Quotes from old church fathers, supporting Free will and objecting to the Sinful nature

The first 300-350 years AD we had a complete agreement among the early church fathers that man has a free will, that we are not ”once saved always saved” and that we were not born with some kind of sinful nature which is holding us back to depravity and inability to seek and find God. Are we to believe those years were full of darkness before Augustine entered the scene (354 -430 AD) to finally give us light? The only ones who taught against free will were the gnostics.  All of the early church up to the time of Augustine was unanimous in their belief and understanding of the nature of sin being that of choice.

”Gnostics also believed that mankind was wholly evil and some sects even renounced marriage and procreation. They also believed in two gods, one evil god and one good god. Their teachings are believed to have influenced Saint Augustine in the development of his theology of ”total depravity” of mankind and concept of God. For nine years St. Augustine adhered to Manichaeism, a Persian philosophy proclaimed in southern Babylonia (Iraq) that taught a doctrine of ”total depravity” and the claim that they were the ”elect.” He then turned to skepticism. Next, Augustine was attracted to the philosophy of Neoplatonism. He blended these beliefs with his later Gnostic Christian teachings. His teachings were in turn passed on to John Calvin in his extensive study of Augustine’s writings. It is very easy to follow the trail of John Calvin’s theology from the pagan religion of Mani in Babylonia to his writings in France and Geneva”  Read more here

Unfortunately this new teaching (well, not really knew since the gnostics taught it before Augustine, and he was a former gnostic) lead to many consequences:

A. If we sin, it’s not our fault because our sin nature made us  do it. We are victims – not guilty.
B. A life change is not essential for salvation.  We are not perfect, just forgiven.
C. Jesus was born without sin and therefore different from us and had an unfair advantage. He couldn’t sin and we can’t help but sin. This minimizes what Jesus did for us.

It’s of course possible to take quotes out of a context and make them sound like a person has views he in fact doesn’t have, but that would be nothing but deceptive. A more honest approach would be to quote someone’s clear and general views instead of trying to find some odd quotes out of context to ascribe views to a person he doesn’t have. With or without a broader context, the old church fathers DID hold to the views the quotes clearly reveal. I have seen some attempts where reformed thinkers have listed quotes from early church fathers with the aim to show that they spoke against free will, but after having read them 1) most often the quotes don’t actually say what they claim they say, and are at best ”vague”, and 2) the context and other writings from the same person show that they have the opposing views.

”I read through most of the early Church writings and gathered the quotes personally – to be sure to understand the context and to no miss things. But it is amazing to me that I seem to find more quotes I did not have all the time. It is amazing how much the Early Church was against TULIP! —they [the reformed] refuse to acknowledge it, or must assume that the Early Church fell from the truth taught to them by the Apostles immediately after the Apostles died.” (Lyndon Conn)

Tertullian (Quintus Septimius Florens Tertullianus) 160-225 AD

Apologist and a polemicist against heresy. He is perhaps most famous for being the oldest extant Latin writer to use the term TrinityCyprian’s teacher.

I find, then, that man was constituted free by God. He was master of his own will and powerFor a law would not be imposed upon one who did not have it in his power to render that obedience which is due to law. Nor again, would the penalty of death be threatened against sin, if a contempt of the law were impossible to man in the liberty of his will…Man is free, with a will either for obedience of resistance. (c. 207, Vol. 3, pp. 300-301)

No reward can be justly bestowed, no punishment can be justly inflicted, upon him who is good or bad by necessity, and not by his own choice.  (c. 207) (Doctrine of the Will by Asa Mahan, p. 61, published by Truth in Heart)

Some people act as though God were under an obligation to bestow even on the unworthy His intended gift. They turn His liberality into slavery…. For do not many afterwards fall out of grace? Is not this gift taken away from many? (Tertullian On Repentance chap. 6.)

The world returned to sin…and so it is destined to fire. So is the man who after baptism renews his sins.  c.197

However, in the case of little children…Let them “come,” then, while they are growing up; let them “come” while they are learning, whither to come; let them become Christians when they have become able to know Christ. Why does the innocent period of life hasten to the “remission of sins? ”…If any understand the weighty import of baptism, they will fear its reception more than its delay.

Irenaeus of Lyons 120-202 AD

The Apostle John  had a disciple named Polycarp, and Polycarp had a disciple named Irenaeus.

”But although we shall be understood, from our argument, to be only so affirming man’s unshackled power over his will, that what happens to him should be laid to his own charge, and not to God’s, yet that you may not object, even now, that he ought not to have been so constituted, since his liberty and power of will might turn out to be injurious…Therefore it was proper that (he who is) the image and likeness of God should be formed with a free will and a mastery of him self;… At present, let God’s goodness alone occupy our attention, that which gave so large a gift to man, even the liberty of his will.” /Chapter 6

And again, who are they that have been saved, and received the inheritance? Those doubtless who do believe in God and who have continued in His love… and innocent children, who have had no sense of evil.

But man, being endowed with reason, and in this respect similar to God HAVING BEEN MADE FREE IN HIS WILL, and with power over himself, is himself his own cause that sometimes he becomes wheat, and sometimes chaff. (c. 180, E/W), 1:466

This expression, ‘How often would I have gathered thy children together, and thou wouldst not,’ set forth the ancient law of human liberty, because God made man a free (agent) from the beginning, possessing his own soul to obey the behests of God voluntarily, and not by compulsion of God. For there is no coercion with God, but a good will (toward us) is present with Him continually. And therefore does He give good counsel to all. And in man as well as in angels, He has placed the power of choice (for angels are rational beings), so that those who had yielded obedience might justly possess what is good, given indeed by God, but preserved by themselves…  (c. 180, Against Heresies 37; God’s Strategy In Human History, p. 246)

”Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good deeds”…And ”Why call me, Lord, Lord, and do not do the things that I say?’…All such passages demonstrate the independent will of manFor it is in man’s power to disobey God and to forfeit what is good.” (c.180, Vol. 1, p. 519)

Nor, again, does God exercise compulsion upon anyone unwilling to accept the exercise of His skill…. They have been created free agents and possessed of power over themselves. (c. 180, Vol. 1, p. 523)

But as the sun, that creature of God, is one and the same throughout the whole world, so also the preaching of the truth shineth everywhere, and enlightens all men that are willing to come to a knowledge of the truth. Nor will any one of the rulers in the Churches, however highly gifted he may be in point of eloquence, teach doctrines different from these (for no one is greater than the Master); nor, on the other hand, will he who is deficient in power of expression inflict injury on the tradition. For the faith being ever one and the same, neither does one who is able at great length to discourse regarding it, make any addition to it, nor does one, who can say but little diminish it. Chapter 10

Christ will not die again on behalf of those who now commit sin because death shall no more have dominion over Him…. Therefore we should not be puffed up…. But we should beware lest somehow, after [we have come to] the knowledge of Christ, if we do things displeasing to God, we obtain no further forgiveness of sins but rather be shut out from His kingdom (Heb. 6:4-6) [p. 65].

