Free Will in Christianity
Free Will in Christianity
Christianity is derived from a mixture of elements of Roman religious myths, Pagan myths and god-men stories, sun worship and Gnosticism. Christianity has no room for free will, but for psychological or other reasons, many Christians have believed in genuine individual free will. Everyone is regarded as having a free choice as to in what measure he or she will follow his or her conscience or arrogance, these two having been appointed for each individual. The more one follows one’s conscience, the more it brings one good results, and the more one follows one’s arrogance, the more it brings one bad results.
In Christianity God is described as not only omniscient but also omnipotent which implies that not only has God always known what choices individuals will make tomorrow, but has actually determined those choices. That is, they believe, by virtue of his foreknowledge, he knows what will influence individual choices, and by virtue of his omnipotence, he controls those factors. God still gives individuals the power to ultimately choose or reject everything, regardless of any internal or external conditions relating to the choice.
For example, when Jesus was nailed on the cross, the two criminals, one on each side, were about to die. Only one asked Jesus for forgiveness while the other, even at the end of his life with nothing else to lose, mocked Jesus. This was a free and personal choice between everlasting death and everlasting life. Since God is omniscient, God has foreknowledge, meaning he knows what everyone will do in the future and what any individual would do in any given situation. This foreknowledge enables God to have a plan for everyone’s life.
For instance, if God wants a particular action to occur, he knows who would choose to do that action, and under what circumstances they would choose it; thus he is able to plan for it to happen. However, God’s knowing what choices we will make is simply knowledge it does not remove our free will, for we are still the ones making the choices. The Bible also says and teaches that there is no free will and that God’s plan overrides our free will, those that do good do the specific good that God predestined them to do, and Satan rules all others because God sends “powerful delusions” to them.
As quoted in Ephesians 1:4-6 “Praise be to [God], who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. ” Catholic Christianity’s emphasis on free will and grace is often contrasted with predestination in reformed protestant Christianity, especially after the Counter-Reformation.
However, in understanding differing conceptions of free will it is just as important to understand the differing conceptions of the nature of God, focusing on the idea that God can be all-powerful and all knowing even while people continue to exercise free will, because God does not exist in time. It is further understood that in order for Man to have true free choice, he must not only have inner free will, but also an environment in which a choice between obedience and disobedience exists.
God thus created the world such that both good and evil can operate freely. Comprehensively the Christian Bible denies free will and any element of choice in what good works we do. God has picked who will do what good deeds, and God punishes and rewards people on account of what God has chosen, in accordance with God’s plan and purpose. According to The Bible, God definitely does not like being quizzed on this matter of Free will; Paul is honest about God’s lack of justice.
Paul states multiple times, in accordance with the rest of the scripture we see on this page, that free will and personal choices are not the important factor in salvation: Paul then goes further in Romans 9 and admits that God is arbitrary, and it’s simply tough that people were created for ‘common use’ as slaves of Satan, and that only some are created for ‘noble purposes’.
Roberts, Jenny, 1997. “Bible Facts”. Grange Books, London.
University/College: University of Chicago
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
Date: 2 December 2016
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