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Freewill

StoveBolts

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Freewill is always an interesting topic! Personally, through the years I've summed up freewill like this.

First, what is freewill? I see it as the ability to autonomously make a choice from our own will. Without freewill, one would only have the illusion they had a say in any matter when in reality, they didn't. In short, without freewill one is reduced to being a puppet with the inability to make any choice, weather it being obeying Gods commands or when to stop pouring the milk into your cereal bowl.

However, I do see a paradox with freewill because while we can make choices and decisions, we can only do so with that which God created. As a result, our choices are limited and because they are limited, we really aren't free to do as we will.

God asks Paul, "How long will you continue to kick against the goads", which is to say, " How long will you continually make decisions that only cause you pain and suffering"?

So is see that God has set in place through His creation a means to guide us toward His will and abandon our will that we would live in harmony with Him.
 
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God's sovereignty and man's free will are in balance. But it's like a father arm wrestling his two year old son and letting the son hold to a draw where neither gets the other's arm down. Obviously the father could smash the little boy's arm right through the table top. But he gives him instead a little exercise.
 

Anto9us2

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"Choose this day..."

We choose of our own Free Will.

The Ancient church rejected the double predestination of Augustine over fifteen hundred years ago - somehow it got regurgitated in the Calvinism of the 1500's - Pelagianism was rejected also by the ancient church, semi-pelagianism could be termed the stance of the early church.

I am hardcore Arminian, in a way I am sorry that there had to be any such thing as Arminianism - but it was necessary. Jacob Arminius was tasked to refute a position of one Koornherdt, but upon study, accepted it, and rejected the Calvinism of Beza, Calvin's successor.

Free Will vs determinism is of course a big issue of non-theological thought as well, it is not just an issue of Calvinism vs Arminianism.

I feel that Christians who are not Calvinists accept FREE WILL, whether or not they have ever read a word of Arminius.
 

Anto9us2

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God is sovereign enough to give man free will.

I would say even those Calvinists who reject the concept of free will...

Do so of their own Free Will.
 

Anto9us2

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Methodism arose as a MOVEMENT within the Church of England, which came into existence because of probably the most UNSPIRITUAL reason as can be (Pope wouldn't grant King Henry 8th another divorce, so Henry said " I hereby start my own church ")

There were early Methodists who were Calvinistic, Whitefield and Toplady, though John Wesley was staunchly Arminian, publishing later in life THE ARMINIAN MAGAZINE.
 

Anto9us2

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Whitefield was instrumental in leading Wesley to "preach out in the open fields", and Wesley would go on to say " the world is my parish".
 

Anto9us2

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So Anglicans, Episcopalians, and Methodists are unique among PROTESTANTS in that they did not come from one of the "Reformers"
( Luther, Calvin or Zwingli )
But from Church of England.
 

jasonc

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Methodism arose as a MOVEMENT within the Church of England, which came into existence because of probably the most UNSPIRITUAL reason as can be (Pope wouldn't grant King Henry 8th another divorce, so Henry said " I hereby start my own church ")

There were early Methodists who were Calvinistic, Whitefield and Toplady, though John Wesley was staunchly Arminian, publishing later in life THE ARMINIAN MAGAZINE.
Charles Wesley founded the Methodist church both lived in savannah ,john remained a Briton while Charles didn't plan on staying one but died just before the war got going irc.the church still is here.
 

JohnDB

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Well there is the notion of conditioning.

IOW we can condition animals to perform a predetermined behavior.

Prime Example is the rodeo.
The Snake River Stampede is one such rodeo that is still going on today. I grew up in Boise Idaho where many of my friends and even family members would participate. Quarter horses were every girl's dream of owning so they could barrel ride faster and better.

Guys roped cattle.
Now cattle/calf roping is just as much the horse as it is the cowboy doing it. The Horse does the heavy, hard work but the cowboy just works the rope.
Girls wanted to join in the fun of calf roping competition...as many of them worked a family farm and did just as much as the men.
But during the rodeo they went all mysogenist on the women...they couldn't do that.
instead the women were allowed to rope goats.

So...the young women practiced.
The thing about women practicing roping goats is that it is a matter of timing. A goat goes into the chute and someone smaks its backside and opens the gate and the goat goes running into the corral. The girl gets her timing down and throws the rope, ties it off to her saddle horn and the horse stands firm knowing whats coming. Maybe even pulling back a little.
The goat has the rope around it's neck and when it gets tight falls over so the girl can tie up it's feet.

Now if a girl has practiced with a goat too much...(this is the part where conditioning comes in)
The goat goes running out of the chute into the corral and even if the girl misses the goat the goat will jerk it's head and fall over at the conditioned place in the corral.

People ain't much different. When introduced to the same circumstances with the same conditions we fall over whether there is a rope around our necks or not. (sheep do the very same thing)
Consequently, many of your "cowboys" in Idaho are nicknamed "Goat-Ropers"

So...
Free Will is there for us. But for some people it is going to be almost impossible for them to take advantage of it. And that can be something as simple as peer pressure.
Such was the pharisees...
Such is us today. 2,000 and we haven't evolved one lick.
 

Anto9us2

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"Calf rope" came to mean "I give up", for some reason.
Goats and girls, I had not heard about.

John Wesley considered his Savannah mission a failure. On the voyage back to England, he was much impressed with the faith of the Moravians during a storm.

Conditions might make it almost impossible for some to take advantage of free will, yes.

Some town, it was said "Jesus could not do many mighty works there" because of their unbelief, I have always found that strange.
 

Anto9us2

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Asbury and Coke took charge of Methodism in America, John Wesley would have remained a "Tory", and Charles died early, so Methodism in America distanced itself from the Crown.
 

jasonc

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Asbury and Coke took charge of Methodism in America, John Wesley would have remained a "Tory", and Charles died early, so Methodism in America distanced itself from the Crown.
Theres a statue honoring Charles at Wesley park .near by his church .
 

