God behaves illogically?

Here is the logic pattern:

P1. God is omnipotent, e.g. he can create whatever he wants, however he wants it, provided it follows laws of logic and physics.
P2. God is omniscient; he knows every possible fact and outcome of every situation; he has foreseen everything that happens.
P3. Mankind disobeys and God punishes mankind for disobedience.
P4. God, by his discretion, brings some to himself or pushes them away, by his own discretion – he predestines some to certain fates.
C1. Free will could not exist with a God that is both omniscient and omnipotent.
C2. Free will cannot truly be said to exist in those with whom God directly interferes.
C3: Therefore, the Biblical God behaves illogically and capriciously.

I’m assuming the person who wrote this was an atheist. I have no conclusive evidence of that, since the only other thing I know about him is that his name was Ha ha ha!. I don’t know if I’m supposed to put a period after the exclamation point if that punctuation was part of his name.

The world wants us to be able to answer anything with logic. If you can’t create a good logic argument, then you’re not a good thinker. Anything you say or propose should be logical. If you’re illogical, you’re irrational. And I can’t knock that. Honestly, there’s nothing wrong with wanting to be rational. On the other hand, the Bible never calls us to be good logicians, statisticians, or postulates. Christ never commanded us to be world-class philosophers or out-think Copernicus. The bible states “if you confess with your mouth Jesus Christ is Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you shall be saved.”

Now, I’m not going to get into the “with your mouth” portion. That’s a different post for a different day. But I am going to stand firm that all God really requires of us is our heart. He wants us to live for him. But, in the spirit of good cheer, there are a lot of confused people out there who really do want these questions explained in a palatable doctrine that utilizes reasoning, doesn’t exploit irrational conclusions, and most of all, is articulated. Let’s all face it- it’s frustrating when someone who’s defending a belief system is unwilling to go near a topic!

1. God is omnipotent. Yes, this is Biblical. He can create anything.
2. God is omniscient. Also Biblical. He knows everything from eternity past to eternity future down to the quark.
3. Mankind disobeys, and He punishes us for it. Hmmm. We’ll come back to this.
4. God, by his own volition, choses some to be in heaven with Him and some to be in hell without Him. Thereby he predestines people to eternal fate in one of two opposite places.

Because of these, the argument holds that freewill cannot exist because God made us all robots, and therefore He behaves irrationally.  Freewill has been a topic of debate even among denominations within the Protestant Church. We’re the sect that’s allowed to read our Bibles, and yet pastors still manage to find differential from one congregation to the next. The Nazarenes, for instance, believe it is possible to lose your salvation. I love them to death, and I can see where they are coming from. But I disagree. There are a lot of verses talking about becoming saved, and verses that talk about not becoming saved. The only unpardonable sin is choosing to be without God for the rest of eternity.

…which brings us to sin. Does God punish us for sin? It certainly is a punishment. That’s not what I’m trying to dispute. Hell is not a cake-walk, and should not be taken lightly. In fact, the Bible clearly describes not only hell but also the Day of the Lord in which He punishes people even before they go there. “Who can endure His wrath? His fury is poured out like fire,” it says in Nahum 1. But does God send people to hell? Or do we go there on our own? God’s will is that none should perish. The Son of Man came not to be served, but to serve, and give his life a ransom for many (Mark 10:45). For God sent not His son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved (John 3:17). God does not send us to hell. He came here to save us. We were already on a course going there. He brought the good news – that he will take our sins for us – and those who reject His forgiveness reject Him. “But whoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.” (Matthew 10:33).

