Free Will and Predestination are two of the topics that we hear about a lot in “religious” discussions. They are considered polar opposites, since one states we can make up our own minds and the other says we have no choices since everything that will happen throughout our life is already set in stone.
These discussions are usually between people who have one very important thing in common- they believe in God.
What about those that are unsure, or reject the existence of God? Many of the Atheists and Agnostics I have talked with seem to have the belief that they are in charge of their lives- no one makes them do anything, no superior entity or power rules their life. They are in charge of their destiny!
Let’s work with that idea for a moment: if there is no God, no all-powerful, all-knowing eternal presence in the Universe that created and formed everything, then where did it come from? It must have been created randomly, by trillions upon trillions of chaotic collisions between sub-atomic particles that, every now and then, resulted in some newly formed atom, which banged into another atom that was electrically compatible, which banged into another, until eventually there were enough compatible atoms to form something. A planet, a rock, flesh, whatever- eventually, out of total chaos, you get enough random collisions between enough things (let’s throw in some climatic events, just for fun) and Viola! We have the Universe as we know it today.
If this is how we were created, the universe and everything in it, all the life-forms, the stars, etc., then everything that is, or will happen, also has to result from the same process, right? That means there is no control at all, from the sub-atomic level all the way up to making personal choices. Everything that happens is from randomness, which excludes any means of control. Therefore, if someone rejects God, that person rejects (at the same time and for the same reason) the idea that they have Free Will, that they can control their life, or that they can form their own destiny. They can’t because everything that happens is based on a random event.
However, if we accept that there is a God, an all-powerful, all-knowing spiritual entity that created everything and is in total control, we can have Free Will. That’s because God makes the choices about what happen, and all He has to do is decide to allow us to have the right to decide what we will do. The good news for those that want to be in total control of their lives is this: God does give us Free Will. More than that, when we need or want something, and we ask God to help us, if what we want is keeping in His will for us then we have the most powerful ally anyone could ever want to help us get what we ask for. Isn’t that the epitome of self-control? To have the ability to get what you want? There isn’t anything that is or might ever be that God cannot give to you.
And because God grants you Free Will if you choose to reject Him, He will let you, although that means you will be left with no means of control over anything because God will not interfere with your life. Well, maybe that’s not exactly accurate…God will interfere, in a subtle way, to help you find Him and come to Him- but only of your own free will. He will send angels of mercy (human and spiritual) to help you when you are in need, or He will allow terrible things to occur when you go off in the wrong direction, to humble you to the point where your prideful desire to be in total control is weakened enough to seek out His help. He might block you to prevent you from doing harm to yourself, or He may allow it, but He will always intercede with opportunities for you to change your mind. It is sort of like He might give you a little nudge in the right direction, but He won’t grab you by the ear and pull you where you don’t really want to go.
So, there you have it. For those that want to be in charge of their own life and reject the belief in God or a supernatural power that controls everything, what I say to you is: “Good luck! Let me know how that works out for you.”
Actually, don’t bother letting me know because I know already how it will end up.
Hopefully, those that think they are in control and reject God will feel that nudge and accept the leadership of the Lord so that they can, through God’s total control, finally have real control of their life.