How I Know I Have Free Will

1. Experience
My every day experience lets me know I have free will. I reap what I sow. I can decide to do any number of things with my time right now. Even people who don’t think free will exists, betray it in their behavior. They constantly try to convince me I don’t have it! This is a blatant denial of their belief. Even their experience shows we have free will.

2. Philosophy
Most human philosophies postulate no free will. Atheistic, materialistic, evolutionary philosophy says we don’t have free will, we are products of our genes and must act the way we are coded to act. People don’t want free will. We like to think we are completely unaccountable victims. Unless you violate my rights, of course! Then those people should be held accountable. Experiencing thoughts of revenge and justice are a clear revelation that there is free will. It is one thing for a philosopher to say there is no free will; it is yet another to let people steal all the philosopher’s stuff, rape his wife, kidnap his kids, and so on and philosophically conclude, “Oh well, I’ll let it go, he had to do it, he didn’t have free will.”

3. The Bible
The Bible clearly shows we have free will. Whosoever will may come. Jesus would have gathered Jerusalem, but they would not. There is judgment and accountability, a reaping of what we’ve sown. The general theme of Scripture is one of rebellious free will acting out in hostility against God’s will. Yes there are passages like Romans 9 that say God can override our will, but this is not the norm. If it were the norm for God to override our wills, then why does Romans 9 focus in on Pharaoh? What makes Pharaoh an exceptional example?

4. Sin
The Bible says our heart is deceitful and desperately wicked. A denial of free will sounds exactly like something a wicked and deceitful heart would come up with. At the root of denying free will is a desire to get out of accountability. This is why atheistic evolutionary philosophy denies free will: now we can do what we want, no sin, I have to act this way, so get off my back. Free will does not sound like something people would come up with, and every time people come up with a theory, it typically denies free will. Sinful people do not like free will. It means we’re accountable and responsible to change and be better. It is much more freeing to pretend I have nothing to do with anything and all my mess is someone else’s fault.

5. Consequences
The best test of a theory is to see what would happen if everyone acted on it. Would you like to live in a society where we actually acted like there was no free will? There could be no law, no crimes or punishments, no judges, no juries, no sin. People would do “whatever they wanted” and no one could stop them. Who are you to stop what someone else cannot stop in themselves since they aren’t the ones in control anyway? What gives you the right to put your will above theirs? The result of actually, literally acting as if we have no free will would be absolutely destructive to life as we know it. Which is why no one acts like they don’t have free will.

6. Blasphemy
If there is no free will then God has to be the author of sin. God has to be responsible for all the evil in our world, all our sin, our genocides, the whole deal. Then for God to judge us for doing what He made us do? This makes God out to be a complete monster. Who needs Satan when God is this monstrous? If there is no free will then any revelation from God is completely irrelevant. There is no point for anything. All purpose, all beauty, all kindness, all joy is complete sham. God is a brutal dictator wishing demise on all those who are doing what they were programmed to do. If there is no free will; then God is not love.

You have free will. Judgment Day will make this painfully obvious. You should go ahead and admit it today and get yourself right with God through the Gospel of Jesus Christ and act as though you are someone who will give an account for every deed done in the body, because you will. And the defense, “I just did what you made me do” will be swallowed up in your inability to speak for the weight of your guilt before His glory.

Faith and Proof

Faith is hard.

No really. Seriously. Faith is hard.

I’m shocked by how many people think it’s easy and further shocked by people’s responses to those who have doubts.

Faith can’t even live in a place without doubt.

We are a physical people who mind physical things.

Our modern scientific method has become our test for all things. “If there’s no physical proof; then it’s false.”

This is said with no physical proof that this is the case!

Granted, you can certainly learn things by making observations, not against that. But observing things can’t prove everything that needs proving.

At a certain point you will run out of physical proofs and yet still have questions left.

Faith, biblically speaking, is not taking a blind leap.

Faith is taking someone else’s word for something. A something that, although not proved, can still be found to be logical or not and then believed or not.

There is a dehumidifier running next to me as I write this.

You have no idea if that is true or not. So, how do you know I’m telling the truth?

Well, first of all, why would I lie about that? Is there anything I benefit from by saying that if it isn’t true? Has your past experience with me shown that I lie about stuff?

