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Featured Question for believers in the Abrahamic God with respect to God and free will.

Discussion in 'General Religious Debates' started by Jos, Jan 9, 2020.

  1. Jos

    Jos Well-Known Member

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    Why are there examples in the Bible, Torah, Koran and even IRL, if one is inclined to believe personal experiences, where God intervenes to stop persons from using their free will... yet according to theology, God isn't supposed to intervene to stop people from using their free will to do evil since He wouldn't be a loving person if He did so... so my question for members of the Abrahamic religions is: how do you reconcile this belief with God's actions?
     
  2. URAVIP2ME

    URAVIP2ME Veteran Member

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    God intervened in Noah's day because those violent people were beyond reform beyond repenting - Genesis 6:11
    In other words, if God had Not acted No one righteous would be left on Earth.
    God intervened in the year 70 by letting the Roman armies destroy un-faithful Jerusalem.
    We are all free to choose whether to be a humble 'sheep' or a haughty ' goat' at the coming 'time of separation' to take place on Earth as mentioned at Matthew 25:31-33.
    So, once again there will be divine involvement into mankind's affairs for the saving sake of righteous or upright ones.
    Only the wicked will be ' destroyed forever ' - Psalms 92:7
     
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  3. Deeje

    Deeje Avid Bible Student
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    The only time God prevents people from using their free will is if their actions are interfering with his will.

    As @URAVIP2ME has said, the rebel angels in Noah’s day are an example of God intervening, but the situation warranted it because they threatened God’s purpose by materialising and co-habiting with human women, thereby introducing a race of beings whose conduct was going to speed up the level of wickedness in the earth way too early. He put a stop to them and reset everything to synchronise with his predetermined outcomes. He then restrained the rebel angels and prevented them from ever materialising again.
    He started again with Noah and his family on a cleansed earth.

    All that happened in Genesis is rectified in Revelation.
    Only the outcomes are predetermined, not the individuals who feature in them....God reacts to what humans and angels do in order to keep his original purpose on track.

    Can you think of any other occasions where God took away free will?
     
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  4. Hockeycowboy

    Hockeycowboy Well-Known Member
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    Huh? Whose theology? This.....”God isn't supposed to intervene to stop people from using their free will to do evil since He wouldn't be a loving person if He did so”.... isn’t any theology I espouse!

    Interfering in someone’s life if they’re walking a dangerous course, isn’t loving?!

    Of course, there’s a reason, found in Genesis 3 and Job 1&2, why God doesn’t intervene in most human actions; but He almost always did, to protect His people, the Israelites, as a whole.
     
  5. Hockeycowboy

    Hockeycowboy Well-Known Member
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    OT, but...glad you’re back!
     
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  6. Jos

    Jos Well-Known Member

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    How is that direct intervention by God if he just allowed it to happen? When I say intervention by God, I mean direct intervention on his part such that He actually does something not passively allowing something to happen.
    Assuming the flood and pre-flood stories happened, how exactly is that just if real justice is sending people to hell to burn and be tortured forever?
     
  7. Jos

    Jos Well-Known Member

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    So if it's OK for God to prevent people from using their free will whenever it's not in accordance with His will then:
    1) why do Abrahamic theists put forth the argument that it's logically impossible for God to be all-loving yet interfere with free will?

    And...

    2) why doesn't God intervene to stop every human from sinning if sin is an action that is in conflict with God's will?

    As I asked @URAVIP2ME:
    When He killed the Pharaoh and his cohorts while they chased after the Israelites and I even have IRL anecdotes from people who say that God intervened to prevent someone from killing them among other things.
     
  8. Jos

    Jos Well-Known Member

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    Well if you don't espouse it the other members of your faith do... they usually argue that God shouldn't intervene to prevent people from using their free will to do evil since preventing people from making choices is evil and freedom is inherently good. You know, the whole God doesn't want robots argument.

    But I thought we as loving people are supposed to allow people to use their freedom to make mistakes and mess up their lives so that they can learn, grow and get stronger and because freedom is inherently good? I thought messing with people's free will was evil?

    Which reasons are those? I didn't find any reasons.

    But He does so apart from trying to protect the Israelites though... it's not only to protect them.
     
  9. Deeje

    Deeje Avid Bible Student
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    I can't answer for the Abrahamics....I can answer from the scriptures....

