Vexen Crabtree 2015

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Sociology, Theology, Anti-Religion and Exploration: Forcing Humanity Forwards


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Vexen Crabtree 2015
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Biblical Christianity Denies Free Will

The Christian Bible specifically states that free will does not decide our fate, and argues in particular that our choices do not matter; those that do good things to specific good things pre-planned by God for them to do, which they are compelled to do without choice, because God says so, and those that are not chosen thusly are purposefully made bad by God. The Bible also argues that we are not allowed to question this state of affairs.

"Biblical Christianity Denies Free Will" by Vexen Crabtree (2005)

You are clueless about God, Jesus and TRUE Born-Again Christians.

If you are a Christian, you would have attempted to explain to me or teach me, rather than just insult. I remember Jesus had some rather harsh words for hypocrites who believed they knew the truth, yet didn't act in accordance with righteousness. You, sir, are a modern-day pharisee, an ignorant stinky skid mark on the underpants of society.

Free-will (Anonymous) Expand

God WILL save all

(Anonymous)
HI. Your research is very good and makes sense in many ways. You are in fact perfectly right in many things you say about God, apart from the fact that he is evil. The reason is that you miss out many peices of scripture that shows how God WILL EVENTUALLY save all. The difference is that few are saved in this age, but the rest are saved in the next age, ie the white throne judgment/2nd resurrection/lake of fire. So God has predetermined EVERYONE to be saved, but he has staggered it. Here are a few peices of scripture:

For therefore we both labour and suffer reproach because we trust in the living
God, Who is the Saviour of all men, especially of those that believe" - I Tim. 4:10.

"... JUDGMENTS are in the earth, the inhabitants of the world [the whole world] WILL LEARN RIGHTEOUSNESS" (Isa. 26:9).

We will ALL eventually LEARN righteousness. Now i dont have time to go into too much detail, but i suggest you visit www.bible-truths.com for more information on how, scripturally God WILL EVENTUALLY save ALL.

God Bless mate

Re: God WILL save all (if it exists and is a good god)

Thank you for the intelligent comments. I agree that if you believe will eventually save all then it is hard to say that God is evil, merely that we don't understand it's ways and methods. Believing that god eventually saves everyone is called "universalism", I've got a page on the subject here:

http://www.vexen.co.uk/religion/universalism.html
"This page presents a series of arguments that if an all-powerful and benevolent God exists then universalism must be true"

I also have a page specific to Christian universalism:

http://www.vexen.co.uk/religion/christianity_universalism.html

A few years ago I was preparing a paper on Biblical arguments for Universalism, but I never completed it. It's a massive task. I did put up text on parables http://www.vexen.co.uk/religion/christianity_vineyard.html that indicates that the Biblical god is a universalist one.

God, if it exists, will save all.

Re: Romans 9 (Anonymous) Expand
Re: God WILL save all (Anonymous) Expand
Hey Vexen-
I really like your website. It certainly incites thought.
I'm a Christian. However, I agree with pretty much all of your thoughts on free-will and predetermination.

The question that I most frequently ask myself in regards to predetermination is "Why would God do that?" Thus far I can think of no reason for God to render men as machines.

1) God would value the choice to follow him far more than a machine that follows him.

2) God gave the angels a choice. Men are to judge the angels. It makes no sense to say that machines are appropriate judges of those who have free-will.

3)Why would God speak about those who do not accept the gospel as "the lost" and why would he rejoice at their returning to him if that is what he had previously decided for them to do?

4)The Bible itself seems to be evidence in favor of free will. Why would God make a book to live by if he knew who would live by what in the first place? Especially taking into account Romans 2:14-16. These verses say that the moral law is written on our hearts. If this is the case it would be superfluous and wasteful of God to make a book about it. UNLESS he wanted to give us a book to help us sort out what we are seeing written on our hearts so that we could make a CHOICE about how to live our lives.

One option that Christians can take is that the verses that are read to prove predetermination should perhaps be read as proof of predestination in stead. For instance it makes sense to say that God being all-knowing knew whether or not we would CHOOSE to follow him or not before he created us.

Now perhaps I am inappropriately interpreting some of these verses which speak toward predetermination. I would say however that there is another option aside from the one I have already presented. This is that these verses were written by men and not God. I have no problem with this.

One may call into question why then I would read a religious book that is written by men. First of all, I would say that the Bible (unlike other religious books) does not claim to be divine or divinely inspired. As a matter of fact, it couldnt have, given that it was not written as a single text but as a series of letters. Second, I would say that the falsity of a single sentence or even hundreds of single sentences would not dissuade me from placing value in the Bible given the historical evidence in support of Jesus' existence, death and resurrection.

By the way, I am still learning (and I wish all Christians would be willing to). So I'd really appreciate any comments that anyone has in regards to my thoughts (especially contrary opinions).

I hold to the belief that God wrote the Bible

(Anonymous)
The Bible does claim inspiration in 2Tim. 3:16 "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:"
The Bible also states in 2Peter 1:20 & 21 "Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.
21 For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.
that the prophecies are of no man's interpretation.

The statements you make about man's free-will are well thought out and to my understanding are on the right track. Predeterminists, IMHO, make God out to be cold and cruel. I do not think that their view is the "Christian view", nor is it the message of the Bible.

My faith, which is based on the Bible, (Romans 10:17 KJV) tells me that God is love. He desires all to be saved. Jesus, God the Son died for the sins of everyone. It also tells me that God is beyond my ability to completly understand, Isaiah 55:9 "For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts." I am comfortable with that, since God is committed to my good as His child. I accepted the Lord Jesus as my savior 26 years ago, and I am very content in His care. I also am willing to learn more and more about Him and do not fear discussion.

