The Fallacy of Free Will Without Christ
God is the Potter and we are the clay, the Bible says. He does as He pleases and we cannot argue.
Romans 9:17-21 MKJV
(17) For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, “Even for this same purpose I have raised you up, that I might show My power in you, and that My name might be declared throughout all the earth.”
(18) Therefore He has mercy on whom He will have mercy, and whom He will, He hardens.
(19) You will then say to me, Why does He yet find fault? For who has resisted His will?
(20) No, but, O man, who are you who replies against God? Shall the thing formed say to Him Who formed it, Why have you made me this way?
(21) Does not the potter have power over the clay, from the same lump to make one vessel to honor and another to dishonor?
Paul says in Romans 7 that what he wants (wills) to do, he can’t, and what he doesn’t want (will) to do, he does. He says that sin has enslaved all.
Romans 7:14-23 MKJV
(14) For we know that the Law is spiritual, but I am carnal, sold under sin.
(15) For that which I do, I know not. For what I desire, that I do not do; but what I hate, that I do.
(16) If then I do that which I do not desire, I consent to the Law that It is good.
(17) But now it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwells in me.
(18) For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) dwells no good thing. For to will is present with me, but how to perform that which is good I do not find.
(19) For I do not do the good that I desire; but the evil which I do not will, that I do.
(20) But if I do what I do not desire, it is no more I working it out, but sin dwelling in me.
(21) I find then a law: when I will to do the right, evil is present with me.
(22) For I delight in the Law of God according to the inward man;
(23) but I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin being in my members.
So what man is free from sin? Solomon says:
“For there is not a just man on earth who does good and does not sin” (Ecclesiastes 7:20 MKJV).
Everywhere we turn, we have our ideas and choices, but we find it impossible to guarantee we can do what we want – choose and desire, yes, but do?
Doesn’t constipation tell anyone anything?
What about crying babies, inclement weather, pathogens, aging, neighbor’s dogs barking and messing – or dog’s owners barking and messing?
What about unwanted noises, smells, visitors, and mail?
What about interferences, oppositions, lack of finances, uncontrollable expenses, thieves, liars, stalkers, and corruption?
What about the great responsibility that comes with possessions, obligations to all, and duties to perform?
What about mental discomforts, worries, doubts, fears, dreams, and nightmares?
What about misinformation, ignorance, and lack of opportunity and skills?
What about delays, internet viruses, worms, untimely breakdowns, and crashing computers?
What about wayward, rebellious children? What about their troubles, weaknesses, sorrows, sicknesses, injuries, and deaths? What about yours?
Free will? With what, pray tell?!
What about the unwanted political party winning, corrupt leaders and government officials, drought, famine, sword, wild beast, and plague?
What about mosquitoes, termites, carpenter ants, rattlers, cobras, solar flares, EMF’s, flies, fleas, parasites, mites, boils, zits, and ticks?
What about cancer? What about inept and careless doctors?
What about flat tires, planned obsolescence, and dishonored warranties?
What about cheating spouses and mothers-in-law?
What about inferiority, weakness, and inabilities?
What about ruthless competition, intractable enemies, and warfare?
What about “should haves,” and “shouldn’t haves”?
What about babysitters, tutors, teachers, supervisors, employers, and all authorities?
Free will? What free will?
What about death, yours and that of your loved ones? What about time and mode of death?
What about income, or lack thereof?
What about property tax, income tax, excise tax, luxury tax, sales tax, business tax, toll fees, tax on goods and services, and the multitude of other kinds of taxes and fees?
Are you able to reverse the clock, start again, retract all unfortunate words, and right all wrongs?
Would you like to have the perfect climate, the perfect home, the perfect husband or wife, perfect children, the perfect job, perfect health, and perfect results in all that you do or that others do for you? Are those important? Do you have them all? No? Wouldn’t most people choose to have those? Do you expect to get those? Are you free to have them?
How about a head of well-set hair – your choice of color, curly or straight? Or did you choose to be bald?
Would you like to guarantee your way out of Hell and/or into Heaven? Would you like to have God’s perfect favor and be assured of it? Would you like to have more knowledge, more wisdom, and more understanding? Yes? No? If yes, why don’t you acquire it at will?
Are your prayers answered as you would like? Of all the requests you have made of God, how many can you honestly say have been answered? If answered, were the answers according to your liking?
It is argued that God did not make robots. But how do they know? Such notions are highly simplistic, ignorant and crude, if not arrogant and self-aggrandizing. There is infinitely more to us and God’s creation than meets the eye. Who are we, mere clay in the Potter’s hand, to know?
The problem in understanding for most people is that they mistake choice for free will. The reason we have choice is to show us we do not have a free will. We may be free to desire and choose, but we certainly do not have the freedom to do anything we please.
