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free will and loving God

free will and loving God

Postby susan h » 14 Dec 2004, 12:34

I was talking with a couple of friends of mine down at the university this evening after we took a break from studying, and they were telling me that they had been raised Christian (one Catholic, the other Baptist) but have since (and I mean, very recently) decided that they are not Christian anymore. One of them explained to me that he has a lot of problems with Christianity as a whole: not the Bible, he says, because that is generally sound, but the concept of Christianity. He gave me the example of free will, saying that it did not make sense that God, being omniscient and compassionate, would make us with free will, knowing we would have to be forgiven, but making us ask for forgiveness." He said, "why did there even have to be sin, anyway? etc... After all, if he's God, he can do anything, right? And this guy was raised in Christian doctrine. He said, "Everyone gives the argument that God didn't want a bunch of robots blindly following him, but that's so weak to me. He could have just made us loving him already." It is impossible to argue with his opinion, in my opinion, because it is almost assuming that the very nature of the universe is different, and that there is not a narrative to history, and that God should have not allowed the narrative to go as it did... it is, in essence, trying to suppose something that is beyond the realm of human understanding. But I'm really saddened by the fact that I can't say anything to these guys. Do you have any ideas?
susan h

Re: free will and loving God

Postby Karla » 14 Dec 2004, 20:25

Hi Susan
I don't have much to offer for your problem (I usually head for the hills when my non-Christian friends want to argue religion :)), but you might get more of a response if you register and post your message in the Christianity forum. We're all very nice. Honest. ;)
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Re: free will and loving God

Postby Joe R » 19 Dec 2004, 05:04

My response would be that if we didn't have free will, we really wouldn't be ourselves. If we don't have free will, essentially, we don't exist and God would then remain alone.
Joe R

Re: free will and loving God

Postby carol » 19 Dec 2004, 08:32

Susan, your friend is right to say that God could have made us differently, eg as much more obedient and automatically kinder people. But the Bible says that we were made in His image, which meant we had qualities of creativity, choice etc... and because we were NOT made divine but human, those qualities made us fallible too. It is generally considered that God knew the end at the beginning, so that the hints of salvation contained in the creation account are very significant.

On another angle entirely, it is amazing how many people decide that they cannot believe in Christianity, once they have chosen a lifestyle that disobeys known Christian teaching (particularly couples who live together out of marriage) - and they say they have trouble with the doctrines, but I am perfectly sure they have trouble with morality not theology! I'm thinking of people I know in this category.
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