Jesus, love and free will

Continuing the discussion from Chrisentheism, a new way forward (so as not to digress from @Troy’s topic like I already did about the Lord’s Day of rest, not that I expect this to develop into a lengthy thread in its own right…)

I misspoke about it having nothing to do with free will, if I left that impression. Jesus never lost his free will, and being sinless, it should not be overstating it to say that his will was subsumed by love, although there might be a better term.

But he wasn’t always ‘nice’. He was, however, always edifying (@Kendel), and never mean (I’m preaching to myself there). For instance, he didn’t pull punches with respect to some of the teachers and spoke clearly against them, warning about false prophets as well. But at least not all were impervious to him – his edifying teaching and criticism got through to Joseph of Arimathea, in any case.

The problem is that you basically have a choice between the following…

  1. This “new earth” has no more children.
  2. It is possible to have children without the possibility of evil. In that case it is hard justify what God did. And no I don’t buy into the rhetoric that God allowed evil so that He could look so cool and good when He saves us from evil later. That is just contemptable.

I, of course, reject both these alternatives. The whole point of creating the physical universe was for a relationship with children – because that is what it takes. The possibility of evil is an unavoidable part of having a real relationship with children. So, there is no reason for any physical earth to exist at all if there is not going to be any children.

So I expect “new earth” to be a place where evil is possible (with new children) but it cannot dominate the world because the majority have an understanding of evil and the good habits of dealing with it quickly and not giving it the chance to grow.

So why didn’t God provide this in Eden? He did… as much as that is possible. Obviously there was no population and history of choosing to follow God’s direction. It hadn’t the chance of becoming our habitual response. Our first human ancestors chose the self-destructive habits instead and everything went downhill rather quickly from there.

Where there is evil there will be tears.

So… you believe there will be no dust, no onions, no tear ducts for tears of joy? I think you are taking that passage too literally.

Give me a break, Mitchell. You know perfectly well I was not talking about what you are making ridiculously literal.

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Then… no challenges for any chance of tears of frustration?

Your new earth sound like many portrayals of heaven which sound like the bliss of a druggy high. It does not interest me – if it did I would go with the atheist answer of nonexistence. I look for more life with all the challenges and frustrations of growing and becoming more in an eternal relationship with God – with plenty of tears of every kind.

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Not then, but here now! :grin:

You should look up the definition – it’s not heavenly. :grin: I expect there to be challenges, and fun ones, learning and exploration. Disappointment and frustration? Not so much. You haven’t been reading or thinking well.

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Oooh, I’m looking forward to frustration! NOT. :grin: More patience though. :grin:

You cannot have a challenge without the possibility of hurt or failure.

I am with @mitchellmckain The Heaven portrayed as a New Earth would be my vision of Hell. I have no interest in an eternity of eating, cr@pping, and trying to occupy myself.


Correct. In this life.

You wouldn’t have to be eating all the time! :grin: Eating (and cooking and cleanup) is largely about fellowship, I would have thought you’d know.

That just makes me think you are not very curious nor creative, and neither can you delight in the existential moment – you know, childlike, like we’re supposed to be. (And don’t forget I’ve been through kidney cancer – albeit very easy, in God’s grace and mercy, and SBO as well recently.)

I find it hard to believe the Creator didn’t want a perfect world. Since my deconstruction and fall away from the faith and then slowly coming back after many internal fights and external events that putted pressure to the relationship with God ,I think God did indeed intended a perfect world from the get go. It just failed . God failed. It’s fine. Satan did get the upper hand on this one ,God took revenge after (trough the crucifixion) .

I think we underestimate Satan’s power here which the bible authors sometimes attribute it in lar with God .

Now about the New Heaven I don’t think it in a literal way either. Certainly not in this earth

All I can ask is for you to try and understand the first sentence in next paragraph after what you quoted:

It will be better than you can imagine! more real than this life. Remember God is an actual infinite being, we will continue to discover new potential truths in him for eternity. Endless science and creativity, trials and errors but no evil intent toward ourselves or fellow creatures.

5 For we know that when this earthly tent we live in is taken down (that is, when we die and leave this earthly body), we will have a house in heaven, an eternal body made for us by God himself and not by human hands. 2 We grow weary in our present bodies, and we long to put on our heavenly bodies like new clothing. 3 For we will put on heavenly bodies; we will not be spirits without bodies. 4 While we live in these earthly bodies, we groan and sigh, but it’s not that we want to die and get rid of these bodies that clothe us. Rather, we want to put on our new bodies so that these dying bodies will be swallowed up by life. 5 God himself has prepared us for this, and as a guarantee he has given us his Holy Spirit. (2 Corinthians 5)

We have no idea what this body will consist of, both in terms of physicality (or not) or our perception of reality. (and neither did Paul)


Or joy – it was for the joy set before Him that He chose the nails and endured the Cross.

He didn’t pull any punches with the money-grubbers in the Temple, either.

Just BTW and FWIW, that comes up in the theory that the Atonement was about defending God’s honor.

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I think often nowadays people confuse directness and honesty with being mean. Like it’s not mean to tell a rapist he’s a rapist and what he did was terrible. That it was very evil and selfish and he deserves to go to jail and hopefully while there he will get rehabilitated. Then I’ve they get out it’s not mean to tell them, because of the shame involved with what you did, even if you changed, you just can’t be trusted in a position such as a teacher, cop or counselor.

I think the same can be said about talking openly about real systems of suffering. Like it’s not mean to tell someone eating a burger that the industry surrounding animals raised for slaughter is very abusive.

It’s also not wrong to point out things like there is no enough access to waterways in America. That dozens of miles of rivers and coasts are blocked off by almost everyone. That the government needs to do more to ensure everyone has access to natural spaces. You can’t just build a private subdivision with serval million dollar houses blocking 8 miles of a river. There should be some access for people to get there.

I think Jesus was mean at times. Calling a bunch of people vipers was mean. But I don’t think just because sometimes your words are mean is an excuse to be a bully. Very different things.

If I saw a child predator talking to some kids in the woods, it’s not evil for me to be mean and yell at him. To tell the kids the kind of monster he is. To shame him for talking inappropriately to kids. To call him what he is may be mean and scary for him, but it’s not evil on my part.

I don’t know whether that’s my favorite verse or not (I cite it often enough :slightly_smiling_face:), but it is a very important verse (Hebrews 12:21). So we could say present love and future joy were his motivations?


1 The first part2 of it also speaks to paying attention – what we pay attention to is a continuous moral choice that we make, and that couldn’t be more important. It has all kinds of implications about our mood and happiness, responding to temptation and how we converse, among other things. Oh yeah, and remembering the good things God has done for us as individuals and throughout all of history in his providential interventions.

Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before Him…
Hebrews 12:2

2 (Can you put a footnote on a footnote? Yes, obviously. :grin:) The latter part of the verse speaks to perseverance:

…who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

As the shame and ignominy of the cross did not deter him (let alone its pain!) and because of the sure hope and confidence3 we can have in Jesus, neither should we be deterred by what we are given to endure. (Did I mention that it is an important verse? […I don’t care who wrote Hebrews or when.])

3 It’s not a maybe or a Pascalian wager.

Have you ever been “criticised in Love”? Nine times out of ten it is more than mean. It is judgemental, and this is where we must stop. It is one thing to identify a wrong or an intention, it is another to assume that that intention is always the case. The world is full of vindictive people who will not let a wrong be deemed paid for and forgotten. A child molester will always be a child molester no matter what rehab (and or prison) they have gone through.