctioned killing is God ordained), etc.).

Anyways, you can either say that the Christians wanted to make the God of the OT look like a loving God or say that the certain Jews who belong to Satan added to the Scripture. For all the law written in the OT is written code. Even so, Christianity is written code, a religion.
This is somewhat gibberish. Made up theories. If not, please provide some evidence or references of what you are trying to say.
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  #13  
Unread 21st April 2010, 01:28 AM
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Originally Posted by drich0150 View Post
As you define it I agree. but since we are speaking to the "Free will" as defined by God/The Bible then we must adhere to the definitions provided by them.
Oh, please point me to this definition you say it's in the Bible. Biblical verses please. Palpable evidence please.
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  #14  
Unread 21st April 2010, 01:37 AM
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Originally Posted by aiki View Post
Because He's God and is Sovereign over the universe. God directly supercedes our will when it suits His purposes to do so. That He does this on occasion doesn't mean that we never exercise free will, however.
If he overrides free will on occasion then it's NOT 'free will', period.
You can call it 'limited will', 'conditional will', etc., but NOT "free will".


This is a carticature of the facts. It largely ignores the biblical record that provides the reasons as to why God wiped out the evil, pagan nations that He did.
I beg to differ. A caricature is an exaggeration of something. When I say that god kills innocent children and babies over and over, is because the Bible clearly says so, time and again. It's even disturbing the specificity with which this is mentioned and commanded.
Since you have read the Bible, I'm confident you have read these verses yourself. If not, let me know, I will point them out for you.
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  #15  
Unread 21st April 2010, 01:45 AM
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Originally Posted by salida View Post
1)Yes, that scripture is always misunderstood by those who haven't studied the bible.
It's great that you 'understand' the Bible so well, as I have many other issues that you will be very kind to explain to me. I will create some new topics about them.
Have read the Bible from cover to cover? Today it wouldn't be that relevant anyway, as we now have the always handy site BibleGateway.com: A searchable online Bible in over 100 versions and 50 languages., and you can speed up any biblical research exponentially.

Gods judgement hardened Pharaohs heart- God judged and there was an angry reaction from Pharaoh. Pharaoh did this to his heart-he made himself angry. Thus, he had the free will to get angry and rebel.
Woe, woe... These are clearly your words and interpretation. Nowhere in the Bible can you find or deduce this that you mention.

People also ask why were the children killed? Because they would have grown up and do the same wickedness. Again a question asked by those who are not familiar with the bible.
Again, this is your interpretation.

The problem is that if you have some theory of your own that supposedly explain things that are difficult to understand, you should at least provide references that support the way you are interpreting these verses.

Last edited by skepticlogician; 21st April 2010 at 01:49 AM. Reason: typo
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  #16  
Unread 21st April 2010, 01:48 AM
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Originally Posted by Joveia View Post
With the pharaoh example, something worth pondering is why was the guy who was pharaoh, pharaoh? There have been billions of people born throughout history and yet God chose one specific person to play the part of 'pharaoh'. Why him in particular?

The reason must be that pharaoh has a character or personality that makes him a good 'fit' for the role. This probably included being stubborn, being authoritarian, not very nice, power hungry, and so on.

So even though God set the situation up so that pharaoh would 'harden his heart', pharaoh is responsible for making choices that make him a good 'fit' for the role of pharaoh in the Bible. Maybe, e.g. God foresaw pharaoh would reject God's grace?

So the responsibility is not entirely on God for pharaoh's predicament.
Nice theory. Very original. Obviously, very yours.
Can any of this be deduced or inferred from the Bible?
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  #17  
Unread 21st April 2010, 11:25 AM
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Hi Skepticlogican, I agree with your premises, (1) God can and often does override and limit our range of thought and action to further His purpose, and (2) God could if He chose, get rid of pain, suffering and death. This would entail limiting our range of choices such that we would not introduce pain suffering and death again via sin. Do you have an opinion as to why God has chosen to allow us to sin and thus allow us to cause some of the pain, suffering and death the world experiences?

There are lots of examples of God intervening in the lives of men and altering the course of events such that His purpose is fulfilled. As you pointed out, every time God "hardens someone's heart" their range of choice is limited, they lose whatever spiritual ability they had to seek and accept spiritual truths. Romans 9:18 springs to mind.

