Posts Tagged ‘is freewill a gift?’

It wouldn’t surprise me if you are in absolute agreement with George Carlin. Sometimes, I am too. That’s why I downloaded this meme for a Frank’s Cottage blog.

The question hinted at by the late, great comedian (1937-2008) is pretty obvious: how can there be a loving, involved creator when this world seems so shot through with violence, disaster, pandemics, corruption and disease? If He exists, does He just not give a darn?

These questions bugged me incessantly. But something changed after I made a life-changing decision. Prepare yourself, because this was — and is — radical. I decided to follow Jesus of Nazareth, who many people believe is the Son of God.

Once that happened, I started to see the world differently. I read about Jesus — His life, death and resurrection — and came to understand the gift of free will.

I’ll admit this is often a difficult, troubling notion that many people–maybe even you–struggle to accept and appreciate. But then I wonder:

  • Is it God’s fault that most people are greedy?
  • Is it God’s fault that governments often prefer to spend money on guns than food, healthcare and safe water?
  • Is it God’s fault that so many of us claim to hate corruption unless that corruption benefits us?
  • Is it God’s fault that most of us (and I certainly include me) claim to dislike hypocrisy, but are often so good at it that we’re blind to our insincerity?

Maybe you’re reluctantly admitting that it’s not God’s fault. But hey, why isn’t He doing something about it? To which I answer: He IS doing something about it.

God is using horribly imperfect Jesus followers like me, and Jesus-following organizations like Samaritan’s Purse, Lifewater, Compassion Canada, ShareWord Global, International Justice Mission and so many more, to show the world who He is and why Jesus is His solution to most of our problems.

When I chose to follow Jesus–to make Him (and not greed/selfishness/money/power/sex) the Lord of my life–I started to fully grasp the gift of free will. And fully realize the gobsmacking LOVE which motivates that gift.

Do you want to be a goose-stepping brainless robot? I know how you’ll answer, but this is an all-or-nothing proposition. Either we have free will, with all its pitfalls, or we don’t.

I used that free will to make Jesus my leader, my motivator, my strength, my ultimate source of life. And it’s made me a better person. Oh, I’m a long, LONG way from where I should be (just ask my wife), but that’s OK. Jesus is making me more of the person I was meant to be, and that work won’t end until this life ends and I meet Him face-to-face. And that will be glorious.

All this is available to you, too. And if you say yes, you also open the door to God working through you to make this broken world a better place. Interested? Yes or no, post your thoughts below and let’s have a conversation.

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ComfortingLackOfProof 1.15Are there people in this world who think the Bible proves God’s existence? The answer is almost certainly YES. I would beg to differ with them, and so would many thoughtful, wise people.

A majority of those who follow Jesus of Nazareth (who many people believe is the Son of God) believe the Bible is strong evidence for God’s existence and for the life and work of Jesus. But proof? Well, here’s how Matt Slick on the Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry website puts it:

Proof is for mathematics and logic. How do you “prove” there is a Great Being outside of our universe? Do we look for footprints in a riverbed? Do we examine evidence under a microscope and say, “Aha! There’s God!”? That would be the wrong approach. If God exists, He would be beyond our universe, non-material, and transcendent.

Now look around you at this planet, then consider the solar system in which it exists. And the Milky Way galaxy in which our solar system exists. And the universe that includes the Milky Way. Did all that simply pop out of nowhere for no particular reason? I don’t think so. Indeed, an ancient writer says “The heavens are telling the glory of God; they are a marvelous display of his craftsmanship.”

That’s still not proof for God’s existence, of course. And I firmly believe there NEVER will be definitive proof. And I’m fine with that. God has never provided proof; following Jesus is about a mixture of reason, evidence and faith.

That last noun is a dirty word to some people, like the atheist who posted the meme that inspired this blog. But ancient writers acknowledge the need for faith. One of them wrote, “Whoever comes to God must believe that He is real and that He rewards those who sincerely try to find Him.”

Why am I good with a lack of definitive proof? Because if such proof existed, the freedom to be an atheist — to believe there is no God and the future of this planet is all up to us horribly greedy, immature, violent and disloyal people — would be destroyed. (Though some folks don’t let facts alter their worldview – see flat-earthers.) And if the state of this broken world tells me anything, it’s that God prizes the gift of freewill. No matter how often we spit on it.

  • I’m given a choice of whether to believe that Jesus, and all the accomplishments that original-source biographies declare He did while physically on earth, is for real.
  • I’m given a choice on whether to accept that Jesus’ death on a Roman cross makes up for all the wrong things done by His followers and all the right things His followers fail to do.
  • I’m given a choice on whether to trust that by declaring Jesus as my Lord and Saviour, I’ll spend eternity with Him in the presence of the Creator of the universe.

One thing I already know: my life is better because I believe in God and follow His Son. Because of that belief, I’ve forgiven people that others have been unwilling to forgive. That belief has also had a profound, positive and life-changing influence on my career, who I married and how I think about this world and everyone in it.

Are there times when maybe you need a new and positive influence in your life? Yes or no, post your thoughts below and let’s have a conversation.

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