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Free Will and then Obeying God?

post #1 of 98
Thread Starter 
Lots of personal discussions have come up lately and this one is one of them. I think God gives us Free Will and says, "if you want a BETTER life, trust me and make me an intricate part of your life". I don't think that means "follow all these rules or I'm gonna send you to hell".

So, any thoughts?
post #2 of 98
I definitely believe in free will. God doesn't want us to be slaves, He wants us to obey Him because we love him.

It's up to Him who goes to Hell, so I refrain from condemning people to the place. God is perfectly just, though, so unfortunatley Hell won't be empty.
post #3 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by AprilDaisy View Post
Lots of personal discussions have come up lately and this one is one of them. I think God gives us Free Will and says, "if you want a BETTER life, trust me and make me an intricate part of your life". I don't think that means "follow all these rules or I'm gonna send you to hell".

So, any thoughts?
Well, actually the Church teaches it's more like, "follow these rules because I know what's good for you, or you'll be sending yourself to Hell."

Those who are condemned at their Particular Judgment are actually fleeing His Justice.
post #4 of 98
Sorry, but I have to entirely disagree. One, I don't believe in free will, and two, Christianity (if that's the religion we're discussing) is about salvation, not about having a better life. Jesus didn't say 'Follow me and your life will be swell'; He said 'All men will hate you because of me'. The Bible is full of promises (and examples!) that Christians will be tortured, persecuted and suffer hardships for the sake of their faith. For the early church, obeying Christ meant a one-way ticket to the arena. Even today, in many parts of the world, becoming a Christian, and particularly being baptised, is effectively signing your own death warrant. If Jesus had said 'Obey me and have a better life', He would have lied.

Which is not to say that following Christian morality won't often result in a better life--someone who 'follows the rules' is less likely to contract STDs, become an alcoholic or a gambling addict, lose custody of her children etc, just because many of the 'rules' are based on common sense. But you're conflating two things--'obeying the rules' with salvation. God doesn't send people to hell for 'not obeying the rules', but for rejecting Him.

Again, if you are talking about the Christian God, I'm afraid Scripture simply doesn't support your position. And if you're not talking about the Christian God, which God are you talking about?
post #5 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by StacyL View Post
Well, actually the Church teaches it's more like, "follow these rules because I know what's good for you, or you'll be sending yourself to Hell."

Those who are condemned at their Particular Judgment are actually fleeing His Justice.
: Well said. We definitely have free will. And, you are allowed to break the commandments, but you will be making the the choice through free will to distance yourself from Him. For instance...in the Catholic church if you feel that it is OK to use birth control, but it is against Church law and you continue to do so...you are commiting a mortal sin. This is a sin, that according to the Catholic church, would leave you out of God's graces if you do not repent and change your ways. It is not left up for question. It is black and white - no shades of grey.

A lot of religions teach a "feel good" way of being a christian. If it makes you feel good, then it must be good. That's not how the Catholic church is. The fact of the matter is, there are things in life that will send you out of God's grace. You have free will to choose those things, or follow His laws and stay in God's good grace.
post #6 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by Smokering View Post
God doesn't send people to hell for 'not obeying the rules', but for rejecting Him.
But, if you don't obey His rules you ARE rejecting Him.
post #7 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by amydep View Post
But, if you don't obey His rules you ARE rejecting Him.
Correct. As His first law was, "If you love me, keep My Commandments."
post #8 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by Smokering View Post
Sorry, but I have to entirely disagree. One, I don't believe in free will
Say what? :

Then who is making your decisions for you??
post #9 of 98
Thread Starter 
I don't believe in sin or feeling the need to be saved. I have a relationship with God that's simply "me and God". I was raised Catholic and that didn't get me near as close to God as I am today.

So, the general thought so far is "you can have free will, but choose wisely?" I can "kinda" see that from a christian perspective, but still not from my own perspective.