He cannot bring to heaven those who are unwilling to go. 11 “But when the king came in to look at the guests, he saw there a man who had no wedding garment. 12 And he said to him, ‘Friend, how did you get in here without a wedding garment?’ And he was speechless. 13 Then the king said to the attendants, ‘Bind him hand and foot and cast him into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ – Matthew 22

So if God is omnipotent, then He is sending those people there on His own, right? Besides- it says “Bind him hand and foot and cast him out.” And if He’s omniscient, He knows that they won’t choose him. Doesn’t this contradict the part where His will is that none should perish? (2nd Peter 3:9)

Hell is the place that the Lord isn’t. He cannot be in the presence of sin. If somebody is not willing to let go of their sin and leave it, it would be against His nature to invite them to the wedding banquet. God doesn’t make anybody choose to sin. 1 Corinthians says that whenever we are tempted, He will provide a way out so that we are able to stand up under the burden. Yes, he has that person cast out, who chose not to wear the wedding clothes. But God did not put the street clothes on that person. They refused to wear the wedding clothes. They are cast into hell by His verdict, but they don’t have Him to blame. John 3 says “Light has come into the world, but men loved the darkness rather than the light, because their deeds were evil. He who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. He who practices the truth steps into the light, so that it may be seen clearly that what he has done is done in the sight of God.”

And God is omniscient, so He knows who will choose Him and who will not. That does not mean that it wasn’t a choice. After all, sin must be punished. God cannot leave sin unpunished. In the end, the originator of sin will be fully punished. Satan and death and hell are cast into the Lake of Fire. This is the second death (Rev 20:14).

So does free will exist? If we have the choice to choose Christ, that means that He is not omnipotent, right? No.

He chose to give us the free will. He didn’t have to. He is able to make us believe. He is able to turn our hearts any second that He wants. But that would make us robots. How would we be able to sing praises to Him and thank Him for choosing us if we were robots? If we didn’t have free will, we wouldn’t be able to sing songs of blessing to Him. It would be forced worship. That’s not worship at all. He sovereignly allowed us the free will to choose Him. Thank God.


Filed under Christianity

3 responses to “God behaves illogically?

  1. Pingback: The Omniscient, Omnipotent, and Omnipresent God | The Daily Bible Plan

  2. Dan

    I am the user on Y!A that left this argument. First of all, I would like to thank you for taking the time to respond to it. This is reasoning that I have found no workaround for since encountering it.

    As I understand it, you are saying that God knows the outcome of free choices made by his creations, but is ultimately not responsible for the choices made, perhaps analogous to how a parent can control a child’s upbringing, but ultimately does not make choices for the child. Is this correct?

    • Dan, thanks for your comments and thoughts. Sorry it’s taken so long to get back on WordPress and respond to this. I’ve deployed, bought a house, and had a new baby in the past few months. I think that the parenting scenario is probably analogous to God’s relationship with us regarding freewill, but as an analogy it doesn’t fully cover the omniscient and omnipotent aspects. It is true that God does not ultimately make choices for us, but a parent does not know what their child will do in life with the knowledge of what they were raised with. God, not interfering with our ability to choose Him, still knows the ultimate outcome. When a lamb was sacrificed for the Passover, its blood was placed on the doorframe of a house so that the Angel of Death would not kill the firstborn. Could Egyptians believing in God have used the lamb’s blood too? Sure, just the same as an unbelieving Israelite could have chosen not to. The lamb’s blood was there for the taking. Similarly, when Christ became the perfect sacrifice on the cross, he became sin for all who would believe. His blood is there for the taking, and only those who choose to follow the Lamb will be spared the consequences of their sin. Additionally, God calls us. As a shepherd calls his flock, the sheep that know the master’s voice will run to him. When a chicken lifts its wings and warns of a storm, her chicks know their mother’s voice and will take shelter. Chicks who do not belong to that hen will not come. I would like to think it’s similar to offering somebody a million dollars or beheading them- it’s an “irresistable” offer. The choice seems obvious, but there will still be doubters. Is there a catch? It seems too good to be true. Where did the million dollars come from? I don’t see a sword. Charles Spurgeon was thought of as one of the original heretics in the early modern church because, while the Calvinists thought that Christ died for the elect, and the Evangelists thought that He died for everyone, to include those who don’t believe, Spurgeon asked, “isn’t it possible predestination and freewill are both correct?” There are some great reads out there for free on Kindle, such as “The Gospel Focus of Charles Spurgeon.” In the end, it comes down to this: do you know your father’s voice?

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