The Evangelical Universalist Forum

The Essential Role of Free Will in Universal Reconciliation


#21

This delightfully sounds like something I read by Oswald Chambers that shocked me when I first read it:

I really appreciate your thoughts and how well you are able to express yourself. Thank God for people such as you.


#22

I think I see this in a similar way to James and Paidion - especially in the parable of the 2 sons:

The father in the story never actually says ‘right - he’s been gone long enough I’m going to drag him home’ but neither does he say ‘Oh well! - he’s had more than enough time to see the error of his ways I’m going indoors’.

The errant son is in his own hell with the pigs for an undisclosed length of time (aionian judgement to be sure). Before he can return to his father he has to ‘come to his senses’. This implies that the time of his stay in hell is indeed dependent on his ‘making a rational decision’ to turn away from his lifestyle (repent) and go home. On the other hand while he is immersed in that lifestyle it seems to imply that he isn’t thinking rationally - the father isn’t using the excuse of the boy’s willful behaviour to abandon him - he’s waiting for him to ‘come to his senses’ so that he can lavish his love on the boy (and we all know what the other son thought of that).

The longer the boy lives in the far country the worse his situation gets - eventually this worsening crisis breaks through the nonsensical decision not to return home. The son has repented of his own free will yet the thought of all he has lost at home is the driver for that repentance - the son does his bit, of his own free will - but the love of his father has ‘dragged’ him back to his senses.

I associate myself closesly with the wayward son but don’t know whether the point of ‘coming to my senses’ will occur for me in this life - that is why I hope UR is indeed true.


#23

Great thread here guys.

I tend to see my more reformed side emerging these days. I do tend to think along the lines of Dr. Talbott. Rather than seeing that God simply offers salvation in order to preserve the virtue of relationship, I read scripture as God being determined to save the lost sheep. In other words I agree with Talbott here:

It seems to me that permission is a loose term we use. If God permits people to remain delusional forever and at the same time also plans to remove the delusion of all people there seems to be a great misunderstanding of what we mean by “he permits”.

I tend to think Thomas is correct, that if he indeed is determined to save the world then he in no way could “permit” the world to remain delusional. His permission, would be in conflict with his actions if he did do so.

It seems we may be crossed on our defintition of “permit”.

Aug


#24

I really can’t see how christians can accept arminianism and its conception of an impotent God subject to the whims of puny mortals, when scripture is so clear that this is just not the case.

PROV 16:1,4,9,33. I KNOW THAT GOD CAN DO EVERYTHING AND NO PURPOSE OF HIS CAN BE WITHHELD FROM HIM. jOB 42:2 That’s why when we work out our salvation, we have no room for boasting because he is working in us (whether arminians think so or not) both to WILL and to do according to his good pleasure. (Phil 2:12.

Paul knew that it was given to the Philippians to believe in Christ. Phil 1:29. That’s why he thanked God for their salvation (which would make no sense it they saved themselves.) That’s why Paul wanted Timothy to pray for everyone. (1 Tim 2:1) why pray if God is impotent to save them?

We are saved by grace through faith, (Eph 2-8-10) which incidentally is NOT OF OURSELVES. Not by works of any kind, including the work of conversion. That’s we we cannot boast. because we are HIS workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works. How are we created by God in Christ if we are saving ourselves. God saves the chosen not the choosy. Salvation is not of him who wills but of God who shows mercy. (Rom 9:9)

The leopard cannot change his spots nor the Ethiopian his skin. Nor can we who are accustomed to doing evil do good. Last time I checked putting our faith in Christ was doing good. It is a work of God. (John 6:29) After all, the carnal mind is not subject to the law of God, neither can it be. It is opposed to God. Rom 8:29

Arminians make God out to be impotent. Calvinists make him out to be a cosmic tyrant. But calvinism once connected with universalism makes God the all wise, all loving and all powerful being he actually is.

