Christianity was supposed to be about becoming like Jesus. We went in the wrong direction.
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Free Will


One view of Christianity (Calvinism) is that God determines every aspect of life. He chooses who will be saved and who goes to hell in addition to even the smallest aspect of life. At the other end of the spectrum is what is often called Open Theism where God is detached and simply watches the actions of each person. This spectrum is often called determinism versus free will.

That God does not control every action and event can be deduced from the many admonitions and exhortations made of Christians to stir themselves to seek maturity and to avail themselves of the resources they have been provided. This would be unnecessary if everything was decided by God. Conversely the many exhortations to prayer would also seem unnecessary if God remained aloof and uninvolved.

To observe the high percentage of those claiming Christ but are dormant and inert to the point where they are indistinguishable from non-Christians, one might suspect that God is quite distant. However, one might also conclude that God is seemingly distant for those who neglect him and first seek after the world or the flesh. For those who show Christian love (selflessness rather than emotion) have God more active in their lives (Rom 8:28-29).

Those who are unsaved can find a distant God who allows almost any behavior up to a point. In Romans we learn of a condition (holding the truth in unrighteousness) where God takes an active role with individuals. Two examples are given in chapter one. The first are the unnatural desires as a consequence for worshiping the creature more than the creator. The second example is a reprobate mind as a consequence for rejecting even the knowledge of God. These lives are set on a trajectory of self-destruction by God and perhaps serve as a warning to others against using free will to distort truth (hold it in unrighteousness).

It would seem that all people are allowed to use their free will (up to a point) including harming themselves and others. It would seem that even those who claim Christ are allowed to ignore God and follow selfishness (however, many of these may not actually be Christian). Perhaps the chaos resulting from the selfish use of free will creates such difficulties as to make what God offers more attractive. To surrender selfishness and trust in Christ opens the door to eternal life and provides access to truth and wisdom that allows us to better navigate this present age.

The Christian can have God actively working in him to conform his will to that of God’s (Phil 2:3). This may be as the result of the work of the Holy Spirit (Gal 5:22-23). However, the Christian has the freedom to ignore or even halt this work (1 Thess 5:19)

Free will is a gift that most people usually use to create the illusion that we can chart a course away from God, make our own plans, and try to build a world of our own. “Success” is often measured in comfort, pleasures, and material resources. Often these do not satisfy but briefly. Also, they often come at a cost to be paid at a time of judgment (Luke 16:25).

God offers the opportunity to receive enough wisdom and truth so that we can use our free will in accordance with what he would have for us. This is not so much a surrender or abrogation of free will, but rather the intentional alignment of it with the will of God.



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