And to as many as continue in their love towards God, does He grant communion with Him. But communion with God is life and light, and the enjoyment of all the benefits which He has in store. But on as many as, according to their own choice, depart from God. He inflicts that separation from Himself which they have chosen of their own accord. But separation from God is death, and separation from light is darkness; and separation from God consists in the loss of all the benefits which He has in store. Those, therefore, who cast away by apostasy these forementioned things, being in fact destitute of all good, do experience every kind of punishment. God, however, does not punish them immediately of Himself, but that punishment falls upon them because they are destitute of all that is good. (Irenaeus, Against Heresies, Book V, XXVII, 2)

Those who do not obey Him, being disinherited by Him, have ceased to be His sons. c.180

[Irenaeus quotes 1 Cor. 6:9-10 about inheriting the kingdom of God.] It was not to those who are outside that he said these things, but to us, lest we should be cast out of the kingdom of God by doing any such thing. He proceeds to say, ”And truly such were you, but you are washed, but you are sanctified in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God” [1 Cor. 6:11]. And just as [under the old covenant], those who led vicious lives and led other people astray were condemned and cast out, so also even now the offending eye is plucked out, and the foot and the hand, lest the rest of the body perish in the same way. (Against Heresies, IV:27:4)

Ignatius 35-107 AD Bishop of Antioch in Syria. Ignatius was a disciple of the Apostle John and appointed as Bishop of Antioch by the Apostle Peter.

And pray ye also without ceasing for the rest of mankind (for there is in them a hope of repentance), that they may find God. Therefore permit them to take lessons at least from your works. (Letter to the Ephesians 10:1)

Do not err, my brothers. Those that corrupt families shall not inherit the kingdom of God. If, then, those who do this in regard to the flesh have suffered death, how much more shall this be the case with anyone who corrupts the faith of God, for which Jesus Christ was crucified, by wicked doctrine? Such a person, becoming defiled, shall go away into everlasting fire and so shall everyone that listens to him. (Letter to the Ephesians 16)

I do not mean to say that there are two different human natures, but all humanity is made the same, sometimes belonging to God and sometimes to the devil. If anyone is truly spiritual they are a person of God; but if they are irreligious and not spiritual then they are a person of the devil, made such not by nature, but by their own choice. Pg.61 vol. 1.

There is set before us life upon our observance [of God’s precepts], but death as the result of disobedience, and every one, according to the choice he makes, shall go to his own place, let us flee from death, and make choice of life.

Clement of Alexandria (Titus Flavius Clemens) 150–215 AD

A theologian who taught at the Catechetical School of Alexandria. Among his pupils were Origen and Alexander of Jerusalem.

We…have believed and are saved by voluntary choice (c. 195, Vol. 2, p. 217)

To obey or not is in our own power, provided we do not have the excuse of ignorance (c. 195, Vol. 2, p. 353)

Each one of us who sins with his own free will, chooses punishment. So the blame lies with him who chooses. God is without blame. (c.195, Vol. 2, p. 226)

Neither promises nor apprehensions, rewards, no punishments are just if the soul has not the power of choosing and abstaining; if evil is involuntary. (c. 195, Vol. 2, p.319)

We have heard from the Scriptures that self-determining choice and refusal have been given by the Lord to men. Therefore, we rest in the infallible criterion of faith, manifesting a willing spirit, since we have chosen life. (c. 195, Vol. 2, p. 349)

The Lord clearly shows sins and transgressions to be in our own power, by prescribing modes of cure corresponding to the maladies. (c. 195, Vol. 2, p. 363)

Their estrangement is the result of free choice. (c. 195, Vol. 2, p. 426)

Believing and obeying are in our own power. (c. 195, Vol. 2, p. 527)

Nor will he who is saved be saved against his will, for he is not inanimate. But above all, he will speed to salvation voluntarily and of free choice. (c. 195, Vol. 2, p. 534)

Choice depends on the man as being free. But the gift depended on God as the Lord. And He gives to those who are willing, are exceedingly earnest, and who ask. In this manner, their salvation can become their own. For God does not compel. (c. 195, Vol. 2, p. 593)

Clement, 80-140 AD 

The first Apostolic Father of the Church.  According to Tertullian, Clement was consecrated by Saint Peter. Early church lists place him as the second or third bishop of Rome after Saint Peter. In Philippians 4:3 Clement is mentioned whose name was written “in the book of life”. Although known as 2 Clement, this document is in actuality an anonymous homily of the mid-second century.

Thus although we are born neither good nor bad, we become on or the other and having formed habits, we are with difficulty drawn from them. Pg 273 vol.8

But inasmuch as inborn affection towards God the creator is sufficient for salvation to those who love Him, the enemy tries to pervert this affection in men, and to render them hostile and ungrateful to their Creator…But if mankind would turn their affection towards God, all would doubtless be saved, even if when they have some faults they would be open to correction for righteousness, but now most of mankind have been made enemies of God, their hearts the wicked one has entered, and has turned aside towards himself the affection which God the Creator had implanted in them, which He, God, desires that they might have towards Him. Pg.101 Vol.8

1 Clement 7:4 Let us fix our eyes on the blood of Christ and understand how precious it is unto His Father, because being shed for our salvation it won for the whole world the grace of repentance.

1 Clement 7:5 Let us review all the generations in turn, and learn how from generation to generation the Master hath given a place for repentance unto them that desire to turn to Him.

For, if we do the will of Christ, we shall find rest; but if otherwise, then nothing shall deliver us from eternal punishment, if we should disobey His commandments. 2 Clement 6:7

…with what confidence shall we, if we keep not our baptism pure and undefiled, enter into the kingdom of God? Or who shall be our advocate, unless we be found having holy and righteous works? 2 Clement 6:9

For as concerning them that have not kept the seal, He saith, `Their worm shall not die, and their fire shall not be quenched, and they shall be for a spectacle unto all flesh’. 2 Clement 7:6

So, brothers and sisters, if we have done the will of the Father and have kept the flesh pure and have observed the commandments of the Lord, we will receive eternal life (2 Clement 8:4)

So then He meaneth this, Keep the flesh pure and the seal unstained, to the end that we may receive life. 2 Clement 8:6  

Let us, then, not only call him Lord, for that will not save us. For he says, ”Not every one that says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall be saved, but he that does righteousness.” Therefore, brothers, let us confess him by our works, by loving one another, by not committing adultery, speaking evil of one another, or cherishing envy; but being continent, compassionate, and good. … By such works let us confess him, and not by those that are of an opposite kind. It is not fitting that we should fear men, but rather God. For this reason, if we should do such wicked things, the Lord has said, “Even if you were gathered together to me, into my very bosom, yet if you were not to keep my commandments, I would cast you off and say to you, ‘Depart from me … you workers of iniquity.‘” (2 Clement 4) Hermas, c. A.D. 160

It is therefore in the power of every one, since man has been made possessed of free-will, whether he shall hear us to life, or the demons to destruction. 

He who is good by his own choice is really good; but he who is made good by another under necessity is not really good, because he is not what he is by his own choice… 

For no other reason does God punish the sinner either in the present or in the future world, except because He knows that the sinner was able to conquer but neglected to gain the victory.