Speaking of choice, did you choose to be born? Did you choose hair, skin, and eye color, your size, personality type, parents, siblings, family, ethnicity, language, country of birth, time of history, financial status, sex, level of intelligence, genes, or DNA?
Did you choose your imposed confinement? Did you choose or desire to be a drunk, a prostitute, a gangster, a criminal, or an addict? Did you choose not to be hooked on heroine, cocaine, or some other drug? Did you get your choice? Are you free to choose?
And as we make choices that are granted us, we may conclude we have free will. We need only, however, flip the coin over and look at the heads side of it to see Who determines all things in the Kingdom of that coin. And where, by the way, is the freedom to flip the coin?
If with these examples of lack of free will, people can still make an argument for the existence of free will, how can they understand that God has set all things up according to His will and pleasure?
No, only God has free will, or so we think, depending on our definition. Is He free to do anything? Does not even His own Nature dictate that He cannot do just anything? For example, His Word says He cannot lie:
“On hope of eternal life, which God, Who cannot lie, promised before the eternal times” (Titus 1:2 MKJV).
So, is He free to lie or cheat or transgress His own Law, which reflects His Nature?
Which brings us to the definitions of freedom and free will. According to the Scriptures, we learn that lying brings us into bondage, because lying is sin. If sin ushers us into bondage, then we were once free, or we would not be able to be brought into bondage. But free how? Free to do what? Do we really want to be free to choose bondage and torment, pain and suffering?
Free will is the freedom to choose and do what is right.
Consider all those who demand the perverse notion of freedom, that is, to do as they please. The problem is they choose to do things that are evil and destructive (Romans 3:9-20). The Bible teaches that by doing wrong, we lose freedom, so why should people be granted the freedom to have it taken away, not only from themselves, but also from others?
Today, Canada and the Western nations are receiving Islam in the name of freedom of religion, speech, and expression. Yet if the legislators were to read the Koran and recognize that it advocates the removal of treasured freedoms the West possesses, would they permit Islam? Only insanity would give recognition, and perform such obeisance, to what is so contradictory and self-destructive.
As it stands, only ignorance and evil devices are permitting Islam to pervade Western society. Will the West wake up before it is brought into bondage? Is it free if it cannot discern? Is it free if it chooses self-destruction instead of knowledge and understanding? Where is free will? Show me!
So then, what is my point?
First, to assert that man has no free will as he thinks to have it.
Second, seeing we are not the masters of our destinies, as free-willers would like to think, it behooves us to ponder how we got here and why.
Third, to encourage people to pray that God would grant free will, not as we conceive and define it, but as He would have us to understand and possess it as concerning our relationship to Him and consequently to one another.
It might appear that I contradict myself. If we can choose to pray and are able to do that which we choose in this case, do we not have a free will? Allow me to point you, once again, to the possibility of an erroneous definition of free will. God, in His sovereignty, has determined that we do what we do – that I speak the truth to you and that there will be those who choose to believe it, as well as those who choose to reject it. We are all part of the system of things, as ordained by God, and that includes our choices.
We will be brought to free will when transformed completely into God’s image, which is His will for us. When that is done, we will be doing only what is right and good in His sight, because we want to, as we should, according to the One Who has all the say.
And that is free will.
For those who think to have free will, I leave you with a choice:
Deuteronomy 30:15-20 BBE
(15) See, I have put before you today, life and good, and death and evil;
(16) In giving you orders today to have love for the Lord your God, to go in His ways and keep His laws and His orders and His decisions, so that you may have life and be increased, and that the blessing of the Lord your God may be with you in the land where you are going, the land of your heritage.
(17) But if your heart is turned away and your ear is shut, and you go after those who would make you servants and worshippers of other gods:
(18) I give witness against you this day that destruction will certainly be your fate, and your days will be cut short in the land where you are going, the land of your heritage on the other side of Jordan.
(19) Let heaven and earth be my witnesses against you this day that I have put before you life and death, a blessing and a curse: so take life for yourselves and for your seed:
(20) In loving the Lord your God, hearing His voice and being true to Him: for He is your life and by Him will your days be long: so that you may go on living in the land which the Lord gave by an oath to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
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God is Lord of all. He alone is the Master of all destinies; otherwise He is Lord of nothing. Either one has free will, or one does not. Liberty must be total, or it isn’t true liberty - it’s only frustrating torment.
Jesus Christ demonstrated what true freedom is, what it does, what it cannot do, and what it means to be fully committed to God: “Thy will, and not mine, be done.” He, Christ, is therefore the One to Whom all men are drawn, to learn in due time that none can resist His will.
Since the days of Jesus in His flesh, God has been seeking out and redeeming only the firstfruits, Jesus being the first of the firstfruits. If God could stop someone from sin so easily and dramatically as He did Saul of Tarsus (Acts 9:1-8), why not all others? Because He doesn’t want to; it isn’t time.