Reflections on a Free Will
(Some thoughts I had while stuck in a traffic jam and pondering “in a perfect world…”)
Proposition1: Man has a free will.
Proposition 2: God has a free will…
God’s free will is endemic to His own essence, Creator of all that exists, Almighty and self-existent.
If it exists God created it, if it doesn’t exist the reason is God didn’t create it. When God creates anything, He has a reason for creating it according to a plan that He, Himself is carrying to completion. He isn’t just doodling in the sand. The universe with all its Galaxies has a purpose — and God created man for a definable purpose.
Since He has a definite plan will He allow anything, or anybody divert or otherwise impede this plan? No. So concerning man’s free will, how free is that will? It’s limited within boundaries set by God. When man’s free will goes head-to-head with God’s free will, God’s free will wins every time. Man’s free will does not give man freedom to have complete sovereignty over his own existence. Nor is man capable of such sovereignty. Man would destroy himself with such autonomy. This is evident throughout man’s history with wars of all shapes and sizes. If God didn’t intervene and guide at crucial times and events man would obviously commit suicide on a grand scale. Man’s nature is just that depraved. Anybody who takes an honest look within themselves, past that mask of self-pride, knows this is true.
Free will is also limited within the boundaries of man’s ability to choose. When attitudes of mind and habits of thinking entrench our thought patterns, then a thing called “automatic thinking” rules our choices. This blinds us to other choices available outside the blinders of habit. These habits include preconceived notions and pre-suppositional positions. Moreover, unexamined and faultily inspected paradigms enslaves man’s free will by wrong thinking going unchallenged; held firmly in place by habit and an unwillingness to seek and test alternative perspectives.
What are some of the nemeses of freedom of will?
Pride. Arrogance. Selfishness. Self-centeredness. Lust. Greed. Envy. Strife. Deceit. Malice. Futility of thinking. Hardened heart. Hatred. Debauchery. Discord. Jealousy. Rage. Selfish ambitions. Dissentions. And all such depravities common to man’s natural condition.
Considering such fetters how free is man’s free will now? Limited. Very limited. Limited within the boundaries of his own depravity. Man is enslaved by his own nature.
“What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God – through Jesus Christ our Lord!” (Romans 7:24-25 NIV)
“Everyone who sins is a slave to sin…so if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” (John 8:34,36NIV)
Therefore, true free will can only fully express itself through freedom in Christ.