All who oppose the grace that has been made available to them have that free-will choice to make, but it is a poor choice.

Have a great year in the Lord!


(no subject) (Anonymous) Expand

Free Will

(Anonymous)
We must play the position God drafted us to play and not bitch about trades or raises

Christianity.

(Anonymous)
Actually, you pretty much nailed Christianity on the head with your site.

I was born and raised Baptist, on the mission-field in South America. I have only recently come to a better understanding of Christianity...

I guess to summarize my discovery, I've found main-stream Christianity to be completely false.

Now, with the verses presented, and the obvious logic that ensues... there can only be one of two conclusions.

Either A. Christianity is false from beginning to end. Or B. God DOES save everyone.

I took the first route (A) until I concluded that too much evidence points towards a divine Creator. Then I jokingly looked into the second route...

And I discovered that eternal hell is the biggest fraud in history, if you try to base it on the Bible... I also discovered that there is verse after verse that speaks concisely about God saving all of mankind.

WHAT?!

Even Hitler and Satan?

What's so evil about a God forgiving Hitler and Satan? Two entities that were pre-destined to sin anyways?

What's so bad about God saving all of His creation... it's not like He can't do it ;-) .

ANyways... if you want to persue this topic, e-mail me at CalebsComputers@yahoo.com

Thanks! Great website, btw!

Re: Christianity.

(Anonymous)
TO be honest i really don't understand your way of thinking when you say that God will save everyone. Yes I am a Christian and i don believe that Christ has died for me but when you go as far as to say that he will save Satan you take it way to far. In Revelation 20:14-15 "Then death and Hades were thrown down in to the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death." this is were it gets interesting though in verse 15 when it states,"If anyone's name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire." By saying this we have a very clear picture as to what will happen. Satan can not be saved by Christ because he has already chosen to try to over run God.

But what happens to the others who are not "Satan's followers?"
If they have not accepted the gift of Christ then they to, as well with Satan, will be thrown into the lake of fire for their second death. I know this sounds like God is a very harsh God but in reality he has given everyone a clear way of seeing that He is God. Even if this person lives in some tribe in Africa that hasn't been reached yet he still has his name signed all over wether its through him seeing the stars at night or through the awesome way this world works.

I say all this to say that God put us here not use us like a board game or just something to do. he had a purpose for us and if you read Ephesians 1:4-6 and that is to praise his glorious grace!!!!

Even though you don't intend it to be this site is really just a tool of Christ work!

Thanks!


Confussion about justice

(Anonymous)
Hey Mate,
Great research and your article is well written, however I have some thoughts to bring up. You are basing your understanding of God and His justice on our own understanding. God does not concern Himself with what we think is fair or unfair. The justice God demands is the payment for sins... which is death. God's Justice does not take into account our desires as they are all tainted by sin. We need God to predestine us as in our sinful state we are dead, and God needs to do the reviving. The Bible clearly states that we are dead (spiritually)in our trespasses so how can there be free will to choose him. Being dead as we are we need God to revive us and make us alive.
God's justice demands His wrath be satisfied from Adam's sin that is passed down through all of the generations. His Justice and Wrath were satisfied with Jesus. Being that Jesus died for those He wished to save. His work is complete.
If you are arguing that a just God would save everyone then you are missing the point of the whole story. If there was free will then Jesus' work would not be complete on the cross as He says it is. God would require something more form us and therefore Jesus' work was not sufficient for the forgiveness of sins. If you believe all should be saved then again Jesus' work is not complete because we know people will be in hell.
So where does that leave us? It leaves us with a Just God who's wrath was satisfied with Jesus for those He chose to save. This may seem unfair to us... but we are not the creators of the universe so we might not be able to understand it all.

Re: Confussion about justice

Ah yes, the old "God way's are too deep for us to understand" excuse. That's a convenient dodge mate but totally unnecessary.(BTW the context of Isaiah 55:8 is in the previous verse where the context is His MERCY.") Would you mind providing proof for your statement, "If you believe all should be saved then again Jesus' work is not complete because we know people will be in hell." Huh? Do you have some extra-spiritual gift or knowledge that most of us don't? Have you seen Hell? (BTW not one sentence you made in the next-to-last paragraph makes sense nor have you offered even one iota of support for you statements.) Also you statement that ends with "...save everyone then you are missing the point of the whole story" has got to be one of the most off-target statements I have ever read. Didn't Jesus ask a man what he will give in exchange for his soul? (Matthew 16:26) Sounds to me like He was interested in what people think about salvation.

FYI, God's wrath, justice and holiness are already SATISFIED. That's why He gave Paul--and every believer since then--the ministry of conciliation. God certified that He is at peace with mankind by ripping the veil in the temple from top to bottom the moment His Son died.

