Understanding freewill and predetermination as Christians

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Fruli
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An extended family member recently committed suicide, very tragic and deeply saddening. I’ve been trying to reflect on it and wondering if God could have prevented it. Sadly, she had hardened her heart to God’s truth to the point of hating anything to do with Christianity and had ended up in a bad place.

She and her siblings had come to hate me as well, closed all lines of communication and I had no way of knowing what she was going through.

I have been trying to reflect on this and I’m trying to understand freewill and predetermination. How can they work together? Is it possible that God may have also tried to give her a lifeline and that would have changed the course of events all together?
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monkeyman0121
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what if God has predetermined everyone's lives by giving them free will. (They already know what you are going to do whilst you don't and you do what you want.)
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PilgrimOfTruth
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If "God" sits back and takes no involvement in man's affairs, then he willingly permits evil to take place, willingly stands by why children are killed, raped, abused and tortured. If God does get involved in man's affairs, then there is no free will. There is only a pseudo free will, a bit of limited freedom encased in boundaries that man must not cross.

The free will argument falls down when you consider "God" in the classical sense, i.e. as a being of which we are an image.

God must therefore be something else. Something that some people are not telling us. Something different to that which is portrayed in the bible and other works. We must stop deliberating about God in that sense. We must approach the puzzle with an open mind and an open heart and not allow other men to pre-shape our notions of who/what God actually is. The bible contains many secrets and some truth are encoded within it and others are written in plain sight and yet are cryptic to the point that the average dumbed down uneducated "Christian" will never see or understand them.
Even the opening lines of the bible are a cryptic secret being told, a very great secret. They are NOT talking about the creation of the universe.

How can one begin to debate things like free will and whether there is or is not a God if one doesn't first know what the bible is and what secrets are held within it?
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Huw M Thomas
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Only the Eternal Almighty has free will because only He possesses the authority and ability to fulfil His will. No man has the authority sufficient to take his own life. The Almighty holds the keys to death and hell. The average child is brought up to have confidence in self and it leads to confusion, failure and disappointment. They are also encouraged to build self-esteem which invariably leads to self-loathing and left unchecked leads to destruction.
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Tootles
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(Original post by Fruli)
An extended family member recently committed suicide, very tragic and deeply saddening. I’ve been trying to reflect on it and wondering if God could have prevented it. Sadly, she had hardened her heart to God’s truth to the point of hating anything to do with Christianity and had ended up in a bad place.

She and her siblings had come to hate me as well, closed all lines of communication and I had no way of knowing what she was going through.

I have been trying to reflect on this and I’m trying to understand freewill and predetermination. How can they work together? Is it possible that God may have also tried to give her a lifeline and that would have changed the course of events all together?
As a Christian myself, I believe that free will and predetermination coexist - sometimes positively, and sometimes negatively. The whole point in free will is that we all have the choice to follow or ignore what God wants for us. You can lead a horse to water, as the saying goes.

God will have given a lifeline, but that that will have either been ignored or else wasn't noticed - you have to remember that suicide isn't always a wilful act, it can sometimes be nothing more than the final symptom of the terrible disease that is depression (something I heard for the first time, would you believe, at a Catholic funeral).
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Drummond
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What is freewill for man, can that not be predestined for God?

If His creation has gone wrong, could He not be correcting it without the knowledge of man?

If we could be in the mind of God, would we see things we could not see before?

I believe we are very blessed to have such a long suffering God and i believe we shall all come to understand how long suffering and patient He has been with us.
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Fruli
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Thank you for the helpful contributions.
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PilgrimOfTruth
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(Original post by Huw M Thomas)
Only the Eternal Almighty has free will because only He possesses the authority and ability to fulfil His will. No man has the authority sufficient to take his own life. The Almighty holds the keys to death and hell.
Subjective twaddle

(Original post by Huw M Thomas)
The average child is brought up to have confidence in self and it leads to confusion, failure and disappointment. They are also encouraged to build self-esteem which invariably leads to self-loathing and left unchecked leads to destruction.
No, the average child is brought up in a system of indoctrination and social conditioning which includes baseless belief systems. Systems designed to steer weak minds into conformity and obedience instead of a life of free expression, inquisitiveness and self-reliance. As children become adults and start to see the world proper, they can not balance the reality with the fantasy worlds they were taught in church and at Sunday schools. The fairy stories don't gel with the horrors perpetuated in the real world and THAT leads to confusion, feelings of guilt, depression, suicide and all manner of problems.

