A Matter of Faith: Free will made easy


(9/5/2018)

From: Jamie Smith
Wabasha

“Table” is a common noun. We will not know much about it until an adjective is added such as kitchen, water, multiplication, etc.

In Scripture, “choice” is a common noun. It is derived from the idea of perception. We won’t know much about it until an adjective is added. Two different adjectives will bring clarity to this issue. They are “caused” and “uncaused.”

A caused choice, in our case, is not a “free will” choice. An uncaused choice is a “free will” choice.

An uncaused choice is accidental or random. That choice is unavoidable since it will happen “out of the blue.” Nothing can stop it.

A caused choice is one based on information, feeling, experience, circumstance, etc. One will declare a preference based on those influences. We can actually have but one singled out preference on any given issue. The verb “choose” means “single out.” That choice is also not avoidable since in any situation, at that time, we can have but one preference. We can only choose our preference.

So, either way, a choice cannot be avoided whether caused or uncaused. That is “free will” made easy. When all is said and done, there is no such thing as “free will” or “avoidability.” That is why that phrase is absent from Scripture and only present in “theology.”

We use our will to choose. What causes us to choose as we do? A humanist will say all choices are caused by influences apart from Deity. They will not say choices are uncaused.

“Free will theists” or Arminians hold that if our choice is determined or caused by anything, including God or our own desires, it cannot be called a free will choice. We must be indifferent to the issue at the time of choosing. I suspect Christians do not really know that the Dutch theologian Jacob Arminius and his followers believed that. That means a “decision for Christ” is accidental since there is no cause. It is not really “out of the blue,” it is out of nothing.

Billy Graham preached about a reasoned decision for Christ free from the influence of God. That is approaching humanism plain and simple. A humanist decision ending in a belief in the sovereign Deity lacks sensibility.

Ro 3:10, 11: “according as it is written, that “Not one is just” — not even one. Not one is understanding. Not one is seeking out God. Not me. Not you. Not anyone. Any who seek are caused, by God, to seek. If He doesn’t cause, there will be no seeking.

In reality, as I see it, the sovereignty of the loving God includes His ability to successfully influence His creation. We are not robots. We reason. But we do have a characteristic in common with robots. That is causality. They do nothing that is not caused. We do nothing that is not caused.

Who or what is doing the causing? That should be the question.

 

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