Note: This is a follow-up to a question posted just a couple of days ago.
I feel that I failed to communicate exactly what I meant in my last question. What I am saying is I have been told Jesus came to earth at the exact time and place that He did because God knew in the end that all those involved would freely choose to crucify Him. They freely choose to fulfill God’s will, this is why he created them exactly as they were. Same thing, He created me and placed me where I would hear the gospel, He made me with a temperament that I would be receptive to it and listen. He also created my Muslim friend in a time, situation and place… and choose the exact attributes, everything about the man, so that He would end up where He is — in a mosque, and not even one that I would say is reasonable. Yes he was given opportunities to accept Christ, His free will is fully intact, but He was created with the attitude and in a place and time that he would freely choose to reject Christ, and the Father knew all this, and created Him anyway, created a man He knew would never love Him. Perhaps a different way to put it would be why create someone with the attributes and at the time and place that they would freely reject Him. He knows how it ends, He knows that in the end this person will choose to disobey — so why create Him at all? I grant that knowing how the story ends isn’t the same as predestination but the author (and finisher) kinda does set up all that doesn’t He? The author choose this guy to be the bad guy when he was writing his novel, but he could’ve written the character differently, so that he would not end up the bad guy (it would be a horrible read, but you get my point I hope).
I have a completely unrelated question: The premise is absurd, I know it is absurd, but I can’t pin down where and why it must be false. Here it is: Children who die before the age of accountability are saved and end up with the Father in heaven right? (if this is not 100% of the time the case then thats the way out). This would undoubtedly apply to aborted babies too. By that reasoning, the best thing a parent could do to a baby is abort it — 100% guarantee of salvation! Thats quite absurd, and violates quite a few verses (the most obvious being be fruitful and multiply, this would lead to 0 people in one generation) But I can’t figure out how its illogical.
Thank You for your time and thoughts,
Actually, I do not think that I misunderstand your original question. Your restatement makes me think that I understood what you were asking. Basically, you were asking if “he knit me together in my womb” logically implies that there is no free will and that all is determined by God.
My response is the same now as it was before. Predestination (defined as God determines everything and our “choice” is predetermined by God, meaning that we really do not have free choice at all) is not biblical. Free will is biblical.
I do not completely deny predestination. For example, God predestined that Jesus would come, die and give his life for us. Things directly related to our salvation and Jesus’ mission were predestined by God. God “tweaked” history to bring about his will to save us through Jesus. This is the kind of predestination discussed in Romans 9. God predestined that all of us have the opportunity for salvation. He predestined that a Messiah would be born in Bethlehem and die in Jerusalem in AD 30. However, this does not negate that God gives us free will. He loves us too much to steal our free will. A limited predestination (God creating a way for us to be saved) does not negate free will in the larger sense.
I discuss this in some detail in an outline and power point at https://www.evidenceforchristianity.org/preservation-and-predestination/
God works behind the scenes. No doubt. However, he does not force people to become Christians. He did not force your friend to be a Muslim. He may have determined where he will be born and what he will look at, but God desires all men to be saved, including your Muslim friend. Your Muslim friend could choose to be a Christian if he liked. If not, then God’s judgment would not be fair. God does not force people to not believe in him. He works so that we would believe, but he does not force us to believe. That is not how God acts. We choose to sin. God does not choose for us to sin. He does not force us to sin. Period. James 1:13-15.
I understand how this can be confusing. God is sovereign. His will is always done. Right? Well, the answer is sort of…. If God’s will was always done, then why did Jesus pray to God, “Your will be done.”? The fact is that it is God’s will to give us free will. His will is to not impose his will on our will.
Then there is the apparent problem of God’s foreknowledge. To us as humans, it seems logically necessary that if God foreknows what happens, he also predetermines it. This is not the case. God foreknows what will happen (he knows how it will end, as you put it), but he does not predetermine it. Foreknowledge does not equal predestination. For us, as humans, this is hard to understand. That is because we are humans. God knows what you will do, but he lets you decide anyway. Why? Because he loves us. You ask, “If he knows how it will end, why create us at all?” Simple. Because he loves us and he wants us to love him. God took a huge chance in creating us, knowing that so many would reject his love. If God only created people who would love him, then that would not be free will. There is no way around it. God gave us free will. Even if it does not seem logical at first, it still is true.
The novel analogy is NOT a good one. Novel characters are not real and they are not capable of loving their creator. Novel characters do not have free will, but people do. The analogy breaks down because of a false premise, which is that the novel character is like a human being.
I agree that your second scenario is absurd on the face of it. If your premise is correct, then not only would it be better to abort fetuses, it would also be better to murder children before they reach the age of accountability.
The logic error here is really pretty much the same as the logic error you are having with regard to predestination above. You are assuming that if a person is to go to hell, it would have been better if they were never created. This is not true. God created us because he loves us. Even if we reject him and choose to go to hell, his love stands. Why would a couple choose to have children, knowing that the children might rebel and disgrace the parents? Why? That is easy. Because the parents choose to love their children. Parental love is unconditional. We would put a person who murdered their child for messing up into prison for a very long time. Your point seems logical, but in the end, it is not about logic. It is about love. God’s love and his justice meet at the cross. Those who choose not to accept a relationship with God, tragically, will lose their right to heaven. This does NOT mean that it would have been better if God never created us with the ability to love him (implying, of course, free will!).