And all because some rather evil factions of the world have edited and censored much of the religious works to create "their Bible" and conditioned people to read it literally and act on that literal interpretation instead of being honest and showing people how it is in fact a work containing encrypted and allegorical truths and that it IS NOT in the least bit supposed to be taken literally.
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Huw M Thomas
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(Original post by PilgrimOfTruth)
Subjective twaddle



No, the average child is brought up in a system of indoctrination and social conditioning which includes baseless belief systems. Systems designed to steer weak minds into conformity and obedience instead of a life of free expression, inquisitiveness and self-reliance. As children become adults and start to see the world proper, they can not balance the reality with the fantasy worlds they were taught in church and at Sunday schools. The fairy stories don't gel with the horrors perpetuated in the real world and THAT leads to confusion, feelings of guilt, depression, suicide and all manner of problems.

And all because some rather evil factions of the world have edited and censored much of the religious works to create "their Bible" and conditioned people to read it literally and act on that literal interpretation instead of being honest and showing people how it is in fact a work containing encrypted and allegorical truths and that it IS NOT in the least bit supposed to be taken literally.
You should have read the OP heading before typing. By "Christian" it means someone who has been converted and experienced regeneration. That is obviously not you.
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PilgrimOfTruth
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(Original post by Huw M Thomas)
You should have read the OP heading before typing. By "Christian" it means someone who has been converted and experienced regeneration. That is obviously not you.
I'd say that you are imposing your own definition there which is somewhat pious.

The notion of being "Christian" for most stems from what is written in the bible and how it is interpreted. As I said earlier, how can anyone have a meaningful discussion with people who don't even understand the secrets in the bible and the way it is supposed to be examined/decoded?
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Fruli
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(Original post by PilgrimOfTruth)
Subjective twaddle



No, the average child is brought up in a system of indoctrination and social conditioning which includes baseless belief systems. Systems designed to steer weak minds into conformity and obedience instead of a life of free expression, inquisitiveness and self-reliance. As children become adults and start to see the world proper, they can not balance the reality with the fantasy worlds they were taught in church and at Sunday schools. The fairy stories don't gel with the horrors perpetuated in the real world and THAT leads to confusion, feelings of guilt, depression, suicide and all manner of problems.

And all because some rather evil factions of the world have edited and censored much of the religious works to create "their Bible" and conditioned people to read it literally and act on that literal interpretation instead of being honest and showing people how it is in fact a work containing encrypted and allegorical truths and that it IS NOT in the least bit supposed to be taken literally.
Slight correction to my previous post. Your responses aren't helpful at all and neither was your first one.

The question was directed to Christians. Clearly, you don't subscribe to the Christian doctrine, so your responses aren't particularly helpful to this thread. I was looking for responses that come from a Christian perspective, not a worldly/human perspective. You have your atheist or agnostic beliefs, that's fair enough, but please know that they are not relevant to Christians.

As for what Huw M Thomas wrote, when he said 'the average child is brought up...'

I found what he said fascinating and insightful because my cousin had exactly that type of self-sufficient outlook that he described. She and I went through the same trying experiences, but I have a faith in God and have been redeemed from the horrible situations. Without Jesus, I probably would have also committed suicide three years ago, but a revelation of purpose redeemed me. One notable difference between her and I is that she had a self-sufficiency, whereas previously I also had that self-sufficiency, and yet was humbled and brought down to realize that there is a greater power at work in my life. The place I'm at today is totally different to where I was three years ago when I was ready to throw the towel in and end my life.
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Huw M Thomas
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(Original post by PilgrimOfTruth)
I'd say that you are imposing your own definition there which is somewhat pious.

