Celebrate Christ Recovery Forum: "The Synergy of Science and Scripture."
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Pastor Frank Pastore:



Do We Have Free Will?

Think about it. If you believe that you have free will, that you are not only your genes and your environment, then you are advocating for a God, something that transcends genes and environment. If we don't have God in the equation, then we don't have Free Will. Ultimately, all change is caused by decisions that people make for themselves using their free will.  The best way to overcome all hurts, habits or hangups, is to exercise your free will and emulate the values, the character of Jesus Christ. This is what Celebrate Recovery is all about.

Pastor Frank Pastore says:

"In the external, or physical, world, we’re all aware of standard cause and effect. You know, "Object A acts upon Object B with Force X." We all get that, because it applies to just about everything – from electrons to athletes.

But now consider events in your internal, or mental, world. What causes your thoughts?
Some of our thoughts have external causes, like when we touch something and suddenly realize it’s hot. We don’t deliberate whether or not to pull our hand away. Our brain has already fired the instruction to do so -- involuntarily. In some strange sense, "we" didn’t pull our hand away at all -- because "we" didn’t choose to do it. Our brain did it before consulting us.

A second cause of our thoughts is internal. Say you’re thinking about giving a big presentation and as you do so, you get increasingly nervous, and your blood pressure and your heart rate jump up. Now, nothing external is acting upon you. You’re doing all the "causing" internally, right? Your anxious thoughts are causing your brain to send signals to your heart, and we get that.

But now, let’s consider a third category of our thoughts – it’s your conscious choices – something as simple as choosing where to go for lunch.
Now when you introspect, when you think about your thinking, do you believe that you are the active agent in charge of the process , or that you are just a passive recipient of the instruction – that you have no choice in the matter, it’s all external forces – be they environmental, genetic, chemical, biological, or neurological? 

In other words, do you think all your thoughts have external causes beyond your control, or do you think that you control some, if not most, of your thoughts?
Let’s stay with our lunch example for a second... back to the question...I ask you "Where do you want to go for lunch today?"

Now, if all you are is a brain, an exhaustively physical system of neurons and synapses, then there’s no "you" that will be making a "choice" at all. Your thought processes are basically just a complex series of colliding electron-dominos crashing into one another. It’s just physical cause and effect, right –something that can be exhaustively understood in terms of physics and chemistry? There’s no "you" that’s an agent that’s deliberating, or choosing, or exercising freewill.

And that’s why, if you are just a brain, you cannot have freewill. You would just be a physical machine – a very complex but programmed computer.

But, if you’re something more than your brain – if you’re the thing that has the brain – then, when I ask you "Where do you want to go for lunch?," you’re going to start deliberating – you’re going to be weighing your taste preferences, the commute time, and perhaps even counting calories. You’d be weighing various reasons to choose one place over another. You wouldn’t be caused to think about any of these things. You would choose to think about these things, and you could stop anytime you wanted to.

So, what we have here, therefore, are two different types of things: an immaterial mind and the material brain. You are the thing that has a brain – you are not your brain.  Now look, even if you were the world’s foremost brain expert, and knew what was happening with every electron in someone’s brain at a specific, particular moment, you still wouldn’t have a clue about what’s going on inside that person’s mind. Surgeons can have access to my brain, but only I have access to my mind.
This is what makes you human and not a machine. 

Psychology, the study of the mind, is not reducible to physics, and biology, and chemistry.
Yet, there are many materialists – people who believe that physical matter is all that exists, that the only reality – including every thought and feeling, every mind, every will, all of this is totally explained in terms of matter in motion, simply physical phenomena. These materialists believe we’re no more than robots and that freewill is an illusion, a myth.

Now, why do they believe this? Because they understand that the moment they acknowledge that free will exists, that there really is an immaterial you beyond the physical, that there really is a mind, not just a brain, then there has to be something non-physical that accounts for our non-physical minds.
Now when you exercise your freewill and choose to think about all this – you’ll probably reason – like I did – that there is a Great Mind that accounts for the origin of your mind.

But again, that’s your choice – evidence of your free will.
I’m Frank Pastore for Prager University."

Source: http://www.prageruniversity.com/Religion-Philosophy/


__________________
"I am a Grateful Believer in Jesus Christ with Free Will and I CHOSE Surrender (Intelligent Delegation) in my victory over, “Recreational Chemical Abuse, my weekend, "False Idols."
"I chose DIRECT health assertive Christ Driven Behavior (CDB) instead of DISPLACED behavior in order to regain control over feeling helpless, powerless, trapped and lacking control. I changed my, "Thinking," and God changed my life."
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There is no reason why anyone with any hurt, habit, or hang up cannot be helped. The Person-God partnership simply needs to be more powerful than any hurt, habit or hangup.

Behind everything you do is a THOUGHT.

Every BEHAVIOR is motivated by a BELIEF.

Every ACTION is prompted by an ATTITUDE.

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With respect to behavior, life is about, emotions, beliefs, thinking and control.

"A fool vents all his feelings, But a wise man holds them back."Proverbs 29:11 (Displaced Behaviors)

"Do not be conformed by this world but instead by the renewing of your mind." Romans 12:2 (Direct Behavior)

When you think and empower yourself and surrender control to God, when you Intelligently Delegate Control to God (2 Corinthians 12:9-10),

God returns that control to you with a, “Helper," the Holy Spirit, (John 14:16) a form of Reciprocal Innervation.

You regain control: "the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long suffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.

No longer are you subject to corrupted displaced thinking but instead are transformed by the renewing of your mind (Romans 12:2).

This is where science and scripture intertwine, where Christ Driven Behavior brings, values, control, cause, character and purpose driven behavior, the fruits of the spirit Galatians 5:22-23 .

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Proverbs 29:11 "A fool vents all his feelings, But a wise man holds them back."

Romans 12:2: Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.

2 Corinthians 12-9:“My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.”

John 14:16: "He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever—"

Philippians 2:13: "for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure."

Galatians 5:22-23 "the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long suffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.

Ephesians 4:22-23 "...put away the old person you used to be. Have nothing to do with your old sinful life. It was sinful because of being fooled into following bad desires. Let your minds and hearts be made new."

Life is about finding Purpose. When you have a, "Global Purpose," in life, healthy direct assertive thinking and behavior follow.

Change your thinking, change your life!

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