When Adam and Eve sinned God was not sleeping. He was right there. He is omniscient. yet he allowed them to be coerced by an evil entity far superior to them in knowledge and the powers of persuasion. The only possible conclusion we can draw from this is that He wanted them to fall. Otherwise he would have showed up and stopped them from making the biggest mistake of their lives. So why would he do this. Logically it must be for our benefit. How all this suffering and misery resultant from that sin can be a benefit to us remains to be seen. But given the nature of LOVE we can be confident that in the end we will look back at it all from our state of glorification and say, He has truly done all things well.


#25

willieH: Hi TT… :bulb:

The notation that Tom Talbott will refrain from answering questions due to family hardship is due prayer on behalf of that hardship. I am battling cancer, so I can relate… God’s blessing be upon you Tom.

That said… Anyone so motivated, is welcome to respond to my words.

As Tom has stated his “belief” in “free will” (in red below)… I shall do same… and state my position:

I believe in Complete Divine Sovereignty [CDS]… and that indeed – Rom 13:1ALL POWER is OF GOD (which means any POWER that is manifest, is enabled BY Him and FROM Him)… as well as that GOD is working ALL THINGS (which means that NOTHING is exempt from “His involvement” in its manifestation) – Eph 1:11 – which include ALL manifestations of individual choosings forthcoming in this realm, regardless of whether they are Good or Evil… ALL of which find themselves in the ordered procession which was DECLARED prior to 1 second of it elapsing, or 1 choice, being made – Isaiah 46:10-11 – Rom 4:17

Tom Talbott notes below his belief in the UNBIBLICAL position of “free will”… basing the balance of his theology upon the belief of the (assumed, unwritten) existence of it, despite the fact that it is not mentioned in the WORD of God, as even existent in this realm OR within our circumstances…

Free will, if truly existent and as “believed” by most Christianity, …shall be forever known as the ultimate CURSE when the whole of Humanity is considered, for if most “choose” erroneously by using this “supposed” tool… then that number has been

(1) cursed with it (resulting in severities)
(2) did not ask for it
(3) was given it, despite the foreknowledge of its impending erroneous use and resultant negativities, and
(4) notes this to be a merciless imposition that God forced upon most without their consent.

All of that [IMO] is VERY UNREASONABLE, and therefore, along with the lack of Biblical support for “free will”, is subject to question by those who truly seek to know TRUTH… (which is actually IS WRITTEN in the WORD)

JESUS CHRIST noted Himself as TRUTH – John 14:6 – and though this term "free will’] is not found within the WORD of TRUTH, it is nevertheless asserted to be “TRUTH”, and finds itself as the most pivotal and foundational tool, affecting the conclusions of LIFE as lived, as well as the gain or loss of the SALVATION of men individually.

“FREE WILL” is commonly held and BELIEVED by almost ALL humanity, therefore Christianity is found holding hands with the rest of the WORLD – ATHIESTS, other Non-Christian religions, Evolutionists, etc… Which, though they do not concern themselves with “Salvation”… They BELIEVE this to be the foundation of themselves, centered IN THEMSELVES which “chooses” as they “see fit”…

Disregarding the Holy Scriptures which note that MAN (though He entertains the options) does NOT ORDER his OWN steps – Jer 10:23 – Prov 20:24 – Prov 16:9 – Eph 1:11 – Eph 2:10 – rather ALL steps of men are ORDAINED to be made, according to YHVH and His Declaration of them – Isaiah 46:10

As are many other doctrines which find existence within the varying teachings of Christianity, …this term “free will”] and BIBLICALLY undefined definition, is proposed as not only the ultimate factor of Salvation [choosing for or against it] as emerging from MAN as opposed to God…

Yet finds no basis in the WORD as a subject matter… And further proposes that the mission of CHRIST was futile from the beginning, as GOD is noted as UNWILLING [BOULEMA = intent] that ANY perish – 1 Pet 3:9

Rom 9:20 – in the very same CONTEXT, notes “complaint” coming from one who has been “made” a given way… If indeed it is one who is made HONORABLE, then “complaint” would not be forthcoming… This verse also includes that HOWEVER God might “make” a person… that they have NO RIGHT to make this “complaint”, for GOD is the one who decides the state in which they are “made” and indeed has MADE them thusly of DIVINE and PERFECT choosing.

