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Brother Kaman

Free Will And Thanking God

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I was watching a program on TV today that examined the murder of a teenage girl and the subsequent investigation, arrest and trial of the murderer. Near the end of the program, the family of the murdered young lady thanked God (God of Abraham) for answering their prayers to apprehend and bring to justice their daughter's murderer. My first thought was, "Why would God allow her to be murdered in the first place?" Then I knew the handy answer most Christians would use would be to blame the free will of the murderer and that God had nothing to do with the murder. Sounds like Pontius Pilate, washing his hands, doesn't it of the wicked deed, doesn't it? Why was it not the "free will" of the police investigators and the "free will" of the court and jury that apprehended and punished their daughter's killer? How is "free will" at one end and God answering prayers at the other end? Any thoughts? I would like to hear from a few Christians on this topic.

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But you are God, Brother K. What do you think we should be thanking you for?

You can thank me for nothing. I don't meddle in your life unless you want to believe I do. You, too, are God so you get to decide.

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Hi Brother Kaman,

I was skimming a book that had a section dealing with witchcraft and magic in Elizabethan Wales. A Calvinist minister writing in that time period was lamenting the way the Welsh people were still turning to the village wizards or cunning folk in times of need instead of God. The minister's position was that God intentionally visited calamities on people as a means to make them turn to him (as if to remind them he was still around). Since the family you mentioned above did just that, I guess it worked. Seems like a horrible way to get someone's attention.

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Hi Brother Kaman,

I was skimming a book that had a section dealing with witchcraft and magic in Elizabethan Wales. A Calvinist minister writing in that time period was lamenting the way the Welsh people were still turning to the village wizards or cunning folk in times of need instead of God. The minister's position was that God intentionally visited calamities on people as a means to make them turn to him (as if to remind them he was still around). Since the family you mentioned above did just that, I guess it worked. Seems like a horrible way to get someone's attention.

Most of the folks I am acquainted with, who are Christian, tell me that God is good and does not visit harm on his children. Only Satan does that and God doesn't "allow" Satan to do it, rather man does it himself thru free will. Free will only seems to be an issue when bad things happen and it would also seem that only God is responsible for the good and that free will has nothing to do with the good at all.

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Most of the folks I am acquainted with, who are Christian, tell me that God is good and does not visit harm on his children. Only Satan does that and God doesn't "allow" Satan to do it, rather man does it himself thru free will. Free will only seems to be an issue when bad things happen and it would also seem that only God is responsible for the good and that free will has nothing to do with the good at all.

I personally do not believe in an omnipotent god like the God of Abraham. I believe in gods who are divine ancestors, but they are not perfect nor omnipotent. I attribute most things, good and bad, to being products of free will, whether it is mine, yours, or someone else's. But I think there are also times when things just happen randomly without someone necessarily being responsible. I do not understand how Christians can read the The Book of Job, and not believe God allows Satan to do evil to mankind. The Bible also seems to clearly indicate that God is the creator of all things, including evil. There are verses in the Bible were God sends lying spirits himself to deceive people so they end up in trouble because of what they were told. I am no longer a Christian, but perhaps, as you mentioned in your initial post, some Christians will comment.

Edited by Gwynn

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I personally do not believe in an omnipotent god like the God of Abraham. I believe in gods who are divine ancestors, but they are not perfect nor omnipotent. I attribute most things, good and bad, to being products of free will, whether it is mine, yours, or someone else's. But I think there are also times when things just happen randomly without someone necessarily being responsible. I do not understand how Christians can read the The Book of Job, and not believe God allows Satan to do evil to mankind. The Bible also seems to clearly indicate that God is the creator of all things, including evil. There are verses in the Bible were God sends lying spirits himself to deceive people so they end up in trouble because of what they were told. I am no longer a Christian, but perhaps, as you mentioned in your initial post, some Christians will comment.

My take away on the Book of Job is that bad things cannot happen to people without the God of Abraham's consent.

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It seems like he is apt to provide his consent so that he can test his followers.

Edited by Gwynn

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I have re-examined my motives for starting this topic and already I know the answers to my questions. I was ranting and venting over things that I have read recently in the news and on facebook and other sources. I do not wish to pick on or upset people of a different spiritual path than mine. At this forum I have found many, many topics denouncing and picking apart Christianity. No one that I know of has spent even 1/100th of the time and space to question the voracity of Satanism, Wiccan, Paganism, Buddhism, Hinduism and just barely touched Islam or any other belief system. People here can even claim to be vampires and no one questions that belief. I apologize right now for this topic and ask forgiveness from by Brothers here who are Christian.

