Understanding the reality of God’s sovereignty over the affairs of mankind, caused me to stumble over free will. As a Christian brother once to me when I spoke about this topic: “I mean, we’re not Calvinists are we?”
No, I’m not a Calvinist, I’m a Christian. I couldn’t reconcile clear biblical statements with the belief that I am in control of my actions. The cultural deck was also stacked against me. Enlightenment and conservative philosophy claim that I am solely responsible for my actions. Well, it turns out that scripture is not silent on this issue either. Repenting of my own pride also helps…
Douglas Wilson recently expounded upon the root issues surrounding Augustinian versus Pelagianism theology. Wilson highlights the poisonous effect Pelagian theology has had within Western churches, particularly as those churches drown in a wave of sexual degeneracy. The article is well worth the read.
What does sodomy pride have to do with free will? Everything. As I understand the topic of soverignty, particularly God’s versus mans, a vast categorical distinction appears. If you believe, as Pelagius did, that the Fall did not forever corrupt man’s nature, then of course you believe eternal salvation is simply a matter of personal choice…to each their own!
If, however, you believe mankind in his fallen nature is incapable of choosing the good, the true, or the beautiful, without the miraculous intervention of Jesus Christ turning our affections and remaking us new creations, then free will takes on an entirely different light.
As natural rebels against God, we are free to chose evil and self. As regenerate Christians we are mercifully given the added ability to choose the good, true, and beautiful. Can a believer, set apart by God for salvation, chose evil and self without consequence and discipline from God? Nope. As Jesus said, “…I should lose none of those He has given Me…” God disciplines those He loves.
Freedom found apart from the Christ, is as a train: proclaiming freedom along the journey, as our wheels maintain firm and unyielding contact with the rails of sin and destruction. Have you broken contact with the world’s track yet? Are you free to choose good?