Soapbox Saturday #3…

03 Apr

Free will vs. predestination.

A recent status update from one of my Facebook friends gripped me the other day. There was a stirring from within me to do something about it…to voice my thoughts on the subject. However, I did not, as I’ve learned from two previous situations, your friend’s Facebook status is not the forum to get into a heated debate with other people that also know said friend, especially when you don’t know the person that your debating. Trust me, it leads down a path that isn’t good. One or more people will get hurt.

With that said, I’ve come to realize that the only way to have my voice heard about a particular subject is to post it here…on my blog. So…here we go!!

As previously mentioned, I was disturbed reading a status from one of my Facebook friends (who shall remain nameless). It said that when someone is mean to you, it’s not them but the demon inside them that’s at fault. This post went on to quote Luke 23:34:

And Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” [ESV]

The problem that I see, is that scripture doesn’t tell us that the people that crucified Jesus were demon possessed. The people that yelled out for Jesus to be crucified were misinformed…lied to…about Who Jesus was and what He was doing. However misinformed they were, they still chose to demand that Pilate give the orders to have Jesus executed.

In my opinion, to say that someone’s negative actions against you are solely the result of demon control, throws out any concept of free will. I am not, however, saying that demon possession doesn’t occur. That is something that is covered a lot in scripture. For example, check out Mark 1:34:

And he healed many who were sick with various diseases, and cast out many demons. And he would not permit the demons to speak, because they knew him. [ESV]

Jesus was casting out demons…from where? The implication is that He cast them out from people. What’s more is that we learn that Jesus has the power to cast demons out of people. We also learn that the demons knew who Jesus was too!! So much so, that Jesus would not permit the demons to speak. Why? Because it was critical that the ones who cried out to crucify Jesus didn’t know what they were doing…otherwise, they wouldn’t have crucified Jesus and salvation would have had to come another way, other than the cross.

So, what exactly is free will? Put simply, it’s a human choice. It can be influenced by many factors and people, but ultimately, we make these choices every second of the day. Will I get up when the alarm clock goes off? Will I break traffic laws to get to my destination faster? Will I cheat on my taxes? Will I go to church this week? These are all choices that we make and are not the result of someone pulling our strings.

But what about predestination, or as some people like to call it, fate? Good question. Whenever we have a question about life, I think it’s a good idea to ask the Creator of life. Fortunately for us, He wrote a book and within it He says in Ephesians 1:11-12:

In him we have obtained an inheritance, having beenpredestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will, so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory. [ESV]{emphasis added}

Also, in Romans 8:29-30:

For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified. [ESV]

So, some things clearly are predestined. What, who & why are all questions I don’t think I can answer. However, I think I can enlighten some regarding the question of free will vs. predestination when it comes to the subject of salvation. This occurred to me the other day while I was showering…yeah, I get enlightened at odd times during the day. There’s a scene in the movie ‘The Matrix’ that delivers my point. Watch the scene and then I’ll explain:

In the scene, the lead character, Neo, has come to meet ‘the oracle’ for the first time. Obviously she knew he was coming, otherwise what kind of oracle would she be if she did not? But that’s besides the point. The free will vs. predestination question is addressed at the end of this clip when Neo knocks off and breaks the vase. Somehow ‘the oracle’ knew that Neo would break the vase. Yet, if she didn’t say to not worry about it before he began searching for the vase, would he have turned to search for it? The implied answer is no.

Using this example and a few scripture verses, the answer to the salvation debate is clear: it’s both. It’s not one or the other…it’s both. But how can that be, you might ask? Let me answer that by saying…I don’t know. And quite honestly, I don’t want to know. Check out this verse from Deuteronomy 29:29:

The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things that are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law. [ESV]

This verse clearly indicates that if it’s not spelled out in scripture (i.e. the things that have been revealed to us), it’s not for us to question…because it belongs to God and He won’t fill you in on the details. So it boils down to a matter of trust. Do you trust the Almighty Creator of the universe enough with a few details? How about we start doing our job (glorifying the King of Kings) and trust that God will take care of us.

Trust…something so simple…yet so hard to do.


Posted by on April 3, 2010 in Soapbox Saturday


2 responses to “Soapbox Saturday #3…

  1. Charles David Handbags

    April 9, 2010 at 8:19 am

    Every time I come to there is another interesting article up. A friend of mine was telling me about this topic a few weeks ago. I think I’ll send my friend the url here and see what they say.

  2. Tim

    April 9, 2010 at 9:06 am

    Thanks for stopping by! Glad you think these topics are interesting!!
    Please be aware that I’ve had no seminary training, so these ‘rants’ are just me writing down my thoughts as I think them. There was another quote that I wanted to share on this post but I couldn’t remember the exact reference, so I just left it out…which is unfortunate because I think it could’ve really helped out a point.
    Thanks again for stopping by! If you have any ideas for a topic to blog about, please post ’em!


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