The notion of being "Christian" for most stems from what is written in the bible and how it is interpreted. As I said earlier, how can anyone have a meaningful discussion with people who don't even understand the secrets in the bible and the way it is supposed to be examined/decoded? Those taking the bible literally and basing a religion on it are at best ignorant fools and at worse wicked despots seeking to take control of the hearts and minds of vulnerable people.

No comment.
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Huw M Thomas
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(Original post by Fruli)
Slight correction to my previous post. Your responses aren't helpful at all and neither was your first one.

The question was directed to Christians. Clearly, you don't subscribe to the Christian doctrine, so your responses aren't particularly helpful to this thread. I was looking for responses that come from a Christian perspective, not a worldly/human reasoning perspective. You have your atheist or agnostic beliefs, that's fair enough, but please know that they are not relevant to Christians.

As for what Huw M Thomas wrote, when he said 'the average child is brought up...'

I found what he said fascinating and insightful because my cousin had exactly that type of self-sufficient outlook that he described. She and I went through the same trying experiences, but I have a faith in God and have been redeemed from the horrible situations. Without Jesus, I probably would have also committed suicide three years ago, but a revelation of purpose redeemed me. One notable difference between her and I is that she had a self-sufficiency, whereas previously I also had that self-sufficiency, and yet was humbled and brought down to realize that there is a greater power at work in my life. The place I'm at today is totally different to where I was three years ago when I was ready to throw the towel in and end my life.
Thanks for your testimony.

The fact you have been given and accepted the revelation of the existence of The Eternal Almighty, acknowledge His authority, ability, and power sets you above the base theory of evolution. It gives you a sense of belonging and of purpose. Even in times of trouble and in the darkness of confusion the brightened light of purpose shines through and as the Psalmist said..."He restoreth my soul". The purpose is that all things including you exist for His glory and that He has the sovereign right to Rule over all that He created. The atheist or agnostic can never, ever come to this knowledge except by the renewal of regeneration.

Effects of the doctrine evolution are demeaning and destructive. Based on the law of cause and effect the doctrine of evolution, when accepted, will be running like an app in the background or the subconscious area of the mind. The effects run quietly and are seldom even noticed but the doctrine is always active. Once accepted into the psyche or intellect the recipient is subject to the laws governing the principles that make up the theory of evolution.

In acceptance, they become subject to survival of the fittest. This means that apart from the fit surviving and the weak perishing in an impersonal manner there is nothing in life of any lasting worth. The person is no more important than a blade of grass, a tree or an ant. In evolution, mankind might not be the beneficiary of the future of the planet and may be further down the evolutionary scale than he thinks.

Everything that exists and everything that man does could be for the purpose of benefitting an unseen and unheard of microorganism that is embarking on an evolutionary journey similar to that of which mankind is subject. History has proven when Marxism and Darwinism meet men like Lenin, Stalin, Pol Pot and the like treat their fellow citizens with contempt. We treat cattle and sheep better than they treated mankind because in the eyes of an evolutionist mankind has no true worth.

In the mindset of the evolutionist, man is subject to evolution and has no free will. The fittest will survive for the sake of the survival of the species but even that cannot be guaranteed. We have heard of and witnessed great empires raising up and then failing on the world stage.

The individual has no worth beyond being part of a complex food chain and our end is simply to fertilise the soil as food for insects.

Is it any wonder that people lose the ability to see hope for the future? If they have downloaded the “Evolution App” then their intellectual system has been corrupted and is slowly but surely being destroyed. They are failing in so many areas and on so many levels because the effects are corrosive. “As a man thinketh, so is the man”.
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The_Lonely_Goatherd
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(Original post by Fruli)
As for what Huw M Thomas wrote, when he said 'the average child is brought up...'