If GOD is therefore “making” a given person in a “negative” way, which in turn manifests “complaint”… then wherein is FREE WILL? As well… if GOD is also ordering the steps of the other, which chooses in such a way that does NOT manifest “complaint”, then again, wherein is “FREE WILL”? One is MADE “dishonorable”… one is MADE “honorable”, both forthcoming OF the “MAKER”, and not themselves! :bulb:Rom 9:21-23

Hopefully seeking not to offend, I find it laughable to consider that one who is (let us say) “choosing” to murder, is enacting this HEINOUS deed, from a “choosing"foundation” that can be considered “FREE”… :open_mouth:

On the contrary… he/she is deeply embedded in the ENSLAVEMENT of the MISLED and SELFISH desire (for whatever motivations are held IN that desire) to end the life of another, irregardless of REASON which proposes to any such person — that he/she has not GIVEN life to this one, therefore the right to “TAKE it AWAY” is not possessed.

REASON is thereby disregarded in the stead of the misgiven SELFISH desire which enacts said “choosing”, which is made in and by the bondage to this ugly and selfish desire… and is hardly manifesting “FREEDOM” in any way.

To say that WE, via our “choosing” decide the forthcoming manifestations of GRACE within our circumstances is completely amiss, IMO… We are members of the BODY of CHRIST who is the HEAD of the “body”…

We do not EVER “persuade” God (the HEAD) to be responsive to “our desires or demands”… on the contrary. We are they which are responsive to His Persuasions and are RESPONSIVE to HIS will and Declaration of us… Learning this FACT, actually manifests in us that HE is GOD, and WE are subject to Him in ALL THINGS… and are LIVING portions of HIS PURPOSE and REVELATION…

If indeed ANY “foreordination” was of a RESPONSIVENESS from GOD, it therefore displays that YHVH has therein (within foreordained “good” choosings) shown RESPECT [partiality] to those whom HE has deemed AFOREHAND to walk in such a way that shall preclude, said… “SEVERITIES” – Eph 2:10

It is quite evident in the testimony of belivers down through time, that individual portions of “severities” were not avoided by ANY. Paul gives quite a testimony of his own, which included imprisonment, beatings, etc. – 2 Cor 11:23-26

If we even slightly open our “eyes”, we shall see the reflection of GOD, within the positioning of ourselves as human beings…

Our hands are RESPONSIVE TO (and do) the will of the HEAD… our feet, the same etc… My ears do not decide what music I shall listen to… My feet do not decide what shoes I shall wear… my stomach does not decide what food I shall put into it… My eyes do not decide which movie they shall watch…etc.

Also any proposition that maintains that SIN is held in account to be “paid for” by the “sinner” in any way, …is contrary to such Scriptures as 2 Cor 5;19 – Psalm 130:3 – John 1:29 – which note that a record of TRANSGRESSION is NOT held against men, nor even KEPT by YHVH.

That we shall indeed REAP what we SOW… determines the degree of sorrow and/or joy that we might experience during the course of this life, but SIN is not paid for by these sufferings… It’s demand for PAYMENT was met in its ENTIRETY upon the Cross of CHRISTCol 1:20 – 1 Tim 2:6

I will continue later, allowing objections to what I have just said… :bulb:

…willieH :wink:


#26

willieH: Hi wmb… :wink:

By and large I agree with this post and commend the wisdoms in it… I only take exception to one point (in red), but in the interest of diverting the conversation, I will abstain from commenting upon it.

I believe that it is in the VISION of the “OPPOSING” portion, that true KNOWLEDGE of something is established and gained… In viewing UP we find DOWN… in viewing LOSS we come to know the value of GAIN… etc.

