Free Will Debate
Antony’s Responses to Windsor 3a
1) Yes! Those whom the Lord draws, He likewise gives. His
"drawing" does not fail to accomplish its goal, and will not ultimately
be rejected by those for whom it's been determined. He hasn't
instituted an indefinite, hypothetical redemption. They "shall" come to Him (Jn 6:37). "He WILL save, "His" people from their sins" (Matt 1:21).
In a futile attempt to barricade his Creator from invading the
fortress of his allegedly autonomous free will, Mr. Windsor declares
that we're not "pre-programmed by a Divine Puppet Master pulling our
strings because even though we have fallen natures, we still have the
ability to choose".
However, the biblical record ends up shattering the ego of this free-will theist.
Like it or not, elements of "puppet mastery" simply cannot be escaped! "The king's heart is in the hand of the Lord; He directs it like a watercourse [puppet string] wherever He pleases" (Prov 21:1, 20:24, 2 Chron 21:16, Ezra 1:1, 2 Kings 19:28, Haggai 1:14, Isa 10:57).
True, man has a choosing mind, but God "arbitrates" in either allowing those choices to be carried out, or He may choose to interfere.
The evil intentions of Joseph's brothers to sell him into slavery were
allowed to blossom and went according to the divine plan (Gen 50:20). When the choices of men are not to His liking, He violates their will by "nullifying the counsel of the nations; He frustrates the plans of the people." (Ps 33:10-11, Jn 11:51). Regarding salvation, there is no free choice because men are spiritually dead! We are "without strength" (Rms 5:6, Ez 16:4-6), contrary to Catholicism which says our wills have only been "weakened" (chapter 1... http://www.ewtn.com/library/councils/trent6.htm).
Slaves do not choose to be free. Someone else must set them free. "We were never in bondage to any man; how sayest thou, 'Ye shall be made free?'
Jesus answered them, whoever committeth sin is a servant of sin...if the Son therefore shall set you free [from the bonds of sin] ye shall be free indeed [to become a bondservant of Christ]" (Jn 8:33-36, Rms 1:1).
3) You wonder, "What's the sense of Judgment Day if all has been predetermined?"
Being "born of the Spirit", the regenerate soul is then willing to serve God with his "freewill offerings" (Ezra 7:16) that are given from a "free heart" (2 Chron 29:31), but ever remembers his motives will be analyzed (2 Chron 32:31). Eventually, we'll be judged how well we walked in those good works, "which God hath BEFORE ORDAINED that we should walk in" (Eph 2:10).
4) Love is wanting the highest spiritual good of another. It is something the Creator has predetermined to freely give to those He has chosen.
5) We cannot love God until He first chooses to love us (1 Jn 4:19).
Does he "force" us to love Him? Basically, yes. But the word "force"
may convey negative elements and doesn't do justice to the beautiful
metamorphosis of regeneration, which is a GIFT of God's free grace to
the elect. I provided 50 verses in Round 2B, which proves this beyond a
shadow of a doubt! He has the sovereign right to choose a particular
people out of humanity who would NEVER otherwise have come to Him
without "taking us by force". Once made spiritually alive, we will WANT
to be in willing subservience to Him: "Thy people will be made WILLING in the day of thy power" (Ps 110:3). Paul could no more stop his conversion in Acts 9:3
then Lazarus could stop Jesus from calling him forth from the grave.
Moreover, if we have libertarian free will, why would God have to "open" Lydia's heart? (Acts 16:14). If your position were true, shouldn't the Text say that SHE opened up her own heart? (Oh my, this sounds like a violation of her sacred "free will!").
Deal with it. Even Catholicism teaches man's free will doesn't work alone
chapter 5.... http://www.ewtn.com/library/councils/trent6.htm
grace overwhelms, changes, and raises them from the dead--- giving them
a NEW heart (Ezek 11:19). Then, for reasons known only to Himself, He
chooses to leave others dead in their sins (Prov 16:4, Matt 11:25-26, Jn
17:9, 12, Rms 9:22, Jude 4).
While the "incurable wound" spoken of in Jeremiah 30 referred to
Israel, it's an eloquent picture that compliments the witness of
Scripture relating to all humanity (opening statement, first paragraph).
7) Re: John 3:16..... "that WHOSOEVER believeth..."
The literal rendering reveals that "whosoever" is not even in the passage! It literally reads, "so that all believing ones shall not perish but have everlasting life."
8) Having established that "whosoever" is not in the Text, your statement that God "gives this right to whosoever" is theologically bankrupt. Nevertheless, whenever the gospel is preached, there does go out a general invitation because we, His ministers, have no idea who will be vivified. Dead men do not have any rights other than to be food for worms. They are incapable of responding to this outward general invitation aside from an inward, discriminating, effectual work of grace. And this efficacious, irresistible call will never fail to accomplish its designed purpose and intent (Jn 6:45, Acts 18:27).
That the Potter has the right to "make" vessels of destruction, does
NOT make Him the author of evil. Vessels of destruction are those
unregenerate souls on whom God has decided to show no mercy (Rms 9:18).
They are prepared for destruction (vs. 22) by their own sins which make them subject to God's wrath.
10 & 11) You ask me to demonstrate
how the bad actions of someone can be offensive to the One who created
him. Space limitations hinder me. The "mysterious" answer is found in Romans 9:17-22. God hardened Pharaoh's heart for the express purpose of demonstrating His sovereign power, as well as in punishing sin (Ex 7:3). He has the prerogative to "harden whom He desires", for His own good reasons (Matt 11:25-26).
He told Moses to go to Pharaoh, and in the next breath was told to
expect rejection because He would harden the ruler's heart (Ex 4:21).
He subsequently killed Pharaoh! You ask, "How does this make God
just?" The answer is that no one can "resist His will, so be quiet" (9:19-21, Jn 12:39-40).
Was Luther's "Bondage of the Will" scriptural? Yes. See Q2.
Slavery is antithetical to "free will".....and carnal man is "UNABLE" to submit to God (Roman 8:7).
13) I already answered that the elect come from those who are "drawn" in 2A, para 4, and 3A, per 2 Tim 1:9
14) The already saved
sheep of His pasture in Psalm 95:7 hardened their heart in the
wilderness by disobedience. We might do likewise, and are asked to, "grieve not the Holy Spirit..." (Eph 4:30).
Word Count: 1213