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Biblical examples of God overriding Free-will

Discussion in 'Exploring Christianity' started by skepticlogician, Apr 19, 2010.

  1. Dark_Lite

    Dark_Lite Chewbacha

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    This is (one of the reasons) why libertarian free will does not exist. Compatibilism all the way.
     
  2. lookingglass

    lookingglass Member

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    Darklite,
    How can you be sure libertarian free will does not exist? Are you saying that God determines our future free will actions? Would He not then be the author of all sinful and evil acts? How can it be that it is compatable that we are determined to do his overriding will and still be morally responsible? Is God's Soverign will overriding all our actions? If so I cannot be held accountable for something I had no control over!
    Are we expected to love God without freedom to do so? Jesus said, If you love me keep my commandments. He did not say if you have faith in me you will keep my commandments. Love requires an ability to choose to do or not to do something. This is the risky part of love. Love chooses by its own volition. Automatons cannot love by choosing.
     
  3. Dark_Lite

    Dark_Lite Chewbacha

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    Libertarian free will cannot coexist with any kind of determinism. Depending on the theory, it may override physical causality (a form of dualism where the mind and body are separate), or it may base itself on quantum psuedoscience.

    On the other hand, straight up determinism is a bit over the top. I find that compatibilism is the happy medium. There is free will, but it is limited to certain degrees in various areas.
     
  4. aiki

    aiki Regular Member

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    No, I don't think so. You seemed to be asserting that if one's will could not be exerted freely at all times it could not be said to be freely exerted at any time. If this is what you were saying, I think my analogy, which, like all analogies, isn't perfect, still has some useful bearing on your assertion.

    There are very likely a great many things about God and His doings that no human understands. When we arrive at those instances where God goes beyond what makes sense to us, we are called to trust that appearances and our strong feelings about them are not necessarily the best basis upon which to assess what God has or is doing. Why is it that you read of the judgment of God upon pagan peoples in the OT and assume some evil, bloodthirsty motive in God while I can look at His judgment and trust that, while I find His actions horrible in the extreme, they are still perfectly right? Why is it that you look simply to reinforce your negative perspective on God rather than place His actions within the context of all the Bible reveals to us of His nature and find a more balanced view?

    As I said to someone else recently on one of these threads, God "kills" us all, the bad and the good. He gives us life when He wishes and He takes it when He wishes. This is His prerogative as Creator. We understand from Scripture that infants go to be with God in heaven when they die - even the infants of wicked, pagan parents. How is it a terrible thing that God should take these children to spend a joyful eternity with Him?

    How God deals with wickedness in the OT also serves as an example of how we are to deal with sin in our own lives today. God's judgment upon the wicked, pagan peoples of the OT required the utter destruction of every thing representative of those peoples. Everything was to be removed: root, tree and branch. In the same way, we today are to deal inflexibly and severely with sin when we find it present in our own lives. Every trace of it must be removed if we are to remain pure before God.

    I understand that God's severity in dealing with the wickedness of pagan peoples seems inordinate to you. There is a part of me that recoils from the horror of His judgment, too. There is another part of me, however, that recognizes that my human disposition is to accommodate sin, to be quite comfortable with it, and even to take pleasure in it. I don't have God's mind on sin; I am not perfectly holy as He is. As a result, His response to sin can appear over-the-top, even savage, to me. But that's a problem with my perspective on sin, not His. He isn't too strong in His hatred of sin; my hatred of it is too weak. What about you?

    Peace.
     
  5. berachah

    berachah Jesus Christ is Lord of heaven and earth

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    In the Old Testament the people lived by the flesh (by sight), battles were fought in the flesh and the covenant of God was established in the flesh (circumcision). The Kingdom of Heaven had not yet come..

    To overcome evil, they destroyed that which was the dwelling place of evil. (people and animals) So nations that evoked demonic authority and power (through possession and incantation) had to be removed from an area by destroying the people. Their actions gave demonic powers legitimate authority to be in an area and therefore had legitimate right to influence others in that area. (ie God's people)

    Witchcraft was rife and rituals were performed on children at birth as well as throughout their lives. Animals were also part of rituals and demonic spirits had legitimate authority to possess them as well.

    Whenever the Jews failed to destroy the local populations as instructed, they soon thereafter began to practise the same rituals, right up to sacrificing their children.

    With the arrival of the new covenant through Christ, man was given access and authority into the spiritual realm. So Christians are called to cast out demons and rebuke spiritual powers directly. As the battle was lifted to another, higher realm man was called to exercise love to those bound under such demonic powers while engaging in ruthless battle with such powers.

    With regard to freewill, we all have such and exercise it daily. However when people yield to demonic powers they become slave to them and are no longer free. God continually exercises favour towards such people but eventually he withdraws His presence and the person becomes totally enslaved to the powers they have allowed into their lives with resultant evil and suffering. (Sometimes we are so disobedient, the only way is for God to withdraw and let people suffer the consequences.)

