The Relationship Between Genuine Love and Free Agency

Found a great website called Please Convince Me.com and a You tube site called, “Please Convince Me.”  One of the many videos that are listed there is the one below which discusses “The Problem of Moral Evil.”  I thought that the points made were terrific and biblical!  This brief, five minute video explains why the choice to love also needs the free will choice not to love.

Cold Case Christianity asks:

Many people believe that the presence of moral evil in the world proves an all-powerful, all-loving God simply doesn’t exist, but there may be a relationship between genuine love and free agency requiring the possibility of evil. If this is true, what role does God play in the story of humanity and how will justice be served?

Hat tips:

Cold Case Christianity

Please Convince Me videos.

Truth 2 Freedom blog

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21 Responses to “The Relationship Between Genuine Love and Free Agency”

  1. GMpilot Says:

    The very idea of “choice” implies that there are two (or more) alternatives one can take. Eat the pie or leave it; ignore the symptoms or visit the doctor; date Alice or date Jennifer. But where does love enter into that—especially when the source of that love is an eternal being who already knows what choice you’re going to make? Love does not ‘choose’—it loves regardless.

    A site I sometimes go to has something to say about that (no I won’t link to it here, I know how delicate your feelings are):

    …Christians have their own and potentially more serious problem with the existence of free will: there is a contradiction between the existence of free will and the idea of a god that has perfect knowledge of the future.
    If the outcome of an event is known beforehand —and “known” in such a way that it’s impossible for events to proceed differently — how can free will also exist? How do you have any freedom to choose differently if it is already known by some agent (God) what you will do and it’s impossible for you to act differently?

    The bible relates that the Christian god quite often withheld his love from humans—even his Chosen People™! Did he know beforehand he was going to do that?

    In Christianity, the debates over free will have generally been resolved in favor of the existence of free will and against determinism (with Calvinist tradition being the most notable exception). Islam has experienced similar debates in a similar context, but the conclusions have generally been resolved in the opposite direction. This has caused Muslims to become far more fatalistic in their outlook because whatever will happen in the future, in both small and great things, is ultimately up to God and cannot be altered by anything humans do. (As expressed in a common phrase among Muslims, insh’allah, “as god wills”. –GM) This all suggests that the current state of affairs in Christianity could have gone in the other direction.

    I have always felt that free will and omniscience are not compatible. I kept being told about a god who can see the future, yet who didn’t know that Lucifer would try to usurp him, who didn’t know the serpent would sneak into Eden and ruin that plan, that the Great Flood would fail, and a great many other things.
    An infinite god would be capable of infinite patience. We already know he hasn’t got that.

    The gentleman in the PCM video spends quite a bit of time reminding us that injustices on earth will be rectified ‘in eternity’. Somehow I do not think this comforts Galileo, or Anne Frank. There is a very human saying, “Justice delayed is justice denied.”
    Ah, but what’s a human century or two to an infinite being?

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  2. christinewjc Says:

    God not only knows the beginning and the end – He IS the beginning and the end! We are told in Scripture that fact!

    First, we see the prophecy in Isaiah.

    Isa 46:10

    Declaring the end from the beginning,
    And from ancient times things that are not yet done,
    Saying, ‘My counsel shall stand,
    And I will do all My pleasure,’

    Isa 46:11

    Calling a bird of prey from the east,
    The man who executes My counsel, from a far country.
    Indeed I have spoken it;
    I will also bring it to pass.
    I have purposed it;
    I will also do it.

    Isa 46:12

    “Listen to Me, you stubborn-hearted,
    Who are far from righteousness:

    Isa 46:13

    I bring My righteousness near, it shall not be far off;
    My salvation shall not linger.
    And I will place salvation in Zion,
    For Israel My glory

    Second, we see the prophecy fulfilled in Revelation.

    Rev 1:8

    “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End,” [fn] says the Lord, [fn] “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.”

    Rev 21:6

    And He said to me, “It is done! [fn] I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. I will give of the fountain of the water of life freely to him who thirsts.

    Rev 22:10

    And he said to me, “Do not seal the words of the prophecy of this book, for the time is at hand.

