Cosmic Q and A
Often the question is raised, “Why did God bother with all this history? Why did He not just create some people for heaven instead of going through all this?” It is a question most frequently asked of those who reject Calvinism, but is no less a question for those who accept it, since the end result is the same. But to attempt to answer it, I think it may be helpful to use a technique employed by Jack Kelley concerning the timing of prophecy: to work backwards from a goal.
Let us suppose that the reason God created us was because He wanted “children” to love and be loved by. We can never know for sure that this was it, or it was that simple, but it’s as plausible as any other. What are some facts we can list that would have to be true about reaching the goal?
- To simply create people in their “finished” state without an experience of developing character would be shallow at best, and their “love” would be artificial.
- To simply create them with false memories of the steps needed to develop character and choose freely to love God would be a cruel deception, and again God would not value it.
- To force them to believe or not believe, to do good or evil, would be to have made puppets that had no choice but to act out a play, and again this would be a shallow, contrived exercise that did not achieve the goal.
To use a common saying, it’s not always about the destination but also the journey. The journey is what makes arriving at the destination all the more satisfying. Children are spoiled if we just shower them with gifts, but they learn both responsibility and gratitude when they earn something, when they worked for it. And if mere humans would not accept as genuine a contrived or inevitable “love”, or a manufactured “character”, then certainly God’s standards are much higher.
I can’t imagine any other way for the goal to be achieved except by giving people free will and letting history play out. But, some will ask, what about evil? Did it have to be so? And why would God pursue this goal if it meant anyone would suffer?
As I’ve written before, there is no free will to choose without alternatives to choose from. Evil is the absence of good, just as darkness is the absence of light. To choose God freely requires the option to reject. And if God determined not to create unless all would choose good, it would again result in a contrived scenario, a rigged game. And how does one develop character without a struggle? Should God have guaranteed that our struggles would never result in failure? Then what would have been the point of developing character at all?
I often say that those who have all the answers haven’t heard all the questions. This particular question is one we cannot answer, and no matter which one we try we only raise more questions. All we know is that God created us, we rebelled, and He made it so very easy to be restored: faith alone. Though He didn’t have to, God decided also that we could be rewarded for our suffering in this life, for at least trying to please our Master. I don’t know why people have such a problem with that. Eventually we’ll find out why God did all this, but in the meantime I don’t think God is asking much for us to trust Him. We only know that history has happened, so it must have been necessary to achieve the goal.