Skip to comments.Fallen Creation
Posted on 03/01/2012 9:52:11 AM PST by Sick of Lefties
Man abused his creation in the beginning at the behest of the tempter. Mankind lost out on a good deal, original justice, in which we had full reign over our bodies, innocence, complete satisfaction of our material needs, and life in the garden of eden. The evil one was able to persuade us to turn our backs on it all.
Paradoxically, we were able to sin because we were created in the image and likeness of God: free. Sin demonstrates our likeness to God as it demonstrates our freedom to choose good or evil. Ironically, this likeness to God--free choice, but of evil rather than good--becomes our negation of God as the Creator.
Man wants not only freedom to choose good and evil, but to "be like god knowing good and evil," meaning to determine it. That is neither our prerogative nor the basis of our relation to God. Sin is thus a negation of our relationship with him.
What would happen if men lost the sense of sin, which many Popes and philosophers have warned of? Frankly, we live in a society that doesn't know what a sin is.
Who can believe in it, we ask ourselves? How can something be a sin if it doesn't hurt anyone? How can anything between consenting adults be a sin? How can anything I do in the privacy of my own home be a sin?
Fr. John wryly noted of California that the only mortal sin left there was smoking, but only of tobacco. (BTW, he's having a good time at the expense of the once Golden State.) Personally, I think there's another: downloading copyrighted material.
How can missing Sunday mass, for instance, be a mortal sin. Many get nothing from it, find it boring and irrelevant. The cost-benefit analysis they apply to it yields the conclusion to ignore it.
Not assisting at mass is easy to rationalize. It can't be as grave as shooting someone we say to ourselves; they can't both be mortal sins.
Or, the weekly requirement is just an arbitrary rule made by people in power to control our lives. Indeed, maybe that's true of all morality.
The only way out of this morass is to focus on relationships. Imagine that I had a girlfriend who professed deep love for me, but because we were both so busy with work, hobbies, friends, activities or even sleeping in, she'd like to limit our time together to just once per month.
I would conclude that her deeds spoke louder than her sweet words, and that she did not love me as much as she loved those other things. It would kill our relationship. In other words, it would be mortal.
It's the same way with God. We can kill our relationship with him by our indifference. That's why the matter in question is rightly called a mortal sin.
With regard to sexual morality, society considers Catholic teaching--which promulgates the sinfulness of even impure thoughts and glances--neurotic, unhealthy. But, consider them in the context of a young couple's relationship.
If every, or any, salacious looking woman turned his head when he was with her, she wouldn't like it. His protests that he wasn't doing anything to hurt her would likely fall on deaf ears.
Every glance would say "You have competition. And, right now, you're losing."
Our imagination says the same thing to God. "You're losing the competition right now. Something else beats you, hands down." It's a mortal sin because it kills the relationship with God.
The pharisee and the publican are instructive in this regard. "The Pharisee stood up and prayed, 'God, I thank you that I'm not like other people! I'm not a robber or a dishonest person. I haven't committed adultery. I'm not even like this tax collector."
"But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, 'God, have mercy on me, a sinner.'
Some have identified the pharisee with ethics and the publican with grace. That doesn't capture the story's significance.
Rather, the pharisee looks to himself, without relation. He is self sufficient. The publican on the other hand knows that he draws life from being in relation with God, the font of goodness, forgiveness, mercy and love.
Grace doesn't dispense with ethics. It liberates it and sets in relation to God.
Conquering sin is not simply a matter of avoiding negatives. Actually, the positive aspect is primary for relations.
Imagine that our hypothetical boyfriend doesn't look at the attractive woman passing by. Rather, he turns instead to his beloved and looks her in the eyes. The message will be clear: he loves me; he only has eyes for me.
God sees these things, too. He knows how we handle temptation, and what it means to our relationships with them.
One can even learn to view temptation with anticipation, which makes it possible to show love for God with deeds. Nobody, however, has to look for temptation, which will find us without our help. But, one can seize it when it arises.
We know the remedy for sinfulness, confession, which we can take frequent and full advantage of. Proportionality should be our guide.
Mass-on-Sunday Catholics should probably confess monthly for the sake of their relationships with God. Daily mass goers will want to confess weekly or bi-weekly.
It's a matter of spiritual hygiene rather than of mortal sin. We bathe and brush our teeth before offending anyone with our odor. Why wait until the relationship with our Lord is damaged? We don't want to repulse him.
We cannot be afraid to confront sin, as doing so is the way to our Lord. By facing it, we overcome barriers and gain greater intimacy with him than we enjoyed before sinning.
We can ask our lady, refuge of sinners, to help us make a concise, concrete, clear and complete confession. With contrition and reparation for our sins, and those of others, we can rekindle this most important relationship with Jesus Christ.
This trail of errors begins with the view of free will espoused by the RCC. It ends with a prayer to a woman instead of God. Turn from this religiosity to the grace of God...if you can. Someday, the God of Israel shall reveal to the world that He, in fact, has been managing all of this, moment by moment, so that the Lamb slain before the foundation of the world will be lifted up.
Nowhere in Scripture does it say man fell. There was no “fall” of man, only the revelation of what man was actually made of. Certainly, sin was revealed through the exposure of man to the deceiver, but whence cometh the change from good to evil? The Scriptures teach that sin arises from a latent appetite (James 1) and when fully birthed leads to death.
And, every exquisite moment of failure by man was coordinated by God, Himself. Perhaps your god has to accomodate the unaffected choices of man, perhaps your god must cut and run, change up his game to deal with trillions of unknown future “choices”. The God of the Scriptures, however, causes every roll of the dice, every move of the heart, every failure of man. There is not a maverick molecule in the universe or heaven. That is Yahweh.
