The Most Serious of Games

Jesus and Satan arm-wrestling

I am acutely aware of the seriousness of faith. The major Abrahamic religions (Judaism, Christianity, and Islam) are all concerned with salvation, and how we can be “right with God”. If there is a God who has created this vast universe, as I am convinced there is, then His power to bring salvation or damnation is of the utmost importance and we are right to fear Him.

It is this fear of God which has led me to study religion in depth. In my adult life I have made it my mission to understand more about God and religion, and to try to ascertain what truth is and how I can live in the best possible way. I’m still learning, and the more I explore the more I realise the vast range of opinions that exist in matters that are of huge theological importance.

Heaven and HellIf heaven and hell exist, and if only one religious path leads to salvation, then many billions of people will be damned to hell. The reason I find this concept difficult is because I believe God is completely in control of our lives and our destinies. The idea that God would judge people for actions which He has freely undertaken (to unfold our lives in a certain way) is problematic as we can have done nothing freely to warrant God’s wrath. As a caveat to this, I must point out that it is not my place to judge God, and I don’t deny He has the power and authority to do whatever He chooses, even if damning certain people to hell might seem cruel or unfair to my human understanding.

I find it difficult to understand those who believe that God is omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent, but at the same time argue that we have free will. It is so clear to me that we do not have free will. We do not take the decision to be born. We do not choose to grow from nothing into babies and then toddlers and then teenagers and then adults. We do not choose the colour of our skin or our eyes. We do not choose how our organs are arranged in our bodies. We do not choose our parents, or our siblings. We do not choose to make our hearts beat, or our blood flow. We do not choose to grow our nails or our hair. We do not choose our dreams when we sleep. We do not choose to digest our food and drink.

In the same way, we don’t choose which thoughts will arise in our minds. If you believe you are in control of your thoughts then tell me, what is a thought? How do you make thoughts arise in your mind? What will you be thinking about in an hour’s time, or at this time next year? If you say thoughts are caused by your subconscious, then please explain what this subconscious is and who or what is in control of it. If you think that you are merely a product of evolution, then please explain what is the cause of this evolution. If you believe we exist due to a set of mathematical laws, then please explain why these laws exist. And tell me, why does anything exist at all?

What causes the seed to grow into a flower? What causes the tree to sprout up from the earth and grow its branches and its fruit? My friend, when you pray for good weather, a fruitful harvest, or a new job, are you not praying to a God who is in control? Do you really not see that God is in control of all things?

The Fall of ManAnd yet still, there are those who attempt to argue that God only does good things; that He is not in control of your ailments and your diseases; your very life and death. There are those who argue that God blesses them with a husband or wife, or a tasty meal, or a new job, but then deny that it is also God who causes the divorce, or the food poisoning, or the redundancy. Friend, can’t you see the hypocrisy in this way of thinking? Surely you know, if you are honest with yourself, that God is in control of all those things which you call “good” and all those things which you call “evil”.

I hear you arguing that your holy scriptures talk about the devil as the cause of evil in the world. Friend, do not be naive. Have you really thought in depth about what the devil is? I would like to know some attributes of this creature. Where does he dwell exactly? Does he live within a creaturely body? Is he able to somehow insert thoughts into your mind? Surely he would have to be omnipresent in order to control our thoughts. What are his powers? What does he control in contrast with what God controls? Please, give me some insights into Satan and his powers, and let those insights be rational!

If the devil exists, he must be under God’s control, as everything is. To argue against this would be to deny God’s omnipresence. The myth of the fall, and the entire Christian story, are based on the idea that we have free will, which we do not. How can it be said that we are sinners, when all of our sin is willed by God?