    Rev 22:11

    “He who is unjust, let him be unjust still; he who is filthy, let him be filthy still; he who is righteous, let him be righteous [fn] still; he who is holy, let him be holy still.”

    Rev 22:12

    “And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to every one according to his work.

    Rev 22:13

    “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last.” [fn]

    Rev 22:14

    Blessed are those who do His commandments, [fn] that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city.

    ******

    I already know the choice that you have made for all eternity. Why? Because you have told me. Did that fact take away your choice to make that decision? No.

    In the case of God knowing what choice you will ultimately make – isn’t it true that you didn’t know? Therefore, the previous choice that you had made (to be a believer) wasn’t forced upon you by anyone (including God), and what’s more, the choice you made later to not believe, wasn’t forced upon you by anyone (or God.) Therefore, your free will stays intact.

    Just because you don’t particularly like what God has done in order to save us from our sins, reconcile ourselves back unto God, and give us life eternal through our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ; doesn’t mean that it wasn’t the holy and righteous way to bring salvation to man.

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    • GMpilot Says:

      I did not make the choice to be a believer, because I didn’t know I could. It was always demonstrated to me that people who didn’t believe in the BibleGod died, usually in very nasty ways. Being a child and not wanting to disappoint my parents (nor to, you know, die), I did as I was expected to. Later, when I met my first Jewish people, I began to realize they didn’t worship quite the same god that my relatives and acquaintances did. They also didn’t seem quite so deserving of being sent to the place of the Unquenchable Fire and the Undying Worm.
      It is true that the choice to not believe was not forced upon me by anyone. But that came much later, and by then, I knew that such choices existed.

      ”Just because you don’t particularly like what God has done in order to save us from our sins, reconcile ourselves back unto God, and give us life eternal through our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ; doesn’t mean that it wasn’t the holy and righteous way to bring salvation to man.”

      Oh, hostess, now you’re just spouting propaganda! Whether or not I like it shouldn’t matter at all to god; my will is still subordinate to his, right?
      Any god powerful enough to give you free will is also powerful enough to take it away. We’ve argued that particular point before.

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  3. christinewjc Says:

    You choose to be an agnostic/skeptic/atheist now, but after you die you won’t be one anymore.

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    • GMpilot Says:

      I won’t be nearsighted or scarred from operations, either. And guess what: I’ll be in no condition to care.

      Am I supposed to start trembling in my boots now?

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      • christinewjc Says:

        I can relate – I’m nearsighted too, plus I now need reading glasses.

        I am sorry to hear that you are scarred from operations. Were they as a result of on injury or illness? War related?

        Again, thank you for your service to our country, GM. Despite our religious and political differences, our Vets deserve far better health care than what they are currently getting. The VA scandal was one of the worst – EVER!

        You wrote, “And guess what: I’ll be in no condition to care.”

        That’s not true! Of course you should care. Why do you think that God put the desire to live forever and never die into our minds, hearts and souls? Let’s see what Scripture says about it.

        We know that God inhabits eternity:

        Isa 57:15

        For thus says the High and Lofty One
        Who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy:
        “I dwell in the high and holy place,
        With him who has a contrite and humble spirit,
        To revive the spirit of the humble,
        And to revive the heart of the contrite ones.

        We know that he has put eternity into our hearts:

        Ecc 3:11

        He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also He has put eternity in their hearts, except that no one can find out the work that God does from beginning to end.

        Act 15:17

        So that the rest of mankind may seek the LORD,
        Even all the Gentiles who are called by My name,
        Says the LORD who does all these things.’ [fn]

        (15:17)

        Amos 9:11, 12

        Act 15:18

        “Known to God from eternity are all His works. [fn]

        (15:18)

        NU-Text (combining with verse 17) reads Says the Lord, who makes these things known from eternity (of old).

        GM asked: “Am I supposed to start trembling in my boots now?”

        Can’t speak for you, but God’s Word reassures me and all believers:

        Heb 12:28

        Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have grace, by which we may [fn] serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear.

        (12:28)

        M-Text omits may.

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  4. GMpilot Says:

    I can relate – I’m nearsighted too, plus I now need reading glasses.
    I’ve worn glasses since junior high. Consider yourself lucky (or blessed, if you prefer).