I am by no means an expert on the subject of Christianity (who is though) but I feel compelled to respond to your message. First, God didn't create robots that do whatever He wills. God has a plan and a purpose for each person's life. He gives us free will to follow this plan for which He designed and created us. Yes, He knows whether you will choose to believe or not because He is all-knowing but whether you do is up to you. He loves us and wants us to love Him in return, voluntarily, which is why there are so many people out there who deny Him. God gave them the choice to.
2)The "us" in Ephesians is everyone ever created and the ones who are blessed are those who choose Him, not those He chose. No, you can't be saved by good works because that would mean you are powerful enough to save yourself by doing good deeds plus it would give you bragging rights. The only way to be saved is by accepting God as the one and only and Jesus as the Son of Man one who saved us by shedding his blood. You have to admit that you are sinful and ask forgiveness and by accepting Christ, we are changed through the Holy Spirit and God's word prepares us to live our lives according to His will which logically should lead to a person doing "good works" in the name of God, not for the glory or admiration of man.
3) Yes, there are some people who are "called" or chosen by God to lead others to Him and preach the good news. God did not create anyone to fail though. We are, however, left to battle fleshly desires and spiritual righteousness, which at times feels like we're being set up for failure but that's because we're relying on our own strength instead of putting the burden on Him and admitting we're not capable without Him. As the Creator and a loving God, He is giving "us" these chosen few and inspiring them to preach His word because God knows we're more likely to listen to another man than we are to have faith in His word alone so if He chooses to enlighten only a few it's for the good of the ones not chosen for that path. We all question God's reasons for doing what he does. Look at the many giants of the faith that questioned Him but remained in His favor like King David, Moses, Elijah-who even prayed for death, John the Baptist- who had to send a messenger to Jesus to again get reassured that Jesus was the Son of God. We can question him because of free will but we have to rely on faith alone to continue following Him even when we don't understand. How can we understand the purpose of all His actions? We are not God. We are mere humans who have limited abilities. He is the one who can create life in an instant and take it away just as quickly.
4) As a Christian you accept that your desires are meaningless compared to a "holy calling". Come on! What good would my own goals be if they aren't the will of God? It just means He wants us to be part of His plan. He doesn't want us to create our own agendas because our motives would never be as pure as His. Humble yourself and you'll understand.
5) The "crooked" is the wayward path we take without Him. Which everyone does everyday (even Christians) because of free will. If we didn't have free will and we were just God's puppets, would there be murder or abuse? No. He wouldn't allow it. Our own free will allows it. God wants us to choose Him and choose righteousness instead of sin. He wants to lead us away from our sinful nature.
6) Again, God knows who chose Him before they were created. He didn't decide who would choose, but He knows who will deny Him and who will accept His gift of salvation.
I am not Catholic and so I cannot comment on the rest of your argument but I hope you'll re-think it because I honestly believe God is a good and loving God. You are obviously intelligent and I would never attempt a debate with you so if you're interested in reading an intellectual icon's view of Christianity, read Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis. Of course if you have no free will I guess you'll just do what God programmed you to do anyway. That's ashame because God created us each with individual personalities in order to reach and relate to non-believers with similar personalities and someone like you could touch so many lost lives if you used your intellect and passion for the good of God.

Explain to me how your free will meshes with John 6:44

Hey, since you have free will, why don't you exercise that all-powerful faculty and completely stop sining? None of your analysis explains what the vessels of wrath (Romans 9) are supposed to do (their destruction doesn't sound all that loving, now does it?). Nor have you explained why one person comes to God but another doesn't--in other words you have not probed the depths of the mysteries of conversion. Also your belief that God only wants voluntary love fails in the case of Saul of Tarsus, the Apostles etc. All it takes is one outcome which contradicts the basis of an argument to destroy the argument. Since God cannot be a respector of persons, and since you no doubt believe that to be lost is an eternal sentence, then God owes every man and woman the same level of proof He gave Saul. Since "damnation" is eternal, that's the absolute least He could do to keep a person out of Hell. Your worshipping of the false god of free-will is most distressing. My God is sovereign, the one who "works out everything according to the determinate counsel of His will (Eph 1:11)." I hope you will come worship the same God I do.

Christian doctrine holds that God is all knowing (1 John 3:20), and humans have free will (Deuteronomy 30:19 is my favorite example). I have seen skeptics raise an objection to these points several times. the basic logic behind their arguments is this:

A being with free will, given two options A and B, can freely choose between A and B.
God is omniscient (all-knowing).
God knows I will choose A.
God cannot be wrong, since an omniscient being cannot have false knowledge.
From 3 and 4, I will choose A and cannot choose B.
From 1 and 5, omniscience and free will cannot co-exist.

Let's examine this argument and see if it follows logically.

Premises 1 and 2 in the outline above are the main premises to the argument and are not disputed. The Christian worldview argues that every human being is a free moral agent and is capable of making choices simply by exercising their will, not under compulsion or because of instinct. Also, it is a long held doctrine of Christianity that God is all-knowing. The Bible says that God knows "the end from the beginning (Isaiah 46:10)." For omniscience to be truly knowledgeable it must be correct knowledge, so premise number 4 is also granted.

However, point number 5 is where the logic falters. Those who argue in this manner make the mistake of thinking that because God possesses knowledge about a specific matter, then he has influenced it. That does not follow at all. Just because God can foresee which choice you will make, it does not mean you couldn't still freely choose the other option.

Let me give you an example. I have a five year old son. If I were to leave a chocolate chip cookie on the table about a hour before dinner time and my son was to walk by and see it, I know that he would pick up the cookie and eat it. I did not force him to make that decision. In fact, I don't even have to be in the room at all. I think I know my son well enough, though, to tell you that if I come back into the kitchen the cookie will be gone. His act was made completely free of my influence, but I knew what his actions would be.

In examining the argument, the assumption is made in premise 3 that because God knows I will choose A somehow denies me the choice of B. That is the premise that Christianity rejects. Omniscience and free will are not incompatible and it is a non-sequitor to claim otherwise.

All of these verses are of man's free will to do what God wants.

