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Old 10-27-2007, 03:43 PM
 
Location: NC
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Why are we referred to as a lump of clay?

"9 For this is what the promise said, "About this time I will return and Sarah shall have a son." 10 And not only so, but also when Rebecca had conceived children by one man, our forefather Isaac, 11 though they were not yet born and had done nothing either good or bad, in order that God's purpose of election might continue, not because of works but because of his call, 12 she was told, "The elder will serve the younger." 13 As it is written, "Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated."
14 What shall we say then? Is there injustice on God's part? By no means! 15 For he says to Moses, "I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion." 16 So it depends not upon man's will or exertion, but upon God's mercy. 17 For the scripture says to Pharaoh, "I have raised you up for the very purpose of showing my power in you, so that my name may be proclaimed in all the earth." 18 So then he has mercy upon whomever he wills, and he hardens the heart of whomever he wills. 19 You will say to me then, "Why does he still find fault? For who can resist his will?" 20 But who are you, a man, to answer back to God? Will what is molded say to its molder, "Why have you made me thus?" 21 Has the potter no right over the clay, to make out of the same lump one vessel for beauty and another for menial use? Romans 9: 10-21 (Revised standard)

When I’ve had discussions in the past God’s sovereignty on other forums, many would skim over this passage. If you believe in free will, how does the belief in free will correspond with this passage? Many say that God does not interfere with our free will, but how can we really have free wills if we are described as a lump of clay in the hands of the Potter?

I do believe that we have wills but I believe that God is ultimately doing the molding and shaping as we experience things and learn, even when we aren't aware of it. Is this wrong? Is this the same as being a puppet who has no will of its own? I think of like a course that a teacher has a designed for a class. The teacher knows what it will take for the student to master what he or she needs to learn and the teacher has designed the course so that the students will have those experiences which will bring about the desired result. The student is actively participating but the teacher knows what is needed to master the course. The teacher knows what will happen if the student takes this route or another route, but all is designed with a goal of having the student be successful in the end. The only difference here is that God is the master teacher and we are all students in this course of life whether we want to be or not, imo. God has a goal and He has designed things so that this goal will be accomplished. Is it wrong for God as the Creator of all to do this? Thanks and God bless.
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Old 10-27-2007, 05:06 PM
 
Location: Cary, NC
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The People's New Testament gives one view

9:21 Hath not the potter power over the clay? So God, as far as right is involved, has the right to make of his creatures what he will. It is not said that we are as clay in the potter's hands, but that God has the right over us that the potter has over his clay. One lump the potter can use for a splendid vase; another for a vessel for base uses.
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Old 10-27-2007, 05:56 PM
 
Location: NC
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Thanks for sharing Jinxor , I agree that God has the right over us as the the potter has over his clay. He can make a splendid vase and another for base uses, but I think that God is described as a Potter too. For example Isaiah 45: 9 says "Woe to the one who quarrels with His Maker-an earthenware vessel among the vessels of earth." The word, Maker, is yatsar in in that verse, from what I understand, means " Potter or a Creator" The verb means "to form, to fashion, to devise, to frame, to produce".

If we believe that God has the right to to make whatever He wants of us, do we believe that He actually does do that? For example, in the vs. 10-13 in Romans 9, it says that God had determined the roles of the twins before they were even born. Paul speaks of God having mercy on whomever He will, and hardening others. Doesn't this mean that God is the One ultimately directing the lives of people? Is this wrong? God bless.
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Old 10-28-2007, 12:07 AM
 
Location: The Netherlands
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Originally Posted by ShanaBrown
Quote:
Is this wrong?
Well, unlike clay we humans have free will. Clay does not want anything, while I want lotsa things.
Another difference is that clay is dead, itís inanimate, while we humans are very much alive.
So it is wrong because God either gave us free will, or he didn't.
You are either pregnant or not, you can't be 1/2 pregnant.

Not even God can eat his cake and have it too.
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Old 10-28-2007, 12:47 AM
 
Location: NC
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Hi Tricky D. How can we have free will if God is described as the Potter and we as clay or earthen ware?
As a Christian, I believe that we are living dirt, soil, clay in the hands of a Living God. And I don’t believe that we have free will.

Quote:
Not even God can eat his cake and have it too.
Oh, yeah???

