Saluting with misty eyes
Eddie- I didn't make myself clear on my post. As of right now, my job is to teach my children how to make intelligent decisions for their own life, so that when they are adults, and no longer answer to me and their mother, they are able to make the proper decisions more easily. Right now, they DO NOT have free reign... that does not mean that I rule with the ever-popular iron fist. Do I allow the kids to make decisions that I know are complete and total mistakes?? Sometimes. A good example would be the chocolate cake you mentioned. My son got a double chocolate fudge cake with chocolate fudge icing for his birthday the year he was 12. (he's 14 now) We had a small family only party after dinner, and he insisted that he was old enough to make his own decisions, and that he felt it was perfectly OK to eat the entire thing. My wife and I decided that, if he was old enough to do it, he was old enough to take the consequences. So we told him to have fun, and eat as much as he wanted to. 1/2 an hour later, I wandered into the dining room to find an emptry cake tray, and a VERY unhappy child. His stomach hurt, and he was sick because of all the junk. result of us allowing him to make that mistake... He now limits HIMSELF with the amount of garbage that he eats.
Another such example happened just a couple of months ago. He wanted to see a movie that we had rented, however, it was almost his bedtime. He argued that since he was all of 14 and a half, he should be allowed to stay up all night on the weekend if he chose to. We absolutely agreed, and he stayed up until about 4:30 in the morning watching videos. Well, just because he went to bed extremely late (early??) didn't give him any reason at all to skip Mass the next morning... and his mother and I chose that particular morning to attend the 7:30 service instead of the 12:00 service because we had a family outing planned. He was not ahppy when I turned on his light and yelled for him to get out of bed. He was even more unhappy when I stole his blanket (it was still winter,and I only keep the house at 60 degrees at night... that's why the Lord invented blankets.. and 65 during the day. He was tired, and he was cold, and he was miserable. He was also very unhappy when I kept jabbing him in the ribs as he tried to fall asleep during the service, and he was severely unhappy when I didn't allow him to sleep at all until his normal bedtime that night... ok, I cheated and gave him that extra half hour... End result?? My son now understands that his life (be it church, or work, or whatever) and responsibilities do not stop in the morning if he decides to stay up all night.
There have been other small instances where we have allowed him to reap the "benefits" of his actions. Are they dangerous? No. Are they going to cause him harm? No. I am not perfect, however, I am a better father than that. I can sit here and lecture him and tell him what, when, and how to do everything, and all that's going to do is give me a sore throat and him tired ears. Occasionally experience is the best teacher.
Now, once he becomes an adult, He will have a set of rules to live by (as do we all), and he is expected to follow them. Unfortunately, the only one that can decide if he will is him. I, as his father, can no longer do it for him.
The same thing applies, I feel, to THE Father. He gave us a set of rules to live by, and sent us people to assist him in teaching those rules to us (parents, clergy, Gospels, profits, etc), but at the end of the day... it is OUR decision on how well we follow them, and we are forced to accept the responsibility of not doing what is expected.
I hope that better explains my thoughts on Free Will vs. Omniscience.
When the morning cries and you don't know why...