1. "choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve" (Josh. 24:15)

2. "Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." (Mt. 11:28)

3. "If anyone wills to do His will, he shall know concerning the doctrine, whether it is from God." (Jn. 7:17)

4. "If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink." (Jn. 7:37)

5. "Repent, and let everyone of you be baptized" (Acts 2:38)

6. "Repent therefore and be converted" (Acts 3:19)

7. "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved" (Acts 16:31)

8. "Whoever wills, let him take the water of life freely." (Rev. 22:17)

uuuuhhhh.....NO

(Anonymous)
lets see...I know that your going to type something on the computer at some point in the future...OH NO I TOOK YOUR FREE WILL AWAY!!!! *GASP* For goodness sake God's not taking your free will he's predicting it. He knows what your going to do, it doesnt mean that he took it away!!! JEEZE!! I know my brother is going to church tomorrow with the family OH NO I TOOK HIS FREE WILL TO DECIDE WHETHER TO GO TO CHURCH OR NOT!!! *GASP* STOP IT!! Your theory is pretty convincing but when you actually look at it your twisting what its REALLY saying and stop deceiving people just KNOCK IT OFF!!! (I mean that in the most nicest way possible)

A Christian standing with friends,
Kate

Re: uuuuhhhh.....NO

I have two good relevent pages about free will:

1. "Biblical Christianity Denies Free Will" by Vexen Crabtree. Examining Exodus, Ecclesiastes 7, Ephesians 1, Ephesians 2, Romans 8, Romans 9, 2 Timothy, 2 Thessalonians and Revelations, we see that God's plan overrides our free will; those that do good do the specific good that God predestined them to do, and all others are ruled by Satan because God sends "powerful delusions" to them. The Christian Bible frequently states that God creates our future and decides our fates, no matter what our own will is. It constantly denies that we have free will.

2. "Determinism: Free Will is an Illusion" by Vexen Crabtree: As all our mental processes are based on patterns of neurone activation, it follows that all our "choices" are made on a biochemical level before we are conscious of what we have 'chosen'. We do not have the free will to change the laws of physics, therefore, all our actions are determined.

Re: uuuuhhhh.....NO (Anonymous) Expand

free will

(Anonymous)
God wants all to be saved but not all desire to be saved. Thus is free will, one can choose destruction if that is your will. You see, the Lord loves His creation so much that if you just will not have it any other way, He will let you go to hell, if that is what you want. Have a nice day!

The difference between your argument, and mine, on the occurance of Free Will in the Christian Bible, is that my comments start, and end, by looking at the actual verses in the Bible that are relevant to the discussion. Your comments are rhetorical, based on personal opinion, and I dare say, an amount of wishful thinking.

Your "Have a nice day!" is in complete contrast to the stark, aggressive tone of the rest your message...in total, I would say that you're generally confused, emotional and not really thinking about this issue at all.

Good day.

Re: free will (Anonymous) Expand

free will

(Anonymous)
you still are in darkness and fail to see God's mercy and grace in giving life to his people. No logic can help. Only God giving life to the dead thu his son Jesus Christ the Lord. God did not make it possible for anyone to be saved. He saved his people despite there sins.

Its good to see that you have taken the time to examine the bible and what it has to say on the matter. I know this thread is somewhat old, so perhaps my comment is not very timely, but if you haven't yet, I'd encourage you to take some time to examine God's character in the bible. If you read about who he is you might look that all of the scriptural evidence for determinism a little differently. The bible tells that God is Love and cares deeply for every person. Yes, I firmly believe that God knows all and has planned everything according to his own purpose, but to say that God has created some for the purpose of failure or damnation is vastly inconsistent with scripture and the overall message of the bible.

Just a few passages to consider:

1 Tim 2: 1-4

"1I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone— 2for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. 3This is good, and pleases God our Savior, 4who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. "

John 3: 16-17

"16"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son,[f] that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. "

The bible asserts that all humans are failures, yet loved beyond understanding by God our creator. So much so that God himself stepped down in the form of Jesus Christ and surrendered to death on a cross to redeem those failures and wash away the sins that separte us from Him. The resurection then confirms victory over death and freedom for all who accept it.

Thank you for expressing you views. I really mean that. And thank you for listening to mine. Its so important challenge one another and to be challenged so that we continue to learn. I really respect your logical look at scripture. I feel taht God gave us minds to be used for logic and reason and to ponder and question. However, In my experience logic alone has not been enough to know God. For me, faith is an important part of understanding scripture too. My knowledge of scripture and of God and of his world is so limited that its just not enough to rely on, so faith is what I must lean on.

well, again, thank you for posting this discussion and I pray that there might be no continuing hostility towards you for voicing your conclusions. God Bless.

-T. Eaton

this is what i don't understand about most of you. Do not tell me that it can't be explained or questioned because you have already tried to explain everything else. Why do you think that questioning god and asking god a question is the same thing? Am i forbidden to talk to him, to ask him a question, and if i do, am i talking back? Your explanation of us not talking back to god is dumb in the context you put it in. Yes, we shouldn't talk back to god but it's not the same as to ask a question for the purpose of enlightenment.

If all of our actions are predetermined then why does god appear before ANY of us. If life is predetermined, we should naturally live it without any intervention. Don't tell me it's to reinforce your faith because if your faith, hope, and love in God truly exist, it should have been just as strong as from the beginning of your "predetermined" life.

If a group of us have a predetermined life why do we ALL sin?

I'm a christian and a believer in free will. To say that free will doesn't mix with religion is wrong. Just because God knows our future doesn't mean we are puppets, it doesn't mean that he makes us sin.

Your persuasive speech is well structured, but not factual. Your counter points are not well thought out- but who can blame you, you're not an all knowing being. Neither am i but that's why ->

God loves everyone! He wants all of us to receive his message, and to join him. And the only way to him is to RECEIVE him. See- RECEIVE implies that you are willing.