God has purposed that the JOY of Himself, be gained and KNOWN to its FULLEST and COMPLETE manifestation. Without knowing the OPPOSITES of JOY, we cannot truly KNOW what it is…

I am 65, battling cancer… in this present UNFRIENDLY state, I can look back upon the FRIENDLINESS of HEALTH, STRENGTH and YOUTH contained in days past, a short time ago… now having come to KNOW them to be full of WONDER… When I lived those moments… I had no idea of their TRUE values… as I do within the state of LIFE that I presently occupy. Looking JOYFULLY forward to their restoration… and IN that RESTORATION, to KNOW and to CHERISH the true JOY represented in each of them – :smiley: – thankful to YHVH for giving me this opportunity, which in part has contained HARDSHIP, but has resulted in coming to KNOW Him and His JOY to the fullest.

Peace… :wink:

…willieH :sunglasses:


#27

Welcome Willie! :smiley:

I think these are just different ways of looking at the same thing. I, for one, agree with both of you.


#28

willieH: Hi SR… :wink:

I noticed you are from Seattle! I live in Spokane, nice to knowya neighbor! :smiley:

…willieH :mrgreen:


#29

Right on, neighbor! Just moved here in October, in fact, all the way from Texas. I work for a trucking company and we send drivers to Spokane all the time.

Nice to meetya, Willie! :mrgreen:


#30

willieH: Hi All… :wink:

Continuing my response to the Opening post:

:confused: Hmmm… first you quote Scripture which notes that our STEPS are ordered by GOD… then you say that WE create misery for ourselves? Which is it, Tom? If …I… push …YOU… into the fire, then WHO has made the decision that YOU enter the fire? Did YOU decide to “create this misery”? Or was your “step” INTO that “misery”, …ordered by me? :question:

There is no doubt the men choose, and do make a mess of things within life… however… this is FOREORDAINED to be so, as DECLARED by YHVHIsaiah 46:10 – and nothing and NO ONE shall divert even ONE IOTA, from that Declaration! Otherwise the “DECLARATION” is seen at fault, and incorrectly indicated.

“Rational agents” do not choose IRRATIONALLY, this is an OXYMORON… however MEN always (of themselves) choose “amiss”… the actual definition of SIN is to “miss the mark”… Men, aside from the aiding of the inspiration of Holiness, remain of a heart which is DECIETFUL above ALL THINGS – Jer 17:9 – and while ADMIDST that deceit (apart from the direction of Holiness), are hardly “rational”.

Paul is teaching REASON… and that by SOWING to the SPIRIT, we shall of the SPIRIT REAP Joy WHILE in the FLESH, …the reverse is true when we SOW unto the FLESH, for as we do so we shall OF THE FLESH, REAP …CORRUPTION… WHILE in the FLESH… :bulb:

Not that some FUTURE “hell” awaits us which brings its “RETRIBUTION” against men, for SIN… which has already been paid for… and TAKEN AWAY – John 1:29 – 2 Cor 5:19 – Psalm 130:3 – and no RECORD is kept OF IT.

I shall agree to this… however… our “selfish choices” were ordained to be as they have manifest throughout the history of MANKIND… for GOD decided what “self” is, and in giving man CHOICE, also instituted of HIS decision, …the results of those CHOICES, via His Declaration OF THEM.

Here I shall find several objections:

FIRST — Something entangled and enslaved by SIN, can hardly be considered as FREE… How can we be “FREE” to SIN? When SIN itself is an ENSLAVEMENT from which we must be DELIVERED? :astonished:

SECOND — “relative impunity” suggests that an immediate consequence does not arrive upon the enacting of SIN… I agree that an immediate consequence is not always imposed, but surely shall come according to the DIVINE DECLARATION of the principle of SOWING and REAPING… The deeds of the FLESH are due their own CORRUPTION and suffering…

THIRD — That “freedom to sin” (which is an oxymoron, such as long shortness, or lightly heavy)… SIN is BONDAGE… and BONDAGE cannot ever be termed as FREE. The terms are disassociated by REASON, from one another. That one might be UNIMPEDED by an external force, does not mean that one is FREE in the manifestation of mischoosings. As men MURDER one another, God stands by INERT. Why might you think this to be so, Tom?

