Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Human will, yes...Human "free" will, no

Lest you think I am some kind of advocate that humans are merely automatons with no will at all, I am sorry you were mislead by anything I said in my previous post. Yes, humans have a will. Heck, animals have wills! Why do you think horses need to be "broken" before they can be ridden? Why do some believe it is do hard to train a cat? (Actually, cats are fairly easy to train...you just can't do it the way you train dogs. Cats are smarter and more willful, so you have to be more subtle in training a cat. Yet, what Pavlov did to his dog also works for cats; I have trained all of our cats, past and present, to respond to being fed by calling out "meow, meow" at which they come running, even from a distance. In fact, it seems to me dogs take more work to train, but maybe that's because they are dumber than cats.)

Anyway, yes, all humans have will, and I mean ALL humans, throughout history, regardless of when you think human history began (4004 b.c.? One millions years ago? Ten thousand years ago? Somewhere in between?).

But there is a difference between human will and so-called "human free will." Anytime someone does something it is CAUSED by something else. Today it is March 21, 2007, and I am wearing sweat shorts and a T-shirt. I live in far west Texas and according to my indoor thermometer it is 74 degrees F in the house but 83 degrees F outside. So, shorts and a t-shirt is appropriate. However, if it was 53 inside and 31 outside, I would be caused by the weather to wear warm clothing. Another example: I was born with dark brown hair, but due to heredity, my hair (at age 54) is almost completely white-grey, and has been that way since about 26...my mother's side of the family (in fact I cannot remember my aunt, my mother's sister, with anything but white hair!). Now I could dye my hair back to dark brown (and possibly make my husband think I was younger looking than I am), but I choose not to, because hair dyes have been shown to cause cancers, because dying my hair would in fact make me look older and accentuate my wrinkles not to mention the white eye-brow hairs, and because hair dying is a pain and has to be done about once a month. I have enough expenses (Imitrex for my migraines being the biggest) that I have to pay myself (on a very small income...I stay home and homeschool so my kids don't have to go to public schools and so my husband can play breadwinner, a role I used to have when he was training to be a medic). So my hair stays white-grey. Further, it stays long. Now I would like to cut my hair especially in the summer but my husband wouldn't like it...he says I'd look like an "old lady," so I have kept it long. If it was strictly up to me, a lot of things would be different, but my life is not strictly up to me because I am married and have kids (and other obligations).

So thus, to sum up: my "willed" choices depended on the weather, on heredity, on medical research, on my husband, on my kids, just as far as the above examples go.

Okay, you who call yourselves "Christians": who or what causes the weather? Winds and rains and the sun and the moon and the natural forces, right? But Who ultimately controls them? God, who created these forces. Who controls my heredity? the DNA passed onto me by my parents, passed onto them by their parents, passed onto them by their parents, passed onto them by their parents...and so on, passed onto the first parents by God Who created them, Adam from the dust and Eve from Adam. QWhere did the medical research come from? From medical doctors and scientists, who grew up to be smart individuals (dummies don't finish medical school, okay, no matter what their connections are!), who grew to be smart because either their parents were smart of they overcame huge obstacles to achieve smartness; further, these individuals became doctors and scientists because they "want to" for various reasons (more money, want to help humanity, their parent is a doctor, etc.) dealing with various causes. But (now think Christians) Who controls their circumstances, ultimately? For instance, a person who lives in the US is more likely to be able to become a doctor than a shepherd in the Congo...isn't it God Who controls where we are born? And as for the results of research, hair dyes might cause cancer, which might not worry me because I tend to live a healthier lifestle than most...yet ALL the recent dead females on my mother's side died of cancer! So I am more aware than most what caner-causing agents might do to me. And Who caused these women to die, both younger than normal, from cancer? You get the picture. And Who caused, ultimately, me to marry the man I did? And Who caused me to give birth to the two kids, providing ,my husband's sperm to fertilize my eggs at the time He caused to happen and not some other time? You know the answer. So if you believe what I am saying and believe the Bible (read Ecclesiastes to start off) as you say you do, then how can you come up and say that humans can do whatever they want OUTSIDE of causation from God, according to HIS WILL? (Let me say right now that if it was up to me, the child that had been conceived between my son who is now 18 and my daughter who is now 14 would not have miscarried, and who knows what would have happened had this fetus been saved? Downs syndrome? Eight fingers? Profound retardation? Or genius? Or superbly athletic? Or incredibly beautiful? Or a wonderful singer? But it was not to be and God had His way with it!)

