|View single post by David White|
|Posted: Tue Feb 19th, 2008 06:26 pm||
Considering free will, how free is my will if my choice to reject God means that I will go to hell?
Sorry, I'm not following you here, what you describe is exactly what free will is. Everyday we are faced with situations where we either accept God's desires or reject them-- that is what free will is all about. Rejecting God in total is free will pegged on the negative side. Accepting his desires in total is pegged on the other side. Most of us fall in the middle somewhere.
I know the argument....if I choose to break the law and get caught, there are consequences to that action. I have free will as to whether or not I will break the law. But what if I don't get caught? The free will argument, at least in the terms of consequences, doesn't apply.
With an omniscient God, what you propose is not possible you will always be "caught."
Choosing to reject God, if free will is truly free, would mean that I would not be able to partake in whatever there might be to partake in when I die, but it shouldn't mean that my soul will forever be condemned to some "fire and brimstone" torture simply because I can't live up to something that no human being supposedly can.
One human did live up to perfection. But true, the rest of us even the most sainted, have not lived up to perfection. Perfection isn't what God calls us to. He calls us to be faithful servants. I hope we will find that He is a forgiving God who will "forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us." God loves us more than He wants to smack us down with fire and brimstone. He will forgive us of our many wrongs, if we only ask it of Him.
If God is this all powerful being, can my skepticism really hurt him that much?
You seem to be describing an all non-caring God, not an all powerful one. I believe God cares about each of us and rejection by just one of us matters to Him. I theorize that He understands the human condition enough to understand all of our skepticism and I also believe an all loving God/parent is going to be affected by the ultimate rejection by their child. However, in God's case, that rejection in no way affects His ultimate power. My child may reject me and disappoint me but it in no way diminishes my power to send them to bed early. Power is not always diminished by disappointment in humans, let alone God.
Plus, let's face it. If there is a final judgment, and if Christianity is the one true path, there will be a lot of good and decent people who never massacred a bunch of innocent people and did all they could to make the world a better place who will end up writhing in agony because they don't believe in a bunch of contradictory and mythological stories.
Some may agree that Christianity is the only path but I don't believe an all-loving God will penalize people who never had an opportunity to hear the Christian message. For them, there is a way to God's presence after death without adopting a Christian lifestyle. I know many fundamentalists may disagree with that statement but it doesn't match up with the all-loving God I see in the Bible. He knows the heart of all of us and will reward those with a good heart, no matter their religion or lack thereof.
Finally, if the shooter, whose actions were truly evil, is going to hell, does that mean the victims, who were truly innocent, will go to heaven, even if they were non-believers?
I don't pretend to know all of God's will, only what He has revealed to me in the Bible. The shooter had some mental problems, perhaps God will save him due to his not acting through his free will and condemn all the victims for various transgressions they committed in their lives through their free will to choose sin. Only God and to an extent ourselves are privy to our true thoughts, words and deeds. Those who accept God will choose to live in his prescence for eternity, those who reject it, will have chosen to live outside his prescence for eternity.