Ask a Franciscan

God’s Will, Human Freedom

I believe that from all eternity God has planned our world and knew exactly what would occur. When I was created, God knew what I would do, when, where and how. God planned my life. If I am to be bad, then bad I will be. If I want to be good, then good I will be. Those who are destined for eternity come to believe. I say it is a done thing. God sees that his chosen ones do not go astray. I do not think that we have a free will because everything is a done thing. Judas had to betray Jesus.

No one can force anyone to believe anything, but I can say without hesitation that what you describe does not reflect the revelation that God has given us in the Bible.

If God had planned things in the detail that you describe, was God responsible for the creation of the Nazi death camps and their eventual destruction? According to that line of thinking, is God responsible for the creation of unborn life and then the destruction of some lives through abortion? That simply cannot be.

Believing that everything happens out of necessity appeals to some people because that idea renders freedom meaningless. Such an idea, however, also wipes out the concept of justice.

God remains the creator and sustainer of all life. The existence of evil does not prove that everything happens by divine necessity. God counts on us to use our freedom well and to open ourselves to God’s grace.

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