It is because that “MURDER” was DECLARED by Him to manifest… and BOTH participants (victim and assailant) were brought forth BY HIM to be participants. The MURDER is PART of the forthcoming of the KNOWLEDGE of GOOD and EVIL, as is being shared by YHVH with His Children, which are become MEN…

It is within the wisdom of GOD that the MURDER is manifest, otherwise it remains just “INFORMATION” which is NOT ALIVE, nor ever was… but as it is MANIFEST in a LIVING setting by LIVING beings, thereby makes it a LIVING and EXPERIENTIAL KNOWLEDGE, as well as information.

True “KNOWLEDGE” is the application of INFORMATION to EXPERIENCE

You can read hundreds of books concerning the “driving” of a car, but until you take this INFORMATION and apply it to ACTUAL experience… then you SURELY shall not “KNOW” …HOW to DRIVE. The KNOWLEDGE of GOOD and EVIL is no different.

Repentence comes only by the LEADING of GOD – Rom 2:4 – No man “repents” of his own doing or motivation – John 6:44 – for until the Creator drags us to His WORD, and His WORD “reveals” God to us – Matt 11:27 – then we shall remain UNREPENTENT, and of the DESPARATELY WICKED and DECIETFUL heart which devises SIN.

I shall agree with (most of) this thinking Tom… “short of annhilation” is an Unbiblical assertion… Why would GOD “annhilate” or even think to “annhilate” that which He so LOVES? – John 3:16 – which “love” is an ETERNAL notation, from within His UNCHANGING heart.

Might I add that all “burning and consuming” is manifest IN THIS LIFE… which IS the Lake of FIRE PUR]… symbolically referenced in the Book of the REVEALING of the WORD of God which is taking place HERE and NOW.

GOD — [size=150]IS[/size] — (not “will be”) a consuming FIRE… and his WRATH – [size=150]IS[/size] (not “will be”) – REVEALED – Rom 1:18

We are AMIDST Him, as we speak – Acts 17:28for …IN HIM [who is a “consuming fire”] do we LIVE and move and HAVE OUR BEING…

It is within the FIRE PUR] of THIS LIFE, that the “gold” of CHRIST was “tried in FIRE” – Rev 3:18 – 1 Pet 1:8

Peace… :wink:

…willieH :smiley:


#31

I appreciate Talbot’s first post. I do approach this topic from a different perspective though.

When asked about free-will, I often ask the person why he chose to be born male. Why not choose to be born female? Whey did he choose to be born in the 20th Century? Why did he choose to be born in America, to a middle class family, caucasian, intelligent and not athletic, red hair instead of another color, etc.? Why did he choose his family to be born into? Why did he choose to not have an addictive personality? etc. etc. etc.

My point is simple, we humans have very limited free-will and even the free-will we think we have is very influenced, even controlled, by things we have no choice over. For example, our personality type significantly influences how we process information and make decisions. And we have no choice over what type of personality we have; we’re born with it. Our motivational gifts also heavily influence what choices we make, and these motivational gifts are hard-wired in us. Even our spiritual gifts are something God puts in us, not something we choose.

We have very limited autonomy, some more than others, and thus just punishment for misuse of such autonomy should also be limited, very limited.


#32

Free-will only covers those things that are within your will in the frist place. So whether you are born male or female, north or south, etc. has no relevance and is irrational to any free-will discussion.


#33

How much autonomy we have is very relevant to the discussion. The examples of us not having choice over major factors in our lives is simply meant as an illustration of just how limited our autonomy is. I find that it helps people realize just how limited our autonomy is. In fact, when one considers the scope of our lives, autonomy is a miniscule part. To believe that our endless destiny is determined by such autonomy is irrational, to me. We are responsible for the limited choices we have, but even that responsibility is limited due to our ability to make right choices being very limited.


#34

This all is very fascinating to me Sherman…

I think we speak (in Christian circles anyway) far too little about freedom.
Yes, we talk about how “limited” freedom actually is; and I certainly agree with you that it does not encompass the “freedom” to be lost.
But what about the freedom to “be happy”? Is that a choice??
Thinking af all the sorts of folks I’ve worked with over the years… the ones who’ve impressed me most are the ones who seemed to have the most reason NOT to be “happy” yet were the most happy… They seemed thus somehow “free” from their circumstances which I had judged should make them the most depressed and despairing.

