Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Do we have free will?’

It wouldn’t surprise me if you are in absolute agreement with George Carlin. Sometimes, I am too. That’s why I downloaded this meme for a Frank’s Cottage blog.

The question hinted at by the late, great comedian (1937-2008) is pretty obvious: how can there be a loving, involved creator when this world seems so shot through with violence, disaster, pandemics, corruption and disease? If He exists, does He just not give a darn?

These questions bugged me incessantly. But something changed after I made a life-changing decision. Prepare yourself, because this was — and is — radical. I decided to follow Jesus of Nazareth, who many people believe is the Son of God.

Once that happened, I started to see the world differently. I read about Jesus — His life, death and resurrection — and came to understand the gift of free will.

I’ll admit this is often a difficult, troubling notion that many people–maybe even you–struggle to accept and appreciate. But then I wonder:

  • Is it God’s fault that most people are greedy?
  • Is it God’s fault that governments often prefer to spend money on guns than food, healthcare and safe water?
  • Is it God’s fault that so many of us claim to hate corruption unless that corruption benefits us?
  • Is it God’s fault that most of us (and I certainly include me) claim to dislike hypocrisy, but are often so good at it that we’re blind to our insincerity?

Maybe you’re reluctantly admitting that it’s not God’s fault. But hey, why isn’t He doing something about it? To which I answer: He IS doing something about it.

God is using horribly imperfect Jesus followers like me, and Jesus-following organizations like Samaritan’s Purse, Lifewater, Compassion Canada, ShareWord Global, International Justice Mission and so many more, to show the world who He is and why Jesus is His solution to most of our problems.

When I chose to follow Jesus–to make Him (and not greed/selfishness/money/power/sex) the Lord of my life–I started to fully grasp the gift of free will. And fully realize the gobsmacking LOVE which motivates that gift.

Do you want to be a goose-stepping brainless robot? I know how you’ll answer, but this is an all-or-nothing proposition. Either we have free will, with all its pitfalls, or we don’t.

I used that free will to make Jesus my leader, my motivator, my strength, my ultimate source of life. And it’s made me a better person. Oh, I’m a long, LONG way from where I should be (just ask my wife), but that’s OK. Jesus is making me more of the person I was meant to be, and that work won’t end until this life ends and I meet Him face-to-face. And that will be glorious.

All this is available to you, too. And if you say yes, you also open the door to God working through you to make this broken world a better place. Interested? Yes or no, post your thoughts below and let’s have a conversation.

Read Full Post »

PROOFHooo, boy. There’s a lot to unpack in this graphic, isn’t there?

Kindly presented by an Internet atheist community, I grabbed it because it presents such a wonderful opportunity to tell you the truth about the God of the Bible.

1.  If there were proof that a god exists, atheists would be denied the freedom to claim that God doesn’t exist. And if God has proven anything over the centuries, it’s that He’s all about free will.

Want proof? In a section of the Bible simply called ‘1 Timothy’, it says “God wants everyone to be saved and to fully understand the truth.” That’s right, God wants everyone to be saved. He doesn’t force a single person. It’s up to us.

Another section of the Bible, ‘Joshua’ goes further: “Today you must decide who you will serve … But as for me and my family, we will serve the Lord.” See? More free will. In fact, the entire existence of atheism is proof of free will.

2.  Like it or not, God wants us to come to him in faith. The proof is found in a section of the Bible called ‘Hebrews’: “Without faith no one can please God. Whoever comes to God must believe that he is real and that he rewards those who sincerely try to find him.”

So the very thing that many atheists hold in contempt is the very thing that God is all about. He wants a relationship with free-thinking people. He’s not interested in programming soulless robots to do His bidding because no matter how you look at it, that’s NOT a relationship.

3.  The “facts” that “could be repeated, tested and demonstrated” is for logic and mathematics, not for the Creator of time, space and the universe. As Matt Slick puts it on the Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry website:

How do you “prove” there is a Great Being outside of our universe? Do we look for footprints in a riverbed? Do we examine evidence under a microscope and say, “A ha! There’s God!”? That would be the wrong approach. If God exists, He would be beyond our universe, non-material, and transcendent.

For me, the evidence of God is the universe. No God means no universe, no Frank’s Cottage, no you or me.

For me, the evidence of God is Jesus Christ, whom serious Christians believe is God’s Son and whom a majority of historians believe existed. The Bible refers to Jesus as God’s Son in several places (see Mark 1:11, John 1:14, 1 John 4:10, Mark 5:7) and there’s no provable reason to believe that’s not so.

For me, the evidence of God is the set of morals that are common to a majority of people on this planet.

Where did these morals come from? How do we really know that it’s wrong to kill, to rape, to steal, to lie, to defraud, to cheat on our spouses?

Why are these moral absolutes? Because they were implanted inside us by our Creator. And we clearly see what happens when we ignore these implants (see: ISIS, the Taliban, Nazi Germany, the Pol Pot regime, Josef Stalin and whoever has committed the latest mass murder).

So what do you think….do I, as a follower of Jesus, have a fiction that I simply want to believe? Yes or no, post your thoughts below and let’s have a conversation.

Read Full Post »