Friday, March 07, 2008
Take My Free Will . . . PLEASE!
It's good to be back in the much milder climes of good ol' Covington, Georgia. Snow is sure beautiful to look at, but I'd much prefer warm snow!
For some reason, while I was resting in my hotel room in Eagan, MN., my mind was drawn back to this biblically-alien concept of "free will". And as I pondered it, I came to the conclusion that "free will" can get you killed! As the age old adage goes . . . let the buyer beware.
First of all, we are very inconsistent with our application of this concept. We want to enshrine "free will" when it comes to expressing ourselves, the choices we make and of course that ultimate expression: our salvation. But then we turn around and want to limit it where it comes into contact with the "free will" of others. The thinking goes something like this, " you have 'free will' as long as it doesn't interfere with someone else's 'free will'". Well, the question then becomes, how "free" is my "free will"? "Freedom", in it's most popular sense, means completely unbounded. So what does the fact that one person's "free will" might interfere with another's have to do with anything? This seems to be the perfect opportunity to prove Darwin's "survival of the fittest". If my "free will" and your "free will" come into conflict, may the "freeest" "free will" win.
Why should we get upset with murderers and rapists? They are merely expressing their "free will". If their victims were bigger, stronger or more careful then the victims' "free will" would triumph. "But", you say, "that's why we have laws and police, etc." Absolutely, and since the politicians have used their "free wills" to enact laws and the police have used their "free wills" to enforce those laws it all works out. Viva la free will!
So what it boils down to is: who ever has the biggest stick has the "freeest" will. There is one small problem; however, we still inconsistently deprive the One with the biggest stick this prerogative. Somehow, where our salvation is concerned, we deny that God uses His "big stick" in our lives. Due to either, some divine act of civility or just wanting to play nice; our Arminian/Semi-Pelagian brethren believe that God has to sit on His hands until and if man decides to place his trust in Jesus for eternal life.
"God won't violate your 'free will'" is the Arminian/Semi-Pelagian cry. Consider this . . . there was once was a man named Abimelech who wanted to bed down a woman named Sarah. His "free will" was to "know" this Sarah in the biblical sense. But God gave him the first recorded case of erectile dysfunction in the Bible when God appeared to him in a dream and said," . . . it was I who kept you from sinning against Me . Therefore I did not let you touch her" (Genesis 20:1-7). Abimelech's "free will" came into conflict with God's "free will" and God's "free will" won.
There once was a man named Onan, his "free will" was not to impregnate his sister-in-law Tamar and to go on with his life. God's "free will" was for him to impregnate his sister-in-law (according to the customs of the times, you understand) or die. Scripture bears out that Onan's "free will" was severely violated as, the Lord " . . . put him to death . . ." (Genesis 38:8-10)
What is it that we pray for whenever we ask God to save our loved ones; but that He violate their current "free will" to be a sinner and turn them into a saint? As the cliche' goes: sinners are merrily on there way to hell, minding their own business when all of a sudden God just steps right in. He doesn't ask for permission, He doesn't leave a message and wait for them to call back.
OK, so maybe you'll stipulate to a "limited free will". I'm afraid that that just won't fly either. If "free will" is an oxymoron like "jumbo shrimp" and "conservative democrat"; then "limited free will" is a bioxymoron like "mini jumbo shrimp" or "conservative democrat"! This concept of "free will" is founded upon a perverse definition of "freedom". This definition of "freedom" (particularly popular in the good ol' USA) dilutes the idea to the wanton abandonment of all restraint and responsibility. That is diametrically opposed to the biblical definition of "freedom". Biblically speaking, you are not "free" until you are submitted to Jesus Christ. And no human being, Arminian, Semi-pelagian or Calvinst, submits to Jesus Christ of his own "free will". This is because God meant it when He warned Adam that in the day he ate of the "tree of the knowledge of good and evil" he would surely DIE. Unregenerate man's fallen state is one of death not just injury. He cannot choose to be saved, salvation must happen to him.
"Free will" is woefully overrated. I'm willing to wager that there is no one in hell singing, "(I Did It)My Way"! Marinate on this for a minute, "free will" will land your butt in hell!
Y'know what every roastee in hell is screaming right now? "Why, oh WHY didn't you violate my 'free will', Lord!!!
Take my "free will" . . . PLEASE!!!
Be Like the Bereans, Baby!!!