    As Universal Sovereign and Creator, Jehovah has the right to dictate his will to his intelligent creation. He is our law-giver and judge.....and if you doubt that, consult the scriptures and see how those who wanted to dictate their own terms to God, ended up.

    The Creator is all loving and that is why he set the terms for the use of free will. You see it never was "free" in the absolute sense. It was "free" only within the parameters set by God.

    You have to understand what happened when the humans joined satan in rebellion. All had free will, not one was affected by sin. IOW, there was no "sinful nature" to lead them astray. Each of them made a deliberate choice to disobey their Sovereign and ultimately suffered the consequences for their own actions. Once sin had been unleashed into the human race, God had two choices....either destroy the rebels then and there, (proving only that he was more powerful) or allow them to prove to themselves that God's rule was better than any kind of rulership they could cook up for themselves. The devil had accused him of being a liar and not having the welfare of his human children at heart.....so he allowed them to experience first hand that they were hopeless without him.....and here we are. Thousands of years of self rule and we still can't get it right.

    You asked..."how is it real justice sending people to hell to be tortured and burned"? The Bible never says that God does this.
    We have only two roads to travel....one leads to "destruction" and one leads to "life". (Matthew 7:13-14) Every single one of us is on one or the other of those two roads....there is no burning hell of torture. That is a satanic lie.

    There are some that God used as object lessons....Pharaoh was one of them......he could have prevented everything that happened to his own people by simply allowing Israel to go into the wilderness to worship their God. He refused, so God sent the 10 plagues. Each one designed to humiliate one of Egypt's gods. At every one of those plagues, Pharaoh promised to let Israel go if only God would stop the plague, but each time he reneged. The last plague struck Pharaoh's heart with the death of his firstborn, and that shattered man told Israel to go.....but then he changed his mind again and went after them with his whole army. It was Pharaoh himself who was responsible for all of that. His example is there for a reason.

    As for anecdotal evidence?.....it accounts for nothing really. It is little more than hearsay. But I dare say, that if God has plans for a certain individual, he will protect them in order to carry out his will. After all he protected his whole nation when others threatened them.

    We don't get to dictate to God....he gets to dictate to us and nothing he asks of us is harmful or detrimental to us in any way.
     
    #9 Deeje, Jan 10, 2020
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2020
  10. 1213

    1213 Well-Known Member

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    I don’t think there is any scripture in the Bible that says God stops person to use his free will.

    Free will doesn’t mean person is omnipotent and everything also goes as the person wants. Free will just means person is free to want what ever he wants. Free will exists, even if God would prevent person to do what he wants.
     
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  11. URAVIP2ME

    URAVIP2ME Veteran Member

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    My bad, I should have said God ' used ' the Roman armies (political/military) in the year 70 to destroy un-faithful Jerusalem.
    Jesus had earlier forewarned his followers that they should flee Jerusalem - Luke 19:43-44
    So, in the year 66 when Jesus' followers saw what Jesus said to be true they fled from Jerusalem.
    Thus, past patterns show God's Arm of the Law will once again use the political/military to accomplish His purpose.
    Adverse Judgement against corrupted religion will surprisingly come when the political/military turns on the religious world.
    It is the corrupted religions that teach sending people to hell fire.
    King James version translated the word Gehenna into English as hell fire.
    Gehenna was just a garbage pit outside of Jerusalem where things were destroyed.
    Whereas, biblical hell is just mankind's temporary stone-cold grave for the 'sleeping' dead til Resurrection Day.
    By Resurrection Day I mean Jesus coming millennium-long day of governing over Earth for a thousand years.
    Jesus and the OT both teach unconscious sleep in death:
    - John 11:11-14; Psalms 115:17; 13:3; 6:5 ; Isaiah 38:18; Ecclesiastes 9:5
    Revelation teaches that the people in biblical hell will be ' delivered up' (meaning resurrected out of hell/grave)
    then emptied-out hell will be cast empty into a symbolic ' second death ' for the vacated hell / grave.
    The adverse punishment for the wicked is that they will be ' destroyed forever '- Psalms 92:7 (No roasting)
    We are all asked to ' repent ' if we don't want to ' perish ' (be destroyed ) as per 2 Peter 3:9
     
  12. URAVIP2ME

    URAVIP2ME Veteran Member

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    Very interesting ^ above ^ , and we're all free to act responsibly toward God.
    The wicked are mad, or will be mad at God for interfering with the wickedness they want to continue to do.
     
