Anon, a sweetheart and buyer of the majestic Everything You Believe Is Wrong, wrote to say my enemies have managed to insert several typos into the book. A not uncommon, or unexpected, phenomenon.
This is such an important subject—the strength and vigor of my enemies at creating typos—that I will devote an entire post to it in the near future.
But Anon also wrote to take exception with my argument in support of Free Will. This being a slow week, I thought it would be fun to look at the charges. However, beyond a brief remark at the end, I will (get it? get it?) leave you, dear reader, to provide the main rebuttal.
Also, I’m sorry to say this, but you are dead wrong when it comes to your belief about “free will.” Like most people, you’re confusing the ability to make choices and decisions with having a “free will.” Your will is not free by any means, and Scripture even makes this clear. Can you will yourself to be taller? Better looking? Having a more appealing complexion? No? Then obviously your will is limited. Romans makes it clear that prior to salvation, our will is slave to sin and the devil. Zero “free will” there. Where was Nebuchadnezzar’s “free will” when God MADE HIM act crazy and eat grass for seven years? Where was Jonah’s “free will” when God had him thrown overboard, swallowed by a whale, and go to Ninevah AGAINST his own choice? Where was Paul’s “free will” when God knocked him down (kicked in the door to his heart) and Paul says God had him set aside since birth?
Consider a piece of coal and a diamond. In and of itself, is there anything a piece of coal can do to change itself into a diamond? If it says, “I’m a diamond!”, does it make it so? If it covers itself in a shiny coating (behavioural modification), does that make it a diamond? No. It requires outside pressure (God) in order to turn it into a diamond, and it will remain a diamond forever. In and of itself, is there anything a diamond can do to change itself back into a piece of coal? No! Our will is not “free”. We are unregenerate, spiritually dead, dead in trespasses in sins, having a heart of stone, and hating God with every fiber of our being.
What in and of ourselves is able to change any of that in order for us to respond to the Gospel? Nothing! We cannot change any one of those things. GOD must changed them in us FIRST before we can respond to the Gospel, and respond we will. When God has changed those things, there is NOTHING we can do to change them back. We cannot make ourselves unregenerate, spiritually dead, dead in trespasses and sins, give ourselves a heart of stone, etc. So you’re engaging in some fallacies of your own in order to foster and clutch onto the “free will” notion. It doesn’t exist.
In fact, much of who YOU are as a person was shaped by your circumstances and surroundings. You should read Millard Erickson on this issue. You CANNOT choose or reject Jesus/God at your own discretion. If left up to you, you would reject Him every single time. If God threw open the gates of Hell now and told them they could all go to Heaven if they bowed their knees and confessed Him as Lord, they would all give Him the finger and slap the gates shut. We HATE God. We would NEVER choose Him, nor can we. HE chooses us, and NOT because of anything we did. He does NOT look down the corridor of time and choose us because we chose Him.
This is a fool’s argument who doesn’t know Scripture. If God did not save any of us, then NONE of us would be saved. If you want to argue the ability to make choices and decisions as having “free will,” then go ahead, but differentiate between ACTUAL choices we CAN make, and ILLUSORY choices we will NEVER make. You already believe in God’s choosing, but you don’t want to admit it with regard to salvation. You believe God chose (elected) certain angels and left others to themselves (Scripture says so).
You believe God chose (elected) a particular nation and left all others to themselves (Scripture says so). You believe God chose (elected) a remnant within this nation to be His peculiar people and left the rest to themselves (Scripture says so). But then we get to the NT and you want to reject God’s choice (election)? Ration irrational and illogical if you ask me. Perhaps you should examine some of your fallacies and see which ones you’re holding onto.
Anyway, like I said, I’m really looking forward to going through your entire book. I already love some of the stuff I’ve read, like the “purple-haired harpy” reference and the “soy” boy reference. I like satire, sarcasm, and wit, especially when dealing with nonsensical emotional-fueled groups who want to coerce everyone into thinking exactly like them and believing in flying pink mythical unicorns that poop jellybeans.
(Not the realistic unicorns that time has forgotten about, which anyone with half a brain can learn about if they read a bit of history, such as Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary where unicorn is defined as the single-horned rhinoceros [which is also its Latin name].)
Understanding this makes Scripture more clear, especially the prophecy of Ephraim and Manessah. A two-horned rhinoceros has one horn larger than the other. This is exactly what is envisioned with this prophecy. KJV translators messed it up by using “unicorn” all the time, and modern translations mess it up by thinking “unicorn” is a mythical horse-like animal and that they should put “wild ox” instead, which DOES NOT have two different sized horns. The Latin uses two different words in all these verses: unicornis and rhinoceratis. Go figure, huh.
Take care, be well, and God bless!
Anon asks “Can you will yourself to be taller? Better looking? Having a more appealing complexion? No?”
Yes. Yes. And yes. Yes. You can will yourself to a better posture and diet, among other things. Which can not only make one taller but better looking and have a better complexion. There are limits, of course. But these go both directions. One can will oneself shorter, uglier and spottier.
Just as one can will himself to write an email that says one has no free will, and one can will oneself to write a reply that says, why, yes, yes we do.
Anon says, “You already believe in God’s choosing, but you don’t want to admit it with regard to salvation.”
Not wanting to admit a truth is to have free will. Admitting the truth is to have free will.
One can choose sin or one can choose obedience. If there is not choice there can be no sin, beyond possessing our fallen nature.
An so on. I’ll leave the rest to you, dear readers. Be nice, for Anon is a good person.
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