    In the same way parents who continually pull a child away from a hot plate may be convinced to let the child burn its hand and learn the hard way

    In essence it is not God hardening hearts, rather it is God withdrawing and the person finding himself a place where, devoid of God's protective grace and love, he realises his error. When that happens, hearts can harden.

    In the same way when God is angry with Israel, (2 Sam 24:1) He says he will move King David to sin. But later on we see God withdrawing from David and the devil coming to tempt David to sin.

    So we have a free will, only God is continually trying to protect us from our own stupidity.
     
  6. Joveia

    Joveia Christian

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    This theory isn't mine, I've heard it before, but sadly it's not as common a response as I (of course) think it should be.

    Some verses which tie in with it are:

    Jer 1:5 ""I knew you before I formed you in your mother's womb. Before you were born I set you apart and appointed you as my prophet to the nations."

    Matt 11:11 ""I tell you the truth, of all who have ever lived, none is greater than John the Baptist. Yet even the least person in the Kingdom of Heaven is greater than he is!"

    1Sa 16:7-11 "But the Lord said to Samuel, Do not take note of his face or how tall he is, because I will not have him: for the Lord's view is not man's; man takes note of the outer form, but the Lord sees the heart.
    Then Jesse sent for Abinadab and made him come before Samuel. And he said, The Lord has not taken this one. Then Jesse made Shammah come before him. And he said, The Lord has not taken this one. And Jesse made his seven sons come before Samuel. And Samuel said to Jesse, The Lord has not taken any of these. Then Samuel said to Jesse, Are all your children here? And he said, There is still the youngest, and he is looking after the sheep. And Samuel said to Jesse, Send and make him come here: for we will not take our seats till he is here."

    These verses indicate that before we are born God sees our heart completely and how we would choose in every possible situation. God ordains John the Baptist to play the 'John the Baptist' role (preparing the saviour's way) because John is the kindest, best person who will ever be born apart from Jesus. Similarly God ordains Jeremiah to be a prophet because he would be good at it, and David to be king because David will (generally) do what God wants.

    I think this is in favour of the view.

    The second aspect is - are people responsible for being in a position because of their character faults, even though God also enables them to make bad choices (like with pharaoh).

    1 Kings 14:13 "All Israel will mourn for him and bury him. He is the only member of your family who will have a proper burial, for this child is the only good thing that the LORD, the God of Israel, sees in the entire family of Jeroboam."

    Jeroboam was one of the bad kings of Israel and God says that He will take away Jeroboam's child to heaven because He is the only good person in the whole family. This indicates that Jeroboam's unfortunate position as a bad king is partly based on his bad character/rejection of grace. Otherwise God would have protected him. So it would be with the pharaoh.

    Also 1 Tim 2:4 "[God] will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth."

    So God would have protected pharaoh if pharaoh could be brought to accept God's grace.
     
  7. 98cwitr

    98cwitr Lord forgive me Staff Member Moderator Supporter

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    I love how life is valued more than the afterlife...how finite is valued higher than infinite based on our marginal understanding and comprehension on what those things even mean.

    Those "poor kids" are better off...far better off. We could be so lucky....
     
  8. Jpark

    Jpark Contributor

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    Never mind.
     
    Last edited: May 4, 2010
  9. Jpark

    Jpark Contributor

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    Never mind.
     
    Last edited: May 4, 2010
  10. juvenissun

    juvenissun ... and God saw that it was good.

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    This "if" is wrong. So, we do not have to see the rest of the argument.

    What God gives, God can take it away. As you said, the example of this are toooo many in the Bible.

    The correct question to ask is: Why does God want to give us free will? Free will to do what (limited free will)? God does not give too much free will to all His angels. God tells angels that you do this and you don't do that. He does not have to worry about that any of His angels would say no back to Him.

    Obviously, you are able to say no to God.
     
  11. drich0150

    drich0150 Regular Member

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    The Bible is not a dictionary, but if you wish to go through a complete study of "freewill" as found in scripture the PM me.


    The definition can be found in recorded word and in thought. In other words The definition is applied in scripture as I have described it. As I said earlier the bible is not laid out like a modern dictionary so you will not find "definitions" for every word or principle.

    That said, if you persist in your definition of the word "Free will" then I will also ask that you, provide a list of the specific verses that support your definition. "I'll show you mine if you show me yours."

    But since you went straight to challenging my definition rather than confronting it with yours, then then I'm lead to believe that you're hanging all of your anger and disdain on a self righteous belief, rather than a outlined biblical principle.

    May I suggest if you are going to take on the role of "God's Judge" then you at least acquaint yourself with the whole of scripture, and not just the bits that satisfy your need to condemn.

    Again your definition of "Free will" does not apply to scripture. (Otherwise show us were free will is applied as you describe it) Pharaoh was able to sin. even with a hard heart you still have the choice between God's will and your own.


    This is a response of a frighten man who believes that death is the end and that this life is as good as it gets. I say: Death is not the end it is only the beginning, and death only served to usher all of those children (And the rest of us) to the God that loves all of us more then any could possibly here on earth.

    Besides did you even bother to read any of the conditions that most of those children lived through?

    My original statement was in response to what you said about God's order to slaughter the live stock..

