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Author Topic: Free Will (Again)  (Read 2728 times)

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Chuck4

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Free Will (Again)
« on: September 26, 2006, 02:43:02 AM »

I was impressed with Ray's answer to a recent questioner who maintained, in effect, that God wants our love only if it's freely given--without a cause.  Ray answers, in part, does your wife love you?  Yes?  What "makes" her love you?  How would you feel if I said that your wife and children told me that there is absolutely NOTHING about you that "makes" them love you?  Would that make you feel good?  Do they love you "freely" without any reason whatsoever??  He sums it up with that wonderful 1 Jn. 4:19 verse, which says, in effect, God makes us love him.

While pondering this matter, I was reminded of the old pop tune: "You made me love You" first sung by Al Jolson in an old movie.  Here are the words.  Pretty good theology, yes?

You made me love you,
I didn't want to do it, I didn't want to do it.
You made me want you,
and all the time you knew it, I guess you always knew it.
You made me happy sometimes, you made me glad.
But there were times dear, you made me feel so bad...

Chuck4 (new poster)
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orion77

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Re: Free Will (Again)
« Reply #1 on: September 26, 2006, 08:42:55 AM »

Welcome to the forum Chuck4.  I saw that e-mail, classic response from Ray.  Look forward to your future posts.

God bless,

Gary

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Kat

  • Guest
Re: Free Will (Again)
« Reply #2 on: September 26, 2006, 10:32:11 AM »

Hi Chuck4,

Quote
I was impressed with Ray's answer to a recent questioner who maintained, in effect, that God wants our love only if it's freely given--without a cause.  Ray answers, in part, does your wife love you?  Yes?  What "makes" her love you?  How would you feel if I said that your wife and children told me that there is absolutely NOTHING about you that "makes" them love you?  Would that make you feel good? 

My understanding of what Ray is saying here, is not that we love freely without a cause.
The point he was making, is that there are many things that happen that makes someone love.

Quote
Do they love you "freely" without any reason whatsoever??

The answer to this would be no.  There are many reasons that we are caused to love someone.  All those little things we do for each other everyday are causes, the same goes with God.  He brings about the circumstances that bring us to love Him.

1Jo 4:10  Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.

mercy, peace, and love
Kat

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mongoose

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Re: Free Will (Again)
« Reply #3 on: September 26, 2006, 01:17:47 PM »

Of course, we can't love at all without God...since all love ultimately comes from Him.  He knows that we love Him in response to His love for us. 

There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.  We love because he first loved us. If anyone says, "I love God," yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen.  1 John 4:18-20

First, God loves us...creates us, and continues His creation and training....so that we can learn to love as He loves.

This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.  1 John 4:9-11

We learn to love God as we are taught by Him of His endless and perfect love for us.  It is easy to love those who love us first.  Then He teaches us to love one another....and eventually to love as He loves, to love even those who don't love us back.

Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. Ephesians 5:1-2

Love comes from God and is what it is all about.  A hard lesson that seems to take a lifetime or more.  But, just thinking about how much He loves us brings so much joy!  How wonderful and beautiful and perfect He is!!!!!!!

Love to you all in Christ,

mongoose
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jerreye

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Re: Love Our Enemies?
« Reply #4 on: September 26, 2006, 05:37:52 PM »

Quote
I was impressed with Ray's answer to a recent questioner who maintained, in effect, that God wants our love only if it's freely given--without a cause.  Ray answers, in part, does your wife love you?  Yes?  What "makes" her love you?  How would you feel if I said that your wife and children told me that there is absolutely NOTHING about you that "makes" them love you?  Would that make you feel good?  Do they love you "freely" without any reason whatsoever??  He sums it up with that wonderful 1 Jn. 4:19 verse, which says, in effect, God makes us love him.