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  13. URAVIP2ME

    URAVIP2ME Veteran Member

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    The ' killing ' of Pharaoh was an ' execution ' for the sake of justice for righteous people.
    Every one of the ten plagues humiliated one of the Egyptian gods.
    Plenty of opportunity to see how fake those gods were.
    There is a difference between killing, murder and an execution to carry out justice.
    Remember: Not all the Egyptians went along with Pharaoh's ways but many joined in with the Israelites.
    God was showing He is Not partial because He accepted those Egyptians.
    So, in the coming future it will be the ' executional words' from Jesus' mouth that will rid the Earth of the wicked.
    - Isaiah 11:3-4; Revelation 19:14-16; Matthew 25:31-33.
    Without divine involvement into mankind's affairs No one righteous would be left on Earth.
    Through Christ, God will only bring to ruin those ruining the Earth - Revelation 11:18 B.
    The humble meek people use their free will to act responsibly toward God and will be rewarded - Matthew 5:5
     
  14. Jos

    Jos Well-Known Member

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    OK but it's often claimed that God can't intervene to stop freewill at all or else he'd wouldn't be loving yet He does so anyway which I guess means that maybe He's not all loving.

    OK but our will still conflicts with His will so shouldn't he intervene to stop us from conflicting with his will?

    It does imply it given the imagery of hell described in the Bible.

    Yrs but He still obstructed Pharaoh's free will so how is that loving?

    Aren't the Gospels just hearsay accounts? and why not have faith in those stories, isn't faith a requirement for a believer? Isn't unbelief a sin?
     
  15. Jos

    Jos Well-Known Member

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    Pharaoh is an example.

    Ok but God is supposedly all loving yet does intervene to stop free will yet we're constantly told that He wouldn't be loving if He intervened, so maybe He's not all loving.

    If that's the case then why doesn't God intervene to stop evil if free will is still gonna be preserved?
     
  16. Jos

    Jos Well-Known Member

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    Well there are people who claim to have direct NDEs of hell that would say otherwise.

    But it does interfere with His free will so wouldn't God not be all loving by obstructing His free will?
     
  17. Deeje

    Deeje Avid Bible Student
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    If you read the scriptures, you will find that God acted only once. After finishing his creative activities, he thereafter only reacted to the activities of his intelligent creation.

    Giving us free will was supposed to be a gift, to use many times a day to enhance our lives and make them more enjoyable.....what to eat...what to wear...what to do....it was all up to us but within the parameters created by God. Once we stepped outside of those parameters....we were on our own.

    When has God stopped people from exercising their free will? He has never stopped anyone from making their own decisions. Does that mean that he will never hold them to account for what they choose to do? We are free to break the laws of the land, but there are penalties if we do. Doesn't that seem reasonable to you?

    God will never stop us from conflicting with his will...that has to be our choice.....he will only introduce penalties for breaking his laws. If we know the penalty before we commit the crime, why complain when the sentence is carried out? Do you think its impossible to refrain from activities that God condemns? If it was impossible, he would never ask us to comply and then punish us for breaking his laws. That would be a grave injustice. He teaches us how to live a life that is in harmony with his will.....if we are good students, then there will never be a time when our will wins out. If we love God more than ourselves, we will always do the right thing.....or at least try. If we fail, then all God asks is that we say sorry and really mean it....that will also mean not going down that path again. Why would God forgive the same sin twice. It would mean that we weren't really sorry the first time.

    There is no imagery of "hell" in the Bible. The dead are said to go to either hades (sheol) or gehenna. Neither one involved any kind of life afterlife.

    Jesus condemned the Pharisees to "gehenna" not "hades". Hades is simply the grave. This is one doctrine that the church really messed up. They translate both words as "hell" and their version of it means eternal torture and suffering in a fire that never stops. Would a loving God even think up such a place? Not according to Jeremiah.

    When Israel fell to sacrificing their children in the fire to Molech, God said....
    "They have built the high places of Toʹpheth, which is in the Valley of the Son of Hinʹnom, in order to burn their sons and their daughters in the fire, something that I had not commanded and that had never even come into my heart.’" (Jeremiah 7:31)
    If God condemned his people for burning their children in a fire, which he said had never even entered his mind, why would he then do that to his own children?