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Kind of reminds me of our local news crew always managing to pick out that "one" person, you know...its been flooding, and raining, and they get them on camera. "It just won't quit rainin' ". When it does, "Thank God it finally quit rainin' "

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I was watching a program on TV today that examined the murder of a teenage girl and the subsequent investigation, arrest and trial of the murderer. Near the end of the program, the family of the murdered young lady thanked God (God of Abraham) for answering their prayers to apprehend and bring to justice their daughter's murderer. My first thought was, "Why would God allow her to be murdered in the first place?" Then I knew the handy answer most Christians would use would be to blame the free will of the murderer and that God had nothing to do with the murder. Sounds like Pontius Pilate, washing his hands, doesn't it of the wicked deed, doesn't it? Why was it not the "free will" of the police investigators and the "free will" of the court and jury that apprehended and punished their daughter's killer? How is "free will" at one end and God answering prayers at the other end? Any thoughts? I would like to hear from a few Christians on this topic.

What of the victim's free will? Another problem for the believer.

Most of the folks I am acquainted with, who are Christian, tell me that God is good and does not visit harm on his children. Only Satan does that and God doesn't "allow" Satan to do it, rather man does it himself thru free will. Free will only seems to be an issue when bad things happen and it would also seem that only God is responsible for the good and that free will has nothing to do with the good at all.

In the language of an insurance policy; an "act of God" is never anything good.

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I have re-examined my motives for starting this topic and already I know the answers to my questions. I was ranting and venting over things that I have read recently in the news and on facebook and other sources. I do not wish to pick on or upset people of a different spiritual path than mine. At this forum I have found many, many topics denouncing and picking apart Christianity. No one that I know of has spent even 1/100th of the time and space to question the voracity of Satanism, Wiccan, Paganism, Buddhism, Hinduism and just barely touched Islam or any other belief system. People here can even claim to be vampires and no one questions that belief. I apologize right now for this topic and ask forgiveness from by Brothers here who are Christian.

^like

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I was watching a program on TV today that examined the murder of a teenage girl and the subsequent investigation, arrest and trial of the murderer. Near the end of the program, the family of the murdered young lady thanked God (God of Abraham) for answering their prayers to apprehend and bring to justice their daughter's murderer. My first thought was, "Why would God allow her to be murdered in the first place?" Then I knew the handy answer most Christians would use would be to blame the free will of the murderer and that God had nothing to do with the murder. Sounds like Pontius Pilate, washing his hands, doesn't it of the wicked deed, doesn't it? Why was it not the "free will" of the police investigators and the "free will" of the court and jury that apprehended and punished their daughter's killer? How is "free will" at one end and God answering prayers at the other end? Any thoughts? I would like to hear from a few Christians on this topic.

Christians thank God when good things happen and justice prevails, because God is good and God is just. God was not the cause of the murder, his law forbids it, but his law also demands punishment for murder, so Christians praise him when "Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven". God commanded us to put evil (murderers) away in order to prevent evil from existing among us (Deuteronomy 19:19-20). So Christians are thankful when the police arrest a murderer and a court punishes him. We are taught to "Overcome evil with good" (Romans 12:21), and putting a murderer to death is good. Free will can be used for bad or good, one is a sin and the other a blessing, so we fight against the bad and are thankful for the good which is inspired by God.. jmo

Edited by Dan56

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Christians thank God when good things happen and justice prevails, because God is good and God is just. God was not the cause of the murder, his law forbids it, but his law also demands punishment for murder, so Christians praise him when "Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven". God commanded us to put evil (murderers) away in order to prevent evil from existing among us (Deuteronomy 19:19-20). So Christians are thankful when the police arrest a murderer and a court punishes him. We are taught to "Overcome evil with good" (Romans 12:21), and putting a murderer to death is good. Free will can be used for bad or good, one is a sin and the other a blessing, so we fight against the bad and are thankful for the good which is inspired by God.. jmo

Those were the answers I knew I would get before I began the topic. Once again forgive me my rant. It was uncalled for. I do not wish to start a Christian bashing regardless of my own belief.

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Those were the answers I knew I would get before I began the topic. Once again forgive me my rant. It was uncalled for. I do not wish to start a Christian bashing regardless of my own belief.