Then there is the whole angle that love means nothing unless it is freely given; and I find that very persuasive.
So freedom being very very real, yet at the same time very limited…

About as delicious a “problem” as one can encounter!!

TotalVictory
Bobx3


#35

willieH: Hi brother TV… :smiley:

My 2 pennies…

GOD is LOVE – 1 John 4:8 – and any form of LOVE within a living being, is God living within that being… whether it be the love of a friend, parent, spouse, sibling, dog, parakeet, even life itself.

We do not “choose” GOD or LOVE (which is what HE IS), …GOD/LOVE, chooses US – John 15:16

LOVE is surely “given”… but the one experiencing the presence of LOVE, has not “chosen” to have its presence… LOVE calls you to Itself… and when LOVE calls IN you to LOVE others… than LOVE is “given” of Itself to you by appearing in you for others.

“free will” really has nothing to do with you or I, “choosing to love”…

FREEDOM is actually having been chosen by LOVE, to make It’s residence within your heart… creating FREEDOM in you – John 8:32

I loved my mom (when she was alive, miss her dearly), …I did not …“choose”… to love her, …I just DID… because LOVE had already appeared in her for me, and the LOVE (already) in her, …drew me to love her. :bulb:

I have been married for 34 years… I fell in love with my wife… I did not “choose” to love her… LOVE chose me… as well as chose her… coming to reside within the power of ITSELF, in each of us…

LOVE is TOTALLY in command of itself… not by the one “loving” or by the one “loved”… but is manifest IN living beings of “It’s” decision to reside in them.

…willieH :smiley:


#36

Hi again WillieH:

This of course deeply intrigues me; and we do come at this from different angles it seems.
I hear, in the way you write about this dynamic of love and freedom, almost a passivity on the part of the human creature. Almost like a determinism wherein free will is utterly irrelevant.

Tom’s title in this thread is “The essential role of FREE WILL in UR…”
Am I hearing you correctly that you don’t find it essential at all??

There is a huge point of agreement between us I think when you say that any love we have is merely a response to being loved by God in the first place. Lots of biblical support for that I think. eg Jesus asks Peter who told you this? You didn’t get this by yourself; it was revealed to you by God. God the initiator and we the respondents. And so on.

I’d be curious to know what you think Adam and Eve’s “problem” was and if they were in fact “free”?

This all reminds me of the comments by a good friend at work who is a charismatic and says stuff I just don’t get. regarding my hearing loss and need for hearing aids he’s told me this; the victory is already won Bob, your ears have already been healed Bob. All you have to do is reach out and accept it.
That sort of thing.

So I say DAVE! Are you telling me I just show up to work NOT wearing my hearing aids and expect to hear???

Like I say, interesting.

TotalVictory
Bobx3


#37

To me, happiness and joy are two different things. Happiness is a momentary feeling that it very much effected by situations, things that happen to us. Joy is an abiding state of happiness; it’s the opposite of depression.

Momentary Happiness is very much influenced by circumstances, things that happen to us or to those whom we love. A person though can be joyful regardless of what is happening to them. Where does joy come from? It is an aspect of the fruit of the Spirit. Joy comes from feeling loved and having faith, hope, and a sense of self-worth. Note that feeling loved, and having faith, hope, and a healthy sense of self-worth are not founded upon things that happen to us, but are founded in what we believe about God, others, and ourselves.


