I just saw a post that mentioned Christians and free will. But Christians preach all the time about "God's plan". I do not believe that you can believe in free will and God's plan at the same time. To do so is a total and complete contradiction. If God has planned things out, we are not free. If we have free will, we cannot always go exactly "according to plan". So I just wanted to know what other people think.
(Just an after note: I'm not Christian, but I grew up in a Christian family.)
Re: Free Will vs God's Plan By: Brysing Moderator / Adept
Post # 2 May 10, 2014
I was brought up a Catholic, and the Catholic teaching is not what many people believe it is! The Catholic teaching is that God's "plan" is for the whole of Creation; the Universe, the Cosmos; not for Humans. apart from the fact of death itself, for that we have no choice.For all else we do!
The Catholic teaching is that we are "liken unto God", that, in a sense, we ARE God!
From the Catholic Catechism:-
To whose image and likeness did God make you?
God made me to his own image and likeness.
That, to a devout Catholic, is "free Will".
This subject in particular is baffling to me. I've had conversations with intelligent people over this who somehow could not see my point of view. How exactly does free will contradict "gods plan" or as I like to call it, fate. It doesn't, at least not when you think about it. Fate works through living beings. All living beings have free will. The future is like a spider web. Branching out into different directions, but certain choices make certain strands available. If all things were predetermined, it'd be in terms of action and reaction. What I mean is, People are born, then they are molded by their child hood, up unto adolescence, and so forth. Certain things are experienced by the individual, bad or good, that make the person into someone they were not. So, it can be said that whatever possible type of a person the individual turns out to be would, even in that simplicity determine a different future. As such free will and fate run hand in hand. You just have to tweak your definition a bit, to understand. Of course personally, I believe that everything important happens in a domino effect. That the universe already has written its story and is making sure we're guided on the right path, at least for those who matter in the domino effect. I personally haven't met many people who understand this concept christian or otherwise. Just my two cents.
Re: Free Will vs God's Plan By: Nekoshema / Novice
Post # 7 May 12, 2014
Well I don't know what Christians believe regarding Gods plan, but I see it as you have free will, but God plans on you to be a teacher. You might hate this, but its what you're best at. The journey to this predestined destination may be winding and take longer than God had hoped, but eventually you will become a teacher. You might not be a professional teacher, maybe you give guidance to others, but you teach, and that was Gods Plan.
Granted, I see Gods Plan more as a way to explain hard things. The ending of 'Where the Red Fern Grows' is probably the best example. [Spoilers] Billy's dogs die and his father explains it as Gods Plan, they were praying for more money, Billy won enough money with his hunting dogs, but when the family was to be split up [because hunting dogs don't live well in the city] God had the dogs killed because they A. fulfilled their purpose and B. he hates families to be split up. I see this as a horrible thing for a loving God to do, but it works as an explanation to a confused person about a tragedy.
I was raised with a strong Christian background (though I no longer consider myself Christian) and this is how it was explained to me, so I hope it helps. :)
God does have a plan for us, but having given us free will we can divert from that plan. It would be like your own parents trying to make sure you get a great education to become a doctor and you deciding in the end to be a painter instead.
I think most Christians (at least those I have known) believe that yes God has a set path for you to take, if you so choose to. This path (being the all seer that He is) will lead you to ultimate fulfilment spiritually. But as I stated before, taking into account our God-given free will, he has allowed us to make our own choices, which don't always follow what he feels would be best for us.
Well to simplify my answer i will say that by turning your will over to god and doing gods will is a choice that allows you to move forward in the religion based on faith. If you take your will back and go against god, which your free to do, then that was gods plan for you.