oakarbor-header  
  shim  
shim Why Oak Arbor
shim
shim Calendar
shim
shim Bookstore
shim
  Donate
shim
  Audio
shim
shim Contact Us
shim
shim Home
shim
worship
tools-for-life
school
community
shim
shim shim shim shim
shim
shim Free Will
shim shim
shim shim shim
shim

The most basic kind of freedom is the Lord's gift of free will.  This is something He gives to all human beings.  In fact, it is what makes us human.  Everyone is given the ability by the Lord to choose freely between good and evil, right and wrong.  You can love and think what is good or what is evil.  Even if you can't do and say everything you think and will (or love), still no one can make you love something you don't wish to. We are even free to love and think the most awful, terrible things.  We can choose to go to hell if we want to.

Many people today don't believe in this freedom.  Some think God decides everything, including whether a person goes to heaven or hell.  Others believe you become only what your environment, education and experiences make you, as though we were slaves to all the things that happen to us.

But the Lord is love, and because He loves us He wants us to feel as full of life as possible. And we can only feel that life is our own if we are free- to love good or evil.  So the most important freedom of all is the freedom of our spirit to love and think the way we want to.  In that freedom lies the very secret of all human life.


 

 



shim
shim   shim
shim

shimSpiritual Freedom is a gift

shim shim shim
shim

God endows us with the capacity to choose our eternal destiny.

Many people find it hard to reconcile life (as we know it) with the concept of a loving God.  The existence of war, disease, pain and disorder makes them wonder if God knows about human suffering.  If He does not know, then His knowledge is limited.  If He does know, but is unable to do anything to make things better, He is not all-powerful.  The alternative, that He has the power to improve things but chooses not to, is unthinkable.  It is so refreshing to think that there is order in the universe, and that the painful and difficult things of life can be understood once we gain some idea of the spiritual laws of creation.

Comparing scientific laws to those of the Divine Providence

The study of science is based on the idea that there are laws that govern the way matter behaves. Continuing developments in science assume that there are many laws not yet known, but that can be discovered. If someone were to convince us that the universe is a totally chaotic system without any laws, we would consider abandoning science altogether.  What is the point of studying something that can never be understood?

It is similar with our efforts to understand life.   If someone were to convince us that there is no order to the course of human life, we would abandon any efforts to understand God, and might eventually deny God altogether.  There are spiritual laws. We can learn about these laws, and in doing so, we can make better sense out of life. 

Acting in Freedom - According to Reason

The first law governing how God deals with humans is that people should act in freedom according to reason.  We have been created with two marvelous faculties – the ability to love and the ability to think.  The ability to love gives us freedom, and the ability to think is what we call reason.  God works with us, having total respect for these two faculties.  This involves allowing people to make mistakes and grow from their mistakes.  It also involves allowing people to think for themselves. Only the things that we do freely and with some understanding become part of our character.  In all that God does with us, leading us through life to our spiritual home, these two faculties are carefully protected.  Some say that the gift of freedom is too dangerous.  People can and do misuse their freedom. But imagine if that gift were taken away!  If we had no freedom, we would have no interest in life, goals, or anything else that we really cared about, since love and freedom go hand-in-hand.  Since God wanted to share love with us, He gave us the ability to feel love and respond to it. This also means that He gave us the freedom to do with life as we will. It might seem like a terrible risk on God’s part.  But it was a risk worth taking, because it opens for us the possibility of a free and loving enjoyment of life.


Back to Summary of Beliefs

 

shim
shim   shim
 
shim
newchurchlogo
     
 



 
shim