    I am sorry to hear that you are scarred from operations. Were they as a result of on injury or illness? War related?
    Nothing so dramatic as battle. One was from emergency surgery: my appendix burst (forty years ago this month, as it happens) and I wasn’t on base that weekend, but in Washington, D.C. Since the pain gradually went away, I walked around all weekend in that condition, and it wasn’t until the following Monday that I got to hospital. I think passing out in front of everyone may have had something to do with that.
    The second scar came later, and I’d rather not talk about that one.

    Again, thank you for your service to our country, GM. Despite our religious and political differences, our Vets deserve far better health care than what they are currently getting.
    Thank you for remembering that it is our country. Not yours, not mine–ours. ALL of us.
    Religious and political differences mean nothing in the face of shared danger or hardship. It should have nothing to do with medical care, either. No nation has ever given a damn about its soldiers until they need them, and when the war is over, they’re thrown aside again. Why should we be different?

    The VA scandal was one of the worst – EVER!
    Then you probably don’t remember this. It wasn’t that long ago. I sent you this very same piece back then, on your old site.

    You wrote, “And guess what: I’ll be in no condition to care.”
    That’s not true! Of course you should care. …

    No, you wrote, “You choose to be an agnostic/skeptic/atheist now, but after you die you won’t be one anymore.” You’re correct: after I die I’ll be nothing, except dead. Dead people are not Christians, Muslims, skeptics, Brazilians, redheads or Red Sox fans—they’re just dead. And they don’t know anything, participate in anything, care about anything. (see Ecclesiastes 9:5.)
    Or maybe you think I’ll be somehow still alive, and a new convert to your god, but it will be too late, because I’ll be getting devoured by the Undying Worm. Is that what you meant?

    We know that God inhabits eternity:
    No we don’t. Even if that’s true, we also inhabit eternity. Where were you before you were born? Eternity doesn’t stop just because we’re not in it—it goes on. A hundred years from today when we are both long gone, other people will say that we are ‘in eternity’. But it didn’t stop for us! Eternity is another way of describing time, and time never stops. Only living things within it do.

    GM asked: “Am I supposed to start trembling in my boots now?”
    Can’t speak for you, but God’s Word reassures me and all believers:

    Then let those words comfort you. I do not need them—nor any thinly-veiled divine threats from you.

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  5. christinewjc Says:

    In a previous comment GM wrote:

    “I did not make the choice to be a believer, because I didn’t know I could.”

    That helps to explain a lot. It seems, then, that you were raised in a Christian household that “forced” you to believe in Christ? Now, you know that you can make that choice, and thus have refused to believe.

    GM wrote:

    “It was always demonstrated to me that people who didn’t believe in the BibleGod died, usually in very nasty ways.”

    Are you talking about physical or spiritual death? Millions of believers have been killed and have died (physically) in “very nasty ways.” Being a believer does not save us from physical death (we all die) or from the tribulations of this fallen world. Hundreds of thousands of believers are being targeted by radical Islamic terrorists – and it has ratcheted up ever since 9/11/01.

    The Jews worship the same God the Father – Yahweh. Christians believe what is written in the Old Testament points to Jesus as Messiah. The Jews are still waiting for their Messiah. When He does appear (at the Second Coming) their Messiah will be the same Jesus that Christians recognized as Messiah at His first appearing on earth.

    The truth is that all men are sinners in need of the Savior. We would all deserve the second death – which is separation from God forever – if it weren’t for the ability to repent of our sins at the sacrificial death of Christ on the cross, the mercy and grace given to us through belief in Him, and the reconciliation unto the Father afforded to us through Jesus Christ – our Advocate in the heavenly realm. The indwelling of the Holy Spirit helps us to follow Christ, read and study the Bible to gain knowledge given to us from God, and to understand the Scriptures. This gives us the peace that surpasses all understanding – knowing that Christ will always be with each individual believer – even unto the end of the world.

    On to your latest comment.

    I started school at age 4, then turned 5 in November of that year. I almost was held back in first grade, until it was discovered that I couldn’t read the chalk board! Have worn glasses and/or contact lenses ever since. The “hard contacts” were the worst! but the guys in high school probably wouldn’t have noticed me if I had ugly glasses on! Also, it helped to wear them for basketball, field hockey, and softball.

