Will: Interview Four
by Darcy West
reprinted by permission
Darcy West: Do Christians believe that
they have free will?
Darcy West: And what does free will
mean to you?
Dale: That while God has a plan for
all of our lives, and he has chosen what gifts and talents we will contain,
we have the free will to choose life or death, heaven or hell, Christ
or satan. We are all held accountable for the choices we make on earth.
No one will stand before God with us. Just Major Ruling Deity of the Universe
Darcy West: So would you say that free
will means that you have the ability to choose whether or not to love
God or whether or not you feel that God is worthy of worship?
Dale: Whether or not to love God. I
guess that our choice of that determines whether or not we think him worthy
Darcy West: Okay. Could God have simply
programmed you to love him?
Dale: No, that would be a contradiction
to free will. How can we choose something that's already been determined?
That would be like holding the same candy bar in two different hands,
and telling your son to pick which ever one he wants the most.
Darcy West: If God programmed you to
love him, your love wouldn't be real, would it?
Darcy West: And God wouldn't find programmed
love very satisfying, I'd guess.
Dale: Of course he wouldn't. We would
be same way (since we were created in God's image), if you bought a robot
for a husband, his cold calculative, programmed responses would be somewhat
of a bore.
Darcy West: Yes, I agree completely.
So do you believe there will be free will in heaven?
Dale: I am not sure. I do think there
will be, but not a necessity for it. The bible is clear that there will
be no tears , death, sorrow, or sin in heaven, meaning no temptation either
(for sin to occur there must first be temptation). so I think we'll retain
that, but it won't be necessary.
Darcy West: You said earlier that without
free will, to choose to love God or not, that your love would not be genuine
and that you'd be, basically, a robot, didn't you?
Darcy West: Do you think God does not
want robots in this life but that he does want them for all eternity?
Dale: We'll have free will, but we won't
need it. It will still be a part of our nature. Our bodies die. Not our
spirit or soul. Free will comes attatched to the soul, I believe. Because
the choice you make determines the destiny of your soul. Whether it should
go to heaven or hell. Is this helping with the survey?
Darcy West: You would need free will
because without it, according to your own words, you'd be a robot and
would not be able to offer real love to God, right? (Yes, you're helping
very much. Thank you.) Doesn't God want you to offer him real love in
heaven? You said earlier that love that is not freely given is "cold,
calculating, boring, and unsatisfying."
Dale: I think the exercise of free will
shows God that we love him. We freely choose to love him so we freely
enter heaven, and we freely worship Him. We'll have already made the choice
to love him. The exercise of free will to love God must be made before
death, or the soul is judged according to sins and sent to hell. We already
offered real love when we accepted Jesus in our hearts. In heaven it's
a continuation of that love that allows us to keep loving him.
Darcy West: You think that if you can
get someone to love you, you then have the right to take away their choice
whether or not to continue loving you from that point forward, effectively
turning them into a robot?
Dale:.We already offered real love when
we accepted Jesus in our hearts. In heaven it's a continuation of that
love that allows us to keep loving him.
Darcy West: Dale, if God takes away
your free will in heaven, then you won't be able to choose to continue
to love him. That is why I question your claim that free will is not a
necessity in heaven. It IS a necessity if you are to continue to offer
your love freely. See what I mean?
Dale: I said we will have free will
in heaven. As far as being tempted we won't need it. We still choose to
love God, that's ongoing. I wasn't too clear on that.
Darcy West: Okay, you said that "you
choose to love God, that's ongoing." A real choice would mean that
you could choose A (to love God) or B (to not love God). If choice B is
not available to you, then you do not really have a choice. So what will
happen when you make the wrong choice in heaven?
Dale: You can't. The bible says there
will be no tears, death, sorrow, or sin. in heaven.
Darcy West: You can't? God will program
you so that you can only make the choices he wants you to make?
Dale: You already chose on earth. Once
in heaven, the choice has been made. It's a matter of God's glory is so
overwhelmingly splendid that its like you know it's so great that you
don't want to do anything else. That is triggered by your choice on earth
to love him.
Darcy West: Dale, if you are going to
be so overwhelmed by his love in heaven, then why would he need to remove
your ability to continue to choose to love him on a daily basis?
Dale: Now you are sounding sarcastic.
He doesn't remove it. I already said that. It is an ongoing choice.
Darcy West: If he doesn't remove your
ability to choose, then it would be possible for you to choose NOT to
love him, wouldn't it? And I'm not trying to be sarcastic. I'm very serious.
Dale: No, no sin remember. At that point
sin is impossible. Your choice to love him still stands. He honors that
with entrance into heaven. Sin can't be in heaven. Since choosing not
to love God is a sin, you can't not love him. Yet that love is genuine.
It was proven down on earth when sin was an option.
Darcy West: Dale, f you tell me that
I can choose between having blue eyes and brown eyes, but you also tell
me that it would be impossible for me to choose to have brown eyes, then
I don't really have a choice, right?
Dale: Look, it's not possible to not
love God in heaven. We still have our personalities (my belief, i dont'
actually know, i've never been to heaven) which makes us who we were on
earth minus sin. God loves us but not our sin. So the part of us that
chose to love God is in heaven, and our sin died with Christ.
Darcy West: Dale, IF it will be impossible
for you to choose not to love God in heaven....then you don't have the
ability to make that choice, right? The freedom to make a choice means
that you could make either the choice to love or the choice to not love.
Is this honestly such a difficult concept for you or are you just trying
to wiggle out of an obvious contradiction?
Dale: It won't be possible not to love
God. I can't answer a question about theology that contradicts theology.
Darcy West: Well if will be impossible
not to love God in heaven, then you won't have free will in heaven. In
that case, you must spend some time pondering why it is that God does
not want robots in this life, but he does want them for eternity because
according to your own words, not having the ability to choose to love
God freely would make you a robot. Can't get around it.
Dale: Read my words. Since-there-is-no-possibility-that-I-will-turn-from-God-in-heaven-
Darcy West: But Dale I've already caught
you. You want to believe you have free will in heaven but your insistence
that you cannot choose anything but to love God shows me that you believe
there is no free will. The problem I have with your belief is that you
agree that robots cannot give genuine love. I propose that not only are
robots incapable of genuine love, but they are incapable of experiencing
genuine joy or pleasure. In that case, the Christian heaven is no more
attractive than being completely lobotomized. I do appreciate your answering
these questions though. Thank you for doing that.
Dale:Your welcome. I pray that you will
choose Christ before it's too late. If you want to you may IM me anytime
and chat. Peace and God Bless.