Sounds like a puppet theology with no personal responsibility. Any truth can be stretched into heresy.
Sounds like you haven't read your Bible. But, then that hasn't stopped the RCC from creating all form of doctrines of darkness.
Like a Democrat, you are quick to throw out the insults and assumptions.
I’ve read the Bible and I’m not a Catholic.
Ouch...about the Democrat part.
Reread my post. I did not assume you were a Catholic. You have not read your Bible if you believe in free will. The same lack of reading dogs the heals of Catholics who hold the skewed, unbiblical theology set out in the article. It leads to praying to women.
If you, however, wish to prove to us that "free will" is a doctrine taught in the Bible, help yourself.
If there is absolutely no freewill, why do the scriptures give us any advice, commandments or warnings?
Because God decided to do it that way.
But, I repeat, if you wish to prove free will to us from the Scriptures, have at it. I can prove predestination, election, God's foreknowledge of every event, God managing everything, God planning and executing the death of His Son at the hands of Rome, God keeping some in darkness, God holding some for destruction, God choosing some before the foundation of the world. If you have something we don't know about, say a God who has given man complete autonomy in his choices, bring it on.
It’s easy to see scriptural examples of predestination, election & foreknowledge. But to imply it’s universal, with absolutely no free will is a stretch. God is sovereign over all things, but that doesn’t mean he allows absolutely no free will at any time.
Your desire to argue the point implies free will, since you desire to convince others. If there is absolutely no free will, then there is no convincing, since God would be controlling all knowledge, all desire, all thoughts, etc. If there is absolutely no free will, then not even your worship is real worship. Scriptural warnings would be meaningless. Scriptural admonitions would be meaningless.
Any truth can be stretched to the point of heresy.
Tortured logic, my FRiend. But, even that is driven by God. God is moving both you and I to interact over this point. And, such exquisite control is thorooughly described in the Scriptures. He asks us teach the truth, then He guides all teaching, whether truthful or heretical.
Again, please tell us from Scripture, where do you find the doctrine of free will? And, by that I mean, please help us see where the Scripture teaches that mankind is making independent decisions, choices unaffected by God.
Even careful thinking would reveal that man's free will is a doctrine severely impacted by God's forecknowledge. That is, if God knows exactly what you are going to do tomorrow at 9:15am, is that action/thought already determined? If not, how would He know what it is you are going to do? If He knows something, what is it that He knows? Could you do something that surprised Him? But, if that action/thought is absolute (and there are not two/three/or more possible realities of the future), then you are playing out a divinely determined script that you simply cannot "feel". That you are a creature, and not the Creator, may irritate you, but that does not change reality in which the Scriptures describe you living.
You likely have heard of Clark Pinnock, the great Nazarene theologian, who took up an Arminian view of free will due to a similar distaste for the implications of divine determinism. Shortly before his death, however, he went completely off the reservation into Open Theology finding there is no reconciling free will to foreknowledge. One or the other had to go. He chose foreknowledge to go (guided, we believe, by God).
He argued, if free will is true, God must not be able to know what you are going to do in advance or it would not preserve a man's true "freedom". If we attempt to equivocate this to Him guessing within a few possiblities, our doctrine of "foreknowledge" no longer comports with Scripture. But, that leaves God learning the future right along with us humans...oila' Open Theology. Hopefully, this has not captured your heart the way it did Pinnock's.
Please understand, this is not an attempt to badger you into believing "one side of the argument". It is the biblical position supported by Scripture, and the opposite is the heresy you dislike. I share that dislike of heresy. Teach us from Scripture.
Of course we have free will.
We are free to NOT be saved.
We are free to NOT be saved."
John 6:37 "All that the Father gives Me SHALL come to Me; and the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out." John 6:39 "And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that of all that He has given Me I lose nothing but will raise it up on the last day." Ephesians 1:4 "...just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before Him." You might view the freedom to NOT be saved would be a reasonable offer. Evidently, the Scriptures don't offer that option. SHALL come to Me; and the one
Scripture tells us if we have faith it is because God has chosen us to receive the gift beyond measure which we cannot work for; which we can only receive with gratitude and spread the word so those with ears to hear will respond with the same faith and gratitude.
Faith is free and unearned. The papists have tried to turn it into lucre, but we must resist, as your Scripture teaches us.
The law of the Lord is perfect. God gave us the the commandments simply to show us that not only WON'T we keep them, but we don't want to keep them. Adam had one commandment and he couldn't even keep that.
It's interesting for this author to say that God has free will. Does anyone for one moment think that God would choose anything that wasn't the very best? Yet that is what "free will" imply; that there could be multiple paths; all of which could be equally good.
The real fact is there is God's will and there is man's will. God's will is always towards the perfect and beautiful. Man's will is always towards destruction. Free will is a myth.
Psa 23:2 He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters.
Psa 23:3 He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name's sake.
Psa 23:4 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
Psa 23:5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.
Psa 23:6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD forever.
Anything that we do that glorifies God is because God has laid it upon our hearts. It is not because we chosed to do so.
Anything that we do that glorifies God is because God has laid it upon our hearts. It is not because we chosed to do so."
Harley, this is real biblical theology. Thank you. We are blind to our own rebellion, but if we are among the elect, God in His mercy causes us to turn (even if only occasionally and poorly) to Him and give Him glory. We get rescued in spite of ourselves, not because of our great "choice". Free will IS a myth.