This has caused a bit of confusion in me. Ok, my wife MAKES me love her because of what she DOES for me (i.e. - she LOVES me, she CARES for me, etc etc). These are the things that MAKE me love her. NOW...we are to LOVE our enemies. If the reason for loving someone else is based on what they do for us (Love us, care for us etc.) then HOW, pray tell, can we LOVE our enemies? What makes us love them? What do they do FOR US that CAUSES us to loveTHEM? Following me? :o
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mongoose

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Re: Free Will (Again)
« Reply #5 on: September 26, 2006, 06:06:16 PM »

Bobby, you posted while I was writing this. Christ does it....exactly!!!!   ;D  I'll put it up anyway.

  That is an interesting question.  My opinion on this.....God is teaching us to love as He loves....He loves people first and because they are His dear children, whether or not they love Him back.  He loves us when we are evil and stinky and hate Him.  

So, first we learn to love those who cause us to love them (or to love those who love us).  And we learn to love God because He loves us.  As we grow in Him, we see more and more that all people are His dearly beloved children.  

Say you have this friend who you love...one way you can show your love to your friend, is to love and care for your friends children.  Even if the kids don't love you, you can still express your love for your friend by loving and caring for his children anyway.  Not a perfect analogy.  

Anyway, the way I see it, we pass the love we get from God on to His children.....ideally, all His children....including the ones who hate us and those who haven't yet learned to even love God.  Showing love to each other (and to our enemies) is a way of loving God.  So, it's not what our enemies do for us that cause us to love them (although, they actually do things for us in the way of teaching us...but that's another matter)....it's what God does for us that causes us to love our enemies...as we come to see them as our brothers and sisters who will also eventually be reconcilled to God.

Does that help?

mongoose
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Kat

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Re: Free Will (Again)
« Reply #6 on: September 26, 2006, 07:46:44 PM »


These scripture would be useful in this discussion. 

Mat 5:43  You have heard people say, "Love your neighbors and hate your enemies."
Mat 5:44  But I tell you to love your enemies and pray for anyone who mistreats you.
Mat 5:45  Then you will be acting like your Father in heaven. He makes the sun rise on both good and bad people. And he sends rain for the ones who do right and for the ones who do wrong.
Mat 5:46  If you love only those people who love you, will God reward you for that? Even tax collectors love their friends.
Mat 5:47  If you greet only your friends, what's so great about that? Don't even unbelievers do that?
Mat 5:48  But you must always act like your Father in heaven.

We must learn to love all , just as our Father is love in its perfection.

1Jo 4:8  The one who does not love has not known God. For God is love.

1Jo 4:16  So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.

mercy, peace, and love
Kat


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jerreye

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Re: Free Will (Again)
« Reply #7 on: September 27, 2006, 01:55:15 AM »

Thanks, mongoose, bobby, kat  ;)
 
Bobby, I agree that we can do nothing except through Christ...I think my question should be rephrased...
 
Perhaps I should have asked "WHY (as opposed to HOW) do we love our enemies?" Again, I ask this based on Rays comments that the reason we LOVE someone else is based on what they DO for us. If we only love someone based on what they DO for us, then wouldn't that leave zero (again, I ask this based on Ray's comments) room to truely love our enemies? If the answer to this question is "Because we need to be obedient to God", then the true reason why we should love someone is NOT "what they do for us", as Ray mentioned. I hope my question is clearer  :) I don't mean to pick on Ray. Perhaps Ray meant somthing else by those comments?
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mongoose

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Re: Free Will (Again)
« Reply #8 on: September 27, 2006, 01:08:28 PM »

Obviously, I can't speak for Ray (and wouldn't want to try).  Given the context of the email Ray was responding to it seems likely that he is talking about us loving God, which in a way is an entirely different thing than us loving our enemies.  So, I think it might be easiest to understand if you take his comment that we love someone based on what they do for us as an explanation for the why we love God, which seems to be the question he was answering.  We can't love God before He loves us, and we love God because He loves us first.  I think the point is that God is fine (and actually plans and knows) that we love Him as a response to Him loving us.  This is not what those who believe in "free will" often teach.  In the same way, if you come to love someone who loves you first, do you expect that person to go...oh no...your love isn't real (or valuable, etc) because I loved you first.  No, most people I think would be happy that the person they loved had grown to love them.

