if God gave free will to us, why do his will? (no disrespect

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Re: if God gave free will to us, why do his will? (no disres

Postby ezdzit247 » Thu Mar 23, 2017 3:54 pm

KrisF wrote:Hello, I'm a grateful member of AA and my higher power is God. Someone asked this question last night and although i've been sober for some time, I didn't know how to answer it... perhaps you guys can help. Question: "If the Bible says that God gave us free will, why does AA tell us to do God's will?"
I know for me my will always got me in trouble and I also believe God (or higher power) watched over me and led me to AA. But this question still kinda confuses me. I'd appreciate your wisdom in answering.
Thanks!


It's a loaded question, a debate device used to lure the unwary into the trap of validating the question by attempting to answer it instead of challenging its assumptions. To gain clarity, it's often helpful to mentally tweak a confusing question by rephrasing it. For example, if the word "Bible" is omitted from the question and the word "Quran" or "Talmud" or "Bhagavad Gita" is inserted in its place, the best response to this particular question becomes more obvious. AA's statement of philosophy is clearly stated in this part its Preamble:

".....A.A. is not allied with any sect, denomination, politics, organization or institution; does not wish to engage in any controversy; neither endorses nor opposes any causes. Our primary purpose is to stay sober and help other alcoholics to achieve sobriety."
“To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children...to leave the world a better place...to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.” -- Ralph Waldo Emerson
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Re: if God gave free will to us, why do his will? (no disres

Postby Brock » Thu Mar 23, 2017 5:42 pm

Sorry, but I don't see how that answers the question, we may not be allied with any sect, but the question is still valid.

We know the Bible speaks of free will, the Quran also does like in 76:3 - “We have shown man the path of truth and the path of falsehood; he may choose either the path of guidance and offer the thanks, or choose the path of ingratitude.” The Talmud does, because according to the Bible, the Jews were given the Torah and commanded to follow its precepts, with reward and retribution to be meted out accordingly. For Judaism to make sense, then, humans must have free will. And the Bhagavad Gita in 2.27 says - “Man has freedom of action; thereby he can adopt any channel, good or bad, through which he wants the course of his life to flow.”

In this case we shouldn't hide behind a preamble, because this is a question which could be asked by members of any religion in any part of the world, while not endorsing or opposing anything, so doesn’t qualify as controversial. Thanks to Google for the verses I found, which gave a bored AA member something to do, and I even learned something.

Maybe the best answer to the question, may lie in the fact that all these holy books point to having free will, and also that if we follow that instead of God's will, we won't find heaven but rather hell. We have found hell already that's why we came here, and AA promises heaven - “We have found much of heaven and we have been rocketed into a fourth dimension of existence of which we had not even dreamed. “
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Re: if God gave free will to us, why do his will? (no disres

Postby Blue Moon » Thu Mar 23, 2017 7:51 pm

KrisF wrote:Question: "If the Bible says that God gave us free will, why does AA tell us to do God's will?"


I was born with free will. I made choices with my free will based on self, which fueled self-will. I used free will for selfish or self-centered motives. Alcohol fueled this path, to the extent that my learned behaviour of acting only on self-will was destructive.

So when I quit drinking, focusing on "God's Will" was quite an effort because I was changing old habits of behaviour, old ways of doing things or reacting to them. Beyond that, I don't even know if God exists, and if he does I certainly don't know what his will is. IMO nobody else in AA does either. Some of us just think we do. It turns out that Step 3 makes no mention of God's will. It talks of my will - turning my will and life (thinking and actions) over to the care of a force which differs from that old self-centered objective, from which had become so strangely and sorely lacking sufficient willpower where alcohol was concerned. The focus of AA-based recovery is to become more other-centered, simply because that is the opposite of being self-centered. The whole time I'm being concerned for you and your well-being, I'm less concerned for me and mine. The program helps us to clear away the wreckage of the past and old fears, so we can gradually become better at doing this.

