Freewill, the true God and The World

The first thing I want to talk about is our “freewill”. YES we DO have freewill. Not in the way we think however. Let me explain to you:
In life as we make a decision, we usually do so based on our past experiences or on how the world is treating us RIGHT NOW. So when we act on something, we have such a small mind set that we beleive it is actually US doing it. However, we forget that God (Elohim) formed us in HIS image. Therefore, if we are in HIS image, it’s all part of his plan and in THAT aspect, we have no free will.
Just as God knows the future, he knows what decions we will make before we make them. This concept may seem over your head for some, but actually if you think about it, it’s how we would want it anyway.
Every ‘bad’ decision you make, is IN God’s plan (not maybe his will, but his plan, there is a difference).
NOW DO NOT mistake the following as what I am trying to say!
Some people have said that if we are in God’s will then WHY does he put so many problems on us. The fact is, he isn’t. In reality, we are acting on OUR free will. You see, if we listen to the Bible and do the will OF GOD, then we will not have to worry about whether or not we are making the right choice.
Of course making the right choice means that you have to follow EVERY word that the TRUE translation of the Bible follows. Most beleive it is the KJV or what have you, but I will NOT dispute with anyone. I beleive we KNOW the differences between right and wrong, but must act on them as the Bible (teaching and instructions of God, THE WHOLE BIBLE, new testament and old) teaches.

Now, think about this, WHAT IF the message you are reading right now was IN God’s will? (surely it’s in his plan, I can only hope I’ve said the RIGHT things to make it IN his will).

Shalom and peace be unto you brothers and sisters…

Marino (my true name :slight_smile:

P.S. Sorry if this message is messed up, it was wrote at 3:00 in the morning phew!

Ok, so do we turn the other cheek, or take an eye for an eye? You see it’s quite hard to follow the WHOLE text if it contradicts itself.

Clearly you don’t know the true translations of the Bible. A lot of things since Constantine’s reign have been mistranslated into the KJV of the Bible as well as the NIV. The one that is the closest is the HRV or the Hebrew International Version.
You don’t have to be a Jew to read this, because it’s all in English.
First of all, the Bible doesn’t ever talk against itself, people try to bend and twist it to say that the scriptures mean something when they don’t (which is why in translation over the years, different cultures translated it to mean something more acceptable to them, not just language.)
Sorry to say, but maybe you should read my message over again, like I said, you have free will, but if you choose that free will you are NOT going to be in the WILL of God.

He who trusts in himself is a fool.

-Proverbs 28:26

Also if you can explain to me where in the Bible it counterdicts itself, thanks.

Sorry mr lee but everything here is gong to be against your point, not flame but against your point.

Now Gods will and gods plan are the same thing. You yourself are limiting god saying that one function of god is lesser than the other. when infact both functions are the same function and thus one can not be lesser or stronger than the other. Gods will is his plan, But i personaly have argued the fact that god is completly powerless simply because if he bends one tiny little finger the worlds(everything else) complexity would destroy itself
But i diverge. God cant will something to happen and have it not happen, if thats true then he isnt a all powerfull god he would then be less powerfull than my free will. And as for his plan well think ive never willed something and not planed for it to happen the way i want. what your saying is something like this

God: i want john to give me a candybar, lets check my plan and see if he will. ::checks plan and its says john will not give god a candybar:: Darn and i really wanted that one too.

When infact god is better defined in this example

God: John will give me his candy bar.
John: ::gives god his candybar::

notice in this example his will and the plan are the same and he is not weaker than the free will simply because there is none. But this argument is verry short and pointfull and misses a few issues that would infact nullify it.

The bible contradicts itself. Just because its ABOUT god doesnt mean it is flawless. URL Should take you to a lot of contradictions. And i do not mean just New testemant(covenant) vs Old Testemant(old covenant) Old testemant vs old, and New VS New BOTH CONTRADICT.

You haven’t told me a personal experience that made you beleive the Bible counterdicts itself.
As I said before, you obviously weren’t listening…
The Bible has been mistranslated many times and the true meaning has been thrown away by those who wish to make it THEIR own meaning. Now people will tell you that the KJV and NIV are completley correct. That is not true.
There are things that counterdict itself within these translations, but in other translations (HRV, Complete Jewish Bible) the meaning is kept quite clear.
I don’t need a link, I need YOUR input friend…

No, you sir are wrong. while the translations may have created typo like contradictions what me and HVD are saying is that there are contradictions in the first bible. not the most up to date. THE FIRST.

