Slapdash and I have been having some good convo’s lately – have made me think about what I believe – this is an excerpt of how I see this faith. I must say – she really is a great person and is asking some awesome questions – thanks!!!
“Parents restrict the negative/bad choices of their children when they will clearly hurt themselves or others.” (Slapdash)
Correction – you try to restrict their choices – even as a parent it is impossible to control their minds and choices they will make on a daily basis (ex: run away from you in a supermarket, smoke pot as a 15 year old, go into something even when forbidden, etc). You literally could write a memoir and ask your kids to obey it and demand it of them (of all the things you have taught in your life to them) and they might or might not obey…kinda like this whole choices thing we discuss about God (who also left us some remnant of writings to peruse – I would use Jesus’ myself). Interesting parellel for me – at least – this is the way I see the whole thing.
“This is the crux of the matter for me – we act as though for choice to matter, God has to step completely out of the picture” (Slapdash)
I don’t think God is out of the picture – this is a viewpoint we adopt when things don’t work out – but it’s not my perspective. The crisis’ we all spoke of in all of these forums have either ended or will end at some point – yet we have a timeline all our own for them (since we play God in that aspect also). Or am I wrong? Will the problems in the Sudan be everlasting? Even dictators get killed, die, or kill themselves. Evil and good work out their own timelines in grudge matches with one another on this planet it would seem – and this is quite common (I am using black n white terms here for no good reason). But maybe things are that simple? Choices come from voices.
“And I still don’t get how you can argue free will til you’re blue in the face and still PRAY TO GOD to intercede in this world in big or small ways.” (Slapdash)
Why not? I am free to make chocies irregardless of what any philosophy says either way – in the present tense.
My example is simple – I want to own a home and their quite a few barriers in the way to that goal. Now I can look at this two ways (both of them choices) – go for it (don’t pay homage to doubts) or give up (pay homage to my weaknesses at this point). Now my view of prayer is that God is acting – but he also requires our action in that endeavor – partners of sorts – for what we need (shelter is a neccesity). If I ask, seek, and knock on doors – guess what happens? I get answers to the questions I am asking and helps in removing the barriers to the problem (I ask around about how to solve credit issues, seek out mortgages and financial help, and knock on doors of which people are willing to work with me on this). Then I develop a plan for my goal – let’s say 9 months (following through on my asking in prayer). This is a real situation. I am currently doing this process – I’ll update on the details and struggles I go through (if need be) – but I believe in the end I will own a house even without the actual means to do so at this point (except I have a job). But that’s how this all works for me and I see that as the clear biblical strategy laid down in Jesus teachings. If you ask and recieve nothing – you never asked for something you saw as possible (which is a belief we all hold dear to).
“Of course, you get big kudos, SocVS if you never actually pray for God to intervene in this world…because that would at least be consistent. :)” (Slapdash)
I don’t need to pray as much as I need to believe the words that come out of my mouth. This seems to be the problem with the whole dilemma – this ‘what is possible’ ideal?