So maybe next time someone says to you that AA tells us to do God's will, you could ask them where this is written. The Book talks about our Will, and our Willpower. Step 11 talks of knowledge of God's Will for us, and the power to carry that out. It doesn't mention God's will of us. We redirect our willpower to be less self-centered, so we become no longer power-less over alcohol - provided we stay in fit spiritual condition.
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Re: if God gave free will to us, why do his will? (no disres

Postby Db1105 » Thu Mar 23, 2017 10:00 pm

In my recovery, the bible is just another history book. It doesn't matter. What matters is that I work The Twelve Steps. When my natural instincts start running wild, working with others or other service work help keep me grounded.
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Re: if God gave free will to us, why do his will? (no disres

Postby positrac » Fri Mar 24, 2017 2:11 am

Noels wrote:Thanks Posi and Brock. I like your posts. Nice and understandable.
mwah xxx

I've read more and now it has gotten to complicated and really it shouldn't. Loaded question was mentioned and again how? If we as people stop trying to manipulate the outcomes of our destiny, then acceptance would be easy. For me I am saved and although I might not act like it at times I do pray and I do have faith. In nothing I said mentioned sect or denomination of a religious outlet that is manmade.

I've posted this in the past and it goes like this: If a rock will keep you sober then use it until you graduate to a bolder and then a mountain and then something that is more obtainable, but not a human as we'll fail you. God as I understand him/her/it hasn't let me down. My prayers might not get that instant gratification I expect and in his time and not mine. If anything I have hurt myself when I break away and go off the reservation and do it my way and then I have to pay for my actions. All I know is that I have everything I need for today and as long as I remember this I am in good hands and not allstate either....

Really at the end of the day this topic most likely will never be answered because no one wants to accept the answer and it is turning it over because we are all powerless. Money, wealth, political influence all may open doors and they are nice and yet these all can disappear as quickly as they were achieved and then what is left? Outside of hurt and deflated ego it might be faith if those kinds of people believe in faith.

So we all could admit our best and or worst got us into AA and sobriety and yet fight free will and God.
doesn't make much sense
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Re: if God gave free will to us, why do his will? (no disres

Postby ezdzit247 » Sat Mar 25, 2017 4:38 pm

Sorry, but I don't see how that answers the question, we may not be allied with any sect, but the question is still valid.


The OP posted:

"....Someone asked this question last night and although i've been sober for some time, I didn't know how to answer it... perhaps you guys can help. Question: "If the Bible says that God gave us free will, why does AA tell us to do God's will?" I know for me my will always got me in trouble and I also believe God (or higher power) watched over me and led me to AA. But this question still kinda confuses me. I'd appreciate your wisdom in answering."


My response to the OP's request for feedback was:

"It's a loaded question, a debate device used to lure the unwary into the trap of validating the question by attempting to answer it instead of challenging its assumptions....."


and suggested that the OP follow the wisdom offered in this portion of AA's Preamble:

".....A.A. is not allied with any sect, denomination, politics, organization or institution; does not wish to engage in any controversy; neither endorses nor opposes any causes. Our primary purpose is to stay sober and help other alcoholics to achieve sobriety."


We know the Bible speaks of free will...


Irrelevant.

The question was:

"If the Bible says that God gave us free will, why does AA tell us to do God's will?"


The question "....why does AA tell us to do God's will?" is predicated on the questioner's assertion that "the Bible says "God gave us free will". The assertion is false. Neither the KJV Bible nor any other version/translation of the Bible says that "God gave us free will." Big red flag to "be wise as serpent and gentle as a lamb", err on the side of caution and avoid a contentious debate by invoking the wisdom of AA's founders on outside issues.
“To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children...to leave the world a better place...to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.” -- Ralph Waldo Emerson
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Re: if God gave free will to us, why do his will? (no disres