Dont worry it was written by man so mistakes are to be expected.

The bible contradicted its self for me when it said everything in modersation when god himself can not be moderated. but thats only in new testemant i think. been a while since bible school.

(1) When my Father gave me my allowance, he didn’t tell me how to spend it. Otherwise, it wouldn’t have been my allowance.

Likewise, God’s gift of freedom is unconditional.

(2) That the Bible contradicts itself is no objection to its validity. As Whitman said, “Do I contradict myself? Very well, then I contradict myself. I am large, I contain multitudes.”

Mr. Lee said:

Read the book of Job. God isn’t always nice, even to those whom are completely devoted to Him. God is a selfish being whom is completely devoted to his own glory. Not necessarily a bad thing, though. He has an excuse. He is the greatest of all beings so He must be devoted to Himself b/c it is the greatest thing that He can do. Anything less would be imperfect. All is done for the purposes of his own glory, even the things we percieve as “bad”. Check out J.I. Packer or John Piper for more on this subject.

What about before the Bible was canonized? What did they do then?

Now about Free Will, there is a theory that is often brought up in such a discussion. It is called determinism. a theory that acts of the will, occurrences in nature, or social or psychological phenomena are causally determined by preceding events or natural laws. Physics, right down to the fluctuations of energy between the synapses in your brain. Everything we do happens b/c something has previously caused it to happen.

This theory applies in even the supernatural existence of a deity such as God. Like you said, God created us in His image. Every single detail about each of us was mapped out by Him. David describes this concept in one of his Psalms. Can’t remember which one though. All of our seemingly “free will” is truly illusory. Not to say that we do not have a will, just not a free will. God, the original causal factor in who we are, is to blame for all that occurs in our interactions throughout life. Take for example this scenario:

There is a pencil on the table. You decide to pick it up. (Hence demonstrating your will) You suddenly have a heart attack while trying to pick up the pencil. You were not “free” to carry out your willed action. Just as we are unable to overcome the laws of nature. We are a limited creation. Make sense?

Although, in a true deterministic perspective, even your so-called “will” is illusory, but I won’t go into that. By the way, I would suggest the NASB as a fairly accurate translation. If you are really going to be anal about translation, forget translating and learn Aramaic, Greek, and Hebrew.

Also, the so-called contradictions are not the biggest flaw of the bible. The 30,000 denominations and billions of seperate personal beliefs are the biggest flaw. We can’t all be right, so some of us are wrong (if not all of us). How did we all come up with different perspective if we were all reading the same text? Is God trying to confuse us? Truth is truth, no matter how we want to manipulate it. If the God who created the universe was sending us a message, he might make it a little more clear and equally understandable to ALL people. Catch my drift? Tell me what you think.

First, we have discussed the issue of determinism, and its applicability to psychology (or lack thereof), in Asok green’s thread, The non-existance (sic) of free will, and religious ramifications. If you’re interested, you will find it in this forum.

Second, I think you are making the mistake of thinking that the Bible is like a math book, in which only one interpretation is correct. In reality, the Bible is more like poetry.

Millions of people have read Moby Dick, and while everyone agrees on the facts of the novel, few agree on its meaning. To some, it is a riveting sea story. To others, it is about the futility of hatred. Still others think it is about the whaling industry in pre-industrial New England.

An existentialist critic once said that Captain Ahab hated Moby Dick because he lacked the courage to love a person.

Moby Dick is as complex as we are intelligent and as simple as we are dumb. That is true for everything in life, including the Bible.

Great analogy! The problem is that if the bible is going to be valid, it must be a math book. It’s purpose is different from that of a novel. It’s purpose is to explain the truth, the purpose of life, where we are going when we die, and what we are supposed to do while we are here. Of course, once you have decided that it is invalid, then sure go ahead and have a good time withit. It has some interesting stories and some interesting perspectives on history, but we must take a different approach when looking at it’s religious significance. Wouldn’t you agree?

I will check out the thread on determinism. That should be interesting.

The only truth man has is 2 + 2 = 4
When we use logic to compare god to mathmatically exact truth logic fails. Because god is beyond our math and our logic. Sadly this is basically saying I too stupooid to understand god. its a cheap cut but it cuts deepest.

