What is freewill?
Dictionary.com: made or done freely or of one’s own accord; voluntary(2)of or relating to the metaphysical doctrine of the freedom of the will.
Webster’s New World Dictionary: freely given or done; voluntary(2)of or holding the doctrine of freewill(3)freedom of decision or choice between alternatives(4)the freedom of the will to choose a course of action without external coercion but in accordance with the ideals or moral outlook of the individual(b)the doctrine that people have such freedom – determination.
American Heritage Dictionary/New College Edition: (1)the power or discretion to choose; free choice(2)the belief that man’s choices ultimately are or can be voluntary and not by external causes(3)done of one’s own accord; voluntary
New Comprehensive International Dictionary: (1)the power of self-determination regarded as a special faculty(2)the doctrine that man is entirely unrestricted in his ability to choose between good and evil(3)opposed to determinism(4)made, done, or given of one’s own free choice-voluntary.
As you can see, they vary a little bit from each other but they all talk about freedom, choice, free, or voluntary. Only one refers to morals and only one refers to choosing between good and bad.
Freewill has nothing to do with the end game or end result. Faith is a journey and what sustains us to the end. The end is spending eternity with Jesus. Freewill has everything to do with the moment by moment choices we make throughout the day. Am I going to put a smile on God’s face at the end of the day. Am I going to accept the fact that God has already counted the cost. Or, am I going to make things easier for myself by making that moment turn in my favor. In so doing, I get out of the stress that moment would have brought. It is human nature for man to not want to live with the burden of pain. Why say to me we have freewill if I make a choice that is out of line with God’s will? I thought that since I have freewill, my choices would be free of external coercion.
If you think about it, one could say ‘the deck is stacked’. Since man wants to avoid pain, and spending eternity in hell would be full of pain, then he chooses to live a good life, one that is guided by morals. A life lived that put a smile on God’s face at the end of the day. If a man wants to live a life free of morals and he is free from outside pressure then why can he not get into Paradise? The answer is God abhors evil. He cannot live with evil. Why? God is love eternally. Evil comes from Satan. The status of that relationship is they are diabolically opposed for all perpetuity. Life is temporary, Jesus is eternal.
For the Christian, evil is considered the most potent and dangerous weapon used against the believer and the ability to choose God. It makes it harder to believe that God knows all and exists. From a Christian standpoint, God allows evil to exist because of freewill. He allows it to exist on a temporary basis so that those who choose to love Him freely will one day dwell with Him in heaven but with their freewill intact, free from the influence of evil. God’s intention concerning evil is to one day destroy it. Those who do not love Him or acknowledge Him will be hard pressed to find any alternative for how things came to be.
Let us look at moral attributes. If my actions are calculated to help one succeed then why should one perform them. For Christians, the fixed point of morality – what constitutes right and wrong – is a straight line that leads directly back to God. If there is no God, there is no real reason to be moral. There would be no standard of what moral behavior is. As a philosopher pointed out, “if God does not exist then everything is permissible.” According to the Christian doctrine of freewill – with the ability to choose, you are actually making two decisions at once. If you choose to follow one then you are choosing not to follow thee other. If you choose to follow God then you are also choosing not to follow Satan and vica versa. In the end, you are free to make a choice but there are consequences for making that choice. Morals have everything to do with freewill. It has everything to do with the choices that we make and live out for others to see. We chose God because He chooses us.
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