If you’re still not convinced, my friends, I’d like to invite you to undertake a simple exercise. Take a sheet of paper, divide it into three columns, and label the columns ‘God’, ‘Satan’, and ‘Human’. Then under each of those headings proceed to list the things of which each of the three persons is in control. We might call this ‘The Will Game’. You could even put certain activities into more than one column. My intention is to encourage you to think deeply about the cause of activity in existence, in the microcosm and the macrocosm.

heaven stairwayNow I do not wish to offend my Almighty God and Father, whom I kneel to in prayer each and every day. I do not wish to offend the God who has power to make me suffer in every moment for all eternity. Heavens, that is the last thing I wish to do! I am driven to speak the truth in accordance with my convictions, and may you, my friends, persuade me otherwise if I am wrong! I cannot argue that God is in control, as I have done here, and then deny that my convictions come from God. God must be willing me to write this article or I wouldn’t be doing so. The Lord knows full well that I am merely a puppet in His hands!

Perhaps I am in dangerous territory. Could it be that by speaking so openly about the truth that I perceive, I am participating in my own downfall? This worries me greatly. I don’t know whether the Christian story is so beloved by God that anyone who questions it is guilty of a grave sin. I can believe that the Christian story is God’s game that He has chosen to play over the last two thousand years, and maybe it is a great sin to shed light on the errors and inconsistencies in this great story which has produced so many saints and martyrs.

I write not to argue against God but to convey what God has revealed to me. I am a lonely voice in a world where either people have forsaken God in their atheism or they hold blindly to a set of doctrines and defend them at all costs. People are quick to say who will be saved and who will be damned, but I do not claim to have such knowledge, despite what any particular scripture says! I have a hope that God is ultimately merciful to every sentient being, and I do pray that God chooses mercy over damnation for all of us, regardless of our beliefs – beliefs which He has bestowed upon us!

Lord, forgive me if I have sinned in writing this article. You know my heart. You know that I hate doing anything that annoys or angers you. I know that if this article speaks to anyone, it will be through your Spirit working in the minds of those who read. I ask, Lord, that you would show these people only what is true, and that you would save their minds from any thoughts you would consider blasphemous. May your truth and your will prosper, Lord!

52 Comments on “The Most Serious of Games

  1. You write “I write not to argue with God but to convey what God has revealed to me”. Friend, God has revealed everything we need to know in Scripture and what you are saying is not a revelation because it is contrary to scripture. Rather than revelation I fear it is a subtle deception. I would encourage you to research the two wills of God.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Many thanks for your comment. I’m intrigued; do you not believe it’s possible for God to reveal things to people outside of the Bible, and if so, what is your basis for this belief?

      It is my understanding of the two wills of God that one of those wills relates to the way humans *should* act. There is still an implication here that we have free will, and I would disagree, for the reasons explained in the post.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Steven!

    Everything I type from here on are my opinions, based on considerable reading and some free thinking, and I mean no offence to people who have different views.

    I think we have nothing to fear. I believe we will all be united with God, eventually. Nothing else makes sense and science has revealed that the universe is abundantly logical. Mysteries are only mysteries until science determines the laws that govern what causes what and how. Science reveals God. Even the complexities of predicting the weather are becoming understood better and more reliably with time. A link below shows its development:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meteorology

    There are many different religions other than Christianity and it can’t be true that the only way to God is through belief in Christ – God is not exclusive. If Christ died to defeat our mortality then He did it for humanity, once and for all. There is nothing we can do, nor need to do, to save ourselves. Everything else is unnecessary fear trending.

    Your view of God is different to mine. I believe wholeheartedly in Panentheism – everything within God; not God is everywhere. It makes more sense to me that the universe and life were brought into existence within God; otherwise, we have the farce of God creating the universe in a space outside of Himself, and filling it up as He created it, to be present throughout it – omnipresence!

    It follows then, that God can choose to be in control of everything that happens within Him – your view. But, if we have no choice at all about everything that happens to us and within the universe, God does have a choice. If you accept that, then you can imagine other possibilities of how God relates to us, all living things, and the universe.

    You acknowledge the automatic nature of the pumping of your heart, you have seen man-made machines that just keep going once started, so, is it possible that we are allowed to ‘improvise’ within any limits He may set? I have done some improvised acting and found it much more exciting and rewarding than following a script! He can still be aware of everything that’s happening within Him, like the Director of a play, or a yoga expert’s awareness of automatic bodily processes!

