“Free Will Burning”
“And if it seems evil to you to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve (Joshua 24:15a).”
You are reading this article right now because you must. You had no other choice. You are continuing to read this because it has been predetermined that you should. At least that is one supposed interpretations of the findings of research by psychologists Dan Wegner and Thalia Wheatley.1 Their study “suggests” that free will “could” all be an illusion and that we do not truly possess choose or not choose our behaviors and preferences.
Well isn’t that a convenient and timely study for our current culture remove responsibility for lifestyle choices. How can we fault anyone when they really had no choice? Such a conclusion justifies a society that says that one’s gender is not fixed by their physiology (Matthew 5:36) but rather their psychology (Jeremiah 17:9).
This belief that men do not have free will to choose to act or not to act is a godless philosophy. Renowned atheist Dan Barker stated: “I happen to think that we have the illusion of freewill…I’m a strict determinist. We are natural creatures. The material world is all there is.”2 Free will is merely an illusion according to this worldview.
Alcoholics and drug abusers? According to determinists, they are poor hapless victims of cruel fate. That is, until they “choose” to get behind the wheel and operate a motor vehicle. If we are to respect Trans-genders right to cross dress, Homosexual’s right to marry, and other such behaviors on the belief that these individual’s actions are predetermined then what are we to do with polygamists, adulterers, pedophiles, and rapists? Are they not simply acting on their pre-wired patterns and helpless without free will to behave otherwise?
The truth is that God created us with the gift of free will. While He is not willing that any should perish (1 Timothy 2:4) there will be many who will (Matthew 7:13-14). He could have programmed us to dutifully obey like robots, but instead He desired a loving relationship with us which is only possible if BOTH parties CHOOSE such a relationship.
Our behaviors and actions are a matter of choice. James teaches that it is our desires that we act upon that leads to sin (James 1:14-16). Most of those who lived in Jerusalem while Jesus walked upon this earth were not willing to come to Him (Luke 13:34, John 5:40).
Before the Hebrews, whom God led out of Egypt, He offered “life and death, blessing and cursing” and plead with them to “CHOOSE life (Deuteronomy 30:9).” Some will willfully sin (Hebrews 10:26) and choose death (Acts 13:46). Yet, others will choose life (Joshua 24:15, Romans 6:17) and an everlasting place in the Father’s house (Luke 15:18, 22-23).
God did choose that those who are in Christ should have eternal life in Heaven with Him forever (Ephesians 1:4). But you must choose for yourself to enter into His Son (Galatians 3:27). The clear call of God to all men of every generation is to repent (2 Peter 3:9). Such a call is pathetic if we are powerless change our minds.
If you have chosen to read this far may you also chose to walk worthy of God who gave you the free will to choose an everlasting relationship with Him. If you had no choice but were predetermined to complete the page perhaps you were appointed to begin again from the first paragraph?
“If anyone wills to do His will, he shall know concerning the doctrine, whether it is from God or whether I speak on My own authority (John 7:17).”