You should work on your tone--you are a Christian after all

You may be a Christian but your analysis is confused and your tone is unbecoming. I'll answer just one of your points. The reason we all sin is because we are "all deficient in the Glory of God.) Romans 3:23. It is the absence of His essence which guarantees that we will all sin and sin continually. It is God's plan that all men--some now, most later--will eventually arrive at the same realization as Paul did: O wretched man that I am, who will save me from this body of death Romans 7:24. Once a person gets to that point, he or she is prepared to take the oath of Isaiah 45:24: "My strength and my righteousness is in you." I should remind you that if you are a Christian, 2 Tim 2:24-25 applies to you: And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient. (25) In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth;"

So he choses us but you miss that we must also chose him

(Anonymous)
2 Peter 1:10 Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your call and election sure, for if you do these things you will never stumble; 11 for so an entrance will be supplied to you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.


Perhaps God is good After All...Just perhaps. Part 1

reetings Mr. Crabtree. 22 May 2007 Wednesday

Part 1 of 3

Greetings dear reader: I wrote this response before I knew that Mr. Crabtree had indeed investigated the possibility of Universalism being true. Regrettably this log page doesn't support the Symbol type font of Microsoft machines. Some of the words below were Greek letters.
Mr. Crabtree, I have thoroughly enjoyed your analysis concerning the issue you raised in Christianity says Humans have no Free Will and for my two cents worth, I am in 100% agreement with your analysis although I would have entitled your piece The Bibles says Humans have no Free Will. You may know that probably 99% percent of the rest of Christianity doesn’t understand or believe what you have so cogently argued. Since I am stipulating up front that I agree with your analysis, I would like to fast forward to the meat of your conclusions. You concluded that God is either a monster or he doesn’t exist. And based on your analysis I completely agree. But you made a very interesting statement leading up to your conclusion which I would like to discuss with you now. I have reproduced a portion of your conclusion containing that statement below and would like to run a question or two by you concerning it.

You state that a “good god would simply choose everyone …” Another point of agreement. What if you are correct about this—even if you don’t believe it to be true and are merely putting it forward in the form of a speculation to support the conclusion of your argument that the Christian god—if he exists—is an absolute monster?

Would you even entertain the possibility that this outcome is a possibility? If it can be shown that He actually has made provision for all, would you consider changing your mind and entertain the thought that God really is good? Would you be open to Scriptures which express this very outcome—that God has chosen all to be restored to Himself—should they be presented to you?

The first of many such glorious verses I wish to bring to you for consideration in support of this belief in the universal restoration of all mankind to Him is located in 1 Corinthians 15:22. It bluntly states: For as in Adam all (die, even so in (Christ shall all ( be made alive.


Will you do me a favor? As you read the rest of the evidence I’ve provided, would you keep this opening assertion—1 Corinthians 15:22—in mind? It provides an overall context of God’s plan for the restoration of mankind to Himself: it is also a promise. Notice the comparison. The word all is used twice here. Notice the first comparison is easily observable and proven. I have yet to meet a man or woman who has been around from the dawn of human history. In fact, news reports routinely illustrate that the oldest humans on the Earth at any point in time is but a mere 120 years or so. And of course those who die are both believers and non-believers. In this sense, God is absolutely fair: everybody dies. And all who die do so because death is a part of God’s plan—for now. Without exception, every one who has parted the womb eventually dies. All means all.

Now look at the promise in the second half of the sentence. If you apply an honest standard to this whole verse, the universality of the first half of Paul’s statement—everybody dies—guarantees the universality of the second part: all mankind—the lost and the saved—will be made alive in Christ! The same God who has determined that all are to die has promised that this same group of people is to be made alive in Him again.

Now since so much of your argument was based on the use of Scripture, I hope you won’t mind too much if I do to. After all, due to your careful ability and talent to analyze Scripture, I am sure that you are also well aware that:

1) Paul—who Jesus personally revealed His Gospel to—testified that God is the savior of all mankind (), especially those who believe (1 Timothy 4:10) where we see that those God has started His relationship with now are but a subset of those He intends to save.
End Of Part 1

Perhaps God is good After All...Just perhaps. Part 2

Greetings Mr. Crabtree. 22 May 2007 Wednesday
22 May 2007 Wednesday Part 2 of 3

Greetings dear reader: I wrote this response before I knew that Mr. Crabtree had indeed investigated the possibility of Universalism being true. Regrettably this log page doesn't support the Symbol type font of Microsoft machines. Some of the words below were Greek letters.

