“Do you think God is omniscient? If so, WHY WOULD GOD CREATE HUMANS KNOWING WE WOULD SIN AND REBEL AND ALL THIS SUFFERING WOULD RESULT?
Orginally this was sent in as:
(A question that was asked to a friend of mine): “Do you think God is omniscient? If so, WHY WOULD GOD CREATE HUMANS KNOWING WE WOULD SIN AND REBEL AND ALL THIS SUFFERING WOULD RESULT? Would we build a ship and then send it on a maiden voyage if we knew it would sink? Or build an airplane we knew would crash? Is this what God did?”
This is a question that is often considered one that falls into the category of “mystery”, something only God knows and we cannot. I’m not sure about that given what the Bible reveals to us. It is also a question often presented by skeptics, athiests or those bitter with God, to trip up unsuspecting and typically Biblically illiterate Christians.
First, the ship and plane analogies are straw men (distracting irrelevant arguments). We don’t have relationships with ships and planes. God most certainly could have built a “perfect human” who would never sin and always “love” Him… but it would be an artificial, forced, robotic love if this “perfect human” had no choice but to love God.
Again, it goes back to the very most basic and foundational aspect of why God created us in the first place: so He could love us, and we could choose to love Him thus creating a genuine love relationship. (I already lost the Calvinists, but even if you hold to Calvinism, I hope you’ll still read the rest of my answer).
The existence of evil and sin, and all that it entails and has caused, revolves around the issue of FREE WILL AND CHOICE, without which there can be no true love, or true relationship. God created a perfect world, with perfect humans so that He could enjoy a perfect relationship with them, because above all, God is about relationships and love.
In order to have true love, and true relationship, God MUST create beings with a CHOICE to love Him. That is the only real way true love can exist. No amount of theological wrangling, twelve dollar theological terms, or strangling of Greek tenses can alleviate that simple fact. LOVE CANNOT BE TRUE UNLESS THERE IS A CHOICE NOT TO LOVE. It is the single most logical, irrefutable and important fact of our existence and “why?” God created us. (and the biggest problem with the Calvinist view as a whole**).
God in His omniscience knew that even His perfect Creation would at some point experience sin, because a free will to love leaves the INEVITABLE consequence that at some point one of us would exercise our God-given choice to seek our SELF first, making God second. Inevitable? Of course, or there woudn’t really be free will to love God. It was inevitable that at least one relationship would make a choice to love Self more than God.
And from God’s known attributes, we of course can confidently know that He foreknew His very first relationship with His first perfect humans would end in the curse of sin after ONE instance of choosing Self over God. Even the first pair of perfect humans, while created in God’s image, were NOT God. ONLY GOD CAN HAVE THE POWER OF CHOICE AND BE PERFECT*. That’s why God foreknew from before the foundations of the world what He would have to do to restore the relationship and love that He desires with His children. If I may be so bold, let me humbly summarize what God may have thought (just for our reasoning; the wisest of my words aren’t worthy of even being considered by God). God thinking:
“I AM. I love. I am a real and personal God. I want relationships, someone to love, and someone to authentically love me back. When I create this perfect being whom I can love, I will give him free will so that when He chooses to love Me, it will be genuine. And I can love him, bless him, care for him and show my love in return for I AM LOVE. And he will love me, worship me and be my child. He will love me as his Father, and I love him as My child.
But I know that with a free choice to love, not only comes authentic relationship, but the inevitable time when one of them will choose to not love me first, but choose their own way first. At that point my creation will be tainted, and will no longer be perfect. Nothing less than perfection can ever exist in My Presence. I know that no human can attain perfection in that ruined creation, so I will have to go down to them, become one of them, live a perfect life, and then when I have earned eternal life by my perfection, I will suffer their penalty for them, and then I can JUSTLY restore their relationship to me while retaining my perfect Justice and Holiness.
I cannot create robots who cannot choose themselves over Me, because that’s not true love. Knowing what will occur, I have a plan already in place even before the first day of Creation, and in the end, even with free will, everyone who chooses to love Me, even though cursed with sin, I can rightly and justly forgive them and allow them in my presence for all eternity…. and have the true, authentic love and relationship that was the point to begin with.”
Even with that summary, I can hear the accusations of “earning your salvation because it depends on your choice.” How absurd to read what I just wrote and think that our choice to accept God’s sacrifice and offer salvation EARNS us salvation because we had to do something in response. Even when we CHOOSE to accept salvation on God’s term, there is NOTHING that the “chooser” has done to even REMOTELY earn, produce or manifest his own salvation. Our choice to accept salvation on God’s terms is simply that: getting saved on God’s terms as He has offered them.
God created us because of “relationship and love”. The free will involved in relationship and love made sin inevitable. Far from changing God’s mind and “giving up” on having the love and relationships He desires, God in His omniscience knew the perfect plan to fulfill His every desire to have a love relationship with Us.
For your consideration,
* Then why won’t we sin in heaven? Because we will have Christ’s nature, and be free of sin-cursed flesh and sin-cursed creation which is only possible because 1) Jesus chose to sacrifice Himself, and 2) by willingly CHOOSING to repent and believe in Jesus, God can give us Christ’s nature and without violating our free will which keeps in tact our true love and relationship with Him.
** I was once a committed Calvinist. I have spent a tremendous amount of time studying and understanding the position. I’ll humbly ask to not be flooded with reams of copy and pasted excerpts from Calvinist apologetics books. I respect the commitment and conviction that Calvinists have, I just simply do not believe that it represents the simple teaching of “why?” or “how?” in Scripture after years of considering points like the one we’ve discussed here.
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