Why is Free-Will So Important? | INFJ Forum

Why is Free-Will So Important?

Discussion in 'Philosophy and Religion' started by SovereignGrace, May 9, 2014.

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  1. SovereignGrace

    SovereignGrace Community Member

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    Why is "Free-Will" so important?


    Think about it.

    Many people assume that God CANNOT, or SHOULD not, "violate" a sinner's free-will, as if God is subject to the will of the sinner, rather than the sinner's will being subject to God.

    I've heard it said many times that, if God overpowers the free-will of a person, and saves them by grace, rather than by their own free-will, then that is tantamount to RAPE on God's part!

    That's INSANE!

    Would you rather GIVE UP your FREE-WILL and be SAVED from DESTRUCTION,

    or KEEP your FREE-WILL and go to HELL?


    RAPE is WRONGDOING, and does HARM to a person.

    How is it RAPE to SAVE a person from DESTRUCTION?


    First of all, if a sinner contributes to his salvation at all, then God is not the Savior, he's just a helper, at best.

    Ultimately, in this scheme, the sinner is the one who saved himself, since he had the final say about whether or not he'd be saved.


    Secondly, if salvation ultimately depends on the sinner's will, then who on earth can be saved?

    Does anyone REALLY BELIEVE that a SINNER has the SENSE to stop sinning, much less to SAVE HIMSELF from his SIN?

    The very fact that one SINS demonstrates that one's NATURE is that of a SINNER. And that's ALL he wants to DO is sin.


    And, so, if the SINNER'S FREE-WILL can only CONDEMN him, then WHY is FREE-WILL so IMPORTANT?

    Can ANYONE EXPLAIN this to me?
     
    #1 SovereignGrace, May 9, 2014
    Last edited: May 9, 2014
  2. Flavus Aquila

    Flavus Aquila Finding My Place in the Sun
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    Some claim that free will is an illusion. I don't just mean material determinists; but also theologians. God, being outside of time, creates the entire universe from His eternity. That means that to Him, the beginning of the universe is just as present as its end. Likewise, our birth is as present to Him, as is our final state, be it in heave, or hell. So, if God already knows where we will end up - and he is causing this existence, we don't really have a say in it.

    Nevertheless, free will, like time is certainly a part of creation. To God there is no time: He sees the beginning, middle and end all at once, without the passage of time; but it is undeniable that He has created time. Likewise, we might not have absolute will to change the nature of the universe fundamentally, but we do have free will to make choices and be pleased, or displeased with those choices, such that we can truly claim our choices as our own.

    What we make our own is very intimately connected with free will. A person born female, but never accepting it, will never claim the female gender - and she is free to do this; likewise, each of us has a common creator, a common destiny towards heaven, and a common problem with sin, which is the rejection of God. We may have freely sinned, or rejected God, but that decision, or action we can always disown. So, while we cannot change sin, we can disavow it; and likewise, we can claim God as our God, or we can reject Him as our God.

    We do have a choice, not to change the nature of God; but whether to accept Him - the whole he who welcomes you, welcomes me; he who rejects you, rejects me (to Apostles and their successors).

    Of course, having the freedom of choice (free will) is not the same as absolute freedom to create/fundamentally change things. We can choose to accept, or reject the offer of salvation; but we cannot lay down what the terms of salvation are. The terms of salvation are offered by Christ - and without that offer, no one can create salvation for himself, so it is indeed the work of Christ alone. However, the Gospels literally, as the name implies, point to the relieving fact that the option is on offer, for each of us to work out our salvation with a moderate amount of fear and trembling - fear and trembling lest we foolishly reject what we have begun to accept.
     
  3. dogman6126

    dogman6126 Community Member

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    If I may, I think you made a few quick assumptions here.

    "Would you rather GIVE UP your FREE-WILL and be SAVED from DESTRUCTION,
    or KEEP your FREE-WILL and go to HELL?"

    I find neither of these a necessary event. In the bible, it basically says God gave humans free-will, right? Well why would he take that away to save us if he gave it to us to start with? It seem to me that one can be saved and maintain their free will. In fact, the general idea of being saved is to accept God into your heart. This of itself seems to be an exercise of the very kind of free will you are saying we would actually need to give up. You cannot force a person to believe, they must choose for themselves.

    "First of all, if a sinner contributes to his salvation at all, then God is not the Savior, he's just a helper, at best."

    This sounds very inaccurate to me. You assume that humans have the final say. Well here's the thing, in the bible it clearly shows that God has the final say. Lets relate this to an example of a night club. Obviously you would want to go into the night club because its so fun and your friends are in there waiting for you, but first there is a bouncer by the door. Well you could want to get into the nightclub all you want, but if you don't fill the requisite criteria (age, cost of entrance etc.) then you won't get in. The same is true with God. You could want to go to heaven all you want, but if you haven't accepted God into your heart (and whatever other criteria is needed, i'm not going to get into that debate here) then you won't get in. God has the final say. However it does seem that one thing that does need to be done is you do have to choose to go to heaven. Back to the night club example, obviously you would never get in if you didn't even want to go in. God is not a helper, he is the one who decides if you deserve the privilege or have the necessary qualifications or not.

    "Does anyone REALLY BELIEVE that a SINNER has the SENSE to stop sinning, much less to SAVE HIMSELF from his SIN?
    The very fact that one SINS demonstrates that one's NATURE is that of a SINNER. And that's ALL he wants to DO is sin.
    And, so, if the SINNER'S FREE-WILL can only CONDEMN him, then WHY is FREE-WILL so IMPORTANT?"

    Here you do make a few good points, however let me try to assuage your concerns. Lets first consider free will by its more basic definition of choice. Now lets consider a basic case of a two option choice where one is the morally correct choice and one is a sin. Because a person has choice, they can reasonably make either choice. Lets now make the assumption that people want to be good people (meaning that they do one day want to go to heaven). In this case we can now say there is a correct choice (the moral choice) to make and an incorrect choice (the sin). In Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics (studying this now), he does talk about the weakness of will of a person. The two primary causes of such are ignorance (some differences made to say in ignorance and of ignorance but that is irrelevant here) and if involuntary (we will assume duress fits in this category for this argument because the difference is small in this case, however in other cases the difference is important). This is certainly reasonable to say that a person could make a mistake because of ignorance or involuntarily. Back in Plato's republic, Socrates describes a wrong choice as a lack of the proper information. Which is like Aristotle's in ignorance.
    The reason I bring this up is to show that basically when a person makes a mistake (we will call this a sin in this argument), that isn't to say that ones nature is to be a sinner, rather it is to say that ones nature is to make mistakes and one set of possible mistakes is to sin. Some mistakes can be made and they aren't really a sin (forgetting an anniversary, things like that). God understands that us humans make mistakes (after all he created us), and so he gives us the chance to fix that by being able to choose to ask for forgiveness or not. In this point, free will is not condemnation, rather a chance to fix our mistakes.
     
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