Justin Martyr 110-165 AD

For He fore-knows that some are to be saved by repentance, some even that are perhaps not yet born. In the beginning He made the human race with the power of thought and of choosing the truth and doing right, so that all men are without excuse before God; for they have been born rational and contemplative Chapter 28

Let some suppose, from what has been said by us, that we say that whatever occurs happens by a fatal necessity, because it is foretold as known beforehand, this too we explain. We have learned from the prophets, and we hold it to be true, that punishments, chastisements, and good rewards, are rendered according to THE MERIT OF EACH MAN’S ACTIONS. Now, if this is not so, but all things happen by fate, then neither is anything at all in our own power. For if it is predetermined that this man will be good, and this other man will be evil, neither is the first one meritorious nor the latter man to be blamed. And again, unless the human race has the power of avoiding evil and CHOOSING GOOD BY FREE CHOICE, they are not accountable for their actions.  (c. 160, E), 1:177

But neither do we affirm that it is by fate that men do what they do, or suffer what they suffer, but that each man by free choice acts rightly or wronglyThe stoics, not observing this, maintained that all things take place according to the necessity of fate. But since God, in the beginning made the race of men and angels with free will they will justly suffer in eternal fire the punishment of whatever sins they have committed, and this is the nature of all that is made, to be capable of vice and virtue. For neither would any of them be praiseworthy unless there were power to turn to both. (vice and virtue) 2 Apology ch.7  (+ The Anti-Nicene Fathers, Vol. I, p.354)

In the beginning, He made the human race with the power of thought AND OF CHOOSING the truth and doing right, so that all men are without excuse before God.  (c. 160, E), 1:172

I have proved in what has been said that those who were foreknown to be unrighteous, whether men or angels, are not made wicked by God’s fault. Rather, each man is what he will appear to be through his own fault. (c.160, Vol. 1, p. 269)

Neither do we maintain that it is by fate that men do what they do, or suffer what they suffer. Rather, we maintain that each man acts rightly or sins BY HIS FREE CHOICE….Since God in the beginning MADE THE RACE OF ANGELS AND MEN WITH FREE WILL, they will justly suffer in eternal fire the punishment of whatever sins they have committed.  (c. 160, E), 1:190

He created both angels and men free to do that which is righteous. And He appointed periods of time during which He knew it would be good for them to have the exercise of free will. (c. 160, Vol. 1, p. 250)

I hold further, that those of you who have confessed and known this man to be Christ, yet who have gone back for some reason to the legal dispensation, an have denied that this man is Christ, and have not repented before death – you will by no means be saved . c.160

Methodius 260-312 AD Bishop of Olympus.

I say that God – purposing to honor man in this manner and to grant him an understanding of better things – has given man the power of being able to do what he wishes. He commends the use of his power for better things. However, it is not that God deprives man again of free will. Rather, He wishes to point out the better way. For the power is present with man, and he receives the commandment. But God exhorts him to turn his power of choice to better things. (c. 290, Vol. 6, p. 362)

I do not think that God urges man to obey His commandments, but then deprives him of the power to obey or disobey…. He does not give a command in order to take way the power that he has given. Rather, He gives it in order to bestow a better gift…in return for his rendered obedience to God. For man had power to withhold it. I say that man was made with free will. (c. 290, Vol. 6, p. 362)

God is good and wise. He does what is best. Therefore, there is no fixed destiny.” (c. 190, Vol. 6, p.343)

Now those [pagans] who decide that man is not possessed of free will, and affirm that he is governed by the unavoidable necessities of fate…are guilty of impiety toward God Himself, making Him out to be the cause or author of human evils. (c. 190, The Banquet of the Ten Virgins 16; God’s Strategy In Human History, p. 252)

Because there is nothing evil by nature, but it is by use that evil things become suchman was made with free-will, not as if there were already evil in existence, which he had the power of choosing if he so wished, but on account of his capacity of obeying or disobeying God. For this was the meaning of the gift of free will.

If then, any are evil, they are evil in accordance with the wants and desires of their minds, and not by necessity. They perish self-destroyed, by their own fault.’For a man is not spoken of as ‘murderer’ but by committing it he receives the derived name of murderer. Evil is not a substance, but by practicing any evil it can be called evil…for a man is evil only in consequences of his actions. For he is said to be evil because he is a doer of evil. It is a persons actions that gives them the title of evil. Men produce the evil and are the authors of them. It is through actions that evil exists. Each man is evil in consequences of what they practice. It all has a beginning.

For man received power, and enslaved himself, not because he was overpowered by irresistible tendencies of his nature, nor because the capacity with which he was gifted deprived him of what was better for him…I say therefore, that God purposing thus to honor man…has given him the power of being able to do what he wishes, and commends the employment of his power for better things; not that he deprives him again of free will, but wishes to point out the better way. For the power is present with him and he receives the commandment; but God exhorts him to turn his power of choice to better things.

Arnobius 297-303 AD

Does He not free all alike who invites all alike? Or does He thrust back or repel any one from the kindness of the supreme, who gives to all alike the power of coming to Him. To all, He says, the fountain of like is open, and no one is kept back or hindered from drinking. If you are so fastidious as to spurn the kindly offered gift… why should he keep on inviting you, while His only duty is to make the enjoyment of His bounty depend on your own free choice. Book 2 ,64

Aristides of Athens – 134 AD (Marcianus Aristides)

And when a child has been born to one of them, they give thanks to God, and if furthermore, it happen to die in childhood, they give thanks to God the more, as for one who has passed through the world without sins. Apology to Hadrian

Tatian the Syrian 110-172 AD

Our free will has destroyed us. We who were free have become slaves. We have been sold through sin. Nothing evil has been created by God. We ourselves have manifested wickedness. But we, who have manifested it, are able to reject it again.” (c. 160, Vol. 2, pp. 69-70)

Each of these two orders of creatures [men and angels] was made free to act as it pleased. They did not have the nature of good, which again is with God alone. However, it is brought to perfection in men through their freedom of choice. In this manner, the bad man can be justly punished, having become depraved through his own fault. Likewise, the just man can be deservedly praised for his virtuous deeds, since in the exercise of his free choice, he refrained from transgressing the will of God. (c. 160, Vol. 2, p. 67)

Lactantius 260-330 AD

We should be free from vices and sin. For no one is born sinful, but if our affections are given to that direction they can become vices and sinful, but if we use our affections well they become virtues.’ Ch16 bk 4 Divine Inst.