My pea brain in all its formost glory can not understand the way of the big picture. I can understand the simplest truth but I can not grasp the full truth.

When I say big picture try looking at Christianity in ONE Glance. Not just the religion but every person involved with it, every divination, every pastor, reverend, preacher, father, etc. cant do it. he/she/it can. Thats why I dont really belive anything man had a hand in. Because At one time ive made a mistake. So untill god steps in and does the arhytmetic for me and puts it in a book nobody will ever be right.

I disagree “that if the Bible is going to be valid, it must be a math book.”

You are setting up a straw man and then knocking it down.

Religion is not the internalization of moral rules and regulations, and it is not a list of commandments to be conned by rote. Christ specifically rejected the Ten Commandments in favor of the single commandment to love God first.

In my opinion, Christianity is not even the worship of a person. Christ was not a rock star, and He did not need groupies. Christianity is best described as an awareness.

At bottom, religion is not a taught experience. The God of my Fathers is not my God.

Are you aware of Spengler’s definition of religion as “a sense of direction in an otherwise directionless world”? Of Jung’s definition as “that which we take seriously without reservation”? Of Tillich’s definition as “depth”? Of Lynch’s definition as “the ability to transcend the fear of death by symbolizing our immortality in a pscyhologically-satisfying way”?

Certainly, you are entitled to define religion for yourself. But you are not entitled to define it for me or for anyone else.

We will just have to agree to disagree on this.

Not trying to start an argument or anything but I am not referring to your personalized view of Christianity or religion. I’m talking of the concept of Christianity defined by the church. In order for the theory to hold true, the bible must be infallible and inerrant.

All that I am saying is that if God were trying to relay to us a message, I hope that you are not the only one who got the message correctly. If we all have different views, they cannot all be right. You have to agree with that?

Also, Jesus did not do away with the 10 commandments. He just summed them up in two statements. Love God and then Love everyone else. Everything else should fall into place from that. Kinda like the driving laws. There are a bunch of them but I can sum them up by saying be a safe driver and stay focused on your surrounding drivers.

There must be be a standard of truth if we are going to believe in God. In Christianity, if it’s not the bible what is it? Not our own understandings. There must be a standard.

We are not arguing. You are stating your views, and I am stating mine. If we don’t agree, so what?

You write, “I’m talking of the concept of Christianity defined by the church.”

Whose church? Southern Baptisit literalists or New England Congregationalist freethinkers?

You continue, “In order for the theory to hold true, the bible must be infallible and inerrant.”

According to Jerry Falwell. According to the Unity Church (BTW, the fastest-growing sect in the US), the Bible is little more than a suggestion.

You continue, “If we all have different views, they cannot all be right.”

Why not? Socrates, Plato and Aristotle had different views, and they all were right. Bach, Mozart and Beethoven wrote different music, and they alll were right.

Individual goodness is goodness. Collective error is error.

You continue, “There are a bunch of (driving laws) but I can sum them up by saying be a safe driver…”

Very well-said, and I agree. The difference between the Old Testament and the New Testament is the difference between acts and identity, between what we do (stopping on red) and who we are (being safe drivers).

You conclude, “There must be a standard of truth if we are going to believe in God…There must be a standard.”

I agree. My standard of truth is personal experience. Everything else is a cop-out.

Carl Jung showed his usual good sense when he said, “Religion is a defense against religious experience.”

There are some intrinsic values that adhere to the Christian church as a whole. Here are a few. These, again, are accepted by all Christian Doctrines. This is what seperates Christianity from other religions. This is part of the standard that has been developed. This does not mean that you can not have your own views of Jesus and the bible, but it is not Christianity by definition.
By definition, the universe must be pluralistic and there can only be one infinite God. He must exist outside of the finite natural universe that we are contained in, but has the ability to metaphysically interact with natural occurences. In other words, he has the power to inflict supernatural force. This also defines monotheism.

What further seperates Christianity from that of religions such as Judaism and Islam, is the nature of Jesus Christ. In the christian church, Jesus is not a smart guy with good morals, but is he is the very essence of perfection, God himself. The next point is that we are all born with selfishness and sin. (Romans 3:23, 6:23)

In order to be in the presence of God (Heaven), we must accept the perfect Jesus as an atonement for our imperfections. (John 1:12, 3:16)

Lastly, the bible is “God breathed” (II Timothy 3:16) and is inerrant/perfect (as you put it, a mathbook). It is also agreed upon however that translation has altered the message but is still God inspired.