OzSpen

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I am hardcore Arminian, in a way I am sorry that there had to be any such thing as Arminianism - but it was necessary. Jacob Arminius was tasked to refute a position of one Koornherdt, but upon study, accepted it, and rejected the Calvinism of Beza, Calvin's successor.
Anto,

Which kind of 'hardcore Arminian' are you? Are you a Reformed/Classical Arminian of the kind of Arminius or a Wesleyan Arminian?

Are you aware of the website, Society of Evangelical Arminians?

Roger E Olson is one of the most prominent supporters of Reformed Arminianism today. See his article, 'What's wrong with Calvinism?' (Patheos, March 22, 2013).

I'm a leaky Reformed Arminian because I don't believe in infant baptism, as Arminius did.

Oz
 

for_his_glory

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With permission from Joe I agree with what he has written and will share it with all of you.

FREEWILL
By Joe R. Price
joe@bibleanswer.com

God did not predestine the man (which individuals would be saved & lost), He predestined the plan (how men would be saved) - read again Acts 10:34-35; Eph. 1:3-12; Rom. 8:28-30; 10:9-17.

The Bible reveals that regarding free-will and predestination it is not one or the other, but rather both. That is, the Bible teaches both the free-will of man and God's election or predestination. Unfortunately the teachings and creeds of men have misdefined these Biblical concepts so that the impression is left that one cannot have both, but only one or the other. We must accept the whole counsel of God on this subject instead of the wisdom of men (Gal. 1:6-10; 1 Cor. 1:18-21).

Many people teach that man either has no free-will (fatalism) or limited amounts of it. The Bible teaches that every person with a moral capacity has the freedom of will to decide whether or not to obey God. Simply put, the Bible teaches that God elected (predestined or set in place) to save every soul who fears (respects) God and works righteousness, (Acts 10:34-35). That is, before time eternal, God predestined that men would be saved "in Christ" (Eph. 1:3-4, 7-12). God predestined the "plan" of human redemption (cf. Eph. 3:10-11).

God also determined that man would have free-will, the ability and responsibility to choose to obey Him (cf. Gen. 3:1-6; Josh. 24:15; Matt. 11:28). God did not predestine the man (which individuals would be saved & lost), He predestined the plan (how men would be saved) - read again Acts 10:34-35; Eph. 1:3-12; Rom. 8:28-30; 10:9-17.

Some do not understand the above passages on predestination. They think that if a person is not of those predestinated, he is just out of luck, is eternally damned, and there is nothing he can do about it. However, it is a particular group or class of people that God chose before the foundation of the world and not individuals. It is up to us to be part of that class (of those "in Him") if we want to be of the chosen.

Let me illustrate it this way:

A school teacher on the first day of class told his students that some would pass and some would fail the course they were about to take. He then described the things necessary for one to be of those who would pass. At the end of the school year, just as the teacher had said, some passed and some failed. Since the teacher had predestinated the outcome before he began, does it mean that he caused each individual to either pass or fail and there was nothing they could do about it? Certainly not! It was up to each student to be of whichever group he desired. Likewise, God predetermined before He made the world that He would choose those "in Christ" and now it is up to us to be of those in Christ.

By using our free-will we choose whether to be "in Christ" and thus save (Gal. 3:26-27). So, we see God's part (His gracious plan of human redemption which is accomplished through the death of Christ), and man's part (faith in Christ, cf. James 2:14-26; Matt. 7:21-23) combining to complete the equation of salvation (Ephesians 2:8-9).

 

Anto9us2

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I am a Wesleyan Arminian, Oz.

I am well aware of Society of Evangelical Arminians.

Roger Olson is in my town (Waco, TX), goes to a Baptist church catty-corner to the building of the Methodist church where I grew up (which was sold to Missionary Baptists, a black congregation).

I read Olson sometimes on the PATHEOS website.

I was baptized as an infant (so they tell me, I have no "independent recollection" of it).

I was baptized again by immersion at 19 when I got saved.
 
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Anto9us2

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The predestination that FHG, or rather, Joe describes is sometimes called Corporate, rather than Individual, Predestination.

Arminius' writings address both types. The CORPORATE focuses on the fact that God decided that a CLASS of people (believers) would be saved. The INDIVIDUAL predestination is based on God's FOREKNOWLEDGE of what individuals would believe AND PERSIST IN BELIEVING til death. The followers of Arminius were divided on OSAS vs OSNAS, which cannot be discussed here. Arminius himself might be paraphrased to say that it is impossible for a believer to lose salvation, but it MIGHT be possible for a person to cease being a believer.

As far as BAPTISTS, originally there were two kinds.

GENERAL BAPTISTS were Arminian, PARTICULAR BAPTISTS were Calvinistic - this was so way back in Holland/Netherlands...

Those terms aren't used anymore in that sense, Olson's Baptist church would be general, not one of the Southern Baptist Convention.

As one Methodist at Baylor University in a Greek class of NINETY BAPTISTS, I was squirted with a water-gun in class one day, realizing the Baptist ringleader was behind it, and thereafter had coffee before and after Greek with the BAPTISTS.

I was kosher with them because I had been immersed at 19, though I still translated BAPTIZO as SPRINKLE - as long as proper tense was used, Professor didn't care if I translated it SPRINKLE
 
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Anto9us2

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It was Wesley who sort of RESURRECTED Arminianism in England, Calvinism at one point was pretty big...
 

Anto9us2

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I guess I am a leaky Wesleyan Arminian, but became hardcore reading Arminius' commentaries on Romans 7 and 9
 
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