The first thing I found out.... we have Free Will

One of the things that is the most consistent throughout the Bible is that we have Free Will. This is not something I had given much thought to previously.

The things I found out were:
  • God so valued free will that although He could have made us automatons, he didn't. As an example, He told Adam and Eve not to eat the fruit of a particular tree in the Garden of Eden. He could have 'built us' so that it was impossible for us to go against His wishes, but He didn't. He let us choose, even though in the end Adam and Eve disobeyed His wishes.
  • God also allowed his enemy to have free will. Satan was an angel that disobeyed God. Although God could have destroyed Satan then and there, he allowed him to make his own decisions. This is not to say that God will never intervene (or has never intervened!) - just that God seems to value free will highly.
In that case, why is there ever an argument for predestination? I think the main argument for predistination is based on two (faulty) notions: 1. That because God can intervene all the time, he does so, constantly. 2. That because God can forsee all the actions we take, that this means we are not the 'real' authors of our actions.

I would argue, based on observation, that God does not intervene in every occurrence (although I agree He could, if He so chose). I do believe he does intervene occasionally, based on Biblical evidence. By intervene, I mean to direct the actions of someone (or something - like the weather). If God intervened constantly, why would He specifically direct half the things that happen, to go on? (such as crime, suffering and so on).
To tackle the second statement, yes, God can forsee the actions we take in the future, this is made pretty clear in the Bible. That doesn't mean we are any the less the authors of those actions! For example, if you were to watch a football game live, you would not know for sure exactly how everything would play out, before the game starts. By contrast, if you then go home after the game and watch a replay of the entire match, you know everything that is going to happen. That knowledge does not mean that the players are any the less the authors of their own actions!
Some important things to keep in mind, however:
  • We still need to bear in mind that God is all-powerful.... we can only take actions because He lets us.
  • Furthermore, we need to bear in mind that some of our words and actions may be inspired by God (certain good ones) - so in those instances we will be acting like vessels where God is working through our imperfect selves.
  • We can only approach God (through prayer, etc) because he lets us (all the time).
  • Sometimes God will intervene (e.g. through a miracle, prayer, or some mechanism of His). This doesn't mean there's no role left for us to play!
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