So do you still think human will is FREE of all external causation? Try this: will yourself to fly on your own and see how far you get. No hang gliders and similar contraptions, okay? Or will yourself to stay underwater for half and hour and see how long you'll live. Or will yourself the next Katrina-level hurricane to stop spinning and destroying. Only one human being has ever been able to control nature, control demons, control anything by His own will. His name? Jesus Christ, aka God.

And now you know why I don't believe in human "free will."

Deborah Lagarde

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Man's will, yes...Man's "free will," no! (Part 1)

Sometime when I was in Catholic School the nuns or the lay teachers or someone claimed that all people have "free will" to choose to believe in Christ or not, to eat meat on Fridays during Lent or not, to commit a "mortal" sin (which would blot their names out of the Book of Life, that is, until they went to Confession...isn't Roman Catholicism wonderful!) or just a "venial" sin (whatever that is...I guess it's a "liitle white lie" instead of a big one!), or to skip mass on Easter (and thus guarantee yourself a place in Hell for eternity...or if the Pope found out, be excommunicated!) or not.

Now of course, the Pope is the final authority for the Roman Church. The Archbishop of Canterbury is the final authority for the Anglican church. The various Protestant denominations have their heads. Various nondenominational churches, esprcially the big megachurches, have their authorities. And God forbid you should approach any of them with the notion that it is not they who are the head of their church, but Christ, and it is not them who are the final authority, but the Word of God. Remember Matthew 4:4--"Man does not live by bread alone but by every word from the mouth of God." Yet, these churches do not follow Christ's teaching and His truth, and instead insist that the "elders" of the church are the final authority. They misconstrue Paul's Epistles' teachings on this.

Anyway, bringing up this point is important if we want to come to some understanding how heresies came into being in the Body of Christ back in Paul's day ("The mystery of iniquity doth already work..." 2 Thessalonians 2:7). When Paul implored each Christian community to have elders it's implied that these elders be righteous and full of the Holy Spirit, Who would guide them in their leadership roles. It did NOT mean that anyone who considered himself a "leader" had authority, it did not mean that someone NOT filled with the Holy Spirit had a right to make up his own doctrines. Paul singled out a few individuals who had corrupted the Christian communities and held them up to denunciation, and, because the churches at the time did not have the wherewithal to ride these fellows out of town on a rail, by the time Paul had died, Christianity had already started down the road to the Mystery Babylon it is today.

It is getting late and I will continue with this shortly.

Deborah Lagarde

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Many "nations"? Why not many "countries"?

When Christ returns at His coming (not to be confused with the so-called "second coming," a term our Christendom friends use because God hasn't told them yet that His coming is something that happens on a continuous basis...that is, when Christ comes for someone it could happen anytime, but most likely when that person won't expect it), He will appear before many "nations and peoples and tongues" (for instance, Rev. 10:11, Rev. 5:13, Rev. 20:9). Nations and peoples and tongues imply nationalities, not members of countries, most of which have several nationalities extant. In the context of "country" or even "nation" the political subdivision known as "state" isn't even mentioned in the Bible.

One has to be careful when dealing with words "not mentioned in the Bible." For instance the popular notion of the "rapture" is like this: rapture isn't mentioned in the Bible and in fact John 17:15, which are Christ's own words, make the point of a rapture, any rapture, moot: there isn't going to be a removal of believers to heaven, PERIOD! There is a good reason the word "state," in the context of political subdivision also known as country, isn't mentioned either; instead the subdivision of "nation" is mentioned as above and many other times, and perhaps that is because the political subdivision known as "state" or "country" as we know it today will no longer exist.