Postby Noels » Sat Mar 25, 2017 10:09 pm

Pfew , now it's getting complicated.
in all honesty - I personally refuse to believe that God expect of me to analyse everything from top to bottom, flipped over, sideways, backwards or on its head.
God and all surrounding and relating to God is to me 'a feeling ' - a knowing rather than a knowledge.
And frankly this that AA have no opinion about 'outside issues? ' c'mon. ... I may be 'a part of AA ' but I'm NOT AA so with questions of this nature I prefer to exercise my greatest gift - freedom of choice - whether to respond and reply to a person who is possibly searching for an answer to the best of my ability with all the honesty and clarity I possibly have or whether to disect the question into the marrow for a week only to respond with another tissue delving answer.
I have learned to keep it simple and honest. Like it's also suggested in AA?
Life is simple. Nature is simple. Understanding and accepting God is simple. Like a PB and jam sandwich. No butter needed. Simple is good.
Mwah xxx
Ps - since God is the foundation of our program I fail to see how It can be regarded as 'an outside issue ' any case?
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Re: if God gave free will to us, why do his will? (no disres

Postby tomsteve » Sun Mar 26, 2017 8:35 am

Noels wrote:Pfew , now it's getting complicated.
in all honesty - I personally refuse to believe that God expect of me to analyse everything from top to bottom, flipped over, sideways, backwards or on its head.

I agree that God doesn't want me to complicate it. reading the bible, it seems He didn't complicate things too much- He made the heavens and earth in 7 days- the EARTH!
early on in recovery,though, I complicated EVERYTHING. i am positive that at times i complicated things, i heard God laughin. :)
took me some hard knocks to realize "keep it simple" is a good way to live.
don't always remember that and start complicating things
and hear God laughin.

heres something funny:
grocery shopping used to be a crazy time for me. the one thing that was hard? chossing toilet paper. seriously! theres a jillion different brands then do i want double wall, triple wall, then super fluffy,100 grit, cloud like stuff, then single rolls, double rolls, or rolls for an elephant, then 4,12,24, or truckload packs!?!?!?!

now i just grab a pack.
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Re: if God gave free will to us, why do his will? (no disres

Postby tomsteve » Sun Mar 26, 2017 8:35 am

Noels wrote:Pfew , now it's getting complicated.
in all honesty - I personally refuse to believe that God expect of me to analyse everything from top to bottom, flipped over, sideways, backwards or on its head.

I agree that God doesn't want me to complicate it. reading the bible, it seems He didn't complicate things too much- He made the heavens and earth in 7 days- the EARTH!
early on in recovery,though, I complicated EVERYTHING. i am positive that at times i complicated things, i heard God laughin. :)
took me some hard knocks to realize "keep it simple" is a good way to live.
don't always remember that and start complicating things
and hear God laughin.

heres something funny:
grocery shopping used to be a crazy time for me. the one thing that was hard? chossing toilet paper. seriously! theres a jillion different brands then do i want double wall, triple wall, then super fluffy,100 grit, cloud like stuff, then single rolls, double rolls, or rolls for an elephant, then 4,12,24, or truckload packs!?!?!?!

now i just grab a pack.
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Re: if God gave free will to us, why do his will? (no disres

Postby Layne » Sun Mar 26, 2017 9:31 am

Question: "If the Bible says that God gave us free will, why does AA tell us to do God's will?"
because it is a far better choice (because of our free will we get to make choices) than self-will.

Definition of self–will
: stubborn or willful adherence to one's own desires or ideas : obstinacy
© 2017 Merriam-Webster, Incorporated

seems to fairly simple to me

kinda like principals before personalities
personalities (AKA self-will) drives me to drink
principals (AKA higher power-will) drives me to recovery
I think I will buy a ticket on the principal bus
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Re: if God gave free will to us, why do his will? (no disres

Postby positrac » Mon Mar 27, 2017 7:40 am

Good replies and hence why I said WE want instant gratification and poof it is all gone and we are cured and life goes on. I believe the point originally provided in the BB was that we have to not only admit/submit/turnover, our lives to the care of God. We should learn to accept and not always throw the BS flag when we see fit when it doesn't appeal to our way of life as we once knew it. I've had to learn some hard knocks over my obstinate way about me.

