I’m reading the book, I Don’t Have Enough Faith to be an Atheist by Norman L Geisler and Frank Turek and would recommend it to anyone who has an interest in looking at the proofs for God’s existence. They point out that people reject God for one of three reasons. The first is an intellectual disagreement. The second objection swirls around emotional disputes. People think Christianity shouldn’t claim to be exclusive in their understanding of God, and then there’s the problem of hypocrites in the church. Someone said the major problem with Christianity are the Christians. I read an article the other day by a friend and he said the reason he drifted away from God had nothing to do with God, but rather the way that God was presented through his Church. I suspect that is true for many people. The third reason people reject God are for volitional reasons. Christian morality is seen as something that simply restricts their freedom and happiness so they want nothing to do with it. For them, it is difficult to believe that they would yield their freedom to an unseen God.
Over the years I’ve wondered, if God is all powerful, why doesn’t he just manifest Himself and prove He exists? If God suddenly showed up on Main Street and started healing everyone, that would prove His existence. Geisler and Turek in their book give a good reason why that is never going to happen. The following short paragraph helped me to wrap my head around a few of the issues surrounding free will.
“One beauty of God’s creation is this: if you’re not willing to accept Christianity, then you’re free to reject it. This freedom to make choices–even the freedom to reject truth—is what makes us moral creatures and enables each of us to choose our ultimate destiny. This really hits at the heart of why we exist at all, and why God might not be as overt in revealing himself to us as some would like. For if the Bible is true, then God has provided each of us with the opportunity to make an eternal choice to either accept him or reject him. And in order to ensure that our choice is truly free, he puts us in an environment that is filled with evidence of his existence, but without his direct presence–a presence so powerful that it could overwhelm our freedom and thus negate our ability to reject him. In other words, God has provided enough evidence in this life to convince anyone willing to believe, yet he has also left some ambiguity so as not to compel the unwilling. In this way, God gives us the opportunity either to love him or to reject him without violating our freedom. In fact, the purpose of this life is to make that choice freely and without coercion. For love, by definition, must be freely given.” I Don’t Have Enough Faith to be an Atheist, p 31
For those of us who honestly want to know if there is a God, then we need to go on a quest of discovery. When we uncover the facts, we can either accept or reject the evidence. That is where our free will comes into play. The major thing is that we don’t end up with Nietzsche’s attitude, “It is our preference that decides against Christianity, not arguments.”