An all-knowing God is not a kind God.

Another person has already asked you how free will and predestination can co-exist, and the answer you gave just doesn't work. You say that you can know something can happen, for instance your teenage son taking a $20 bill you leave on the table and this still leaves him the coice. That only works if you can't be absolutely sure about what is going to happen and can claim responsibility for the event the way God can.

Let me give you an example. Let's say you know absolutely for sure that a man named Bob is going to kill another man named Lenny. You can even tell this to Bob, and he can spend the rest of his life trying to avoid Lenny, but sonner or later, Bob murders him (I think there's a greek tragedy that works along these lines). Now if God knows everything that will ever happen, it's as bad as if he had put the gun in Bob' hand and squeezed his trigger finger because he knew before Bob ever met Lenny, before either of them were born, in fact before the universe was made, that this was going to happen, and he still went ahead and let it. If you know that your son is going to take that money when you leave it out, you have to take some of the blame when he does, and if you know it's going to happen and in fact made this situation occur, then you have to take all of the blame when he picks up the bill.

A world where God knows everything that will happen and lets us think we have free will is an incredibly unfair one. Every wrong thing that you will ever do was carefully planned out, and even though you have no hand in it happening because it was fated for you to eventually make the wrong choice, you will be given full responsibility for it and put in hell (another mind-numbingly horrifying thing for God to make, maybe for another e-mail...). Every person saved by Christ was planned out to do so millenia ago, no big surprise. If God knew how everything would happen before he started time, he had already seperated the grain from the chaff before he grew the crop, and while the pre-chosen ones saved from the very obstacles He allowed to exist would have a wonderful time in heaven, the souls burning in hell to fit the great Plan would be better off never having existed in the fist place. An all-knowing God is not a kind God.

My response is in Green:

Thanks for writing me. You say that my answer just doesn't work. Okay, but you know your logic just doesn't work for me. I don't understand how you can say that because God knows what decision we will make means that we don't have a choice. Sorry that does not make any sense to me at all.

To say that before God created us, because He knew what choices we would make, means that we don't have free will is just out in left field as far as I am concerned. One of the problems is you are judging God by your own standards. Because God knows what is going to happen you think that is the same as God planning everything to work that way. You even stated it much that way, when you said: "and he still went ahead and let it." (meaning let it happen). When God allows free choice He allows free choice. That does not mean that by allowing people to make choices, He is in fact making the decisions for them.

I admit that my illustration of the $20 and my son was not the best example, but I was trying to make the point that if you know a person will act a certain way, it does not give them any less of a choice in what they do.

The problem here is a simple one. You don't want to answer to God for your own actions, so you will malign Him to take the responsibility off yourself. The problem with that is that in the end it won't work. Some day every human being will stand before God and answer for the choices they made and it won't even cross your mind to tell God that you did not really have a choice because He already knew what you would choose.(Job 40:8 NIV) "Would you discredit my justice? Would you condemn me to justify yourself?" That is the question God asked Job, but maybe you should answer it too.

Simple logic says that knowing something will happen and allowing it anyway, and preplanning something are two different things. God says we don't think like He does:(Isaiah 55:8-9 NIV) "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways," declares the LORD. {9} "As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. Therefore I will not try to speak for God, however, I would like to give you an example that might be close to the truth. Let's say that God knows what you and I are going to be like before He created us. He knows what choices we will make. He further knows that if He tugs on your heart four times you will accept Christ as your Savior. Therefore He does exactly that in your life; He tugs four times and indeed you do accept Christ as your Savior. I say you still made that choice, God just knew how much tugging you would require. Now let's say that God knows that no matter how many times He tugs on my heart I will continue to reject Him. What would be wrong with Him only tugging on my heart once and then quitting? I still had a choice, but I only had one. Yet God knew that no matter how many times He gave me a chance I would not respond.

Now my question is, was God fair to both of us? I say yes. I take it you say no because He knew what was going to happen which means He was in control and we had no choice. You know for about 20 years I did not walk with God. I did what I wanted to do. I know that if I had died during that time I would have been judged on what choices I had made. You can try to blame God for not giving you choices but you are talking to the wrong person, because I know I deserved to die and deserved to be punished. I had choices offered to me and I made those choices of my own free will.

You said for God to allow us to think we have free will is very unfair. How fair would it be if God did not allow us to make a choice? What if we were just slaves who had no say as to whether we wanted to serve Him or not? You have a choice, you can say you don't because God knows what choice you will make, but you still have a choice.

Well anyway thanks for writing me and explaining you take on this. I don't want to argue with you, but I wanted to let you know my thoughts. Take care. I hope you will make the choice that you are willing to live with for eternity. God already knows what your choice will ultimately be, but don't let Satan convince you that you don't therefore have a choice.

Ralph

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