Melito -180 AD Bishop of Sardis near Smyrna

There is, therefore, nothing to hinder you from changing your evil manner to life, because you are a free man. (c.170, Vol. 8, p. 754)

Athenagorus 133-190 AD

Just as with men who have freedom of choice as to bother virtue and vice (for you would not either honor the good or punish the bad; unless vice and virtue were in their own power, and some are diligent in the matters entrusted to them and others faithless), so is it among the angels. (c. 177, Embassy for Christians; God’s Strategy in Human History, p. 247)

Theophilus

If, on the other hand, he would turn to the things of death, disobeying God, he would himself be the cause of death to himself. For God made man free, and with power of himself. (c.180, Vol. 2, p. 105)

Hyppolytus 170 – 235 AD

God, who created [the world], did not nor does not, make evil….Now, man (who was brought into existence) was a creature endowed with a capacity of self-determination, yet he did not possess a sovereign intellect….Man, from the fact of his possessing a capacity for self-determination, brings forth evil….Since man has free will, a law has been given him by God, for a good purpose. For a law will not be laid down for an animal devoid of reason. Only a bridle and whip will be given it. In contrast, man has been given a commandment to perform, coupled with a penalty.” (c. 225, Vol. 5, p.151)

The Word promulgated the divine commandments by declaring them. He thereby turned man from disobedience. He summoned man to liberty through a choice involving spontaneity – not by bringing him into servitude by force of necessity. (c. 225, Vol. 5, p. 152)

Man is able to both will and not to will. He is endowed with power to do both. (c. 225, Vol. 5, p. 152)

Origen (Adamantius) 184/185 – 253/254 AD

The soul does not incline to either part out of necessity, for then neither vice nor virtue could be ascribed to it; nor would its choice of virtue deserve reward; nor its declination to vice punishment.” Again, “How could God require that of man which he [man] had not power to offer Him?” (Doctrine of the Will by Asa Mahan, p. 62, published by Truth in Heart)

This is also clearly defined in the teaching of the church, that every rational soul has free will and volition….we are not forced by any necessity to act either rightly or wrongly. (c. 225, Vol. 4, p. 240)

It seems a plausible thing that rational natures, from whom the faculty of free will is never taken away, may be again subjected to movements of some kind. (c. 225, Vol. 4, p. 272)

Since those rational creatures themselves… were endowed with the power of free will, this freedom of the will incited each one to either progress (by imitation of God), or else it reduced a person to failure through negligence. (c. 225, Vol. 4, p. 292)

In the preaching of the church, there is included the doctrine concerning a just judgment of God. When this teaching is believed to be true, it incites those who hear it to live virtuously and to shun sin by all means. For they clearly acknowledge that things worthy of praise and blame are within our own power. (c. 225, Vol. 4, p. 302)

Certain ones of those [Gnostic’s] who hold different opinions misuse these passages. They essentially destroy free will by introducing ruined natures incapable of salvation and by introducing others as being saved in such a way that they cannot be lost.

Novatian 200–258 AD

When he had given man all things for his service, he willed that man alone should be free. And lest an unbounded freedom would lead man into peril, He had laid down a command, in which man was taught that there was no evil in the fruit of the tree. Rather, he was forewarned that evil would arise if man were to exercise his free will in contempt of the law that had been given him….As a result, he could receive either worthy rewards or a just punishment. For he had in his own power that which he might choose to do. (c. 235, Vol. 5, p. 612)

Eusebius 263 – 233 AD Bishop of Caesarea

A Roman historian, exegete and Christian polemicist. Together with Pamphilus, he was a scholar of the Biblical canon. Considered the father of “Church History” for his extensive writings in ecclesiastical history.

The Creator of all things has impressed a natural law upon the soul of every man, as an assistant and ally in his conduct, pointing out to him the right way by this law; but, by the free liberty with which he is endowed, making the choice of what is best worthy of praise and acceptance, because he has acted rightly, not by force, but from his own free-will, when he had it in his power to act otherwise, As, again, making him who chooses what is worst, deserving of blame and punishment, as having by his own motion neglected the natural law, and becoming the origin and fountain of wickedness, and misusing himself, not from any extraneous necessity, but from free will and judgment. The fault is in him who chooses, not in God. For God is has not made nature or the substance of the soul bad; for he who is good can make nothing but what is good. Everything is good which is according to nature. Every rational soul has naturally a good free-will, formed for the choice of what is good. But when a man acts wrongly, nature is not to be blamed; for what is wrong, takes place not according to nature, but contrary to nature, it being the work of choice, and not of nature!

The devil in his oracles hangs all things upon fate, and taking away that which is in our power, and arises from self-motion of free will… brings this also into bondage to necessity.

Commodianus 250 AD

Being a believing man, if you seek to live as the gentiles do, the joys of the world remove you from the grace of Christ c.240

Cyprian 200-258 AD Bishop of Carthage

It is written, ‘He who endures to the end, the same shall be saved’ [Matt. 10:22]. So whatever precedes the end is only a step by which we ascend to the summit of salvation. It is not the final point wherein we have already gained the full result of the ascent. (Cyprian Unity of the Church sec. 21)

The liberty of believing or not believing is placed in free choice. In Deuteronomy, it says, ‘Look! I have set before your face life and death, good and evil. Choose for yourself life, that you may live. (c. 250, Vol. 5, p. 547)

Shepherd of Hermas

The Muratorian canon, a list of canonical books from about the 3d century, says Hermas was written by the brother of Pius, Bishop of Rome, about 140-154. Author still remains unknown.  The document was composed over a longer period of time. Visions I-IV were composeed during a threatened persecution, probably under Trajan (the Clement of 8:3 could be Clement of Rome). Vision V – Similitude VIII and Similitude X were written perhaps by the same author to describe reprentance to Christians who were wavering. Similitude IX was written to unify the entire work and to threaten those who had been disloyal. This last phase must have occurred before Irenaeus (ca. 175). A preferred date would be 140. On the basis of this internal analysis multiple authorship seems necessary (Giet 1963), though the work could have been composed by one person over a long period of time (Joly 1958).

He that does not know God,” [the angel of repentance] answered, ”and practices evil, receives a certain chastisement for his wickedness, but he that has known God ought not to do evil anymore but to do good. If, accordingly, when he ought to do good, he does evil, does he not appear to do greater evil than the one who does not know God? For this reason, those who have not known God and do evil are condemned to death, but those who have known God and have seen his mighty works and still continue in evil shall be chastised doubly and shall die forever. This is the way the Church of God will be purified.” (Shepherd of Hermas III:9:8)

If you do not guard yourself against anger you and your house will lose all hope of salvation. Hermas c.150

The Epistle of the Apostles 2nd century

A work from the New Testament apocrypha. The work was lost to the West until a complete version in Ethiopic translation was discovered and published in the early twentieth century. The text was used regularly by the relatively isolated Ethiopian Orthodox Church, and was evidently not considered heretical by that church. A fragmentary Coptic manuscript of the fifth or fourth century, believed to be translated directly from the original Greek, and one leaf of a Latin palimpsest, dating to the fifth century, were then identified as deriving from the same text. The text is commonly dated to the 2nd century, perhaps towards the middle of it.

 27 ”For to that end went I down unto the place of Lazarus, and preached unto the righteous and the prophets, that they might come out of the rest which is below and come up into that which is above; and I poured out upon them with my right hand the water (?) (baptism, Eth.) of life and forgiveness and salvation from all evil, as I have done unto you and unto them that believe on me. But if any man believe on me and do not my commandments, although he have confessed my name, he hath no profit therefrom but runneth a vain race: for such will find themselves in perdition and destruction, because they have despised my commandments.”28 …Then said he unto us: Verily I say unto you, all that have believed on me and that believe in him that sent me will I take up into the heaven, unto the place which my Father hath prepared for the elect, and I will give you the kingdom, the chosen kingdom, in rest, and everlasting life. 29 But all they that have offended against my commandments and have taught other doctrine, (perverting) the Scripture and adding thereto, striving after their own glory, and that teach with other words them that believe on me in uprightness, if they make them fall thereby, shall receive everlasting punishment. We said unto him: Lord, shall there then be teaching by others, diverse from that which thou hast spoken unto us ? He said unto us: It must needs be, that the evil and the good may be made manifest; and the judgment shall be manifest upon them that do these things, and according to their works shall they be judged and shall be delivered unto death. And we said unto him: Lord, will they that believe be treated like the unbelievers, and wilt thou punish them that have escaped from the pestilence? And he said unto us: If they that believe in my name deal like the sinners, then have they done as though they had not believed. And we said again to him: Lord, have they on whom this lot hath fallen no life? He answered and said unto us: Whoso hath accomplished the praise of my Father, he shall abide in the resting-place of my Father.