I found what he said fascinating and insightful because my cousin had exactly that type of self-sufficient outlook that he described. She and I went through the same trying experiences, but I have a faith in God and have been redeemed from the horrible situations. Without Jesus, I probably would have also committed suicide three years ago, but a revelation of purpose redeemed me. One notable difference between her and I is that she had a self-sufficiency, whereas previously I also had that self-sufficiency, and yet was humbled and brought down to realize that there is a greater power at work in my life. The place I'm at today is totally different to where I was three years ago when I was ready to throw the towel in and end my life.
I don't believe in predestination personally, but I'd just like to chip in that I'm a Christian and that I've tried killing myself quite a few times. Having faith in God doesn't mean that one is exempted from such situations. Please don't presume that a lack of faith in Christ prevented your cousin from continuing to keep going/living! :no:
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the bear
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all of Theology is so much straw unless it is infused with love.
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PilgrimOfTruth
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(Original post by Fruli)
Slight correction to my previous post. Your responses aren't helpful at all and neither was your first one.

The question was directed to Christians. Clearly, you don't subscribe to the Christian doctrine, so your responses aren't particularly helpful to this thread.
Like Huw you make endless assumptions and appear infused with same creeping arrogance which pervades a lot of fundamental "Christians".

The notion that the views of (what you perceive to be) a "non Christian" can not be helpful is as ridiculous as it is shamefully pious.

We are ALL of us, yes every one of us, on the same life journey, battling the same life experiences in the same limited universe.

Blinkered thinking, closed minds, views chained by dogma, are those things that lead to ignorance, foolishness and ultimately separation.

Were it myself, I would recognise that the issue of freewill and predetermination affect EVERY SOUL on this planet. Are you under some delusion that you are somehow above everyone else? That only your views and those of your chums have any weight or meaning?

Were it myself, I would welcome the views of a Sikh, of a Muslim, of a Buddhist, an agnostic, an atheist, indeed of anyone at all that finds themselves on the same journey.

Take care to curb those pious tendencies for your God and/or Karma will most assuredly come knocking to teach you more humbleness.

I know well the Christian doctrine, the Christian life, the dilemmas one encounters as a Christian. I know well the prayers and the experiences of worship, the hymns, the songs, the bands.

I also know well the nonsense peddled, the utter inconsistencies in the various belief systems and in the bible itself.

The human condition is a sorry one. A human is little more than an empty computer which external forces or beings are able to programme to do pretty much anything. Humans can be programmed to be kind and loving, to be harsh, cruel and violent. Most are empty, longing to be filled with something. There is an inner yearning for something, for some meaning and because of that other humans are able to feed them with their own crafted systems of belief.

Like everyone else, you are walking on life's journey. You're not special in any way. As Huw highlighted, just another blade of grass.

As we progress in life we move from the childhood beliefs in Santa and fairies into young adulthood. When we get there some realise how silly we were to believe in Santa and we recognise how we were lead to believe, how our peers enforced those beliefs and how the conformity of millions of other Santa believers also enforced the entire charade. It's just one of the first steps of life's journey.

Subsequent steps involve getting to the point in life where you are able to shed guilt and feel comfortable to challenge anything and everything you were previously taught or indoctrinated with. For some that is a mountain to climb because even questioning one's "faith" can bring masses of guilt and depression, such is the power of indoctrination.

Eventually some mange to progress along life's journey and not only successfully challenge the nonsense of their indoctrination, just as they challenged and shed notions of Santa, but also they manage to de-programme themselves of all they were filled with in young life.

For those who have an ear to hear, I tell you the truth. Shedding your programming is one of the hardest things you will ever do in your life.

I have progressed along life's journey because having been given a rational mind and having spent years in dedicated contemplation and research and analysis I have come to realise the truth. I have been able to "wake up" from the "Matrix" and see it for what it is.

Again, do not presume to categorise me or others like me who have reached this level of life's journey, as non-believers or atheists/agnostics. Such closed black and white thinking is repressive and wrong and a symptom of your sickness inside the Matrix.

