Fallacy of Free

sovereignty-reconciled

This is an example of a Logical Fallacy
The False Dilemma Excludes

Another Possibility: Fallacy of Free Will

To discuss this issue we must first define the term, “free”. There are many nuances to this word but probably the ones that are most pertinent to our discussion are: not affected by a given condition or circumstance or to be without control or constraint of any influence {Free Dictionary}.

The question posed by the above graphic presupposes that if man is not free then God must be responsible for all evil. This is the same false dilemma Theodicy presupposes also. As stated, sovereignty and free will appear to be mutually exclusive and any action arising from sovereignty relieves man of responsibility. In fact, I will go so far as to suggest that this question was first posed by Satan to God after Satan had sinned in Heaven. But before I address this I believe I must first disprove the position of “free”.

fee-will

Free Will Requires a position that is
Not-Sin and Not-Grace; Sinless

My underlying assumption is the veracity of the Bible. If you disagree with the infallibility of the Bible then you will not agree with either my argument or its conclusion. The Bible clearly states that a person is either lost (in sin) or saved (new nature with body of sinful flesh) (Ro 6:16). Paul makes an even stronger assertion basing his argument on Scriptures from the Old Testament when he says both, “all have sinned” and, “no one seeks after God” (Ro 3:10-12, 23). Therefore, for a person to have “free will” the person must have a position that is neither in Sin or in Grace but independent of both which I have labeled Sinless (for lack of a better term). There were only two people who could claim to be sinless and both of them sinned, Adam and Eve (Ge 3:6-7). Their progeny, everyone else, have been born with an inherent sin nature. This is why Paul, quoting from the Old Testament, says no one does good or all have sinned. Therefore, the issue of “free will” is mute. No will is free because all wills are firmly rooted in sin. The evidence is in our behavior, sins. No one has to be taught how to lie or steal. We simply have to be taught how to be better at these sins, and others. One can teach a child for years how to do good and yet there is no guarantee that they will do “right” and reject doing wrong: this is called proper parenting. This is actually called, Law of Excluded Middle in logic. For example, the light is either on or off. There is no other state. Now, it can be in varying degrees of on (dimmer switch lights) but there is only one degree of off. Man is in varying degrees of sin but he is not sinless though Christ was sinless in God’s grace and relying solely on the power of the Holy Spirit was able to provide Himself to God as the sinless sacrifice for sin.

Then you may claim that you are not responsible since you do not have free will. This is the false dilemma because God gave each person a “conscience”. This gift from God testifies to us when we have done wrong (sins). We currently call this guilt and for the past 100 years or so have sought to negate the legitimacy of guilt, and conscience, through the pseudo-science of psychology/psychiatry (One uses words and the other uses words and drugs). This conscience can be squelched or in today’s parlance, reprogrammed (1Ti 4:1-2). The focus for modern society is to reprogram the conscience through music, TV, movies, literature, false churches, philosophy (evolution), atheism, pseudo-sciences so that the one message that does come through is, “You are good!” The “higher self-esteem” message in education for the past several decades has promoted this very message with the result that graduates of this system have participated in the mass murders of this country. By ignoring one’s conscience one is announcing one’s responsibility for one’s sinful behavior which flows from a sin nature. Does any of this apply to Satan?

Christ said, “He (Satan) was a murderer from the beginning…” (Jo 8:43-44). Our question must be, “What does He mean by, beginning?” Was Satan made sinful? A simplistic understanding of this question would lead to a false dilemma and an answer of, “yes”. Yet, James says that God cannot be influenced by evil nor does He use evil to trick man to sin (Ja 1:13-15). The major passage that speaks of Lucifer, before he became Satan, discusses how he was created in beauty and perfection (Ez 28:11-15). God says Lucifer was blameless until he sinned. After that he was judged and lost his position as the most glorious angel ever created. He was the pinnacle of God’s creation until God spoke of man whom He would create to be over Satan (Ez 28:16-18). My belief is that Satan disagreed with God’s plan since it would mean that he would no longer be next to God but a slave to man whom he viewed as lesser than himself (Ro 8:31Co 6:3; He 2:6-9). This brought immediate judgment on him. He objected along the lines of those suggested in theodicy. God created him and therefore God, not him, is responsible for sin; therefore, he cannot be held accountable or punished. Satan is using this world to prove to God that God is indeed the author of sin since his created beings cannot resist His will to not sin (Ro 9:16-20).

The issue is not the sovereignty of God but the weakness of the flesh to rebel against God. Satan uses the flesh to prompt people everywhere to sin, to be “free” and independent of God. He is using man to make his case and eliminate his punishment. Each dispensation of God eliminates one of Satan’s objections until all objections have been proven as false. Why chose this method? Why did not God simply make a perfect people? God can do everything, right?

Well, no, God cannot do everything or anything. This is another false dilemma logical fallacy. Referring back to James it is clear that God is also limited by His nature. He can only do Good, He cannot sin. He cannot tempt man to sin because He has no sin in Him. Man is tempted through his sin nature. Why? Well, God wanted a people who knew to reject the evil and choose the good but this knowledge can only be gained experientially (He 5:12-14). It cannot be taught “out of a book” so to speak. Satan acts out of his nature which can only produce sin and lost man acts consistent with his sin nature. By acting according to their own nature and rejecting the guilt from God man condemns himself. God did not make Adam and Eve sin, they followed their fleshly nature. They wanted the forbidden knowledge and now all mankind must exercise knowledge to do the good and reject the evil, this is called discernment. We believe we are acting independently because we are not aware of all the nuances of our worldview. Yet, to relieve himself of the responsibility of sin man claims God is the author of sin by not overriding man’s “choice”s and preventing him from sinning. Man rejects God’s sovereignty and then attempts to use God’s sovereignty for protection from God’s judgment. Man speaks of having free will and then blaming God because he has free will to sin. Man does not have free will but he is responsible because he resists the guilt that warns him he has sinned and needs God. Man’s violence is a visible indicator of how sinful man’s created society has become so that man will seek God for salvation, which he does not. He only practices more devastating sin intensifying the violence. It is our testing (temptations) that prove our sinfulness just as it proves Satan’s sinfulness.

sovereignty-and-free-will

Author: LeeS

Retired naval nurse, Dad, Husband, Christian who seeks to share the Bible with those who want more than the superficial milk given out in the majority of today's churches. God has taught me through hard experiences as well as through book learning (Master's of Ministry, Doctor of Ministry).