Epistle of Barnabas 70-100AD

A Greek text preserved complete in the 4th century Codex Sinaiticus where it appears at the end of the New Testament. It is traditionally ascribed to Barnabas who is mentioned in the Acts of the Apostles. A form of the Epistle 850 lines long is noted in the Latin list of canonical works in the 6th century Codex Claromontanus. It is not to be confused with the Gospel of Barnabas.

The Lord will judge the world without respect… of persons. Each will receive as he has done: if he is righteous, his righteousness will precede him; if he is wicked, the reward of wickedness is before him. Take heed, lest resting at our ease, as those who are the called [of God], we should fall asleep in our sins, and the wicked prince, acquiring power over us, should thrust us away from the kingdom of the Lord. And all the more attend to this, my brethren, when ye reflect and behold, that after so great signs and wonders were wrought in Israel, they were thus [at length] abandoned. Let us beware lest we be found [fulfilling that saying], as it is written, “Many are called, but few are chosen.”

We take earnest heed in these last days, for the whole time of your faith will profit you nothing unless now, in this wicked time, we also withstand coming sources of danger, as befits the sons of God. (Letter of Barnabas 4)

14 thoughts on “Quotes from old church fathers, supporting Free will and objecting to the Sinful nature

  1. Pingback: Chastisement quotes | Bakesale

  2. Hej intressanta citat.
    En del av dem bevisar ingenting eftersom reformerta håller med om mycket av det där. T.ex att vi skapades med en fri vilja. Andra citat är väldigt tydligt att de lärde ut någon form av armianism.
    citat i sig säger inte så mycket utan frågan är vad bibeln lär.
    Vi får inte glömma att den bibliska kanon var inte fastställd på den tiden och katolska kyrkan har ju tagit sina läror mycket i från kyrkofäderna.
    När man läser kyrkofäderna så kan man läsa väldigt bra saker för att i nästa stund läsa helt tokiga grejer.
    En sak är tydlig och bibeln är vår högsta auktoritet och inte kyrkofäder.
    Vi får inte heller glömma att Paulus varnade att när han är borta så kommer villolärarna in i kyrkan.
    Så därmed kan man ta kyrkofäderna med en liten nypa salt.
    Men visst finns det citat i från dem som kan tolkas lite hur man vill.
    Kolla till exempel på detta citat

    ”Irenaeus (A.D. 198): ”God hath completed the number which He before determined with Himself, all those who are written, or ordained unto eternal life…Being predestined indeed according to the love of the Father that we would belong to Him forever.”

    Eller detta: ”Justin Martyr (A.D. 150): ”Mankind by Adam fell under death, and the deception of the serpent; we are born sinners…No good thing dwells in us…For neither by nature, nor by human understanding is it possible for me to acquire the knowledge of things so great and so divine, but by the energy of the Divine Spirit…Of ourselves it is impossible to enter the kingdom of God…He has convicted us of the impossibility of our nature to obtain life…Free will has destroyed us; we who were free are become slaves and for our sin are sold…Being pressed down by our sins, we cannot move upward toward God; we are like birds who have wings, but are unable to fly.”

    ”Origen: ”Our free will…or human nature is not sufficient to seek God in any manner.””

    Som du ser kan man inte riktigt lita på kyrkofäder.
    för det finns citat åt bägge hållen som stödjer ens egna teologi utan man får lita på skriften allena i första hand.

    Frågan är vad de talade om i kontexten där citaten är hämtade i från?

    Gilla

    • Hej Josef!

      <<En del av dem bevisar ingenting eftersom reformerta håller med om mycket av det där. T.ex att vi skapades med en fri vilja.

      För att vara konsekvent med kalvinismen så kan man inte tro på en fri vilja. Idén är att vi tvingas agera utifrån den natur som man blivit pålagd, och den bestämmer vi inte själva. Tanken är också att ingenting sker emot Guds vilja och att han förutbestämt ALLT.

      <<Andra citat är väldigt tydligt att de lärde ut någon form av armianism.

      Känns konstigt för mig att tala om "arminianism" eftersom det då låg ganska långt i framtiden. Många tycker att "arminianism" endast är "Kalvinism light".

      <<citat i sig säger inte så mycket utan frågan är vad bibeln lär.

      Bibeln är det som ska korrigera oss, men vi måste fundera på hur det kommer sig att ALLA de gamla kyrkofäderna de första 300 åren e Kr. lärde ut Fri vilja och att vi inte är födda med en syndfull natur. Hade verkligen alla fel i 300-350 år innan Augustinus kom och gav ljus?

      <<Vi får inte glömma att den bibliska kanon var inte fastställd på den tiden och katolska kyrkan har ju tagit sina läror mycket i från kyrkofäderna.

      Visst var det så att Bibeln inte var "officiell", men böckerna i sig fanns ju tillgängliga och i början så levde dessutom människorna bland lärljungar till Jesu lärljungar.

      <<När man läser kyrkofäderna så kan man läsa väldigt bra saker för att i nästa stund läsa helt tokiga grejer.

      Ja, precis som idag så tycker inte predikanter precis likadant. Poängen med mina citat är dock att visa, att något som alla verkar vara rörande överens om är att människan inte är född med en syndfull natur och att hon har en fri vilja. Detta är den gemensamma nämnaren. Endast gnostikerna hade en annan uppfattning.

      <<En sak är tydlig och bibeln är vår högsta auktoritet och inte kyrkofäder.

      Amen

      <<Vi får inte heller glömma att Paulus varnade att när han är borta så kommer villolärarna in i kyrkan.

      Exakt! Och det skedde ungefär 350 e Kr när Augustinus kom in på scenen och ändrade allt. Innan dess så lärde som sagt alla predikanter unisont samma Bibliska lära som även Johannes egna lärljungar lärde ut. Det Paulus profeterade om hände verkligen. Idag så fortsätter vi att predika gnosticism (som Augustinus lärde ut blandat med Bibeln)utan att ens inse det.

      <<Så därmed kan man ta kyrkofäderna med en liten nypa salt.
      Men visst finns det citat i från dem som kan tolkas lite hur man vill.
      Kolla till exempel på detta citat

      <<”Irenaeus (A.D. 198): ”God hath completed the number which He before determined with Himself, all those who are written, or ordained unto eternal life…Being predestined indeed according to the love of the Father that we would belong to Him forever.”