    So, where does that leave us? Those who propagate fear in God warn us that He may condemn us to an eternity of hell if we do not believe in Him and live a Godly life. They warn that without this fear, we are likely to do evil deeds in our pursuit for personal happiness. Well, you know that I’m looking after my 94 year old mother with ailing physical health and dementia, despite my views that all of humanity will be saved. You are welcome to visit us and see for yourself how my views have not caused me to pursue personal happiness.

    Peace and love to all,

    Dinos

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    • Hi Dinos!

      Many thanks for your comment. I fully respect your views even if we do not agree about everything. I hope that you are right and that we do not have to fear God. That would be wonderful!

      I do still consider myself a panentheist. I believe the world is in God and therefore a part of God, rather than the world being separate from God in some way. I believe God is holding everything in existence and that nothing can exist outside of Him. I believe that even those things which appear to be mechanical (such as the mechanical heart you mention!) are under God’s direct control.

      I have great admiration for your dedication in caring for your mother. It must be tough. May God bless you for the sacrifices you have made and all the hard work, care, and love, that you offer her.

      Peace and many blessings,

      Steven

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  3. Hi Steven!

    Thank you for your response and for acknowledging, through trust in my honesty, that I am dedicated to caring for my mother.

    I hope you understood that I made this point because I’ve read many posts that suggest that an assurance of a good after-life will inevitably result in the pursuance of one’s own pleasure and the likelihood of evil deeds. I feel a genuine love toward God and humanity and tap into the inner goodness supplied to all of us by God. I do not believe that we are in a fallen state, nor do I believe in the story of Adam and Eve.

    It may interest you to know that contrary to the belief that we are born sinners due to our fallen state (The Adam and Eve story), my feeling is that when we pursue our own happiness, without regard for likely harm or trespass to other people, we are doing so because we do not genuinely believe that there is an after-life, or, because there are times that we doubt it!

    I do think that the number of distractions tempting us to go against our own goodness are increasing as technology gives us more toys (or gadgets) to play with. I enjoy a good game of chess, with a real opponent, in a room with a board and chess pieces, not against computer software. If you do good through the love of God and humanity, without consideration of the threat that you may be condemned to an after-life in hell for failing to perform to the standards expected, I believe that you will be more content with your life, even if you think that God orchestrates everything that happens. I hope this is clear, as I don’t think I made this point in my last post.

    Have you read “The Shack”, by William Paul Young? There is much that I disagree within it, but on page 163 of the paperback edition, during Mackenzie’s encounter with Sophia, the author suggests that God could no more choose who should be saved and who should be condemned, than Mackenzie could with his children. It appears that the author believes that we shall all be saved, as I do.

    Peace and love to all,

    Dinos

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    • Hi Dinos!

      I’ve seen how dedicated you are to caring for your mother through what you have told me in your emails, texts, and comments. Not that you have ever been anything other than humble about what you do for her. I have so much respect for carers, especially those who care out of compassion and love.

      I must admit it’s reassuring to read that you don’t believe in the fall of man or the story of Adam and Eve. For many years now I have found the idea of a fall to be illogical (you have read my reasons why), and I still question whether the story in Genesis 3 is intended to be metaphorical in some way that I don’t fully understand.

      I have read The Shack, although it was a few years ago so my memory of the story is rather hazy. I actually wrote a short review of the book on this blog in 2013:
      https://perfectchaos.org/2013/08/07/the-shack-by-william-paul-young-book-review/

      I no longer have a copy of the book so I can’t look up the reference you mentioned, unfortunately. I’d like to read that book again some time, although I know some consider it to be the work of the devil!

      If you believe all will be saved I’m guessing you don’t believe in the Biblical idea of judgment (e.g. 2 Corinthians 5:10)? I have always found this concept difficult because of my strong conviction that we don’t have free will.

      Peace and love back to you!

      Steven

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      • Hi Steven!