    Appendicitis is dangerous when not treated right away – I’m glad that it all worked out for you. See? God helped you through that so that all these years later, you could argue against Him and me on this blog. 🙂

    I’m sorry to learn that the second scar is a difficult subject for you.

    Yes – America is OUR country. I’m glad that despite our differences in political, ideological, and religious issues that we can agree on the importance of recognizing the sacrifices that our military men and women go through for the safety, protection, and security of this nation.

    BTW, what do you think about all the controversy surrounding the film American Sniper and how Chris Kyle is regarded? Heard this morning that a restaurant owner put up in neon lights that neither Michael Moore or Seth Rogen would be welcome at his restaurant because of the awful things they said about Kyle. You can watch it HERE.

    Both the VA scandal (which was, BTW, promised to be fixed by the current administration) and the Walter Reed hospital one are both atrocious! I always think about the government waste of money that could have been used appropriately for the health care of our veterans. The big, bloated government we currently have and the out-of-control spending is the fault of both Democrats and Republicans! It seems that all the promises given during election time disappear into oblivion once a person gets into office. Really shameful!

    I watched Governor Scott Walker’s speech at the Iowa Freedom Summit (can view on C-Span. He is a Christian Conservative governing in a blue state and got results for the people! IMHO, America does not need any Senators who have never run a business or governed in a state. We need someone for president with a proven track record of accomplishments and who isn’t afraid to do what is right despite the awful verbal attacks and threats against his own family.

    Back to your comment contents..

    Christne wrote: “We know that God inhabits eternity”:

    GM wrote: “No we don’t. Even if that’s true, we also inhabit eternity. Where were you before you were born? Eternity doesn’t stop just because we’re not in it—it goes on. A hundred years from today when we are both long gone, other people will say that we are ‘in eternity’. But it didn’t stop for us! Eternity is another way of describing time, and time never stops. Only living things within it do.”

    I noticed that you didn’t include the Bible verses that say that God inhabits eternity.

    Isa 57:15

    For thus says the High and Lofty One
    Who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy:
    “I dwell in the high and holy place,
    With him who has a contrite and humble spirit,
    To revive the spirit of the humble,
    And to revive the heart of the contrite ones.

    Where was I before I was born? I have been told that I was in the sparkle of my dad and mom’s eyes! 🙂 But really, since God knows the beginning and the end, He knew – right when Adam was made from the dust of the ground to when Eve was made from Adam’s rib – when I would be born, live and die.

    I never said that “Eternity doesn’t stop just because we’re not in it.” I also know that it goes on.

    As living beings, on this earth, we inhabit this world for a brief time. When we die, we go to one place – heaven with God – or another place – hell forever separated from God.

    I don’t need to present “thinly-veiled threats.” The Bible is clear on most things and whatever you end up thinking about it is your decision.

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  6. GMpilot Says:

    CJW: …It seems, then, that you were raised in a Christian household that “forced” you to believe in Christ? Now, you know that you can make that choice, and thus have refused to believe.
    Is that a question or a statement? You don’t seem to know how to use a question mark correctly. Anyway, if my household was “Christian”, it was so by default. My mother was a regular churchgoer, but my father wasn’t. Everyone around me ‘forced’ me to believe: social pressure is a very powerful force. If everyone else believes in god, you should too was the attitude I faced. It’s also easier to believe in something if there’s evidence. No godist has ever shown me any.

    Are you talking about physical or spiritual death?
    Physical, of course. You mean there’s another kind?
    Millions of believers have been killed and have died (physically) in “very nasty ways.”
    As have millions of non-believers—non-believers in the “right” religion, that is.
    Being a believer does not save us from physical death (we all die) or from the tribulations of this fallen world.
    But if one regards this world as ‘fallen’, that makes it easier for the believer to remove herself—or others—from it. Christians often have only contempt for the world their god created!
    Hundreds of thousands of believers are being targeted by radical Islamic terrorists – and it has ratcheted up ever since 9/11/01.
    As are hundreds of thousands of non-believers (non-believers in the “right” religion, that is) – and it has been going on since long, long before 9/11/01.