If this is true, and I don't see why it wouldn't be, since the so-called Gog-Magog war mentioned in Rev. 20:8 (and Ezekiel 38) has Satan deceiving the nations which are in the four corners of the earth,...,to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea. And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and surrounded the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them." (Rev. 20:8-9, KJV). Afterwhich, the Great White Throne Judgment, and the fleeing away of the earth and heaven at which "no place was found for them".

There is a confluence of people who believe in the rapture/seven year "great tribulation" and in the Gog-Magog war occuring at the end of this erroneous time period on the plain called Meggido (the "Battle of Armeggedon") which is in present-day Israel. These folks believe the forces that God will vanquish are made up of first and foremost Russia and the Arab states; on the other hand, these forces are fighting the US, Israel, and (I'd like to hear them explain where it says this in the Bible) China (Is China even mentioned in the Bible? For that matter, is the US?). But of course this isn't what the Bible says. The Bible clearly says that nations (meaning members of nationalities) from the four corners--literally, from all over the earth--will surround the saints and the beloved city which is clearly spiritual Jerusalem (not the actual Jerusalem we know of today, which is likened to spiritual Sodom and Egypt, "where also our Lord was crucified"), the home of the overcomers mentioned throughout Revelation 2 and 3--that is, the elect. Furthermore, though the Plain of Meggido is large, is it large enough to hold the billions and billions of people past, present, and future who will, according to them, side with "the anti-Christ" in order to defeat "Israel, the US, and China"? Not only that, but is there anyplace on earth large enough to hold this number of people for the purpose of battle, as we know battle? Finally, Ezekiel 38 and 39 talks about the Gog-Magog War occuring in the context of "Israel" being in a state of "unwalled villages". Clearly, today's Israel is anything but unwalled! And even if their notion that when "the Anti-Christ" returns to make peace with Israel is true in the first three-and-a-half years of this erroneous seven year period, knowing how people are and how fearful Israelis are today (to the point where they want to nuke Iran just because they think Iran might be developing nukes...but on the other hand they couldn't even defeat Hezbolla...I'll get to that in a minute), does anyone really believe that even if some god-like figure achieves some sort of peace there that the average fearful Israeli will want these walls taken down, and that the Israeli government, being like any other bureaucracy, will get the walls taken down, not to mention all those checkpoints they've put up, in the rest of the three-and-a-half years all the while with the rest of the earth dealing with boils and sores and earthquakes and the most unimaginable weather conditions, not to mention constant wars and the like? What do they think is happening here, some intafada?

So there is a reason God has said many nations, not countries, not states. It is because politics and military-industrial complexes and governments and armies will have nothing to do with this. It will be all nationalities, all peoples, and all tongues who fight the saints (who, BTW, will also be from all nations, peoples, and tongues). This means Russians AND Israelis. Nationalities from the European Union AND the United States, which is, after all, a country of many if not all nations. This means Arabs AND Chinese. And all Africans and all Asians and all Latin Americans and all Pacific Islanders and all aboriginals and all Europeans and all peoples, nations, and tongues. On BOTH sides! Just as all nations will be represented in the elect, all nations will be represented in the second death, in the Great White throne Judgment, and in the Lake of Fire, where they will be purified as God, the consuming fire, burns the stubble (the sins and other impurities) out of them. After that, they will join the elect in the aftermath of the marriage supper and will be all in all with God, who will wipe away their tears (Revelation 21).

Where did these tears come from? Who would all these people have tears? Because these are the believers who were raptured from so-called "new world order persecution"? From "new world order re-education chambers and concentration camps"? What i want to know is why would believers, having just been married to the Lamb, have tears? NO! people, the tears are not those of the overcomers! The tears are from those who have just come out of the Lake of Fire! Don't you think that those who have had their sins of pride and vanity and belief in their own free will--you know, trying to be like the Most High?--forcibly removed from them were a bit upset that all their machinations and hubris was for nought? I'll tell you that if that which charms me most was forcibly removed or burned out of me I'd be in a fit of tears!

So, yes! Hallelujah, GOD WILL SAVE ALL MANKIND! (1 Timothy 2:3-4) So yes, hallelujah, "that at the name of Jesus EVERY knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things UNDER THE EARTH (that is, the dead); and that EVERY tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father" (Philippians 2:10-11).

Deborah Lagarde