      Detta talar inte heller emot Fri vilja eller för predestination. De som är "completed" kan mycket väl vara de som är med i den slutgiltiga utgåvan av Livets Bok. Vi hamnar där av egna val. De som till slut finns i den utgåvan är predestinerade att ärva Guds rike. Man brukar kalla detta för "corporate election". Kristi kropp är förutbestämd att ärva Guds rike. Frågan är dock om vi som individer väljer att ansluta oss medans tider är. En dag stängs dörren och allt är "completed". Irenaeus trodde helt klart på människans fri vilja:

      “Those who do not obey Him, being disinherited by Him, have ceased to be His sons.” ~ Irenaeus (c. 180)

      "But man, being endowed with reason, and in this respect similar to God HAVING BEEN MADE FREE IN HIS WILL, and with power over himself, is himself his own cause that sometimes he becomes wheat, and sometimes chaff." (c. 180, E/W), 1:466

      <<Eller detta: ”Justin Martyr (A.D. 150): ”Mankind by Adam fell under death, and the deception of the serpent; we are born sinners…No good thing dwells in us…For neither by nature, nor by human understanding is it possible for me to acquire the knowledge of things so great and so divine, but by the energy of the Divine Spirit…Of ourselves it is impossible to enter the kingdom of God…He has convicted us of the impossibility of our nature to obtain life…Free will has destroyed us; we who were free are become slaves and for our sin are sold…Being pressed down by our sins, we cannot move upward toward God; we are like birds who have wings, but are unable to fly.”

      Är detta från "Dialogue with Trypho"? Jag skulle vilja se detta citat i ett större sammanhang eftersom Justin Martyr trodde på Fri vilja och att vi inte är födda i synd. Det stämmer det som han säger i ditt citat att vi dött genom Adam (fysiskt)och att det är omöjligt för oss själva att träda in i Guds rike. Citatet talar också om fri vilja. Inte att vi inte har fri vilja men att vi uppenbarligen använt vår fria vilja till att synda. Det kan ha varit detta som han menade med att vara "född i synd", på samma sätt som vi ibland säger att vi är "födda fattiga" eller "kvinnor är födda till sladdertackor", och det skulle innebära att det vore oärligt att ta detta ur sitt sammanhang och försöka få Justin att ha åsikter som han inte har. Det är bättre att använda citat som är typiska för personer och inte otypiska. Justin säger i ditt citat att vi faktiskt VAR fria men BLEV slavar pga synd. Jag hade ett flertal citat i artikeln och de kan inte vara mer tydliga med att Justin trodde att människan har en fri vilja och helt kapabla att välja mellan gott och ont. Ditt citat stöder att Justin trodde på en fri vilja. Bland annat:

      "Let some suppose, from what has been said by us, that we say that whatever occurs happens by a fatal necessity, because it is foretold as known beforehand, this too we explain. We have learned from the prophets, and we hold it to be true, that punishments, chastisements, and good rewards, are rendered according to THE MERIT OF EACH MAN’S ACTIONS. Now, if this is not so, but all things happen by fate, then neither is anything at all in our own power. For if it is predetermined that this man will be good, and this other man will be evil, neither is the first one meritorious nor the latter man to be blamed. And again, unless the human race has the power of avoiding evil and CHOOSING GOOD BY FREE CHOICE, they are not accountable for their actions." (c. 160, E), 1:177

      <<”Origen: ”Our free will…or human nature is not sufficient to seek God in any manner.”"

      Vad är det som talar emot Fri vilja här? Inte heller jag tror att vi kan söka Gud utan att han först kallat oss. Men jag tror förstås att han kallat ALLA. Origen trodde helt klart på Fri vilja, och jag känner inte till några citat från honom som talar emot det. Däremot finns det många citat som endast kan tydas på ett sätt, och detta att han tror på fri vilja. Exempel:

      “Certain ones of those [heretics] who hold different opinions misuse these passages. They essentially destroy free will be introducing ruined natures incapable of salvation and by introducing others as being saved in such a way that they cannot be lost.” ~ Origen (c. 225)

      <<Som du ser kan man inte riktigt lita på kyrkofäder.

      Det kan jag inte alls se. Jag repeterar att INGEN av de gamla kyrkofäderna lärde ut någonting annat än en fri vilja, och det inkluerar Justin Martyr, Origen och Irenaeus. Om de citat du visade var de bästa du kunde hitta för att ge en annan bild så gick det inte hem. Ingen av dem säger någonting annat än att människan har en fri vilja, att hon kan förlora sin frälsning och att hon inte är bunden till en syndig natur.

      <<för det finns citat åt bägge hållen som stödjer ens egna teologi utan man får lita på skriften allena i första hand.

      Nej det finns inte citat från bägge hållen (om vi här talar om åsikter) utan endast från ett håll. Jag skrev i min artikel om just detta att ta citat ur sitt sammanhang för att förska visa en OTYPISK åsikt för personen. Jag är säker på att om du söker så kan du hitta citat även från mig som låter som att jag inte tror på Fri vilja men frågan är om detta vore ärligt eftersom de citaten INTE skulle representera mina åsikter.

      <<Frågan är vad de talade om i kontexten där citaten är hämtade i från?

      Amen! Och utmaningen är då att kunna visa att kontexten ger en helt annan bild. Vad gäller de gamla kyrkofäderna står det helt klart (med eller utan kontext) att de unisont tror att människan har en fri vilja.

      GVD

      Gilla

  3. Tro mig jag har läst hundratals sermons av puritaner. Jag har läst Edwards och Calvin och John Owen.

    Som jag uppfattar dem så ligger de oerhört nära arminianerna teologiskt.
    Calvin talar ofta om människans ansvar i sin institutes.
    Hela tiden refererar han till romarbrevet kapitel 1-3 att eftersom syndare inte sökte honom är de fallna, ”Varje människa vet att det finns en Gu och därför är de ansvariga” osv.. Puritanerna som förövrigt skrev westminister confession of faith kunde hålla sermons om Guds suveränitet och människans ansvar.
    Det är helt uppenbart för mig att de alla trodde på fri vilja.
    Men deras definition av fri vilja var lite annorlunda. Den var som citatet av Origien som jag citerade
    ”Origen: ”Our free will…or human nature is not sufficient to seek God in any manner.”
    Det var deras definition av fri vilja att den är bunden och därmed inte kan söka Gud på något sett.
    Vilket du även skrev att du höll med om.
    Så du är nog mera puritan än vad du tror 🙂

    Den bilden du beskriver av reformert teologi på din blogg stämmer inte med vad jag har läst i deras sermons och i reformerta teologi böcker.
    Visst finns det sådana som är mera åt hyper hållet men det är en de som drar TULIP åt det extrema hållet. Men som jag uppfattar Calvin ligger han inte där. Jonathan Edwards ligger inte där heller. Han attackerade ”Once saved always saved läran” som är en pervetion av Perseverance läran som säger OM du förblir i hans ord och OM du förblir i tron så skall han bevara dig till slutet.