I know well the inner divinity, the source of life. I have begun the process of "knowing oneself" as we must all at some time investigate.

TEMET NOSCE

It is just that I am no more constrained in my thinking and beliefs to that jaded and constrictive ideology that is peddled by mainstream churches and Christian faiths.

Those things are false by which I mean that their pushing of a literal interpretation of the bible is incorrect, ignorant and foolish.

When you think in terms of a white bearded God and a man called Christ dying on a cross you have been side lined. This is not what the bible is saying. You are literally being robbed of the greatest truths that are important to humans. You are being bamboozled and hoodwinked and thereby are you caught in the Matrix, there to conform, to obey, to follow the mantra and exercise a closed mind rather than be free to express and entertain all notions and idea.

It is for this very same reason that you have the doubts you do about your family member who so tragically took their own life. It is the reason you wrestle with the ideas of whether there actually is free will or whether your notion of a God is a being who predetermines everything.

In your heart you know this. Every "Christian" knows it. Every single "Christian" on the planet knows in their hearts that the ideas and claims in the bible do not stack up against the reality of life. They know that the "God" they have been programmed with is totally at odds with a world that allows innocent children to be tortured, raped, saddled with crippling diseases. Yet the programming is so very deeply ingrained and the layers of protective guilt so strong that these same "Christians" find themselves desperately looking for any and every excuse to show that it's not God's fault, and that he isn't to blame or culpable in any way for the horrendous atrocities being perpetrated daily before our very eyes.

What you think of as "God" is a fabrication. A fabrication by other humans that has existed for 1000s of years and which is part of a complex and evil system of human control.

Do not rail at that statement for there IS a god, if for want of a term we are to call it that, but it is NOT the God that fundamental "Christians" are taught to believe in.

There IS a truth, it DOES exist and it DOES make sense.

It is a part of Nature and thus wholly in tune and at one with everything around us. It is in you and it is in me. I am it, and it is me. You are it and it is you. We are all the same. That "God" is in us and we are in that "God" but you need to stop thinking of "God" in the fraudulent and incorrect way that mainstream religion has steered you.

The tragic suicide of your family member deserves that you wake up and get out of the Matrix. Perhaps that tragedy is what is needed to kick you up the backside and get you moving to the next stage of life's journey, to the part where you can challenge the indoctrination and de-programme yourself and truly begin to learn about life.

If so, it is tragic that it took such a sacrifice to achieve that end, but it would be even more tragic for you to ignore it and go on blindly following false doctrine.

There is no free will.

EVERYTHING, and I mean everything happens as a result of causes.

When you roll a pair of dice the outcome was sealed way before by all the forces acting in the universe that lead up to that moment and that govern the movement of your hand, it's strength, it's direction and equally the movement of the air, its density, its temperature plus the softness or hardness of the table surface and a gazillion other factors.

That the human mind can not comprehend all those factors is immaterial. All the causes are there regardless and there is nothing you can do to change them. The dice will come up with the resulting numbers regardless and they would do so EVERY TIME in any duplicate universe under all the same conditions.

Therefore you should know that your friend's tragedy was equally the result of numerous causes and factors, the culmination of a great many things and it was always going to happen.

Everything in this universe happens because of causes. Nothing within this universe can escape from that situation.

As a result, in one sense, nothing matters. What will be will be.

If a man kills another man, it happened because of all the causes that lead up to that point. The universe in effect is just a huge die that has been set in motion and once that happened everything that followed was inevitable and governed totally by forces and causes.

There is no "God" of the kind that mainstream religion indoctrinates us with, watching day by day as all these atrocities occur. There is something else. A universal oneness of all things, connected by universal energy. By all means call that "God" but understand what it is. Step out of the cage which teaches you how to interpret things and fogs your mind. Let go of the guilt that is felt in daring to challenge what you have been taught. What you "feel" inside is irrelevant. A human can be made to feel anything, to believe anything, even to the point that they will then defend those false beliefs using any means available.