God bless.
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Old 10-28-2007, 01:37 AM
 
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Good post Shane, you have just voiced my views on this subject. Its amazing how much, we humans, forget our place - we are not the creator, but the creation. Just because we are not passive creation it doesnt mean we have total control, SomeOne else is total control. There are predefined rules, preset princples that effects us wether we like it or not. Its like the law of gravity- if a cat, walks on roof of a building, comes to the edge, and decides to continue to walk, it will fall and break and die - it will not be excused from the law of gravity just because it was never told of it, or because it chooses not to be affect by it. As much as we have free will our choices are still within predefined settings.
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Old 10-28-2007, 01:53 AM
 
Location: The Netherlands
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Thumbs up Give me Art or give me death.

Originally Posted by ShanaBrown
Quote:
As a Christian, I believe that we are living dirt, soil, clay in the hands of a Living God. And I donít believe that we have free will.
An artist can only work in complete freedom, because art is about breaking boundaries. Art that does not evolve is stagnant.
Every artist instinctively rebels against censorship. Censorship is all about control; not changing by resisting change. While art is all about experimenting, therefore it needs freedom.
Unlike you I do not view humanity as imperfect or Ďfallení. Nor do I hold the belief that man is the chosen steward of earth and all that lives on it. I believe that the earth would be a true paradise if not for the hubris of humanity. It is humanity that constantly disturbs the natural balance of the circle of life because he believes that he has the divine right to do so.
Man, no matter how intelligent he believes he is, is still dependant upon his surroundings like any other animal.

I guess that as a follower of Jesus I differ on many things with Christians.
I view myself as an artist because my Ďreligioní is build as a mosaic. I do not see the big picture, but I recognise the bits and pieces which are relevant. As a pragmatist I only choose the bits and pieces that have proven to work.
But I do believe that my foundation is that God=Love and that Jesus is the way to discovering The Truth.
Unlike myself I see Christians merely as scientists who have to work with dogma, because if their conclusions do not match those in their scriptures they can only conclude that their findings are un-Christian.
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Old 10-28-2007, 10:41 AM
 
Location: NC
11,918 posts, read 14,113,331 times
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Quote:
Good post Shane, you have just voiced my views on this subject. Its amazing how much, we humans, forget our place - we are not the creator, but the creation. Just because we are not passive creation it doesnt mean we have total control, SomeOne else is total control. There are predefined rules, preset princples that effects us wether we like it or not. Its like the law of gravity- if a cat, walks on roof of a building, comes to the edge, and decides to continue to walk, it will fall and break and die - it will not be excused from the law of gravity just because it was never told of it, or because it chooses not to be affect by it. As much as we have free will our choices are still within predefined settings.
Thanks, Timothy. Do you believe that we have totally free will if there are restrictions placed on us? God bless.
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Old 10-28-2007, 10:42 AM
 
Location: NC
11,918 posts, read 14,113,331 times
Reputation: 1328
Quote:
An artist can only work in complete freedom, because art is about breaking boundaries. Art that does not evolve is stagnant.
Every artist instinctively rebels against censorship. Censorship is all about control; not changing by resisting change. While art is all about experimenting, therefore it needs freedom.
Unlike you I do not view humanity as imperfect or ‘fallen’. Nor do I hold the belief that man is the chosen steward of earth and all that lives on it. I believe that the earth would be a true paradise if not for the hubris of humanity. It is humanity that constantly disturbs the natural balance of the circle of life because he believes that he has the divine right to do so.
Man, no matter how intelligent he believes he is, is still dependant upon his surroundings like any other animal.

I guess that as a follower of Jesus I differ on many things with Christians.
I view myself as an artist because my ‘religion’ is build as a mosaic. I do not see the big picture, but I recognise the bits and pieces which are relevant. As a pragmatist I only choose the bits and pieces that have proven to work.
But I do believe that my foundation is that God=Love and that Jesus is the way to discovering The Truth.
Unlike myself I see Christians merely as scientists who have to work with dogma, because if their conclusions do not match those in their scriptures they can only conclude that their findings are un-Christian.
Thanks for sharing, God bless.
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Old 10-28-2007, 12:48 PM
 
Location: Maryland
3,540 posts, read 6,069,667 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ShanaBrown View Post
Hi Tricky D. How can we have free will if God is described as the Potter and we as clay or earthen ware?
As a Christian, I believe that we are living dirt, soil, clay in the hands of a Living God. And I donít believe that we have free will.



Oh, yeah???

God bless.

If we have no free will, how do we love God?
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