    The Jews worship the same God the Father – Yahweh. Christians believe what is written in the Old Testament points to Jesus as Messiah.
    But Christians do not believe what the Jews concluded: Jesus is not the Messiah because, among other things, he failed to meet the requirements as specified in the Old Testament. “Yahweh” is the Jewish name for their god, not yours, and if you believed as they do, you’d be one of them. You’re not, so stop pretending.

    Appendicitis is dangerous when not treated right away – I’m glad that it all worked out for you. See? God helped you through that so that all these years later, you could argue against Him and me on this blog. 🙂
    “But really, since God knows the beginning and the end, he knew” that’s what would happen. It must have been what he wanted, then, or I would be dead now. You may believe that; I don’t. 😉

    BTW, what do you think about all the controversy surrounding the film American Sniper and how Chris Kyle is regarded?
    It means as much to me as all the controversy over The Passion of the Christ did: nothing. But I do think Enemy At the Gates was a better war movie about snipers.

    Gotta run; I’ll finish this up later.

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  7. GMpilot Says:

    Okay, where were we…?

    I noticed that you didn’t include the Bible verses that say that God inhabits eternity.
    Why should I? I’m not required to believe (or defend) what the bible claims. If there’s a point you’d like to pursue, do it.

    Where was I before I was born? I have been told that I was in the sparkle of my dad and mom’s eyes! 🙂 But really, since God knows the beginning and the end, He knew – right when Adam was made from the dust of the ground to when Eve was made from Adam’s rib – when I would be born, live and die.
    Which brings us back to square one: If the outcome of an event is known beforehand —and “known” in such a way that it’s impossible for events to proceed differently — how can free will also exist? How do you have any freedom to choose differently if it is already known by some agent (God) what you will do and it’s impossible for you to act differently?

    As living beings, on this earth, we inhabit this world for a brief time. When we die, we go to one place – heaven with God – or another place – hell forever separated from God.
    If I commit a crime, it may cost me anything up to the rest of my natural life locked away from everyone—but eventually, it ends. I die, and it’s over. The loving god doesn’t operate this way. He chases me into the grave, and beyond, in his lust for vengeance. I can never complete his sentence; in fact, I can never hope to complete his sentence. According to your earlier words, he knew before I was born that I would be fuel for hell. Most of us humans are not Christian, and never will be, so they too are bound for the Unquenchable Fire. Why would such a god permit the existence of people he knows he will have to throw away? As the song goes, “Where is the love?”
    Then there’s those who don’t go to heaven, but lie about it. See what I was saying about social/parental pressure?

    I don’t need to present “thinly-veiled threats.” The Bible is clear on most things and whatever you end up thinking about it is your decision.
    But you present them anyway, with your judicial “so-be-it”s. You know you like it.
    That’s interesting. What things are there that the bible isn’t clear on? Slavery? Space travel? How to treat foreign visitors in your country? The national debt? How to punish a rebellious child? I’d always thought a book dictated by a perfect being would be clear about everything—especially the really serious topic of salvation and how to achieve it. But it’s not.
    I reached my decision long ago, as you did. Let’s not beat that horse again.

    Oh yeah: in the news, the Muslim-controlled city of Birmingham in England has formally changed its name to Birming, on the grounds that ham is not halal. (“Sorry! Couldn’t resist!”)

    Come out swingin’!

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  8. christinewjc Says:

    Fulfilled prophecy is one evidence of the truth of the Scriptures. Jesus Christ fulfilled most of the 300 or so prophecies recorded in the Old Testament, hundreds of years before the coming of the Messiah at his first appearing. He will fulfill the remainder at his second coming.

    Other evidences (for me) include the fact of history regarding the birth, life, ministry, death, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus. Answered prayer, salvation of others, the inerrancy of the Bible, the work of the Holy Spirit in me and others, the time an angel appeared before my dad (but I couldn’t see him) a few months prior to his death are individual evidences that I have experienced over the years.

    All of our crimes and sins can be forgiven! It’s just that you refuse to accept the terms of the offer.