        I have found on various forums that discuss God and Christianity, that people object to my views on Universal Salvation and Panentheism. I happened on a site that deals well with both of these topics and uses Biblical references, I thought I should share it with you:

        http://www.frimmin.com/faith/index.php

        Also, from the web site, I found the info on the topic, “God is Love,” very reassuring and helpful:

        http://www.frimmin.com/faith/godislove.php

        Please let me know your thoughts on the way this web site deals with the two topics.

        Peace and love to all,

        Dinos

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  4. Hi Steven!

    The story in Genesis 3 may be metaphorical in a way we don’t understand, but the language used suggests that God was unaware of what had happened until after He called for Adam and questioned him about his new awareness of his nakedness. Is He God or just some Lord of the manor?

    The Orthodox Study Bible has some interesting words on THE HOLY TRINITY, after Genesis 1:28, in the link to a pdf, if you feel like checking it:

    Click to access The_Orthodox_Study_Bible_-_St.pdf

    The important parts of page 162 and 163 of The Shack read as follows:

    SOPHIE: Which three of your five children will you sentence to hell?

    MACK: I can’t do this…..I won’t……Could I go instead?…….

    SOPHIE: Now you sound like Jesus. You have judged well, Mackenzie…..

    MACK: But I haven’t judged anything.

    SOPHIE: Oh, but you have. You have judged them worthy of love, even if it cost you everything. That is how Jesus loves.

    I hope you find this helpful.

    Peace and love to all,

    Dinos

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    • Hi Steven,

      I 100% agree with subscriber, PJmills1992 in his comment that ‘you are being subtly deceived’

      Panentheism is PAGAN and God would not put such blasphemous notions into your mind! …so too is , only believing the parts of God’s Word that suit you/ us… so too is, reading ‘stuff’ into scripture that is not written there!

      (s)atan is responsible for such anti-Christian notions and you must ‘suss him out’ and strive to resist him. But then again, you have previously stated in other of your posts that you do not believe in satan either!

      You need to decide just ‘who’ it is you believe you are actually praying to on a daily basis since your knowledge concerning the truth of our living God appears very wide of the mark; and therefore ‘a little knowledge is dangerous!

      Maybe this is because you ask numerous questions of others in your blogs but when they genuinely try to steer you in the right direction your reply is to tell them ‘Of course I don’t agree with you…’ etc.

      It would appear that you don’t even agree with the teachings of the Baptist church you were recently baptized into either; since they would surely not support such un-christian beliefs as Panentheism.

      There are no end of examples in the Bible showing we have free will because…

      God created us in the beginning because He wants HIS OWN LOYAL, truly loving family, children, brothers and sisters in His own likeness; but in His immeasurable wisdom, He won’t force us to love Him because He doesn’t want to!

      He wants us to come to Him willingly / of our own free will and with overwhelming love for Him…the same love He showed for us by dying such an unspeakably cruel, agonising death for us on the cross …and it is ‘such as those’ He is gathering to Himself (Calling) on a daily basis.

      Remember too Steven, (s)atan is a god of chaos, injustice and confusion…and death, whereas, Our Lord is a God of justice, orderliness, simplicity and peace …and life.

      (s)atan will do absolutely everything and anything to rob mankind ( you Steven!!!) of that ultimate priviledge, blessing and joy…everlasting life in God’s family, God’s soon coming kingdom.

      Best

      Jan

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    • Hi Dinos!

      I welcome your answer but I worry about Steven’s confusion so, any such diologue can only further our knowledge and hopefully point us in the right direction which is crucial to our salvation.

      This being the case: Panentheism is related to Process Theology…but God never changes so it is unbiblical!

      Panentheism is essentially a combination of theism (God is the supreme being) and pantheism (God is everything). While pantheism says that God and the universe are coextensive, panentheism claims the God is greater than the universe and that the universe is contained within God. Panentheism holds that God is the “supreme effect” of the universe. God is everything in the universe, but God also is greater than the universe. Events and changes in the universe affect and change God. As the universe grows and learns, God also increases in knowledge and being.