2) Jesus said that “if I be lifted up, I will draw all to myself.” The Bible asserts beyond doubt that the prostasis—He was lifted up on the cross—is true. If the prostasis is true, then the apostatis is also true—that is if God exists and is able to keep His word.
3) That Paul, after explaining the mystery of God’s plan to bring the rest of the nations into Christ literally bursts with praise as he closes Romans chapter 11. The last line of that chapter, Paul declares that, “For from Him and through Him and For (to) Him is the everything ().” Paul declares that everything and every one—a subset of everything—goes back to Him.
4) That Paul quoting Isaiah 45 echoes God’s own words that “every () knee will bow and every () tongue will confess that my righteousness is in thee and my strength is in thee. (Romans 14:11)” A study of the language used by Paul proves these confessions will be given voluntarily and joyfully by every human that has ever lived—that is if “every knee will bow” can reasonably mean, “every knee.”
5) That Paul has also averred that God has already reconciled (is at peace with)—denoted by the aorist or past tense of the verb apo-katallasseoo, —those He has selected by His sovereign choice (Colossians 1:21). It can be showed that being reconciled means that all parties to hostilities are now at peace with each other; between two warring factions, for example, this implies peaceful, bi-lateral relations). Thus God is already at peace with mankind. Given time, all mankind will be at peace with Him—that is if God can keep His word.
6) That Paul further averred that God has not yet completed but will reconcile the rest of mankind to Himself denoted by the use of the infinitive form of apo-katallasseoo (the same verb mentioned in 5) in verse 20 of the same book, 
7) That God has sworn on oath one day to be “all in all ().” (1 Corinthians 15:28).
8) That the lake of fire is the second death Revelation 20:14). Yet God has promised to destroy every remaining enemy—the last of which is death ( 1 Corinthians 15:26). So even those who are “lost” will one day be restored to Himself—since His self-appointed work is the restitution of all things (Acts 3:21). This promise to conquer death is in the same chapter just cited in point 7, namely 1 Corinthians. So if this God has any ability to keep His word, it would seem He has a lot to finish. But this is what He has promised.
9) God has already atoned for the sins “of the whole world”—() not just the sins of those called Christians (1 John 2:2).
10) Paul testified about God as being one, “Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth” (). Clearly if God is sovereign and all powerful, then it should stand to reason that God can actually carry the desires of His will.

End of part 2


Perhaps God is good After All...Just perhaps. Part 3

Greetings Mr. Crabtree. 22 May 2007 Wednesday
22 May 2007 Wednesday Part 3 of 3

Greetings dear reader: I wrote this response before I knew that Mr. Crabtree had indeed investigated the possibility of Universalism being true. Regrettably this log page doesn't support the Symbol type font of Microsoft machines. Some of the words below were Greek letters.

Do I really need to go on? I could go on; there’s at least another 40 verses I could pull into this response to support my contention—that God has, in effect as you have so correctly observed, chosen everyone—some for salvation, most for judgment, but all for restoration.

I have a last question or two for you. If you had the ability to design a universe in which it was paramount to teach the creatures you formed in your image the difference between right and wrong, how would you do it? How would you make it work for all—whether “good or evil?” How would you teach them to not only learn to avoid evil but to actually want to avoid it unless you allow all of them to experience the effects of evil and allow or cause some of your creatures to actually become evil? If you have a better solution than the one this God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob has come up with, I’d love to hear it.

Oh yes one last question: if punishment is finite, does it matter who is ultimately saved and who is judged—providing that even the judgment process restores to God those who formerly were evil? What if God—contrary to your beliefs—is actually good after all—and that it is His plan to restore the lost through the judgment process to Himself? (Of course, I suspect you don’t believe He exists. That’s the enlightened view among Atheists and secular humanists as I understand them. But perhaps once in your life you weren’t quite so sure as you are now?)

Thus it gives me great pleasure to inform you that even if you don’t know Him now, one day you will. And I am most pleased that He has made provision for you and that you will be restored to Him one day—and your joy will be made complete. By the time it is all said and done you will have come to agree that He actually is good. Oh yes, by the way, what I just told will also be true for the vast numbers of Christians who, if they were pushed hard enough, would admit that they’re not sure that God really is good—after all, how could they be sure? With the type of clear and level-headed type of analysis you—and many others –have provided, what choice do they have? They can’t bear to believe that God doesn’t exist. They don’t believe that God will ultimately win all mankind back to Himself—after all, “Hell is eternal” is all they have ever been taught. So although they may not admit to it publicly, I wonder how many Christians actually have doubts about His goodness. Your brilliant analysis has shown they indeed have cause to be concerned.

May I now risk offending you? Your analysis of “free will” has called on Christians to confront honestly what their Bibles are indeed telling them. You expect that they must react to the alternatives you have argued for. Now that I have provided evidence—from the same source that you are using to persuade Christians of their misguided beliefs—“the bane of monotheism,” as you put it—I wonder if you will be honest enough to add this new vein of biblical truth into your analysis and come to realize that if the God of the Bible actually exists, perhaps, just perhaps He really is good after all. Should you start down that path, I would love to hear from you as to what you learn as you go along.

In Him

Mike Meeker
Schertz, TX
Tmeeker1245@sbcglobal.net

Comprehensively we have shown that The Christian Bible denies free will and any element of choice in what good works we do. God has picked who will do what good deeds, and God also punishes and rewards people on account of what God has chosen, in accordance with God's plan and purpose. This is all very unfair, immoral by any standards, and evil. If the Christian God exists, it is evil. A good god would simply choose everyone to conform to Jesus, to be blessed, to be 'blameless'. This must only amplify the grief of those who are not chosen! The scheme of God, according to the Bible, has nothing to do with free will. ...

End of part 3

Free Will

(Anonymous)
I would argue with the initial premise, and one of the conclusions you reject. God is responsible for creating humanity, but I am not sure that the Bible teaches that he is "responsible for creating each human being." He created man in his image, which may include man's ability to choose to do good. In giving man a free will, God chose to limit his own power to control man. God created the first man and woman, and provided reproductive capability. Whenever each human is born it is as a result of a process established by God in creation, but not necessarily (maybe not ever) the direct result of God's intervention in that process. In other words, the second of the options you say you can not accept may be the one you should. Unless you can show me in scripture that God creates each human separately, that remains a valid option. I can not find any scriptures to say that he creates each person separately. Instead, I find in Genesis 2:2 that God finished creating and rested. He is still resting from that creation and does not create new things, including specific humans.