    The child who lied about going to heaven became a Christian later in life, studied the Bible, and admitted that his story didn’t align with what is written in Scripture. In reality, it took a lot of courage (and financial loss) for him to admit his lies. That’s called confession. It leads to repentance, both of which you refuse to acknowledge in your own life. That is why you object to the existence of hell.

    Since you don’t care about the two movies discussed then we won’t discuss them.

    Other people read this blog and for that reason, I include my “so be it” responses towards you because there is no other answer to be given to someone who is dead-set on refusing to believe.

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  9. GMpilot Says:

    Fulfilled prophecy is one evidence of the truth of the Scriptures. Jesus Christ fulfilled most of the 300 or so prophecies recorded in the Old Testament, hundreds of years before the coming of the Messiah at his first appearing. He will fulfill the remainder at his second coming.
    300 prophecies, hm? Then it should be simple for you to tell me one, and that it was actually made before Jesus came along, and that it actually referred to him and not someone else.

    Other evidences (for me) include the fact of history regarding the birth, life, ministry, death, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus. Answered prayer, salvation of others, the inerrancy of the Bible, the work of the Holy Spirit in me and others, the time an angel appeared before my dad (but I couldn’t see him) a few months prior to his death are individual evidences that I have experienced over the years.
    I’m glad you specified “for me”, because it makes things simpler.
    The only thing agreed on about Jesus—even by me—is that he existed. Little is known of his life; half of it is an absolute blank; and the three years of his ministry is disputable even among the men who supposedly accompanied him during it.
    The story of your father and the angel is relevant to him only. I didn’t see it (nor did you, as you admit), and I’m not obliged to believe it.
    Perhaps a holy spirit has been working in you, but I see little evidence of that on this site.

    All of our crimes and sins can be forgiven! It’s just that you refuse to accept the terms of the offer.
    Ever hear the phrase “Make him an offer he cannot refuse”? Yeah.
    I’ve also been told that there is one Unforgiveable Sin, so you’ve just lied again.

    The child who lied about going to heaven became a Christian later in life, studied the Bible, and admitted that his story didn’t align with what is written in Scripture. In reality, it took a lot of courage (and financial loss) for him to admit his lies. That’s called confession. It leads to repentance, both of which you refuse to acknowledge in your own life. That is why you object to the existence of hell.
    Since young Alex Malarkey was a child, he never saw a penny of the money. His name and his father’s were on the byline, so we know who actually did the writing. The mother (who now lives apart from them) apparently knew it was ‘unbiblical’ but couldn’t do much in the name of the Truth™.
    The whole sordid story illustrates what happens when rogues and suckers rush into each others’ arms.

    Since you don’t care about the two movies discussed then we won’t discuss them.
    You mentioned only one movie, and I don’t know if you ever saw Enemy At the Gates.

    Other people read this blog and for that reason, I include my “so be it” responses towards you because there is no other answer to be given to someone who is dead-set on refusing to believe.
    If someone is dead-set on not providing evidence, it’s only right to not believe a claim. We’re not talking about a crime scene; you say the evidence is available to everyone. If that were true, everyone would believe it, just as everyone believes the sun rises in the east.

    So, why does an all-knowing, all-loving god create people he knows he will have to destroy? Doesn’t he have the free will to let them not exist?

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  10. christinewjc Says:

    There are several examples of fulfilled prophecy in Isaiah 53

    I composed a blog post last year that went into detail about the angel incident with my dad. See Remembering Dad

    In a newer post entitled Love is Sacrifice, I discussed the two movies that reached the top of the box-office receipts for R-rated movies, what they had in common, and why they touched audiences so deeply.

    GM wrote:

    If someone is dead-set on not providing evidence, it’s only right to not believe a claim.

    The Bible tells us the following:

    Heb 11:1

    Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

    Heb 11:6

    But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.

    Read the entire chapter in Hebrews 11 [also recommend reading Hebrews 12 and Hebrews 13]

    I perceive the event with my dad and the angel as a gift or reward given to us both for diligently seeking Christ.

    GM asked:

    So, why does an all-knowing, all-loving god create people he knows he will have to destroy? Doesn’t he have the free will to let them not exist?

