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Faith Imagined: Free-Will in Source Code

Faith Imagined

Alisa Hope Wagner: Christian Writer

April 10, 2011

Free-Will in Source Code

As I've stated before, I like sci-fi movies. They make me think. The sci-fi film, Source Code, directed by Duncan Jones, a professed atheists (his film, Moon, has an atheistic angle) and son of David Bowie; resonated one universal truth deep into my spirit : FREE-WILL. I find it interesting that even people who deny their creator cannot rid themselves of His mark. I see God's fingerprint encrypted even in the creations running from the Maker.

I've been wrestling a lot lately with free-will. I know God created a perfect world with perfect people, but because He gave us free-will to choose a place with Him or without Him, sin entered the world and corrupted His perfect design. We consumed from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. We had already tasted Good (God), but now we tasted Evil (the force which expresses the absence of God). Everything in existence has its absence, and we became aware of both.

God knew that we would make choices that were without Good, so He incorporated the Answer into His creation. Jesus Christ was there in the beginning (Tree of Life), and He is the world's remedy to free-will. Jesus is the simplest of all solutions. We ask by faith for His righteousness to cover us, and we can be transported instantly into the presence of God. God is 100% perfect, and only those covered in perfection can commune with Him. Free-will corrupted us, but Jesus redeems us. So awesome, yet so easy.

(The following will spoil the movie). Colter Stevens is pretty much dead. Some of his brain is still functional, so the military scientists use that portion to transport Colter back into the subconscious of another man who died on the train earlier that morning. Colter gets to go back several times for eight minutes to try and discover who bombed the train. Colter literally has nothing left but his free-will, and he desperately tries to figure out a way to keep it.

After leaving that movie, I felt an overwhelming gratitude for the free-will that God has given me. Yes, I know the world is corrupted by free-will; however, free-will is an amazing gift that can also produce much good. Without free-will, we would all be lifeless. I finally realized that the corruption caused by free-will was totally worth the life we've been given.

And we are all in Colter Stevens's shoes. We all have one foot in the grave with only a vapor of free-will left to know our Creator and to change the world for His good. Instead of saving people from a train wreck, we are saving people from living an eternity in the absence of God (aka. hell). I don't care how you describe hell -- eternity away from a God who is all perfect, all love and all good sounds horrible. But no matter how good we think we are, we can never fulfill His perfect law, and that is why we need a Savior.

I don't want to spend my short eight minutes on earth worrying about the trivialities that seek to distract me. There is a bomb (inevitable death) about to go off, and there is only one Man who knows how to defeat it. And this Man didn't defeat death for Himself; He defeated it for all of us. We are in Christ by faith, so we defeated death along with Him. We are new creations with the power of free-will in our hands. The question is, How will we use it?

"Being created with a free will, man is expectd to exercise his will for union with God's will in opposing the will of Satan [the force which expresses the absense of God]. This is the purpose of creation as well as the purpose of redemption. The entire life of the Lord Jesus demonstrates this principle." - Watchman Nee

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Blogger The Unknowngnome said...

Thank you for the free-will meat in this post and thank you for the link to Watchman Nee. There is much to digest.

3:34 AM  
Blogger Leah @ Point Ministries said...

What a thought: 'even people who deny their creator cannot rid themselves of His mark'. Even the athiest knows how to offer grace and mercy...and sometimes they do it better than the Christians does.

I am reading Christopher Hitchens' book 'god is not GREAT' right now. Wow, what an eye opener. Hitchens is a very vocal athiest who sets out to prove that religion poisons everything. In it, however, he lumps ALL religions together. He gives example after example of how 'religious people' have committed atrocities over the ages. The book has cemented in me a firm conviction that the only way we can consistently draw people to Jesus is simply to love them like Jesus would. That's it.

4:55 AM  
Blogger Melanie Redd said...

Thanks for the reminder to be thankful for Free Will. I esp. like your words... "free-will is an amazing gift that can also produce much good. Without free-will, we would all be lifeless."

We saw the movie over the weekend, and I thought how profound it was that when faced with impending death, Colter thought most about the people he loved.

Pretty interesting movie.

And, very interesting post today. Thanks for sharing.


11:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a thought: "even people who deny their creator cannot rid themselves of His mark" - what a message for hope for those of us praying for unbelievers in our families!

I, however, want more of God's response and long-suffering that he has towards our free will, when responding to the free will of my children. I need so much more of the Trinity within me to handle that:)

Challenging look on the effects of free will around us.

12:02 PM  
Blogger Pam said...

Wow, Alisa, this is an inspired post. Thank you for articulating a precept many wonder about. Isn't it wonderful that God didn't create us to be puppets? Blessings on you and yours.

5:37 PM  
Blogger Beth K. Vogt said...

A compelling post that makes me wonder: How am I spending my 8 minutes of free will?

5:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

GREAT JOB....very everyone has said all I wanted to say. Shared your link on FB! Blessings to you.

9:27 PM  
Blogger SunJane said...

Love the simplicity you bring to a topic that can get so distracting. Love that you included Watchman Nee. He is one of my favs!

9:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great post. We know that our God truly wants us to give our hearts to him freely. Our free will is a beautiful gift. You're right, without our free will we would be robots. Perfect love allows rejection...we are so blessed.

2:52 AM  
Blogger Cindy Bultema said...

As always, another powerful post! Love Watchman Nee! Thanks for sharing!
Sweet blessings ~
Cindy :)

1:51 PM  
Blogger Kim @ Stuff could... said...

Yes He gave us that Free Will, we can struggle with that. Adam and Eve did....

3:33 PM  
Blogger Toyin O. said...

I am grateful for the free will to love, honour, and serve God. I intend to use my 8 minutes to please Jesus Christ:)

7:24 PM  
Blogger lioneagle said...

Hi Alisa -

You expressed, "He defeated it for all of us.

A hearty Amen.

Thank you for profound truth.

10:07 PM  
Blogger Missie said...

My husband just suggested we watch this movie...I will have to take him up on it!
Thanks for the review, I totally agree with you on the whole reality of free-will.

1:08 PM  
Blogger Karen Lange said...

Appreciate your thoughts on this. Thanks! :)

4:19 PM  
Blogger Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Alisa -

We're made in God's image, so free-will must be one of His characteristics. He values freedom. Without it, we're nothing more than robots programmed to act in a certain way.

A robot cannot love, interact without someone directing it, or reproduce. It is lifeless.

God gave us something precious in free-will. We just need to watch who we choose to follow.

Susan :)

8:24 PM  
Blogger Sharon Kirby said...

Excellent post on free will. It is the awful, and awe-full gift from God. With it, He gives us the power to potentially reject Him.

I liked how you talked about the movie, and really turned it into a great spiritual lesson. I also do not want to waste my life in distracted pursuit of things that do not matter.

I was absolutely inspired by the last quote. Yes, that would sum up my heart's desire - to align myself with the work and will of God, and to oppose the father of lies every chance I get.


5:22 PM  
Blogger Renee Ann said...

Thought-provoking and inspiring--as always! I can't imagine how it feels to be God watching over us as we pervert His gift of free will. What a longsuffering Creator we have!

2:38 PM  
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6:55 AM  

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