Author Topic: Our Free-Will Is Not Entirely Free?  (Read 1993 times)

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Offline Asteriktos

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Our Free-Will Is Not Entirely Free?
« on: July 29, 2005, 12:10:29 AM »
As I was reading tonight, I ran across this passage from an Orthodox Christian:

Let not fear force you in its usual way to turn your thoughts over in your mind and dwell upon them. On the contrary, rest assured that your Guardian is with you. Let your wisdom convince you with all certainty that with all creation you are under one Lord, Who by a single nod moves everything, shakes, checks and orders everything. Not a single slave can harm any of his fellow slaves without the permission of Him Who provides for all and Who rules all. And so, take courage!

If freedom has been given to some, yet not in everything. Neither demons, nor carnivorous beasts, nor wicked men can carry out their will to destroy and kill unless the supreme Ruler permits it, and says how much they may do. This Will does not permit the free will of evil creatures to act as they like, otherwise no one clothed in flesh would be able to remain alive. But the Lord does not abandon His creation, and does not let devils and men do as they like with it.

Does anyone have any thoughts on the second paragraph? Is this within the realm of tenable orthodox thought? If it is in error, how serious is the error? I know that the Scripture and the Fathers say that it is by God's grace and will that we humans can have good will, but I have never read before (that I can remember) that God sometimes prevents us from going too far in what we will as far as evil goes. ???
« Last Edit: July 29, 2005, 12:12:07 AM by Paradosis »

Offline Zoe

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Re: Our Free-Will Is Not Entirely Free?
« Reply #1 on: July 29, 2005, 12:30:13 AM »
Well, I recall hearing an analogy from my priest about a cone, and our relation to God and our free will.  I'm sure many have heard this before, but I'll share it anyway:

Time is a cone, God is at the very top point of it, and can look down at all the circles that represent time.  He can see everything we do and knows what we will do, but does not act to prevent us or force us to either travel up the cone toward Him, or down the cone away from Him.

Offline ozgeorge

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Re: Our Free-Will Is Not Entirely Free?
« Reply #2 on: July 29, 2005, 07:18:53 AM »
I have never read before (that I can remember) that God sometimes prevents us from going too far in what we will as far as evil goes. ???
Have you forgotten our Mother among the Saints, Mary of Egypt who was stopped by an unseen force at the door of the Church in Jerusalem where her intention was to seek yet more lovers?
I don't see any of this this as interfering with our free will. We make choices according to our will, and we are still responsible/culpable for those choices whether we are able to act on them or not. For example, if someone tries to seduce someone else into committing fornication, but the other person does not agree to commit the act through the Grace of God, the one who attempted to seduce them is still guilty according to the choices of their free will. Similarly, if an attempted poisoning victim does not drink the poisoned wine through the Grace of God, the one who mixed the poison in the glass is still culpable. When we have succumbed to an evil thought and chosen to sin and begin planning how to act on it, we are culpable. We have already made our choice according to our free will. The fact that God sometimes interferes so that we are unable to carry out the evil choice of our free will does not mean that we do not have free will. It means we have also have a loving God.
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Offline cizinec

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Re: Our Free-Will Is Not Entirely Free?
« Reply #3 on: July 29, 2005, 07:25:35 AM »
No.  Free will isn't free.  It's bought by the blood of the young soldiers of our great land who have given us this gift, which should be cherished.

Oh wait . . . that's freedom.  Sorry.
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Offline Asteriktos

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Re: Our Free-Will Is Not Entirely Free?
« Reply #4 on: July 29, 2005, 05:14:57 PM »
Zoe, actually I hadn't heard that (at least that I can remember), thank you very much for sharing, and welcome to the forum. :)

George, Thanks, you'd think that would have been obvious to me! *smacks head* 8)

Cizinec, I don't know what to say to you, but I didn't think it nice to say something to the other two and not say something to you :)

Offline year2027

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Re: Our Free-Will Is Not Entirely Free?
« Reply #5 on: July 30, 2005, 12:31:57 PM »
God first

Beloved Paradosis

God bless your heart

Yes we have free will to sin or do right

But what you seem to be pointing out God stoping others (people or devils) from trowing more evil at you than you can handle

God will never let the evil ones throw at you more than you can handle

Rom 5:3  And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience;

Yes tribulations worked patience

James 1:3  Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.

Yes every time you are temped and you overcome its builds stronger faith in God

James 1:12  Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.

thats all I can add at this time

with love and a holy kiss blowing your way Roy