    Your question is an example of a person demanding that God be what he/she wants Him to be, rather than accepting what He offers through salvation of soul by way of Jesus Christ.

    In The Belt of Truth post, you may recognize your own mindset within the analogy of the three baseball umpires.

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  11. GMpilot Says:

    The Bible tells us the following:
    Heb 11:1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

    Faith is not evidence. If you believe it is, no wonder you hate jury duty! You would hang someone based on your faith that they are guilty?!

    I perceive the event with my dad and the angel as a gift or reward given to us both for diligently seeking Christ.
    Oh, I see. Your perception is an example of a person demanding that God be what he/she wants Him to be.
    …and would you now like to clarify that One Unforgivable Sin business?

    In The Belt of Truth post, you may recognize your own mindset within the analogy of the three baseball umpires.
    Dr. J’s analogy proves my point. The sun exists objectively, independent of the mind of the person. It’s there. It doesn’t even need to be discovered; it can be seen by everyone. Angels, not so much. Gods, not so much.
    But whatever their views, at least the umpires all agree that there is a ball!

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  12. christinewjc Says:

    Evidence has been shown to me through my faith – which makes my faith in Jesus Christ all the more stronger. I wasn’t talking about guilt or innocence regarding jury duty. Your response to Hebrews 11:1 shows just how much you don’t understand Scripture.

    All I can do is tell people what happened. Others can believe me or not. What I was shown through that incident helped solidify my faith and made it even stronger.

    Dr. J’s analogy speaks to objective truth. There is such a thing – and it is discovered via the pages of the Bible and the Person of Jesus Christ.

    Now, YOU can disbelieve and be like umpire #2 or #3. That is your free will choice. It is unfortunate that you don’t get the meaning of the analogy.

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  13. GMpilot Says:

    All I can do is tell people what happened. Others can believe me or not. What I was shown through that incident helped solidify my faith and made it even stronger.
    All right, I don’t. I do not know who saw what, or if anyone saw anything at all. I don’t know if you were delusional or mistaken, or neither. All I have to say is that I don’t believe it, and that faith is not the same as evidence.

    Dr. J’s analogy speaks to objective truth. There is such a thing – and it is discovered via the pages of the Bible and the Person of Jesus Christ.
    There are billions of people in this world whose objective truth is found in the pages of other holy books and in other persons. Calling them ‘false’ does not make them so. They too must be judged on evidence.

    Now, YOU can disbelieve and be like umpire #2 or #3. That is your free will choice. It is unfortunate that you don’t get the meaning of the analogy.
    Sorry, I didn’t know I needed your permission.
    Umpire #2 is being dogmatic; it’s true that anyone can interpret a ball or a strike depending on what they see. That would be truth by consensus (kinda like how some books made it into the Christian bible and some did not). Umpire #3 makes no sense except in the ‘post-modern’ (whatever that means) world Dr. J thinks some people live in. There are balls and there are strikes, but that’s not all there are.
    OTOH, the sun is up there, no matter what my perspective is, and I need no professional interpreter to tell me what I’m seeing. There’s absolute truth for you!

    Don’t wanna tackle that Unforgivable Sin dichotomy, huh? Well, that is a hard one.

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  14. christinewjc Says:

    Back at my previous blog, there are several post that come up within a “sin unto death” search.

    The sin unto death.

    The first one contains the answer to your question.

    Contrary to what you think, the question isn’t really “a hard one.” It’s just that no matter how much Scriptural evidence is presented to you via the Bible, you will always have a reason to reject it anyway.

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  15. christinewjc Says:

    Also see: You Tube video: Kirk Cameron and Ray Comfort debate atheists

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  16. The Sin Unto Death | Talk Wisdom Says:

    […] Back in 2007 at my former blog, I wrote a post entitled, “The Sin Unto Death.”  I brought it over here today because a commenter here at Talk Wisdom wanted me to answer his question regarding “the unpardonable s… […]

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  17. GMpilot Says:

    Oh, so your god didn’t get the message wrong; you did. It should have been ”All of our crimes and sins can be forgiven except one. I stand corrected.

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  18. The Sin Unto Death | Christians Anonymous Says:

    […] […]

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