Second, am I known to be a believer in the effectiveness of dehumidifiers in basements? Yes I am. You can ask anyone who’s been in my basement if there is a dehumidifier there. Evey basement I’ve ever been in control of has had a dehumidifier.

Third, you can find out when I wrote this and see what the weather was. I am writing this on Wednesday, September 5, 2018. You can look up the weather and see that we had torrential downpours all last night. If a dehumidifier were to be running, it would certainly be on the day after a night of torrential downpours.

So, do you think there is a dehumidifier running in my basement as I type this? Am I telling the truth? You can’t know for sure, but you can analyze these points and probably believe that there is a dehumidifier running next to me.

At a certain point, with all the above facts taken into consideration, you still need to believe what I said.

Faith comes by hearing. We walk by faith, not by sight. Faith is the evidence of things not seen.

If you were standing next to me right now you would hear the dehumidifier running and you can see it shaking in the corner and see drops of water falling into its reservoir. Therefore, at that point when you see the thing in action, you no longer need faith; you just know.

Seeing is not believing. Seeing is the end of believing.

That’s why faith is hard. Faith believes what it cannot see. If I can’t see it, I must take someone’s word for it.

Faith comes by hearing the Word of God. Is God known for lying? Does God say His word is true? Do you know everything the Bible says is true?

You can’t know it’s true for sure with absolute, infallible, physical proofs, but you can take someone else’s word for it and trust that they do know. That’s what faith does!

Faith says, “I don’t know, but I believe you do, so I’ll go with what you say.” Faith is humble and dependent. That’s why faith is hard!

If you don’t find faith hard, there’s a chance you aint doing it!

Atheism, Rationality, and Miracles

The Bible calls on us to believe some pretty weird stuff: Creation Week, worldwide floods, pregnant old women, burning bushes, Red Sea parting, resurrection, and on and on.

Does a person have to believe in these miracles? If you think God doesn’t lie and the Bible is God’s Word, then yeah, you do. If you don’t care about God or the Bible, then I guess you are free to ignore miracles.

I recently listened to an interview with an atheist who denies miracles. He wrote an entire book about how irrational it is to believe in miracles.

His underlying assumption is that we only have reason to know things. Rational people can detect what is rational, and the rational is what we should believe.

Rational conclusions include the fact that dead people stay dead, water doesn’t turn into wine, Egyptian armies don’t drown in recently parted seas, etc.

Since miracles are a giant diversion from the norm, believing in them is not rational.

I agree that miracles are a deviation from normalcy, rather than this making them irrational and not worthy of belief, I would say this is what makes them miracles. He is using the very definition of what a miracle is to say there are no miracles. If they weren’t highly unlikely, they wouldn’t be miracles.

Believing in miracles has a touch of irrationality to it, because miracles, by definition, are irrational. But is it irrational to believe that nothing out of the ordinary could ever occur?

The real conundrum for the atheist is that they typically believe we all got here by a series of random, chance mutation. A process of random, chance mutation would have to have random, chance events happening all the time.

If random chance is the process we live by, how is there any rationality? Wouldn’t miracles–random, chance acts–be par for the course?

The evolutionist who believes in random chance evolution would be highly irrational to stake all on that theory and yet eliminate the possibility that something random and chance could happen.

The only way miracles make any sense is if we live in a rational and orderly system, one where we can rationally observe normal, repetitive behavior. The atheist author thinks we do live in a rational system. My question is: where did the order come from for miracles to violate?

The author admits in his interview that he cannot disprove the existence of miracles. To me, the rational step here then would be to believe that miracles could happen. Since they can’t definitively be proven to not occur, rational thinking would leave open a little bit of room that they could.

Rationality would realize that an irrational, chance, random process would eliminate miracles out of hand, because all sorts of irrational, random things (miracles) would happen.

Instead of seeing random chance all around us, the rational mind observes the order and rationality of the world and concludes that there must be a rational mind behind it all.

Once there, the rational choice would be to believe that the rational mind behind it all could violate the order at any time to make a point, maybe to get rational people’s attention, because they are too busy denying the existence of their rational source.

Miracles seem rather rational to believe in.