    Slutligen ett litet utdrag ur en predikan av George Whitefield som för övrigt var ”Kalvinist”

    “Hear this, all ye self-righteous, tremble, and behold your doom! a dreadful doom, more dreadful than words can express, or thought conceive! If you refuse to humble yourselves … I call heaven and earth to witness against you this day, that God shall visit you with all his storms, and pour all the vials of his wrath upon your rebellious heads; you exalted yourselves here, and God shall abase you hereafter; you are as proud as the devil, and with devils shall you dwell to all eternity. “Be not deceived, God is not mocked;” he sees your hearts, he knows all things. And, notwithstanding you may come up to the temple to pray, your prayers are turned into sin, and you go down to your houses unjustified, if you are self-righteous; and do you know what it is to be unjustified? why, if you are unjustified, the wrath of God abideth upon you; you are in your blood; all the curses of the law belong to you: cursed are you when you go out, cursed are you when you come in; cursed are your thoughts, cursed are your words, cursed are your deeds; every thing you do, say, or think, from morning to night is only one continued series of sin. However highly you may be esteemed in the sight of men, however you may be honored with the uppermost seats in the synagogues, in the church militant, you will have no place in the church triumphant. “Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God:” pull down every self-righteous thought, and every proud imagination, that now exalteth itself against the perfect, personal, imputed righteousness of the dear Lord Jesus”.

    – Whitefield’s Sermons (Grand Rapids, MI: Christian Classics Ethereal Library). Sermon: The Pharisee and Publican.

    Gilla

    • <<Som jag uppfattar dem så ligger de oerhört nära arminianerna teologiskt.

      Jag tror också det finns många likheter, men så är jag heller ingen arminian och jag känner bara ett par som är det (och inte särskilt väl):

      <<Calvin talar ofta om människans ansvar i sin institutes.

      Ja, det gör väl 100% av alla kalvinister, men det innebär att de inte är konsekventa med sin egen lära. Det existerar inga konsekventa kalvinister. Det beror på att läran i sig är okonsekvent och motstridig. Det är en total omöjlighet att tro att Gud predestinerar allt som händer och ingenting sker emot Guds vilja SAMTIDIGT som människan är ansvarig för sina egna handlingar. Detta är en paradox.

      <<Puritanerna som förövrigt skrev westminister confession of faith kunde hålla sermons om Guds suveränitet och människans ansvar.

      Återigen så tror de på en paradox. En större paradox än om jag skulle säga "Jag tror på treenigheten som den är beskriven i Bibeln, men jag tror inte att Jesus är Gud".

      <<Det är helt uppenbart för mig att de alla trodde på fri vilja.

      Att "säga" att "jag tror på fri vilja" är inte detsamma som att de faktiskt tror på Fri vilja. Tror man att Gud förutbestämt allt så tror man inte samtidigt att människan fri vilja.

      <<Men deras definition av fri vilja var lite annorlunda.

      Minst sagt!

      <<Den var som citatet av Origien som jag citerade
      ”Origen: ”Our free will…or human nature is not sufficient to seek God in any manner.”
      Det var deras definition av fri vilja att den är bunden och därmed inte kan söka Gud på något sett.

      Ingenstans säger Origen att vår fri vilja är bunden. Om den hade varit det hade det inte varit fri vilja. Origen säger bara i citatet att vår fria vilja inte är nog för att söka Gud, och det stämmer. Gud måste dra oss, och vi svarar sedan genomn att säga ja eller nej. Läste du mina citat från Origen? Kan du se att han någonstans säger att vår fri vilja är bunden? Origen säger att vi INTE gör saker av ren nödvändighet, alltså precis motsatsen.

      The soul does not incline to either part out of necessity, for then neither vice nor virtue could be ascribed to it; nor would its choice of virtue deserve reward; nor its declination to vice punishment.” Again, “How could God require that of man which he [man] had not power to offer Him?” (Doctrine of the Will by Asa Mahan, p. 62, published by Truth in Heart)

      This is also clearly defined in the teaching of the church, that every rational soul has free will and volition….we are not forced by any necessity to act either rightly or wrongly. (c. 225, Vol. 4, p. 240)

      <<Vilket du även skrev att du höll med om.
      Så du är nog mera puritan än vad du tror

      Hoppas du läste varför jag håller med och att du inte heller citerar mig utanför kontexten.

      <<Den bilden du beskriver av reformert teologi på din blogg stämmer inte med vad jag har läst i deras sermons och i reformerta teologi böcker.

      Jag håller med! Och det är därför att det inte finns några konsekventa kalvinister. De låter allihop mer eller mindre som om de vore Fri viljare. En del blir helt förbluffade när de får veta att någon älsklingspastor egentligen är kalvinist och alltså tror på TULIP. Det låter verkligen inte så när de pratar.

      <<Visst finns det sådana som är mera åt hyper hållet men det är en de som drar TULIP åt det extrema hållet.

      De som är hyper är förstås de som är allra mest konsekventa, och de som öppet erkänner att de tror att Gud är osaken till att vi syndar. Men inte heller de lyckas vara helt konsekventa med sin egen lära.

      <<Men som jag uppfattar Calvin ligger han inte där. Jonathan Edwards ligger inte där heller.

      Nej, de är alltså inte lika trogna sin egen lära.

      << Han attackerade ”Once saved always saved läran” som är en pervetion av Perseverance läran som säger OM du förblir i hans ord och OM du förblir i tron så skall han bevara dig till slutet.

      Ja, igen alla låter ibland mer eller mindre som de vore Fri viljare. Jag tycker då förstås att de borde ta steget och även BLI Friviljare. Att tala emot OSAS skulle vara som att tala emot P vilket alltså inte håller för en kalvinist. Dessutom så faller ju även TULI samtidigt…

      <<Slutligen ett litet utdrag ur en predikan av George Whitefield som för övrigt var ”Kalvinist”

      Tack…vet inte om du hade någon poäng 🙂

      Jag är bara glad när kalvinister låter som Friviljare.

      GVD!

      Gilla

  4. Om en människas vilja är totallt fri. Vad är då vitsen med att be att folk skall bli frälsta?
    Tänk om du har en vän som absolut inte vill bli frälst och du ber till Gud för den personens frälsning.
    Gud svarar och frälser den personen. Då måste han ju göra det emot den personens vilja och därmed är ”fria viljan” eliminerad. 😀

    Eller så ändrar han den personens vilja, så att den blir villig, då väljer personen Gud genom sin egna fria vilja. Men då har ändå Gud ändrat viljan och viljan är därmed inte helt fri.
    Det senare alternativet är hur reformerta det på det hela.

    Så det finns nog ingen total fri vilja i denna världen. Endast Gud har total 100% fri vilja

    ”HERREN gör allt vad han vill i himlen och på jorden, i haven och i alla djup. ” – Ps 135:6
    ”Vår Gud är i himlen, han gör allt vad han vill. ” – Ps 115:3

    Gilla

    • <<Om en människas vilja är totallt fri. Vad är då vitsen med att be att folk skall bli frälsta?
      Tänk om du har en vän som absolut inte vill bli frälst och du ber till Gud för den personens frälsning.
      Gud svarar och frälser den personen. Då måste han ju göra det emot den personens vilja och därmed är ”fria viljan” eliminerad.