Although, I highly doubt that Falwell would say such a thing, iif he did, he would be deviating from the established standard attributed to Christianity. State your sources.

Come on, you are not making any logical sense. We are talking about truth not how we feel about something. I want you to look up two words for me: Objectivism and Subjectivism. I don’t like fish. Does that mean I am wrong? Of course not. I don’t think that 1 + 1 = 2. Am I wrong? Of course!

By the way there are two types of objectivism. relative and truth. When we are debating Christianity, we base it upon the standards that are relative to it’s accepted nature. When we are debating the truth, we base it on truth. When we don’t have that truth, we are left to question, not to make up how we think things are. Not that it is not alright to speculate; it is just not factual. Understand? Oh yeah, and experience is different for all people. It is relative to your perception. It can not be a standard for truth.

All that, I am saying is that you can believe what ever you want to, but it is not Christianity unless it follows certain standards. And the 30,000 denominations can believe whatever they want to but they are not all right, either. There can be only one standard by which we judge all things; that is TRUTH. Of course, we know that truth is not always available but that is why people believe different things.

(1) What you are describing is fundamentalist Christianity. If you are a fundamentalist, fine. If you are holding up fundamentalism as representative of all Christianity (perhaps in an attempt to discredit the latter), you are wrong.

(2) In my opinion (and in the opinion of liberal churches generally), a Christian is anybody who follows Christ, i. e., accepts the New Testament as his primary spiritual guide. He is not required to reject pantheism (“(God) must exist outside of the finite natural universe…”), to believe that God is meddlesome (“…has the ability to interact with natural occurences”), or to accept the notion that the Bible is God’s autobiography (“God breathed”).

I don’t care if Pat Robertson and Jimmy Swaggert sing it as a duet, you don’t have to be a fundamentalist to be a Christian.

(3) I think you misunderstood my reference to Jerry Falwell. For the record:

“The Bible is the inerrant…word of the living God. It is absolutely infallible, without error in all matters pertaining to faith and practice, as well as in areas such as geography, science, history, etc.”

That slice of ecclesiastical wisdom appears in Falwell’s book, Finding Inner Peace and Strength.

(4) The differences between Plato and Aristotle were not “how we feel about something.” Their differences were objective, primary and permanent. Indeed, Aristotle rejected Platonism altogether.

(5) You say, “I want you to look up two words for me: Objectivism and Subjectivism.”

I want you to look up one post for me: the one on the relativity of object and subject which I wrote for Brad’s thread, Objectivity, Obfuscation, and Mysticism, in the Philosophy Forum.

(6) You say, “By the way, there are two kinds of objectivism: relative and truth.”

You forgot plaid.

Well, you said absolutely nothing to refute anything I said. So we will leave it there. We just have a disagreement on the boundaries of the term Christianity. That wasn’t even what I wanted to discuss anyway. My main point which you have not even touched is the fact that if God is communicating with us, why doesn’t he tell us all the same thing? Let’s just say that you are right with your beliefs and everybody else is wrong. Why does God give you an unfair advantage? (I know, I know, you would say everybody’s right.)

Well, enough of that discussion. It was fun but we aren’t going to get anywhere if we keep the conversation centered around debating definitions.(isn’t this how they always end?) To have a decent debate, there must be boundaries and parameters drawn on the subject or the discussion is impossible. Besides, I would rather spend my time discussing free will and determinism with you guys on the other “free will” thread. Looks interesting.

(1) It was not my intention to refute your view of Christianity. I just wanted to challenge your claim to its exclusivity.

(2) You say, “My MAIN POINT (your emphasis) which you have not even touched is the fact that if God is communicating with us, why doesn’t he tell us all the same thing?”

First, clarify your question. Are you saying that God talks to us all but says different things? Or that God says different things to the handful of individuals with whom He is on speaking terms?

Second, what is your intention in asking this question? What are you trying to prove?

(3) You are right about definitions. To you, Christ was the Son of God. To me, He was supremely inspired. To Nietzsche, He was an epileptic.

(4) I have already had my say in the determinism/free will discussion. Knock yourself out.