Those who are spiritually young or haven't had their eyes opened love someone for "what they do for us".  We love God because He loves us and shows us His love.  So, loving in response to someone else's love, for what they do for us, that is how we are when we really start to love God.  As we grow and mature in our spiritual knowledge, God leads us beyond this basic carnal form of love

"You have heard that it was said, 'Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.  Matthew 5:43-48

Loving your enemies is not loving those in response to their love (obviously).  This is one of the fruits of becoming more spiritually mature.  We move beyond the carnal state (loving others or God because they love us first) to the more mature state of loving others who don't love us.  It is a progression in our maturation to becoming perfected in Him that we all go through.  We love those who love us (including God) then God teaches us to love even those who don't love us or seek to hurt us.  I don't think we love our enemies "because we need to be obedient to God".  We grow to love our enemies, which is God's will for us, because He puts His love in our hearts...and He already loves them.

Does this make sense?

mongoose
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orion77

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Re: Free Will (Again)
« Reply #9 on: September 27, 2006, 01:44:43 PM »

Obviously, I can't speak for Ray (and wouldn't want to try).  Given the context of the email Ray was responding to it seems likely that he is talking about us loving God, which in a way is an entirely different thing than us loving our enemies.  So, I think it might be easiest to understand if you take his comment that we love someone based on what they do for us as an explanation for the why we love God, which seems to be the question he was answering.  We can't love God before He loves us, and we love God because He loves us first.  I think the point is that God is fine (and actually plans and knows) that we love Him as a response to Him loving us.  This is not what those who believe in "free will" often teach.  In the same way, if you come to love someone who loves you first, do you expect that person to go...oh no...your love isn't real (or valuable, etc) because I loved you first.  No, most people I think would be happy that the person they loved had grown to love them.

Those who are spiritually young or haven't had their eyes opened love someone for "what they do for us".  We love God because He loves us and shows us His love.  So, loving in response to someone else's love, for what they do for us, that is how we are when we really start to love God.  As we grow and mature in our spiritual knowledge, God leads us beyond this basic carnal form of love

"You have heard that it was said, 'Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.  Matthew 5:43-48

Loving your enemies is not loving those in response to their love (obviously).  This is one of the fruits of becoming more spiritually mature.  We move beyond the carnal state (loving others or God because they love us first) to the more mature state of loving others who don't love us.  It is a progression in our maturation to becoming perfected in Him that we all go through.  We love those who love us (including God) then God teaches us to love even those who don't love us or seek to hurt us.  I don't think we love our enemies "because we need to be obedient to God".  We grow to love our enemies, which is God's will for us, because He puts His love in our hearts...and He already loves them.

Does this make sense?

mongoose


BINGO!!!  Great post mongoose, with this kind of love, where is judging, accusing, unrighteous punishment, boasting.  They have all been overcome with God, who is love.  His mercy endures forever.

Very well said, makes perfect sense.

God bless,

Gary
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jerreye

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Re: Free Will (Again)
« Reply #10 on: September 27, 2006, 02:26:12 PM »

Thank you, mongoose for your response. Well said. I trust that someday soon, God will give me this kind of love! He's given me the desire..now I am waiting for the rest.

God bless.
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SandyFla

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Re: Free Will (Again)
« Reply #11 on: September 27, 2006, 04:33:12 PM »

Thank you, mongoose for your response. Well said. I trust that someday soon, God will give me this kind of love! He's given me the desire..now I am waiting for the rest.

God bless.

I'm pretty much in the same boat as you, Jerreye! It's hard for me to separate the person from what they do, because, to me, what they do is who they are. It's a vicious circle.

The only "enemies" I find it easy to love are those in the Christian churches who hate what we have to say, because I WAS them. I understand their mindset 100%. However, I don't think I ever got angry with people who believed in universal salvation. I asked them to show it to me in Scripture, but they never did. Until I found Ray's website!

Sandy
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jerreye

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Re: Free Will (Again)
« Reply #12 on: September 27, 2006, 04:46:07 PM »

Hi Sandy, I'm comforted to know that there are others in my boat!   ;)

Jeremy
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