      Vi *påverkar* med våra böner. Gud "måste" inte göra någonting och *måste* inte springa hit och dit och utföra vad vi ber om. Det är ganska intressant det som Daniel var med om, när han fick höra att hans böner faktiskt varit hörda från första början men att "fursten av Persien" stod ängeln emot. Jag tror inte vi vet allting om vad som försigår i andevärlden, men vi kan se i Bibeln hur mycket böner påverkar (varför annars be?). Gud bad Job att be för sina vänner som kommit med dåliga råd. Paulus ville bli bedd för och han bad flitigt själv. En person blir inte frälst emot sin vilja. Det krävs ett eget beslut och Gud träder inte in och *ändrar* en människas hjärta eller åsikter så att personen kan tro. Alla kan tro. Vi väljer om vi vill komma till Jesus eller inte och om vi vill upphöra med vår synd eller inte. Gud frälser den som frivilligt kommer till honom.

      <<Så det finns nog ingen total fri vilja i denna världen. Endast Gud har total 100% fri vilja

      Det beror på vad du menar med "total fri vilja". Vi får inte det vi vill, och vi kan inte göra det vi vill bara för att vi "vill" det. Våra kroppar begränsar oss, landet där vi bor begränsar oss, och en rad andra saker. Ibland är valmöjligheterna begränsade. Det ändrar inte på saken att vi gör en lång rad med egna val varje dag och att vi är fria att säga ja/nej till Gud och lyda/inte lyda.

      <<”HERREN gör allt vad han vill i himlen och på jorden, i haven och i alla djup. ” – Ps 135:6
      ”Vår Gud är i himlen, han gör allt vad han vill. ” – Ps 115:3

      Om Gud skulle vilja ge människan fri vilja, kan han det? Det tror jag. Och hur tolkar du dessa PSALMER ovan? 100% sker alltid enligt Guds vilja? Mord, aborter, små barn som blir våldtagna, etc? Det finns många kalvinister som säger JA på den frågan, men det visar bara hur villiga de är att offra sin intellekt till Kalvin. SJÄLVKLART sker ALLA synder EMOT Guds vilja!

      Gilla

  5. Ja, något i den stilen är det.
    Men en sak vet jag och det vet nog du också. Att när Guds ande faller över en människa och över bevisar en om synd då är det så starkt att man kan bara inte stå emot det för man finner ingen frid i själen om man inte söker frälsning. Jag har varit med om det och jag vet om andra som ena dagen satte en kniv framför sin syster och sade: ”avsäg dig din kristna tro eller dö” Någon timma senare var Samme man på sina knän och grät över sina synder. Vad hände? Guds ande föll över den personen och på grund av det kunde han inte stå emot den överbevisning som kom utan var tvungen att söka frälsning för att finna frid i själen.
    Jag vet en annan som blev så starkt överbevisad om sina synder att han vek sig över motorhuven.
    Han var bara tvungen att finna ro i sin själ.
    Överbevisningen som kommer i från den helige anden är så fruktansvärt stark att man tror att nu trycker Gud mig snart till helvetet och därmed kan man inget annat än att söka frälsning och frid för sin själ.
    Alla som blivit sant omvända till Herren kommer berätta samma sak.
    Eller som de brast ut på pingstdagen ”Vad skall vi göra för att bli frälsta”
    De blev alltså så överbevisade för de fick ett stygn i hjärtat att de kunde inget annat än att söka frälsningen som kommer genom tron.

    Så på ett sett har du rätt men på ett annat sett har reformerta rätt.
    För när Guds ande verkligen faller och folk blir överbevisade så är det så starkt att de kommer att söka frälsning. Det är det jag menar med det andra alternativet. Att en människa som inte vill ha med Gud och göra kan Gud ändra viljan på genom att ge dem syndanöd och på det sättet kommer de använda sin fria vilja till att söka Gud. Därmed ser jag ingen total fri vilja i dessa omvändelser.

    Gilla

    • <<Att när Guds ande faller över en människa och över bevisar en om synd då är det så starkt att man kan bara inte stå emot det för man finner ingen frid i själen om man inte söker frälsning.

      Det ligger mycket i det, fast jag känner en person ganska nära mig som upplevde just det (en enorm syndanöd, och han gick fram för att bli bedd för i kyrkan) men som trots att han inledningsvis ville vara nära Gud så svalnade intresset och världen lockade. Så riskerar det att bli för många. Frestelser ligger på lur. Och för att komma till en punkt där man känner syndanöd så måste man agera själv. Man kan välja att söka Gud och man kan välja att härda sitt hjärta.

      << Jag har varit med om det och jag vet om andra som ena dagen satte en kniv framför sin syster och sade: ”avsäg dig din kristna tro eller dö” Någon timma senare var Samme man på sina knän och grät över sina synder.

      Wow!

      <<Att en människa som inte vill ha med Gud och göra kan Gud ändra viljan på genom att ge dem syndanöd och på det sättet kommer de använda sin fria vilja till att söka Gud.

      Fast Gud vill ju att ALLA människor ska bli frälsta och skulle då ge en sådan syndanöd till ALLA människor och tvinga fram en tro, men så fungerar det inte. Alla är "dragna" och har sett ljuset och det finns inte någon ursäkt för att inte söka Gud. En del får syndanöd och blir frälsta(sökarna) – antingen håller de sig frälsta hela livet eller ett tag – och andra känner ingen syndanöd alls trots att de borde, och trots att Gud VILL att de ska känna syndanöd.Jag tycker Romarbrevet 1 säger en del om oss människor:

      19 Det man kan veta om Gud är uppenbart bland dem, Gud har ju uppenbarat det för dem. 20 Ända från världens skapelse ses och uppfattas hans osynliga egenskaper, hans eviga makt och gudomliga natur genom de verk som han har skapat. Därför är de utan ursäkt.21 Fastän de kände till Gud, prisade de honom inte som Gud eller tackade honom, utan förblindades av sina falska föreställningar, så att mörkret sänkte sig över deras oförståndiga hjärtan. 22 De påstod att de var visa, men de blev dårar. 23 De bytte ut den odödlige Gudens härlighet mot bilder av dödliga människor, av fåglar, fyrfotadjur och kräldjur. 24 DÄRFÖR utlämnade Gud dem så att de följde sina egna begär—26 DÄRFÖR utlämnade Gud dem till skamliga lidelser. —28 Och eftersom de inte ansåg det vara något värt att ha kunskap om Gud, utlämnade Gud dem åt ett ovärdigt sinnelag, så att de gjorde sådant som är mot naturen.

      Gilla

  6. In the end, all of the quotes from the early church fathers (though some seem to be selective) do not authoritatively determine anything. To Paul and the apostles!

    Gilla

    • That is very true Sam
      It’s still interesting to read their views to see what the first christians and their children really believed about the gospel. If both the Bible teaches free will AND all of the early church fathers, then we can rest assured that the Bible indeed teaches free will just as it seems.
      GBU

      Gilla

  7. This is an excellent collection of quotes; I’m especially interested in the history of the doctrine of ”original sin”/”total depravity”.

    Thank you for posting it!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. You have done a good service by researching and posting these quotes. It is interesting that the original writers, John, Peter, Paul, etc. are accepted as authoritative, but their students are ignored by many Calvinists. Reading these quotes has been a great exercise. Thank you for the time spent in putting this together. calvinpitts@gmail.com

    Gilla

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