Monday, August 4, 2008

No free will in heaven

Now thats not what most people initially think of when they think heaven, yet it is what Arminians have to think, quite oddly enough. And since most people reject the notion that we become robots in heaven, they reveal themselves to be closet Calvinists.

The proof is such: are you going to lose your free will in heaven? Are you going to lose the ability to make meaningful choices? Will we all become mindless drones because we are no longer able to sin? Will God take away our humanity and instead make us like rocks or sticks that are passive instruments unable to resist anything? The answer is of course "no" - in heaven our choices still have meaning, praising God is infinitely more meaningful when we have a will of our own. Yes, even if we only make one choice all the time to love God. Just because we want to praise Him and never want to sin, doesn't mean our we are wind up dolls, or there is no point to loving God. Being in the very presence of God and enjoying His company continually will be all we want to do, and since we are in heaven we will be free do what we want all the time. Which is to praise God and love Him. In The Great Divorce C.S. Lewis said it like this: we are free to drink as we are drinking.

There is an important concept that might add some clarity here: the will to do something, and the ability to do it are different things, and they don't overlap. Distinguishing between them can add a new level of insight that can resolve the roadblock here.
Our will dictates our action, and our ability to do a thing. Here's an example: if given the choice to eat bacon and eggs for breakfast or nutritious dirt, I will pick the first one. Because I want to. In fact I will always pick the bacon and eggs and I will never pick the dirt, no matter how many times you offer the choice to me. There is nothing stopping me, I can physically grab handfuls of chunky dirt and eat it, I have the ability, but I have no desire to do it. So you see how I have freely chosen, but really, I am incapable of doing otherwise. See? It only looks like there is a conflict of choice, when we look closer we find ourselves always choosing what we want. I always do what I want, I never do what I don't want. In fact I am incapable of doing otherwise, that doesn't mean I don't have free will. Take Jesus and God for example, He always does exactly what He wants, but that doesn't mean He has no free will either. To assert that because He is Holy he is a robot is blasphemous. Jesus was sinless, and he willingly went to the cross to die for us.
Heaven is just so.

Now here is the punchline: if you accept this concept and you believe in traditional Arminism then you have a problem.

If the Bible is not lying when it promises us eternal security, and not lying when it says we must choose Christ and believe in Him to be saved, we are left with the only conclusion: Christians will never disbelieve in Jesus their whole lives, and indeed are incapable of doing so. Once you say that you have just made the statement that a person must and will believe their whole life, because if someone is destined for heaven then they cannot be destined for anywhere else. We cannot reject Christ because we don't want to reject Him once He touches our hearts. You might say we are not free to disbelieve, but it would be better to say that we are free from the tyranny of disbelief.
So in heaven our wills are swallowed up, which like a domino knocks our freedom to choose into line. Our freedom is still there, but it always point in the direction of our will, and our will points in whatever direction God wants. If you disagree, then you must contend with either sin in heaven, or a meaningless existence totally unlike everything we see to be true on earth for all eternity. You are arguing for total free will on earth, and none in heaven.
If instead, you agree that heaven will be meaningful even though the compass of our hearts will be drawn irresistibly to God, then why not Earth? Has Christ not assured your salvation already?

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