And of course we can also harden our own hearts, thus if you will, overriding our ability to choose from a full range of options. Pharaoh hardened his own heart and God hardened His heart independently. This would seem to soften the intervention, i.e God chooses folks who have chosen to reject God's will in the past and hardens them, Judas springs to mind. For example Ex 4:21, 7:3 and 14:4 all say God hardened Pharaoh's heart. But also note Pharaoh hardened his own heart Ex 8:15, 8:32 and 9:34.

May God Bless
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  #18  
Unread 21st April 2010, 12:25 PM
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If he overrides free will on occasion then it's NOT 'free will', period.
Semantics, I think. Why must it be all or nothing in your view? Do we say that a convict who has done his time and is released from prison is still a prisoner? No. That he was at one time confined to a prison doesn't limit the nature of his freedom when he is finally released. He is not a partial prisoner when he exits the doors of the penitentiary but a "free man."

I was, as a child, forced to eat my peas. I had no choice about the matter. It was eat the peas or sit at the table until I did. Now, I have no such constraint upon me. I refuse to eat peas and I am perfectly free to make that choice. The fact that at one time I was forced to eat peas, however, doesn't mean that now my choice to eat or not eat them is somehow diminished, or limited, or partial.

I beg to differ. A caricature is an exaggeration of something.
It is also an inaccurate rendering, which is what I think you are guilty of in your characterization of God's conduct in the OT.

When I say that god kills innocent children and babies over and over, is because the Bible clearly says so, time and again. It's even disturbing the specificity with which this is mentioned and commanded.
Of course, the destruction of men, women, and children is disturbing, but the demands of God's holiness, justice and Sovereignty required this destruction. Not once does God arbitrarily command the wholesale destruction of cities and peoples. Never does He destroy for the mere sake of destruction. His judgment of the wicked is terrible, but just and necessary. We aren't supposed to revel in God's awful judgment; we ought to be appalled at the horrible consequences of defying and sinning against the Creator.

God is also merciful and compassionate in the OT. Again and again He succours His wayward Chosen People; He protects and blesses the righteous; He patiently urges His people to turn from their wickedness and forewarns them of judgment if they do not. God isn't just traipsing around the Middle East murdering babies willy-nilly as you seem to suggest.

Peace.

Last edited by aiki; 2nd December 2010 at 05:16 PM.
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  #19  
Unread 21st April 2010, 02:47 PM
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Originally Posted by aiki View Post
Semantics, I think. Why must it be all or nothing in your view? Do we say that a convict who has done his time and is released from prison is still a prisoner? No. That he was at one time confined to a prison doesn't limit the nature of his freedom when he is finally released. He is not a partial prisoner when he exits the doors of the penitentiary but a "free man."
That is not a good analogy. The state of imprisonment is a temporal condition which depends on the number of years mandated in the prisoner's convicting veridict.
Are you trying to say that free will can also be periodical? If so, you are seriously creating your own interpretation, absolutely not deduced from what anyone can read in the Bible.


Of course, the destruction of men, women, and children is disturbing, but the demands of God's holiness, justice and Sovereignty demanded this destruction. Not once does God arbitrarily command the wholesale destruction of cities and peoples. Never does He destroy for the mere sake of destruction. His judgment of the wicked is terrible, but just and necessary. We aren't supposed to revel in God's awful judgment; we ought to be appalled at the horrible consequences of defying and sinning against the Creator.