Does God want anyone to be lost? Certainly not! "The Lord is … longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance." (2 Peter 3:9) However, he is limited by his goodness and purity, and by his love and justice. Because of his purity he can not have sinful man in his presence. Because of his goodness he has provided a sacrifice to take away sin. Because of his justice he must punish sinners who don't take advantage of that sacrifice. And because of his love he can not set aside that justice and save everyone whether they obey him or not. That would be unloving to those who follow his will.

If you take out the option of free will, as Calvin does, then you do indeed have a problem. If God has determined the life of each person before they are born, and arbitrarily decides who will be saved and who will not, then it is indeed a difficulty. One of the problems I have always had with Calvinist (Presbyterian, Baptist, and others) doctrine is that, like Islam, it presents a God that is arbitrary and unjust. How could a just God preordain that a man can not choose to follow him even if he were to want to? If we have no free will then we would be better off to be the product of atheistic evolution than of a manipulative god.

Re: Free Will

(Anonymous)
Hey,

I thought your reply was interesting and you have a good argument. I am agreement with you about free will, particularly with what you said in your second paragraph.

However, in reading your first paragraph I just wanted to pass along some scriptures that indicate God does create each and every one of us. Remember, our God is a LIVING and ACTIVE God He is not still resting but rather "we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." (romans 8:28).

As for creating each individual person, king David certainly believed he was specifically created by God. Just read psalm 139. In addition John 1:1-3 says this: "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made."

Once again, very well put on your arguments regarding free will and God's love. I just felt it was important to assert that God is alive and at work in the world he created, and (at the very least, from a human frame of reference) still creating.

-T. Eaton

Re: Free Will (Anonymous) Expand

Free Will

(Anonymous)
God didn't make a system which would create some bad people; God made a system that creates good people. When a person is born, they are born without sin. It is the choice of each individual as he grows and learns whether to obey or disobey. Adam chose to disobey, and brought sin into the world. Jesus became the sacrifice for that sin. That is a summary of what Paul says in Romans 5:12-21.

Concerning the passage in Romans 8:29-30, the general view of those who believe in free will is that Paul is not talking about individuals here, but about the church. That is, God foreknew and foreordained that the righteous would be so through a system of faith. Those who choose to obey God put themselves into that foreordained group. Those who choose to disobey place themselves outside that group.

The passage in chapter 9 (the whole chapter, not the portion of a sentence to which you refer) actually lends credence to that interpretation. He is saying that the Jews were selected as God's chosen people for a purpose. He did not choose individual Jews (although he, through his knowledge of what was going to be, said that Jacob would be the greater), but the nation as a whole. If so, then the passage in chapter 8 that leads up to this discussion is probably also about choosing a people, not a person.
miketb2b@excite.com

Free Will

(Anonymous)
This was an email reply to someone else in regards to questions about free will. Your doing the right thing. If you keep seeking the right answers will come if your heart and your mind are open. I love you brother and I'm praying that you find the real truth. God Bless You. Please remember God is Good.

Critical Thinking

(Anonymous)
The best way to learn something is to teach it to someone else. I have a challenge for you. Show us in the Bible, the opposite argument. Prove to us that the Bible does show we have free will. Open your heart and your mind and try this experiment. What you have shown so far has been completely taken out of context. You do not know the history of the books in the Bible (as to when it was written, to whom it was written to, and what was going on during the time it was being written.) You are going by someone else's opinion. If you are as intelligent as you would like us all to believe you are, try this and keep us up on your progress. Show us (intelligently) why you think people have an opposite position then you have. This, I believe you would agree, is not an unreasonable request. Take as much energy as you put into making God look bad and evil and apply that to proving how much indeed He is amazingly generous.

Hey guys - interesting site! especially for a Christian who believes in free will You wrote about this scripture: "All people living on the Earth will worship [The Devil], except those whose names were written before the creation of the world in the book of the living which belongs to [Jesus]." Revelations 13:8 [NIV] But i donno i always thought this one was kinda straight forward, God has a plan but that plan includes giving people free will, he exists outside of time so he knows what we're gonna choose way before we're even born (so its not like anything surprises him) so of course he's able to write it down before it happens, and the fact that its written down doesn’t mean that we don't make the choice? You also spoke about Ephisians: "3Praise be to [God], who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. 4For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love 5he[a] predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will— 6to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves." Ephesians 1:4-6 [NIV] "The verse above says that God has blessed "us" with Christ. The "us" are those who God chose, before creation, to be "holy and blameless". You can only enter heaven if you are blameless, without sin, and to do that you need Jesus. But you only have Jesus if God has chosen you as one of the ones who is blessed with Jesus. It specifically says, next, that God has predetermined particular chosen people to be sons of Jesus." But I’ve always interpreted the “us” to relate to mankind as whole, the Bible talks about how God wanted to give us (mankind) a choice, but knew that we would sin (coz nothing surprises him, as already stated) so it was decided before the world was even created that Jesus would be sent to redeem us, so that any person who reaches out for God could be made holy and blameless in his sight (in many bible scriptures). You wrote that “The "us" are those who God chose, before creation, to be "holy and blameless" but I don’t see it that way? You also wrote: "It does not therefore, depend on man's desire or effort, but on God's mercy" and "[God] has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was granted us in Christ Jesus from all eternity, " 2 Timonth 1:9 [NASB] Which I totally agree with, although my interpretation of its meaning is quite different from yours, I see this scripture as liberating - I’ve always been taught that there is nothing man-kind or individuals can do to earn redemption, but its ok coz God gives it man-kind as a gift which we simply need to accept as individuals, and if you believe that then these scriptures have totally different meanings, coz it means that we don’t have to make up for our sins, or work off/for our grace coz its all a result of God’s mercy not anything that we do in life. (The book of Galatians is also about trying to remind people that they don’t have to do anything to receive their salvation and therefore can stop trying to earn it.) anyway, I won’t keep quoting what you wrote back to you, but I really want to comment what Bertrand Russell wrote, which I found quite disturbing and had never read before, and have to say I disagree with. It seems to me that God is willing to sacrifice whatever it will take to give mankind salvation, and lets not forget that Jesus told the man being crucified next to him that he could go to heaven without even asking if he’d been baptised, all the guy had to do was ask! so yeah I flat out disagree. I believe my God is good God who reaches out to mankind with a solution and hopes they’ll choose to accept, and that has certainly been my experience in life! anyway your website is incredibly interesting and thought provoking, thanks for leaving it open for comments and for reading this reply!