    Your eating meat is apart of the reason we slaughter of millions of animal yearly. Do you think than in all of the times the army of Israel was commanded to destroy those animals (combined) it even comes close to what we slaughter now?
     
  12. lookingglass

    lookingglass Member

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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.
     
  13. lookingglass

    lookingglass Member

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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.
    LG
     
  14. Emmy

    Emmy Senior Veteran

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    Dear skepticlogician. The 2 examples you have given are from the O.T. which is a History of Israelites and their Prophets. We do know that God is all-powerful, He also sees our past, present and futures. As for Pharaoh, God knew what Pharaoh would do, God knew that he was stubborn and proud, and would not free the Israelites. In the 2nd instance, the Isralites were surrounded by Heathen-Tribes and their cruel gods, and God was establishing His Kingdom. God is Love, but God`s Law metes out fitting consequences. God has given us free will, and God is no liar. When Jesus came, He showed us God as He really is, a loving Heavenly Father who wants us back again. All God`s Plans are for our own Good, but God`s Law gives rewards for good deeds, and it also gives fitting consequences for NOT good deeds. God`s Law stands forever, skeptologician, even the world knows that God`s Law repays, we get what we deserve. I say this humbly and with love. Greetings from Emmy, sister in Christ.
     
  15. Lemmiwinks

    Lemmiwinks Newbie

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    Sometimes Pharoh hardened his own heart, other times God hardened his heart.

    He was a bad guy anyway, so that should be a warning to people. Keep being bad, and God might give you over to your own evilness.
     
  16. Merlin

    Merlin Paradigm Buster

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    nonsense.
    That's actually a translation error.
    The Hebrew Bible doesn't actually say that. A better English translation would be 'flying thingy' instead of 'bird.
     
  17. lookingglass

    lookingglass Member

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    Hey skepticlogician,
    Yes God hardened Pharoh's heart. And Pharaoh hardened his own heart freely against God. Both of these senarios are in Exodus. If you look closely enough you will see the two tenuous states. Its is interesting to note that throughout the old and new testaments you will find this kind of thing going on time and again. Should any of us have the notion that Pharoh's case is unique? I think not. It is tied in with our responses to His will. The Bible states He gives Grace to the humble but the proud and arrogant He resists. Look at the martydom of Stephen and see how Stephen says to the religious leaders before they stone him to death. "you always do resist the Holy Spirit as your forefather did. God is not saying that some of us are bad guys and therefore He hardens us because of this. He is rather calling all men to repentence. Those whom He calls He also Justifies those whom He justifies He also sanctifies. But calling is not for some and not others. "For the Grace of God has appeared to all men for Salvation". In the end determining someones course of life completely is not libertarian freedom. This would be unscriptual. Where in scripture do you find this as a doctrine? Where in the context universally do you find that God determines before the foundations of the worlds this kind of doctrine. I mean really. if what you say is true then before God created the universe He had determined Pharoh to doom! I hardly think this can be proven scriptually. You might as well say He determined Adam and Eve to disobey! Where do you draw the line. Again did not Pharoh finally give in and give permission to let the people go! You have not answered the questions. "When God hardened Pharoh's advisors how is it that they were not completly hardened as they tried to convince Pharoh to relent. They were reasoning with Him and did not think it beyond his ability to relent. I say God did harden Pharoh in response to his stubborness. God knew ahead of time the character of Pharoh and how he would react and so He decided for his glory to prolong his resistence to show the world his power and glory. But his hardening is not to damnation but only for a season. He is after all in the business of saving not destroying people.

    LG
     
  18. Jpark

    Jpark Contributor

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    Never mind.
     
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2010
  19. ZephyrWiccan

    ZephyrWiccan Guest

    But he couldn't choose not to. That is where hte free will was taken away.

    As to eating animals, I have never eaten an animal and never will. My mother raised me Vegan and vegan I will stay. If you want to see the truth about your food, go google "Earthlings" - excellent documentary.
     
  20. JELIEL

    JELIEL Morning Star

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    I found these statements to be Anti-Semitic and racist.

    To say that not everything in the OT is from God, I accept that, as is sufficient evidence to come to this conclusion.

    To take it further and public denounce that Jews planted false account into the Scriptures - that the Jews belong to Satan, etc. without any prove whatsoever is not only defamation but also false witness.

    Skepticlogician has post a good but difficult question, and taking into consideration that we have over 33000 Christian denominations, is obviously that there a going to be different point of views regarding “Free Will” there Christian that take the Bible literally while others may take Symbolic and Metaphysically.

    I am interested in this question as well, but let discussed without any defamation of other religions, we are in 2010 to keep blaming the Jews for things happening to Jesus or Christians, is as foolish as star blaming Christians for the things Hitler (a Christian and mass boy) did to the Jews.

    Nowadays with internet available to almost everyone, it is very easy to find out the correct facts and events.


    "Do not spread false reports. Do not help a wicked man by being a malicious witness. Exodus 23:1

    A false witness will not go unpunished, and he who pours out lies will perish. Proverbs 19:9

    :groupray:


    .
     
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