#38

willieH: Hi TV… :smiley:

I did not come to this conclusion overnight… That “Tom” has entitled this thread, does not mean that the title is at all VALID…

Maybe I could clarify my position, by a few examples bro…

[size=150](1)[/size] — “free will” is NOT a Biblical terminology, nor is it inferred in the WORD… It is assumed by most, that the “power of choice” represents that man has a will which is “free”, yet in “choosing”, …man IMMEDIATELY places himself in BONDAGE by the use of this “free will”… :open_mouth:

Embracing a LIE that is CENTERED upon him/herself, as somehow INDEPENDENT of the INFLUENCE of GOD, and somehow is able to THWART an “Almighty being” via enacting this mythical “tool”, given by GOD to him/her… this conclusion is LOGOICALLY faulty in several ways…

[1] — First and foremost, in order for us to deduce our “will as free” we must begin by eliminating the STATEMENTS made in many (too many to list, but here are a few) Scriptures such as: Eph 1:11 – Isaiah 64:8 – Rom 9:21 – John 14:6 – Isaiah 45:9 – Prov 21:1 – Prov 20:24 – Which note that GOD creates ALL things, and is WORKING all things.

[2] — That you have the “power to choose” does not equate to “freedom” is engaged in the “choosing” for ALL are already deduced SINNERS – Rom 3:23 – not to mention that UNBELIEF (which in ITSELF is a SIN – Rom 14:23) is CONCLUDED by GOD in ALL – Rom 11:32

[3] — That man cannot even KNOW his own “WAY”, is evident that the “WAY” in which He is led, is done by other than himself. The Scriptures that in many places note this TRUTH, must also be ignored in order to substanciate the notion of “free will”, such as – Jer 29:14 – Jer 10:23 – Prov 16:9 – there are MANY more… but hopefully you will only have to disregard the few that I have listed! :laughing: — I’m really just kidn’ you brother! :blush:

[size=150](2)[/size] — If CHRIST is that “maker” of ALL THINGS that are “MADE”… How may YOU (which has been “made” by Him), “make” decisions apart from the “maker” of all things? If a decision is “made” then it must needs fall into line as a “thing” which is “made”… and therefore be subject to the MAKER of ALL THINGS – John 1:3 – Col 1:16

[size=150](3)[/size] — Prior to the existence of ANYTHING… GOD DECLARED the totality of END to BEGINNING… of those things which would (eventually in time) “exist” – for that DECLARATION (which was incidentally made by HIS WORDS)… was concerning the “things” which were NOT YET DONE – Isaiah 46:10 – which was …EVERYTHING!

Amongst the “things” that were “not yet DONE” were the “decisions” eventually “MADE” by YOU… You could not POSSIBLY “decide” anything that is contrary to that DECLARATION, otherwise, …the WORD of God is found noting YOU falsely, and is therefore LYING in its “DECLARATION” of you (end to beginning)…

[size=150](4)[/size] — The WILL of YHVHIS… done in Heaven – Matt 6:9-10 – Luke 11:2 – So in the end, your “free will” ends here on Earth, at your death, no? That is unless “His WILL” shall only be DONE in HEAVEN, till YOU “arrive” with your “free will”, eh? Do you not see the fallacy in this perception? Is it not, just SELF exalting itself over GOD, in the “here and now”? Centering upon SELF (and ones false perception of “free will”), and not upon HIM (and the “WILL” which is ETERNAL)? :bulb:

Furthermore, YHVH, from which ALL POWER proceeds – Rom 13:1 – had to have enabled you to be able to “CHOOSE”… for “choosing” is a “power”… and If HE enabled YOU to “choose” – declaring those choices beforehand (prior to them being “made”), and empowering you to “make them”… how may this possibly be SEPARATED from HIM? The TRUTH is, that it CANNOT be separated from Him. And only SELF shall argue against it… As it fights to remain in BONDAGE to SELF.

When the WORD makes one FREE (creating FREEDOM in that one) and thereby, …a follower of the Holy Standards of YHVH GOD… then, where is left the …“free will”? And how indeed was it ever really, “free”, if it had to be CHANGED from its inherent self-oriented position? :question:

I do not think Adam & Eve had a “problem” at all, bro… I believe that it was COMPLETELY intended that they DO what they DID… which was FORETOLD to begin with @ the FOUNDATION of the WORLD – Isaiah 46:10 – Rom 4:17

If Adam & Eve, had NOT “chosen” to DO what they DID… then HOW may I ask you, would EVIL have become known? Or GOOD for that matter? For the KNOWLEDGE of BOTH —> GOOD –AND– EVIL was contained in the tree! – Gen 2:17

Ask yourself… WHY would God plant such a tree in the MIDST of the Garden? Why would God notify the only 2 residents of the Garden, as to its location? Why would God blame these 2 for using the “free will” He gave them to use?

