The Bible on Free Will

I do not believe at all in astrologist, but I cannot deny the statistics from the identical twin studies that show it is important when you were born. You cannot change it, it is just an undeniable fact. It is interesting that Jesus was born during the conjunction of the planets Jupiter and Saturn forming a rare star. I see this as God giving Him every chance for success in His life, with a little extra boost from the cosmos.

what do you mean by this? Please clarify. Thanks.

We have been analyzing the data collected from various identical twin studies in order to find a more robust causality model for both non-hereditary disease and behavior in humans.

To summarize my study, we find that diseases/behaviors that were not determined to be genetic, display the following statistics: When, for example, a person has schizophrenia, there is a 50% chance that their identical twin shares this affliction, their fraternal twin has a 20% chance and their sibling a 10% chance. The only difference between a fraternal twin and a sibling is that they were born at the same time. Therefore, time becomes an additional independent variable needed to describe the statistics.

Couple things in here. Why wouldn’t the Philppians passage like 2 Cor 12:3 simply be accommodating language as Paul sees it? If it’s not making scientific claims but subjective experiential ones, why would it be a matter of the NT being correct or incorrect?

On the issue of demon possession vs. disease, I’d point out that the Scriptures do make distinction between natural and supernatural phenomena such as in Matt 4:24 “and they brought to Him all who were ill, those suffering with various diseases and pains, demoniacs, epileptics, paralytics; and He healed them.” I find it fairly remarkable that it makes such distinction rather than categorizing all one way. As a side note, there’s the interesting case of the “double healing” of the man who was blind in Mark 8:24. The 2003 case of Michael May, blind at 3 1/2 who regained his sight at 43. His brain couldn’t process certain things he’d never seen before. The Scripture doesn’t explain the need for the double healing, but these types of documented cases would seem to support the idea that the first healing was for sight, the second was for the mind. So while Scripture might not be a book of science, its ability to make distinctions in individual cases at least supports its credibility don’t you think?

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A difference you are ignoring is fraternal twins develop in an identical environment while siblings do not.

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There is already one environmental variable in the model, making a second one co-dependent not independent as required by the statical distribution.

That signs of the sky (even as interpreted by eastern astrologers of the time, and by the later gospel scribes) were appropriated as a herald of the Messiah is one thing. That astrological happenings should be considered as an influence to be considered for our daily lives and choices is quite another - one that is utterly rejected by both science and scriptures.

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A newtonian physicist might ignore the subtle, changing forces that the planets and cosmos exert on nature, but a quantum physicist should not.

No - even a Newtonian physicist (think Laplace) is quite willing to acknowledge the myriad of minuscule gravitational forces acting on all of us from every particle in the universe. But on that logic, you would have to concern yourself much more with where a certain cloud was in the sky or where a chair was in the room when a person was born since those would have much stronger gravitational “influences” on a person’s ‘fate’ than any distant star would. But this is all silly of course. There will be no way these manifest themselves in any statistically detectable influences so as to have bearing in any way for us to make use of. Quantum physics doesn’t rescue you from this chaotic quagmire either - but even makes it worse for you.

There is only one source we need ultimately attend to in the ordering of our daily lives - and He is truth itself.

Dear Mervin,
I find it interesting that you always seem to jump to conclusions about people. From the beginning I said I am not astrologist. I am trying to help those suffering from ailments that are not being effectively treated by pharmaceuticals. Yes, Jesus is the Way and Truth, but He suffered greatly too and needed to be comforted.

Actually, I start with monergism; sovereignty, glorification and power of God. I refuse to believe that Jesus died for those who are and will burn for eternity. It doesn’t make sense to me. Jesus said, “it is finished” If as you say that Christ shed His sacrificial, saving blood for all (example of the Passover), then I must turn to universalism, because I believe that Christ work on the cross was efficacious for everyone He sought to save i.e. the blood over every door, not losing even one.

They aren’t saved because they resist the grace of God. They “refused to love the truth and be saved.”

Did Moses resist God? Did Paul resist God? Could they have said, no? Jonah tried to resist, and what happened to him? Could Lazarus have said, no thanks, I will stay in my tomb. You have no idea what it is like living with those women. :slight_smile:

When you put it like that I would concur, but God did use Pharaoh to demonstrate His glory as God did many times in the bible, and still does today, and how do we know his? Because it is in the bible.

I appreciate that. :slight_smile:

Cancer is a result of sin due to the fall of creation, since Adam and Eve were created in perfect condition. But my argument was not about life being unfair. My argument was about whether God is all knowing, because if he is not, and our lives are held hostage to just the cosmic whims of others and circumstances with no purpose behind it, then God isn’t really useful for my life right now. Is He?

Monergism, to which Lutheranism also holds, is not incompatible with the sinful nature’s ability to resist grace. We just hold that we can’t proactively choose grace to secure salvation, but will always resist it without the work of the Holy Spirit. And we can freely choose to apostatize. Nevertheless, Christ died for all, the sins of the world. That doesn’t imply either universalism or insufficiency. The rejection of that grace by the unregenerate through persistent unbelief unto death is what determines his fate.

If Christ dies for the sins of the world, then all the world is saved? right. If you don’t believe that then you are not a monergist but a synergist? Because you would have to believe that Christ death did not actually save anyone, but gave everyone the opportunity to be saved, and that there is effort on the person’s part to obtain their salvation? Make this work for me

Jumping to conclusions is one of my spiritual giftings! :grin:

It’s one of those unfortunate quirks of the English language that when ever anything (like an apology or anything else too) is followed by a “but …” that everything before the “but” is immediately forgotten or put away as undone or about to be superseded, and everything after the “but” is what the speaker really thinks.

So you are not an astrologer. Glad to hear it.

So I’m curious; how are these astral “influences” helping you to help these others then?

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Don’t know that I can, but I can try to explain…

We say Man adds absolutely nothing to his justification. There is no “choosing” Christ (synergism) to “get saved” as decision theology maintains. Rather, salvation is all “one work” of Christ through the Gospel (monergism).

Yet, since the sinful nature, while neutralized in baptism, still hangs about our neck calling out to us (Romans 7). And if we listen to it and turn a deaf ear to Christ, the effect can eventually Harden our hearts to the point of no return. The Gospel will continue to call out to us to come home. But we may move so far as to no longer hear it. Should death find us in such an unrepentant state, we die and face judgment from which there is no return. Christ’s blood was still shed for us, but we make it of no avail. So God’s judgment upon us is just and right.

Any better?

Identical twin studies only show the impact of genetics. If you want to show something about the importance of when you were born then you would be looking at fraternal twins - particularly those separated at birth to eliminate the environmental similarities. And it should be remembered that even fraternal twins have a lot of genetic similarity so better to go with unrelated infants born at the same time – so called ‘time twins.’

Comprehensive study of ‘time twins’ debunks astrology.

The only value I see in astrology is that of a personality game – an activity which encourages self-reflection which has a lot of benefits for mental health.

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That is a serious question, and looking at it, I am not sure how you connect the dots, and that failure on my part to understand needs work. In other words, why does whether on not God have pre-knowledge make a difference in how we live our lives? Why would it not be more meaningful to know that God is with us guiding us no matter what happens, even if future events are not what God wished would happen? How can believing that God knew of and was in complete control of tragedy and pain be comforting?
I was reading somewhere where they used as an example, how do you deal with your child dying of some disease, yet praise God for providing enough money to pave a parking lot at church?
No easy answers.

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I pray to God for my job, my spiritual life, my children’s well being, salvation of others etc… but God has no clue what is going to happen. Why am I praying?

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