For example: to a Catholic, using birth control pills within a marriage is wrong and a sin (as was stated earlier)....to be in another religion, using birth control pills isn't wrong.... So, that becomes things that each religion decides is a sin or wrong...not God.

So, for me, my original statement about how I see things still stands.
post #10 of 98
Quote:
Say what?

Then who is making your decisions for you??
Um, I'm making them in accordance with God's sovereignty. Just because I'm not making them freely doesn't mean I'm not making them. I'm about to head into town, but I'm happy to debate free will or the lack of it when I return. If you want to, you can make a head start while I'm gone by giving me some Bible verses which prove free will.

Quote:
But, if you don't obey His rules you ARE rejecting Him.
Yes and no; Christians disobey God's rules all the time, and they don't get sent to hell for it (because their sins are covered by the blood of Christ). There's rejecting and rejecting...
post #11 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by AprilDaisy View Post
For example: to a Catholic, using birth control pills within a marriage is wrong and a sin (as was stated earlier)....to be in another religion, using birth control pills isn't wrong.... So, that becomes things that each religion decides is a sin or wrong...not God.
This is what I struggle with. I totally agree with you! I don't see how my husband getting a vasectomy or us using condoms is wrong. We make that choice as a couple. We aren't harming anyone when we do this. The Catholic church teaches that it is wrong and a sin. So, if I'm a Cathlolic, I'm commiting a mortal sin (or would it be venial because I don't think of it as a sin?? not sure how that works). BUT...the Catholic church is very clear that their "laws" are there by God, and if you break a law (sin), then you are setting yourself up to be out of God's grace (hell). There is not supposed to be a separation between God's laws and Church laws. However, I see them as completely different. I see the "do not use contraception" as a man-made church law. But the Church teaches it as one in the same.
post #12 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by Smokering View Post
Um, I'm making them in accordance with God's sovereignty. Just because I'm not making them freely doesn't mean I'm not making them.
:

Seriously, what you wrote I do not understand in the least bit...???
post #13 of 98
Quote:
Seriously, what you wrote I do not understand in the least bit...???
Okay, let's back up a bit. When you say 'free will', what do you mean? Freedom is a relational concept--for example, you can't just be 'free', you have to be free from something, and to something. For example, 'freedom to homeschool my children', or 'freedom from slavery'. So when you say your will is 'free' in a theological context, you mean it is free from what, and to do what?
post #14 of 98
I think it depends on who you are talking to.

I personally belive that when we are doing what gives us peace, we are doing the will of God-and when we are outside of God's will, we are not at peace.

I think that the 2 don't clash-but coencide.
post #15 of 98
I'm not getting what you mean either, Smokering. Are you talking about predestination?
post #16 of 98
Quote:
I'm not getting what you mean either, Smokering. Are you talking about predestination?
Predestination, Calvinism, TULIP... you know, the 'other' point of view if you're not Arminian. Yes.
post #17 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by Smokering View Post
God doesn't send people to hell for 'not obeying the rules', but for rejecting Him.

?
OR:

Rejecting the will of God (the one I mentioned gives you peace) is actually Hell.

God isnt "sending" you anywhere. You are just unable to connect with God so you ARE there.

I know several people who I think are actually in Hell...right now....on earth....because they just cannot find the peace of God.
post #18 of 98
Is this thread just about Christianity and it's (varied) approach to divine rules/guidance/behavior or is it about any approach? Just a quick check before I wade on in....
post #19 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by Smokering View Post
When you say 'free will', what do you mean?

This is not a difficult concept.

Quote:
free will
–noun 1. free and independent choice; voluntary decision: You took on the responsibility of your own free will.
2. Philosophy. the doctrine that the conduct of human beings expresses personal choice and is not simply determined by physical or divine forces.
post #20 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by UnschoolnMa View Post
Is this thread just about Christianity and it's (varied) approach to divine rules/guidance/behavior or is it about any approach? Just a quick check before I wade on in....
Good question, because it's not totally clear in the OP since Christianity isn't mentioned specifically.
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