Thanks for the thoughtful reply, I don't have time to articulate a clever counterargument, but just thought you deserved to know that I'd read it!

If God only predestines a few to heaven than what would be the point of life. We would all just be here for no reason and nothing would even matter. Jesus tells His disciples in "Go and make disciples of ALL NATIONS baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit." Mt. 28:19. Jesus tells His disciples clearly to go to all people because anyone who obeys the Word of God will be saved, not just a select "lucky few". Another bible verse is Lk. 11:9-11 which says "Ask and you shall receive, seek and you will find, knock and the door will be opened to you. For ANYONE who asks shall receive, ANYONE who seeks shall find, and the door will be opened to ALL who knock." If we freely choose to (free-will) then God will save us. The Bible also speaks of judging others. I find that through what you wrote along with others who believe in predestination are judging. You don't know what is in the heart of any other human being. It is not your place to say that God only allows some into His kingdom We are all His children and He will welcome us all if we choose Him. Presdestination would leave our lives pointless and without meaning. Why would we worship? Why perform good deeds? Why do anything if our fate has already been decided? Well it hasn't and that is why we are here. We have a choice to choose God. I have just one more Bible verse I'd like to share with you. It is Mt. 7:15-16 which says "Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but underneath are ravenous wolves. By their fruits you will know them." Please don't be one of them. I'm sure you are a good guy so please don't speak what you are speaking because this is not Christianity. It is false and by doing this you are turning many away from Christianity. God gives us free-will. Please use yours to spread good and not evil.

john 3:16

(Anonymous)
If God has pre desend man than why would His word say that his will is that none should parrish but all have eternal life?


Easy, the answer is called Universalism: Because everyone is predestined to be saved! What else would you expect from the design of a perfectly good God?

"Christian Arguments for Universalism" by Vexen Crabtree (2002)

Re: john 3:16 (Anonymous) Expand
hey man
i just found your article about free will while perusing google.

i must say, that you did turn around a lot of scripture to conform to your own interpretation. mostly about how predestined people are chosen and that people who aren't picked by God have no chance. yep, not true.

God gives men a choice, to follow Him or not. Anyone who comes to Him, He will not cast away. Conversion is a supernatural thing, and God looks at the hearts of the people that want to truly follow Him.



34 Then they said to Him, “Lord, give us this bread always.”
35 And Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst. 36 But I said to you that you have seen Me and yet do not believe. 37 All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out. 38 For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me. 39 This is the will of the Father who sent Me, that of all He has given Me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up at the last day. 40 And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day.”


So many verses conflict with what you are saying, because you're not looking at the context of what it means.

1 Timothy 2:3 For this [is] good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, 4 who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. 5 For [there] [is] one God and one Mediator between God and men, [the] Man Christ Jesus, 6 who gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.

1 Timothy 4:10 For to this [end] we both labor and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is [the] Savior of all men, especially of those who believe.

2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning [His] promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.

John 3:16 "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life."

1 John 2:2 And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world.

1 John 4:14 And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent the Son [as] Savior of the world. 15 Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God.

John 3:17 "For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. 18 "He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God."

John 4:41 And many more believed because of His own word. 42 Then they said to the woman, "Now we believe, not because of what you said, for we ourselves have heard [Him] and we know that this is indeed the Christ, the Savior of the world."


Ezekiel 33:11 Say to them: `[As] I live,' says the Lord God, `I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live. Turn, turn from your evil ways! For why should you die, O house of Israel?'

Hebrews 2:9 But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, for the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, that He, by the grace of God, might taste death for everyone.

Hebrews 10:10 By that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once [for] [all].

2 John 1:9 Whoever transgresses and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ does not have God. He who abides in the doctrine of Christ has both the Father and the Son.






the above was taken from a site discussing the will of God.

in closing, free will stops once true conversion hits. conversion is supernatural, remember that. God is literally pouring out his spirit and purging the Christian of his own desires and past life, hence the term being sanctified and spiritual renewal. It is not longer the old person that resides in the body, but its the effects of spirit of Jesus living within us.

Therefore, God's spirit who was in Jesus is now in us, and therefore our old self has died, we have been renewed and now feel the beat of God's heart as ours. Free will gave us the choice to choose God, and once we do, free will ends because God's will is much better. How do I know?

revert to the verse of Matthew 7:11 that if we being wicked give good gifts to our children, how much more of a good and holy God can he give to us?

God takes care of us. His will becomes our will, and we let Him take over because His will is good (Jeremiah 29:11)

How much great God is, to not be converted without thinking. I've read of agnostics being converted after a history of trying to dodge God through their own knowledge that they thought was absolute. God is real, and so are the people of this earth. He encourages the lost to seek after Him because He truly wants to be found by them, in a genuine way.

free will (Anonymous) Expand
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