MAN must abandon SELF completely in order that GOD be the ONLY GOD of his/her life! And if we hold on to the notion that our “WILL” is somehow separate from Him and His decisions concerning our lives (by giving us a “will” which would be in most cases, detrimental)… then He is found being INDIFFERENT to us, …NOT… LOVING us. :bulb: :cry:

The man suggesting this to you, is focusing upon the FLESH… He thinks that the FLESH is that which is important, and so “HEALING” must needs be, having to do with the FLESH… If one is minded SPIRITUALLY… then one is concerned with SPIRITUAL HEALING, not FLESHLY…

If what he maintains is true… then a Christian that gets AIDS, can disperse of this disease by believing that it does not exist. Many Christians have died focusing upon the flesh… instead of the Spirit…

I am presently battling CANCER… and I do not ever give it an inch of place in my mind or body… that does not remove it from being a fleshly reality… I choose to spend what time I might have left… focusing on preaching the WORD of TRUTH to others… which engages healing of my SPIRIT, …the flesh which contains SIN, is going to die one day, from one negative cause or another… and all the “believing” I might invest in sparing it, will only conclude by meeting its appointment – Heb 9:27

Many like to note that Noah’s or Lot’s lives were spared… but this “sparing” was only temporal… Noah and Lot (as well as ALL MEN) eventually died… just not in the FLOOD, or in Sodom… :bulb:

As you are well aware, there is a story in the NT where it was asked of CHRIST concerning a BLIND MAN, as to whether or not this was possibly a result of his father or mothers sin…

The healing from BLINDNESS that CHRIST did of the man, was not about the “man SEEING” as much as GLORIFYING the one who GIVES SIGHT in any realm…

So your Charismatic friend (have had much associations with charismatics)… even though sincere, …is focusing upon your PHYSICAL HEARING, instead of focusing and finding more concern with not only YOURS, but his own, SPIRITUAL “HEARING”… :astonished: Which is recieving the LOVE the YHVH in “hearing” His WORD… in which TRUE and ETERNAL “Healing” is found.

The parable of the “LOST SON”… was not “about” either SON… it was about the LOVE of the FATHER… which BOTH came to KNOW…

The “LOST SON” came to know the LOVE of YHVH, by his undeserved acceptance of GOD…

The “FOUND” SON came to know the LOVE of YHVH, by the exposing of his own (albeit “obedient”) SELFISHNESS, which in essence, was the problem of the LOST SON too!! … :bulb:

Peace brother… :smiley:

…willieH :wink:


#39

Certainly our choices will be honored and if a son or daughter made in the image and likeness of God chooses not to bend their knee and with total freedom confess their surrender to His unending and ever remedial love they remain lost and seperated. The issue at hand is, is that possible? According to the overwhelming evidence in scripture and the testimony of the great eastern fathers of the ancient Church one can reasonably say no that is not possible. In light of His Incarnation Passion death and Resurrection it is impossible.

Christ will leave the 99 and search for the one unto the aeons until they hear His voice and turn back. This love is a wise fire according to the early fathers that purifies and ultimately destroys that which he truly has destroyed. Love does not end at the grave. His victory was and is total. He has not conquered sin and death to now have that which was defeated hold captive the vast majority of his children for all eternity. This is not victory. It is not the will of his Father.


#40

Bob, I think you may be confusing happiness with joy here. There are people who certainly have every reason to be unhappy, but they have something deeper that transcends “a choice for happiness”, which is joy. Happiness waxes and wanes, but true joy does not. There is a reason for the phrase “the Joy of the Lord is my strength”.

What I believe you are recognizing in these people is joy that comes from the Lord; which gives them the strength to be free from unhappiness due to crummy circumstances.