I am no different than you all and if we stick each other with a sharp pin we bleed red and say ouch! Our differences are how we accept life on life's terms and then we start living. As a reminder it is a simple program if WE get out of the way. I don't have to quote the BB to make a point and I like to use the experience portion of my past to present for the new comer. All the literature comes later and hopefully they can grasp this way of life. I do appreciate you all and the points made even when we agree to disagree sometimes because we keep each other sober and my thanks again.
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Re: if God gave free will to us, why do his will? (no disres

Postby kdub720 » Wed Mar 29, 2017 4:00 pm

God gives us Free will and has a plan for us. It is like a choose your own adventure novel. We can choose, but our path will change withe every adventure.
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Re: if God gave free will to us, why do his will? (no disres

Postby PaigeB » Thu Mar 30, 2017 12:03 pm

start complicating things
and hear God laughin.

heres something funny:
grocery shopping used to be a crazy time for me. the one thing that was hard? chossing toilet paper. seriously! theres a jillion different brands then do i want double wall, triple wall, then super fluffy,100 grit, cloud like stuff, then single rolls, double rolls, or rolls for an elephant, then 4,12,24, or truckload packs!?!?!?!

now i just grab a pack.

Thanks for going a little irreverent - gives me license to do so too.

First though, each person is completely different, affected and changed by each second of their life from the time of their birth ~ how could I be so arrogant as to think that what I perceive as an HP and what you perceive as an HP are the same in ANY way? So goes our definitions of most things not completely nailed down to an agreed definition. Things like God and Love are a bit on the personal perception side. No way we could be 100% sure about what another person is perceiving when we speak of them.

It is like our UNDERWEAR. Yes. Laughing but serious. Let's say I send you to the store for toilet paper, which I give you a description of, and I also ask you to pick up a pack of underwear for me, which I also give you a description of. Of course You can only remember half of the long list of things I said ~ probably the stuff YOU are familiar with, like the fact that we always get the 12 pack of toilet paper. But when it comes to getting me some dainties you find that there are colors and styles GALORE. Let's say I even give you a WRITTEN LIST of qualities I want for my skivies... Still, you find yourself overwhelmed and you have to ask for help. The lady who comes to help you is ALSO limited by her definitions of the qualities on the list... But eventually you either quit without buying some or buy a 12 pack of the soft ones (that makes sense right? like the TP we agree on right?). BZZZZZZZZ WRONG. Now I am flipping out because I SWEAR I gave you the MOST articulate description of the product I wanted.

You see? We are hampered by our internal perceptions & definitions even when we think we agree on them.

God & Love are just as elusive as TP and underpants! Just grab a pack & pick an HP you can do business with.
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Re: if God gave free will to us, why do his will? (no disres

Postby CrystalDeMarr » Mon Jun 26, 2017 9:02 am

Question: "If the Bible says that God gave us free will, why does AA tell us to do God's will?"

God does give us free will to do as we choose, because He doesn't want to force Himself on us. He wants to be chosen just like we all do. No one wants to feel like they have to force someone to want them. God feels the same way, especially as our Author and Creator. Choosing our own will, will lead to destruction. Choosing God's will, will lead us down that narrow pathway to righteousness where we inherit eternal life. In Christ, we are safe.
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Re: if God gave free will to us, why do his will? (no disres

Postby Brock » Mon Jun 26, 2017 11:30 am

Welcome to e-AA Crystal.

I agree for me it is easier to relate to freedom of choice instead of God's will, I think they mean pretty much the same thing. So I don't think of doing God's will, I think of choosing to do the thing which will bring me the greatest peace, satisfaction and happiness. And after trying to find those via drugs, booze, sex, and material possessions, I found it was not the right choice. AA and the spiritual journey it launched me on, suggested different choices I might make, and those choices make me happy sober and free, regardless of whether they are God's will or not.

So now I am using my free will, to choose to do things which are probably what God would have me do anyway, because they provide me a good life. It's my choice to do it, so I still have free will, it's not like we have to swap our will for His, it becomes one and the same. I like this line on page 87 - “...we find that our thinking will, as time passes, be more and more on the plane of inspiration. We come to rely upon it.”

Of course when in doubt a simple prayer puts on on the right track, and personally I don't like to think of that track like what you call “that narrow pathway to righteousness..." here again we have free will to choose our own interpretation, and I believe AA's wording after step five says it perfectly - “We feel we are on the Broad Highway, walking hand in hand with the Spirit of the Universe.”
"Good morning, this is your Higher Power speaking. I will not be needing your help today."
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