Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Refuting Pagan Free Will Ideas

 Well, . . . so much to work with. . . . Yay......:)

You wrote:  "I feel if preachers (from any doctrinal bias) strip man of his God given free will ability to obey and DO what is right they totally negate repentance proven by deeds! Unless man is a free agent born with full capacity to recognize and choose between good and evil the commands in scripture make no sense whatsoever and must all be re-defined to clarify his lack of ability to obey."

Again we see a prime example of reasoning TO the truth rather than FROM the truth.  I have been providing scripture to prove my points.  "I feel" . . . is a dangerous road to go down when trying to ascertain the character and purposes of God and His plan.

"The heart is more deceitful than all else And is desperately sick; Who can understand it?"  --Jer. 17:9

Nowhere in the Bible does it say that man has a free-will ability to "obey and do what is right".  In fact, God states the opposite:  "As the Scriptures say, 'No one is righteous--not even one. There is no one who understands; there is no one who seeks God; All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one.'"  --Rom. 3:10-12

If you disagree with that, you disagree with God, not me.  As Matt Slick would say, just go ahead and tear that section out of your Bible so it doesn't contradict what you "feel". . . .

Like Shawn McCraney I see you citing "what makes sense" (citing your self, in other words) instead of citing the Word of God.  This is a problem and a position that is the seed-bed for all the cults and heresies that would defy His revelation.  Joseph Smith didn't like what the Bible said in some places, for instance, and so he made up his own translation changing some of the plain meanings to 180 degrees opposite of their given intention.  Jehovah's Witnesses do the same thing with their "New World Translation".  It is nearly always the great tendency to want to give me complete "free agency" over God's sovereign decree that starts the walking away from the inerrant Word of God toward false (man-centered, man--glorifying) doctrine and false teachers/prophets.

You say, "BUT the so called Christians tell the world you CAN’T make a right choice or even obey God unless He does it for you."  (I guess that would make me a "so called Christian" btw)

Anyway, I don't know about "so called Christians" telling the world that, but JESUS tells the world that!:  "And Jesus said to him, 'Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone.'"

Can a human make a right choice without God?  “For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies.”  --Matt 15:19

"For who maketh thee to differ from another? and what hast thou that thou didst not receive? now if thou didst receive it, why dost thou glory, as if thou hadst not received it?"  --1 Cor. 4:7.  This shows that if you do have any good in you to do, it was received of God so stop boasting.

"Whatever is good and perfect comes down to us from God our Father, who created all the lights in the heavens."  --James 1:17

Even the very basic act of repentance by a person is ONLY possible as it is given to that person by God to be able to do.  It is a GIFT!  YOU AREN'T ABLE without God even to repent!  Only God gives us what we need for regeneration:

"I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.  And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws."  --Ez. 36:26,27

"For it has been given to you on Christ's behalf not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for Him," Phil. 1:29 

"When they heard these things they fell silent. And they glorified God, saying, “Then to the Gentiles also God has granted repentance that leads to life.”  --Acts 11:18

AND, of course, a cincher: “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; IT IS THE GIFT OF GOD, not of works, lest anyone should boast.”  --Eph. 2:8,9

As for Deut. 30:19-20 which you cited . . . I have no problem agreeing that we are given the direction to "choose life".   The question is whether we are ABLE to do so in our fallen--"no one does good, no not one" sinful, unregenerate state.  When we do choose life . . . WE are not to be the ones who could boast of it.  God gets ALL the glory.  Faith, repentance . . . are GIVEN . . . gifts of God which I just proved above.  I have already shown that His Word says we do not choose Him, but that HE chooses us. "You didn't choose me. I chose you." --John 15:16

. . . And “No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him” --John 6:44

Does God value human "free will" to "choose" life or death OVER AND ABOVE His desire that all be saved?  You would have to say yes. 

But HE says that NONE will be lost who He has given to the Son to be saved.  He does not leave it up to man to fulfill His will.  He is king, sovereign, ruler above ALL.  His sacrifice is perfect and does not fail!  All for whom He died WILL be saved!  No man, no woman, no creature's so-called "free will" is able to trump the will of God . . . and I dare say it borders on blasphemy to say it does.

“I know that You can do all things, and that no purpose of Yours can be thwarted” --Job 42:2

“All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out” --John 6:37

As for quoting Justin Martyr on free will--well, he's not scripture . . . and he also was influenced by his earlier belief as a heathen steeped in paganism and Platonism and especially the very PAGAN-originated idea of man's autonomous "free will". 

Dr. Robert Morey explains: 
“The pagan worldview taught that man was autonomous in an absolute sense. He was totally and absolutely ‘free’ and even the gods could not violate this freedom. The Greek philosophers were the first to articulate the idea that man had a ‘free will’ and that no one, not even a god, could violate it. The Greek philosopher Epictetus wrote, Not even Zeus himself can get the better of my free will.(216 )Who can any longer restrain or compel me, contrary to my own opinion? No more than Zeus."(217)
In a contingent (i.e., chance-driven) universe in which no one was in control, not even the gods, man was totally free to be or do whatever he wanted….The pagan philosophers claimed that man had to be ‘free’ in order for man to be responsible because they assumed that man was the measure of all things including his responsibility . . . Man’s responsibility was thus limited by two things: ignorance and inability. . . .
There was no concept in the pagan worldview that man’s responsibility meant accountability to his Creator who would one day judge him. Thus the pagan concept of man’s autonomous ‘free will’ was possible only in the context of that pagan polytheistic worldview.
When pagans first professed to be ‘Christians,’ some of them retained much of their pagan worldview” (Robert A. Morey, The Bible, Natural Theology and Natural Law: Conflict or Compromise?, [Christian Scholars Press, e2010], pp. 192-193).

1 comment:

Mark said...

Years back doing some reading on the natural law from some of the great philosophers and thinkers of the day in there writings it was interesting that they where in a way describing what we would call the ten commandments.

The thing that most thinkers can't grasp is that one's will is free within God's will and God's law.......The true natural law.

Strive to keep the ten and move about the earth freely.

When man begins to intelectualize the problems start.........keep the mind of a child.

Brother Thomas ©2015

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