      Panentheism is most definitely not biblical. In fact, it is extreme heresy that impugns the character of God and makes Him more like a man. God is present everywhere (Psalm 139:7-8), but God is not everything. God knows everything, whether actual or possible (Psalm 139:1-6; Romans 11:33-35). God does not learn because He already has all knowledge. God is “affected” by things that occur in the universe, but only in that sin angers Him and holiness pleases Him. Our actions do not change God or impact His essential being.

      The Bible presents God as holy (Isaiah 6:3; Revelation 4:8), sovereign (1 Chronicles 29:11; Nehemiah 9:6; Psalm 83:18; Isaiah 37:20), omnipresent (Psalm 139:7-10), omniscient (Job 28:24; Psalm 147:4-5), omnipotent (Job 42:1-2), self-existent (Exodus 3:14; Psalm 36:9), eternal (Psalm 90:2; Habakkuk 1:12), immutable (Psalm 33:11; James 1:17), perfect (Deuteronomy 32:3-4), and infinite (Job 5:9; 9:10). None of these attributes are compatible with panentheism. God transcends all of His creation, and is in no sense limited or changed by events in His creation.

      Best

      Jan

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      • Hello again Dinos!

        In answer to the link you provided re Acts 17 v’s 24-28 as a means of justifying Panentheism, these verses do not support it at all.

        Acts 17:24-28King James Version (KJV)

        24 God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands;

        25 Neither is worshipped with men’s hands, as though he needed any thing, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things;

        26 And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation;

        27 That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us:

        28 For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring.

        Here, The Apostle Paul is defining ‘The True Church’ made up of those in whom God’s Spirit lives….also proving that the Holy Spirit is not a separate entity; not a third person in The Godhead.

        A) When we give ourselves to God wholeheartedly by obeying ALL of His Commandments (They were not abolished with the death of Jesus Christ as some would have us believe) and making every effort to live as Jesus Christ lived, God’s Spirit moves to live inside us to protect and guide us…hence the meaning of: the indwelling of God’s Holy Spirit.

        It is ‘that’ that will identify us as ‘one of His Own’ during the tribulation and end times and the means by which we will be protected…akin to identification by the lambs blood on the door posts of those saved from the Angel of death during the passover.

        The main churches…v 24 ‘…temples made with hands…’ have moved too far away from the true teachings of God’s early church…as I have previously tried to explain to Steven. God’s True Church today consists of all those I’ve described above in paragraph A.

        V 26 means: it is blood that defines us as human beings who all stem from Adam; the first created Human being.

        Earth and the length of time it will last (till the end of days since God knew mans greed would destroy mankind in a certain amount of time due to free will) was solely created by God for man; human beings, and why it contains all we need to sustain us through our earthly (Human) lives. God given human life will never be found on any other planet hence: ‘…and the bounds of their habitation…’

        V 27 speaks for itself in proving we have free will: ‘…That they should seek the Lord, if haply THEY MIGHT FEEL after Him…’ There is no demand in those words; no compelling us to do so. Paul’s very words show here that we are free to act on our feelings!

        Steven asks for logical answers to his questions in his blog and only part of the logic to it all is: Why would the Apostle Paul (or any of the Apostles murdered for their faith) have needed to endanger his life by preaching in those towns and cities in the first place to try to get the unbelievers to see the truth if, God had not created every one of them with free will to believe His word, or not!

        And, in previous comments on this question you pointed Steven to a site for the Orthodox Bible re: The Trinity.
        Acts 17 v 16: Now while Paul waited for them at Athens his spirit was stirred up in him when he saw the city wholly given to idolatry.

        Paul’s spirit was part of Paul; as are our own spirit’s part of us. God’s Spirit is Holy because God is Holy; as is Jesus Christ; Them being One and The Same, but when Jesus Christ left God’s (His) Holy Spirit with us to comfort us after He returned to God in Heaven, the Holy Spirit did not suddenly become a separate entity. God/ Jesus Christ left us part of ‘Himself’ in our sadness at our perceived loss of Him. Hence His words: ‘I will never leave or forsake you’

        God/ Jesus Christ did not say: The Holy Spirit or, the Holy Ghost will never leave or forsake you.

