The film “I Robot” was a major box office hit some years ago, with a very simple theme. Set at some point in the future, the time came when artificial life – “androids” somehow developed a conscious freewill of their own and started to cause mayhem amongst the human population. Of their own freewill these intelligent life forms rose up against their creators and defied the various “robotic commandments” set in place, such as a robot being forbidden to hurt human beings.
If all of this sounds strangely familiar, then it’s because the theme is basically straight out of the Bible! Scripture teaches that God granted human beings freedom to choose how to behave and how to act. He gave us Ten Commandments regarding the kind of conduct He wanted, but now instead of listening to our Creator we are causing mayhem on the planet assigned to us. To be a real creation we had to be a free creation and had to be allowed minds and wills of our own so that we could decide for ourselves how we wanted to live. Anything short of this and we would have been just like puppets on a string, with God Himself being a “Puppet Master”.
By granting us freedom to choose of course means that choices, events and tragedies occur which are plainly against the will of God! With this in mind a woman called Cindi recently wrote an article about the troubles in the world entitled, “Where was God?” “Why does He let bad things happen?” “I allow it to happen because I allow you freedom. I could have left you on a string and made you dance all day without getting tired. I could have moved your mouth for you and made you sing all night without getting hoarse. I could have pulled a wire that would have let you soar skyward and never fall. I could have, but I didn’t because I love you so much. I want you to have your freedom, I want you to be free to decide when to dance and sing. I want you to be free to determine when you will come to Me in faith and hope. Free to behave and act as you choose.”
“As you choose I watch; I do not disappear. You ask, where Am I when people suffer? I Am right there with them. I whispered in the ear of a little girl; ‘don’t be afraid I Am with you always’. I held the hand of a dying patient as tightly as she clutched Mine. I cradled the bereaved as they wept on My shoulder. I Am there just as I was there with My Son Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane amid the Unbearable pain .I was there as I was with Him as He was whipped. I Am there as I was with Him as He hung on the Cross and asked, ‘My God why have you forsaken me?’ I had not forsaken Him and I do not forsake those who suffer now. I am there as they die and I will be there as they rise to eternal joy.”
Sometimes people complain about the state of the world as though God is to blame for the actions we commit which are entirely of our own freewill. Many of us would like to pass the buck, but Scripture teaches that the buck stops with us! If we cause havoc in society, then it’s because that’s what we decided to do. If the Commandment “not to kill” is broken then, that’s what we decided to do; if we refuse to follow the Makers Instruction Manual (the Bible) then it is our own choice and no one else’s. The responsibility is ours and ours alone.
The trend today is to blame someone else when we do wrong but Scripture teaches that in order to find God, the very first thing we need to do is “own up” to our sins, acknowledge our blame, and then of course repent. If we keep on passing the buck, God will always seem distant and we will never build up a relationship with Him. I came across this poem which although humorous ridicules the “escapism trend” so often adopted by people today. (It doesn’t fully rhyme but almost!)
Today I went to my psychiatrist to be psychoanalysed,
To find out why I killed the cat and blackened by husband’s eyes.
He laid me on a downy couch to see what he could find
And here is what he dredged up from my subconscious mind.
When I was one my mummy hid my dolly in a trunk
And so it follows naturally that I am always drunk
When I was two I saw my daddy kiss the maid one day
And that is why I suffer now from kleptomania.
At three I had bad feelings of ambivalence towards my brothers
And so it follows naturally I poison all my lovers.
But I am happy now I’ve learned the lesson this has taught:
That everything I do that’s wrong is someone else’s fault.
Finally, people often forget what it Cost God to grant us the gift of freewill. It came at a great Price; the Cross. Scripture refers to “the Lamb being slain from the foundation of the world” (Rev Ch 13v8 and 1st Peter Ch 1 v20). In other words, God loved us so much He didn’t want to grant the gift of freewill without also making forgiveness and redemption available to those who misused that gift. Truly God is love. “Thanks be to God for His Indescribable Gift” (2nd Corinthians Ch 9v15)