TEMET NOSCE

Free your mind.

In love and light

Pilgrim
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Fruli
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(Original post by Huw M Thomas)
Thanks for your testimony.

The fact you have been given and accepted the revelation of the existence of The Eternal Almighty, acknowledge His authority, ability, and power sets you above the base theory of evolution. It gives you a sense of belonging and of purpose. Even in times of trouble and in the darkness of confusion the brightened light of purpose shines through and as the Psalmist said..."He restoreth my soul". The purpose is that all things including you exist for His glory and that He has the sovereign right to Rule over all that He created. The atheist or agnostic can never, ever come to this knowledge except by the renewal of regeneration.

Effects of the doctrine evolution are demeaning and destructive. Based on the law of cause and effect the doctrine of evolution, when accepted, will be running like an app in the background or the subconscious area of the mind. The effects run quietly and are seldom even noticed but the doctrine is always active. Once accepted into the psyche or intellect the recipient is subject to the laws governing the principles that make up the theory of evolution.

In acceptance, they become subject to survival of the fittest. This means that apart from the fit surviving and the weak perishing in an impersonal manner there is nothing in life of any lasting worth. The person is no more important than a blade of grass, a tree or an ant. In evolution, mankind might not be the beneficiary of the future of the planet and may be further down the evolutionary scale than he thinks.

Everything that exists and everything that man does could be for the purpose of benefitting an unseen and unheard of microorganism that is embarking on an evolutionary journey similar to that of which mankind is subject. History has proven when Marxism and Darwinism meet men like Lenin, Stalin, Pol Pot and the like treat their fellow citizens with contempt. We treat cattle and sheep better than they treated mankind because in the eyes of an evolutionist mankind has no true worth.

In the mindset of the evolutionist, man is subject to evolution and has no free will. The fittest will survive for the sake of the survival of the species but even that cannot be guaranteed. We have heard of and witnessed great empires raising up and then failing on the world stage.

The individual has no worth beyond being part of a complex food chain and our end is simply to fertilise the soil as food for insects.

Is it any wonder that people lose the ability to see hope for the future? If they have downloaded the “Evolution App” then their intellectual system has been corrupted and is slowly but surely being destroyed. They are failing in so many areas and on so many levels because the effects are corrosive. “As a man thinketh, so is the man”.
Thank you. Interestingly, I used to be a strong believer in survival of the fittest, until I was tested to the point of breaking and that's when I met Christ.
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Racoon
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(Original post by Fruli)
Thank you. Interestingly, I used to be a strong believer in survival of the fittest, until I was tested to the point of breaking and that's when I met Christ.
I have come to realise that because we are all fallen, we are all sinful, and therefore how do we 'know' absolutely that any of us think 'right'.

I do think depression is an illness and it brings with it a fog, a cloud that can cover any hope.

I understand God to be just and able to see a person's heart and mind.

All we can do is trust God, believe His word and accept the Holy Spirit in our lives to help us unravel some of the mysteries in life.

I see God's love as a revelation and the longer I am a Christian I realise there are two sides to each coin. Just when you think you know and understand something your eyes are opened up to a new revelation, that's why God's word is alive.

Am I making sense?

I hope the family come around and that you are united. It must be a very difficult time for everyone.
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Huw M Thomas
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(Original post by Fruli)
Thank you. Interestingly, I used to be a strong believer in survival of the fittest, until I was tested to the point of breaking and that's when I met Christ.
I was converted at 10:30am on Saturday July 17th 1999. I didn't ask nor want to be saved, but I was. One moment I was atheist and the next I was rejoicing. I'd spent 30 years in drug and alcohol addiction along with every other form of abuse practised by man. In that moment when my sin was forgiven my addictions were lifted and I was free.

To the praise of the glory of His grace.
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mcpon14
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(Original post by the bear)
all of Theology is so much straw unless it is infused with love.
Are you evoking to any degree when the Pharaoh declared that the Jews had to make bricks without straw?
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