    The Valley of Hinnom, (Gehenna) which was the place where this heinous activity took place, was just outside the walls of Jerusalem. God had it turned into a rubbish dump where the city's refuse was thrown into 'Gehenna' for disposal. The carcasses of dead animals and even the bodies of executed criminals were thrown in to the fires. What the flames missed, the maggots finished off. Gehenna was not hell but a symbolic place where those considered unworthy of a resurrection were cast.
    To a devout Jew, a burial tomb with the name of the person and his family lineage were inscribed, was synonymous with God remembering a person so as to bring them back to life in the world to come. Those cast into Gehenna has no such tomb and it was believed that God would not remember them. Their death was to be eternal.

    If you think about it, everlasting death is the opposite of everlasting life. The ancient Jews had no belief in life after death except by resurrection.


    No he did not. He allowed Pharaoh to exercise his free will 10 times before he acted to put a stop to his nonsense. And then when he finally allowed Israel to go....he changed his mind again and went after them. He not only caused his own death, but took all of his army down with him. Do you blame God for that? Pharaoh was to be used as an example of a proud King who contended with the true God and lost...big time. We are still talking about him.

    We have to separate the hearsay from the truth. The gospels are part of God's word and as such are inspired by him. (2 Timothy 3:16-17) Two of the gospels are eyewitness accounts (Matthew and John) and the other two are accounts obtained from eyewitnesses. They all harmonize, each adding more detail.

    If you believe that God inspired the writers, then why not put faith in them? They have never proven to be false...in fact we are living through prophesy as we speak. Look at the state of the world.....spiritually, politically and economically, it is a complete mess. Add to that the results of climate change and the damage wrought by dramatic weather events almost on a daily basis, and you will see where we are in the stream of time. Christ warned us about all this, and we are told who rules this world. (1 John 5:19)

    So we have two choices basically, as I see it. You either obey God and live...or disobey him and die. Its never been more complicated than that since the garden of Eden.
     
  18. 1213

    1213 Well-Known Member

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    God didn’t remove pharaohs free will. Pharaoh wanted to keep his slaves, but because of the plagues, he freed them. He did things that he didn’t want, but it doesn’t mean his will was removed. Free will doesn’t mean person can do whatever he wants, it means only that person can want what ever he wants.

    Sorry, I have no reason to believe that God has intervened someone’s free will.

    Evil doesn’t continue forever, so I think it is stopped. I believe that in this first death God allows evil things to happen, because people wanted to know evil. Luckily this is only a short lesson and evil doesn’t continue forever.
     
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  19. URAVIP2ME

    URAVIP2ME Veteran Member

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    Yes, I know there are people who have what is called NDE's of both a religious-myth hell and the bright light tunnel.
    I suppose since persons have been taught about a non-biblical hell as being Scripture then that is in their mind.

    There is only divine involvement in free-will choices when free-will choices have been so badly corrupted that a person has reached the point of No repenting, No reforming such as the people of Noah's day - Genesis 6:11.
    This will also prove true at the coming ' time of separation ' on Earth as found at Matthew 25:31-33,37,40.
     
  20. URAVIP2ME

    URAVIP2ME Veteran Member

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    For right now I find Scripture gives us several reasons why God doesn't intervene:
    1 ) Each person is drawn out by one's own desires - James 1:13-15.
    2 ) Satan is like the behind-the-scenes puppeteer misleading with propaganda - Revelation 12:12,9
    3 ) Time and unforeseen events happen to all of us - Ecclesiastes 9:11
    4 ) Man has dominated man to man's injury, man's hurt - Ecclesiastes 8:9
    Job's integrity in connection to using his free will under suffering conditions thus proved Satan a liar and so can we.
    Jesus kept his integrity to death thus also proving under adverse conditions one can use his free will to be faithful to God.
    In other words, only people of integrity toward God will be preserved.
    God will intervene at the soon coming ' time of separation ' to take place on Earth as per Matthew 25:31-33,37,40.
    The wicked will be ' destroyed forever ' according to Psalms 92:7.
    Notice who remains according to Proverbs 2:21-22 ____________________
     
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