Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Predestination vs. Man's Free Will

Romans 8:28-30

28And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

29For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.

30Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.

It seems that this set of verses support the doctrine of predestination, yet countless believers are dead set against even the notion that God predestined anything upon anyone. I myself have made the argument countless times. "If everything we do is according to God's plan, then that means that God chose for Eve to eat the fruit, causing sin to enter into the world, therefore, God created sin." Yet it seems that time and time again the bible affirms the thought process behind predestination. Joseph said to his brothers, "Now therefore be not grieved, nor angry with yourselves, that ye sold me hither: for God did send me before you to preserve life....So now it was not you that sent me hither, but God: and he hath made me a father to Pharaoh, and lord of all his house, and a ruler throughout all the land of Egypt." (Genesis 45:5,8)

Time and time again the bible very clearly states that God has foreseen all. To deny that God has complete control directly contradicts the express assertions of the bible and it takes away the sovereignty of God.

Unfortunately for all of us, it is not quite that simple. You see if man did not have free will, then the need for the bible simply would not be there. If God truly controlled every thought and action we have, he couldn't he just force us to worship him? We all have a conscience. No one can deny us that. We all feel the weight of decision making. We have weighed the pros and cons of countless potential actions in our lives. Verses such as Romans 10:9 and John 3:16 make it obvious to us that there is a CHOICE to be made.

So the dilemma that we are faced with is that both doctrines seem to hold true, yet both doctrines seem to contradict one another. So we must ask ourselves this question; Can God foreordain all things, and yet form an intelligent being who is a perfectly free, moral and accountable agent? The answer is impossible for our human minds to comprehend, for the decision demands omniscience. Only God can answer this one. I suggest that we approach this one with faith that both doctrines can be and must be true, and that only God understands why and how.

Dr. Richard Fuller said in 1892 "True wisdom is always humble. The wisdom which descendeth from above is so profoundly humble that it at once confesses its ignorance and says, 'If any man think that he knoweth anything, he knoweth nothing yet as he ought to know.' If we attempt to explain and reconcile the doctrines of predestination and free agency, we find impassable barriers hemming us in, and sharp adamant striking us back. But the proofs of these doctrines are irrefragable. Their harmony we must leave with God; it is an ultimate fact transcending our thoughts; but clear to that Intellect which is the supreme fountain of all light and love."

Questions? Comments?