Not a problem or a rant, so no apology necessary, you were just wondering about the logic of a situation.. I understand your pov, it is something that many find confusing. Thanking God for a resolution for something bad when He could have prevented it in the first place can seem illogical.. Its kind of like thanking someone for a band-aid after they've throw you down a flight of stairs.. But ultimately, no one is protected from evil, it rains on the good and the bad alike (Matthew 5:45).

A big question Christians have always asked is; "Why do bad things happen to good people?".or "Why does God allow it?". God is content to allow us to suffer affliction and experience tribulation, even his chosen prophets and apostles did not escape it.. Its a faith tester for sure, but as Paul said; "For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us" (Romans 8:18). Love for what we believe cannot be demonstrated without some hardships, but the hope we have in Christ gives us the strength to endure. Why thank God for a good meal when someone else grew the food and you paid for it? Its just because all good things are seen as a blessing from God instead of being taken for granted.

Maybe I should apologize for being so preachy? :)

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...... My first thought was, "Why would God allow her to be murdered in the first place?" ........

I would say that question was answered in the very first chapter of the Bible.

Genesis 1:26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.

At the same time God decided to make mankind He also decided that mankind would have dominion over all the earth.

do·min·ion

1. sovereignty; control.

Yes God could stop all of the evil that goes on ...... but He has given that responsibility to mankind.

Just my take on this.

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I would say that question was answered in the very first chapter of the Bible.

Genesis 1:26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.

At the same time God decided to make mankind He also decided that mankind would have dominion over all the earth.

do·min·ion

1. sovereignty; control.

Yes God could stop all of the evil that goes on ...... but He has given that responsibility to mankind.

Just my take on this.

Not an interpretation I've seen used for this question before. Interesting.

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I would say that question was answered in the very first chapter of the Bible.

Genesis 1:26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.

At the same time God decided to make mankind He also decided that mankind would have dominion over all the earth.

do·min·ion

1. sovereignty; control.

Yes God could stop all of the evil that goes on ...... but He has given that responsibility to mankind.

Just my take on this.

That sounds like you are saying that God washed his hands and moved on. Why would anyone thank Him for the good they receive if God put them in charge of things?

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I'm not sure how you get God washed his hands and moved on out of God gave mankind dominion ( sovereignty; control ) over all the earth.

There is a lot more that goes with that teaching but I'm not trying to go into foundational doctrine right now.

I thought Dan was doing a fine job of answering why we (Christians) Thank God for all of the good that comes into our lives.

Let me see if I can help you understand ...... without quoting scripture.

Let's imagine a teenager whose parents left him/her in charge of the house while they went on a three day weekend. The parents have told this teen that he/she has full authority over the house and all that is in it. They have also told this teen that if they need anything just give them a call. Now suppose the teen isn't a very good cook. The parents know this and order in for him/her all three night that they are gone. Should the teen be thankful? Of course he/she should be! Now suppose one of the nights the teen wants to watch an event on pay per view. He/she calls his parents and they authorize him/her to order it. Should the teen be thankful? Of course he/she should be!

We (Christians) see all good things as coming from God the Father. He is not unreachable. I've got His number (prayer).

Edited by Pastor Dave

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I'm not sure how you get God washed his hands and moved on out of God gave mankind dominion ( sovereignty; control ) over all the earth.

There is a lot more that goes with that teaching but I'm not trying to go into foundational doctrine right now.

I thought Dan was doing a fine job of answering why we (Christians) Thank God for all of the good that comes into our lives.

Let me see if I can help you understand ...... without quoting scripture.

Let's imagine a teenager whose parents left him/her in charge of the house while they went on a three day weekend. The parents have told this teen that he/she has full authority over the house and all that is in it. They have also told this teen that if they need anything just give them a call. Now suppose the teen isn't a very good cook. The parents know this and order in for him/her all three night that they are gone. Should the teen be thankful? Of course he/she should be! Now suppose one of the nights the teen wants to watch an event on pay per view. He/she calls his parents and they authorize him/her to order it. Should the teen be thankful? Of course he/she should be!

We (Christians) see all good things as coming from God the Father. He is not unreachable. I've got His number (prayer).

If the teenager was left alone and in charge of the house in the parents absence and took good care of the place and the parents came home and did not beat him because he did a good job, why should he be thankful unless he was expecting a beating in the first place?

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