God is also merciful and compassionate in the OT. Again and again He succours His wayward Chosen People; He protects and blesses the righteous; He patiently urges His people to turn from their wickedness and forewarns them of judgment if they do not. God isn't just traipsing around the Middle East murdering babies willy-nilly as you seem to suggest.
You are still failing to explain to me what do babies have to do with evil and guilty men and women who had to be destroyed. As I said before, I can understand god killing the men and women, but absolutely not the babies and toddlers.
How can god demand the same from the babies and, since they can't understand a thing they fail to obey, then god kills them like their parents? If you believe this makes sense, then you are seriously and willingly wrong.
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  #20  
Unread 21st April 2010, 04:46 PM
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You are misled on the idea of pharoh's free will. He was hardened but not beyond repentence. If you remember pharoh's magicians were also hardened and they tried to convince pharoh to give in to Moses. If they also were hardened how is it they could do this? There are examples in Exodus where the hardening of Pharoh heart gives way to his own confession when he says I have sinned in not obeying God. If his free will was taken away how is it that he could say this? The hardening process does not mean that God completely takes away free will and it does not mean God closes the door to repentence for those who are humble enough to repent.
Now concerning punishment of cultures and children and animals I wrote to someone about this some time ago and I think it might be appropriate to include it in this response as follows: This was a response to a guy named Andrew who had similar concerns and who misconstrued the biblical idea of morality as you do. This is what I wrote to him.
You are right about god intervening in the destruction of societies in particular when Israel invaded the land of cannen. So what you are doing is examining the moral character of god . You seem to think you have trump card by calling into question, " the problem of evil" as an error in Christianity. OK. I will give you my answer to this question but I am not sure how you will receive it. Now you seem to have a very limited understanding of Christian theism so these deeper waters we are about to embark in are not for the faint of heart. When it comes to the moral foundation of all truth it has to be that truth is grounded in god himself. So also for morality it is evident that all people have an understanding of the differences between right and wrong. As I see it there cannot be any universalism for truth. There is only one road to truth and it goes directly to Jerusalem. From there it has it genesis in the revelation of god through the prophecies of the old testament and ends in the culmination of that revelation of god in Christ himself. Now back to your question. You are attributing a moral error with the god of the old testament. The old testament god has a seemingly different message than the god of the new testament. So how can they be the same god? When god revealed himself to the Israelites he was intending to groom them as a nation of priests for revealing himself to the world. This grooming intended to show how different he was from the other gods especially of those that the Canaanites worshipped. Among other idolatries the Canaanites had deities that required sacrifices of first born children. These were yearly rites that when viewed by god made it necessary for him to take initiatives and that is what was happening when he gave commands to kill cultures that had instituted such grave atrocities. The Canaanites worshipped a pantheon of gods and had instituted national celebrations. These celebrations were instituted by force of law. People of this culture would gather in yearly celebration to the gods to sacrificed and celebrate. The law required that a very large iron furnace would be constructed. The furnace was an idol in the form a man sitting cross legged with outstretched arms that were pitched upward leading down to his abdomen where a fiery kiln had been heated.. The Canaanite priests would send out authorities to gather from the populace all the firstborn for this rite. They would take screaming babies from their screaming parents and ready them for this rite. Sounds a little like the Nazi régime doesn’t it? The priest would then offer up prayers thanking the gods for the increase of the yearly harvest of crops and were sure to oblige the gods with a return of thanks. And so with huge crowds of Canaanites in waiting and large clouds of incense burning the smell of death was palatable! This speaks of the depravity of men hearts as these priests heartlessly began to smash babies down into the waiting arms of this idol. You can imagine for yourself this horror! Now you want to talk about atrocities what do you think about that! For four hundred years god waited patiently for the Canaanites to get their act together and repent of these practices. But they waxed worse and worse and created a pantheon of gods for more and more horrendous atrocities. When after four hundred years had passed he called his son (Israel) out of bondage and brought them out of Egypt and finally into the land of cannan to destroy those wicked societies. His message to those cultures back then was contained in believing in a Monotheistic god. Israel’s chant was behold Israel the lord our god is one. He was a different god. He never intended men to harm their own children like the Canaanites did. His message was that men should live by his commandments and live in fidelity to these commands. A man who walks with god and keeps his commandments is a man who is right with god and his fellow man. Now I think you have misconstrued the laws of god by your intuition that god is somehow under the same laws as men. Intuition does not always ring true. We must look deeper for answers and those answers can be best understood in seeing the work of god through an historic outworking of his revelation. When god gives moral laws those moral laws are not laws for god himself. He does not have to live by those same laws. He is a Law unto himself! He is the Lawgiver! He does not need to live by commandments as if he is somehow sinful. He is Holy! He cannot sin and there is no evil in Him! We on the other hand need to be changed because we are sinful and our sins will if left unchecked carry us into extreme depraved states. That’s what people need to face up to. “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God”. If you imagine that god has to live by laws then your god is no longer the foundation of truth. He would be just you and me and in need of instruction in righteousness. It would make it impossible for him to intervene in such ways to do away with atrocities. God’s hands would be tied and he would be unable to bring us out of sinful idolatries. We would forever be in our sins. So in the old testament God had more of an ability to stop evil in the world by directly intervening as you think he should. But that part of history was under the tutelage of the law. With the advent of Christ the old tutor of the Law has been replaced with the new tutor of Grace. This tutor calls for all men everywhere to repent and follow the Son. This period of Grace is different from that former period. God cannot any longer intervene as he did under His tutelage of the Law. We now must see that what the law could not do by force, Grace does by changing people hearts moving them away from idolatry and its atrocities. As people ingest Christ by faith he changes them from within thereby changing the world for a better place.
Mike

Last edited by lookingglass; 21st April 2010 at 08:57 PM.
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