        I took the time to start reading that particular Orthadox Bible you provided a link to and although, commendably, they do not go along with most of todays main churches in their ‘progressive’ interpretations of the Bible, they still do not abide by the true early church in observing God’s Saturday Sabbath rest; the 7th/ last day of the week of creation…in accordance with The Fourth Commandment.

        Jesus Christ, all of the Apostles, the believing Jews and also the converted Gentiles observed it…and continued to observe it even after Jesus Christ’s death.

        To compromise is to tell, or accept only half of the truth. God will not be compromised!

        Best

        Jan

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        • Hi Jan!

          Thank you for your further comments.

          I think that each of us has a personal understanding of Christianity and the nature of the Trinity, so I’m not inclined to be dogmatic about it. Paul was speaking to Athenians at a time when they had pagan beliefs, with Zeus as the primary god, and not to a church that had fallen away, as you put it. The temples were dedicated to Zeus, Athena, Apollo, Aphrodite and others.

          I have a different interpretation about how we dwell in God: all non-living matter and creatures exist within God and humanity may be the only living creature on this earth with a more intimate relationship and understanding of God. I would include even those who profess to be atheists as having an intimate contact with God although they may deny this on an intellectual level and turn away from Him. When they use bitter words against God, I believe that they are acknowledging His existence in a negative way. I believe that we all live within Him, as Paul was addressing the Athenians, and not the elect few with the right beliefs in the churches he had founded. I think Paul is saying that no human being can exist without this intimate contact! Below is a link which may help other readers:

          http://biblehub.com/commentaries/acts/17-28.htm

          And below is an extract from Meyer’s NT Commentary, within the link:

          Reason assigned (γάρ) for οὐ μακρ. ἀπὸ ἑνὸς κ.τ.λ., for in Him we live, we move, and we exist. Paul views God under the point of view of His immanence as the element in which we live, etc.; and man in such intimate connection with God, that he is constantly surrounded by the Godhead and embraced in its essential influence, but, apart from the Godhead, could neither live, nor move, nor exist. Comp. Dio Chrys. vol. I. p. 384, ed. Reiske: ἅτε οὐ μακρὰν οὐδʼ ἔξω τοῦ θείου διῳκισμένοι, ἀλλʼ ἐν αὐτῷ μέσῳ πεφυκότες κ.τ.λ.

          There are many different denominations of Christianity, and probably much variation within each denomination, so I do not feel compelled to hold beliefs dogmatically. Below is a link listing the Christian denominations and I wonder which, if any, that you identify with? The list includes a historical timeline of denominations and an estimate of the number of members for each:

          http://www.seiyaku.com/reference/denominations-list.html

          There is a wealth of information available from the net and there are several more points and responses I could give, but I wanted this to be relatively short. You may not agree with anything I’ve presented, but please spare a thought for other readers who may be interested.

          Peace and love to all,

          Dinos

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      • Hi Jan!

        Thank you for your response.

        I had never heard of Process Theology until you mentioned it. There is much to commend it so I’ve included a link for consideration by other readers:

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Process_theology

        Within the post is an important explanation of why God allows human suffering:

        One classic exchange over the issue of divine power is between philosophers Frederick Sontag and John K. Roth and process theologian David Ray Griffin.[25] Sontag and Roth argued that the process God’s inability to, for instance, stop the genocide at Auschwitz meant that God was not worthy of worship, since there is no point in worshipping a God that cannot save us from such atrocities. Griffin’s response was as follows:

        One of the stronger complaints from Sontag and Roth is that, given the enormity of evil in the world, a deity that is [merely] doing its best is not worthy of worship. The implication is that a deity that is not doing its best is worthy of worship. For example, in reference to Auschwitz, Roth mocks my God with the statement that “the best that God could possibly do was to permit 10,000 Jews a day to go up in smoke.” Roth prefers a God who had the power to prevent this Holocaust but did not do it! This illustrates how much people can differ in what they consider worthy of worship. For Roth, it is clearly brute power that evokes worship. The question is: is this what should evoke worship? To refer back to the point about revelation: is this kind of power worship consistent with the Christian claim that divinity is decisively revealed in Jesus? Roth finds my God too small to evoke worship; I find his too gross.[25]

        I don’t know what your source was for the meaning of panentheism, but it is certainly different from mine. My understanding and intended use sees the universe and all forms of life being created by God, within God. Since we consider Him to be infinite, it matters not how large the universe may appear to us, because, since it is finite and apparently growing, it is still only part of the infinite God that it is within. Also, compared to his infinite Being, the changes we see as significant are small and predictable to Him, who remains unchanged in essence as the Trinity.

        Below is a link to the Encyclopedia Britannica’s explanation of religious philosophical concepts of God including classical theism, pantheism and panentheism:

        https://www.britannica.com/topic/pantheism

        And, below is a relevant extract from it:

        Freedom or determinism

        In those forms of pantheism that envisage the eternal God literally encompassing the world, humanity is an utterly fated part of a world that is necessarily just as it is, and freedom is thus illusion. To be sure, classical theism holds to human freedom, but it insists that this freedom is compatible with a divine omniscience that includes his knowledge of the total future. Thus, the question arises whether or not such freedom is illusory. Panentheism, by insisting that future reality is indeterminate or open and that humanity and God, together, are in the process of determining what the future shall be, probably supports the doctrine of human freedom more completely than does any alternative point of view.

        I noticed that you have sent a second post to me but I do not have time, at present, to deal with that. You should know that I’m a full-time, live-in carer to my elderly mother. I understand that you care about Steven; so do I.

        Peace and love to all,

        Dinos

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        • Hi Dinos,

          I agree that everyone is entitled to their own opinions on everything but, since this post; and practically all other of Steven’s posts are related to God, the Father of Jesus Christ, the Creator of all things and The Author of the Bible, I believe our comments should come from God’s Own written word.

          I do not, nor would I ever presume to theorise on anything pertaining to God and my OWN comments come only from God’s Word as It is written on my heart.

          I was brought up under certain religious doctrine and attended one of the four main churches but from as young as nine years old, due to the behaviour I observed from the church members/ congregation/ vicar etc, I knew something just wasn’t right…Jesus (As a child relates to) just would not have behaved like them much less agree with their: Saying one thing whilst doing the complete opposite for their own personal betterment.

          Jesus would not teach only certain parts of the Bible or, dismiss The Old Testament as irrelevant in our times. The Ten Commandments are as relevant today as they were in Moses’ day.

          Jesus would not have seated the poor and humbly dressed in the back pews …to be neither seen nor heard…whilst actually reserving certain seats for ‘so called important’, wealthy others dressed in their Sunday best (better suited to Ascot, in fact!!) at the front.

          I knew from such an early age that God was not in that church /denomination perse…but I knew He existed somewhere as a living God and that all who truly wished to know Him intimately; as He wishes to know us, would be guided into His loving arms.

          Theorizing and phylosophizing over God and His Creation of all things, by attempting to put ourselves on par with Him (Panentheism); minimizing His superiority, magnificence and greatness and therefore distrusting His precise written Word, will not induce Him to reveal Himself to us or, bring us into a meaningful, intimate relationship with Him.

          The Bible tells us that IT is a supernatural book in that it is protected so not everyone is ‘given’ (called) to truly understand it. Those earnestly seeking God with all their heart will earnestly ask in their daily prayers for ‘the Knowledge’ to understand His Truth, His Holy written Word.

          The Bible tells us that this understanding can only come to individuals following the in-dwelling (in them) of God’s Holy Spirit. This is how God identifies us, will set us apart during the end times.

          Best

          Jan

          Like

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