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8/12/2012

GOD IS PRO-CHOICE, BUT BE CAREFUL HOW YOU CHOOSE

I remember reading a poetic piece of prose in the newspaper about an old bridge that had been torn down to make way for a new highway. The writer ascribed personal virtues to this bridge, speaking of how faithful it had been for so many years, and how it had remained steadfast in the face of wind, rain, snow, cold, and heat. As I read this I thought about how there really were no virtues in this bridge, for it was just a heap of metal and concrete. Virtue is found in personhood and personhood is distinguished by the ability and freedom to think and choose.  


Not only is virtue not to be found in inanimate materials such as wood, stone, concrete, and steel, neither is it to be found in feeling. Virtue is ultimately tied, not to our feelings, but to our choices. We are responsible, not for how we feel, but for how we choose.

Love also is tied to the freedom to choose. Where there is no choice, there is no love. Can you imagine being married to a robot—even a sophisticated one like Data? Anytime you want to hear words of affirmation and love, all you have to do is push the right buttons. Somehow I don’t think that would be satisfying. Love is real because the people involved have chosen to love.

When God created Adam and Eve He did not create robots or creatures that were programmed to love and serve Him. Creating them in His own image and likeness meant that they would have the ability and the freedom to think, to choose, and to decide if they were going to trust Him and love Him. In this sense, it was a risky move on God’s part to create such beings, for they might choose to rebel against Him. But if there was going to be real love in the relationship, there had to be real freedom to choose.

Yes, God knew beforehand that our first parents would turn from Him. He also knew that countless numbers of their offspring would reject His love and truth. Nonetheless, He considered that the benefits and blessings of creating them outweighed the pain and suffering that He knew would come. 

Want to know why there is pain and suffering in the world? It cannot be blamed on God. It is because human beings have misused and abused their freedom to choose and have chosen to rebel against God and do their own thing, create their own morals, and erect their own standards of truth and right and wrong. But through those that have chosen to love Him and believe Him, God is sending His message of salvation through Jesus Christ into this world that human beings have mucked up by their bad choices. 

The freedom to choose makes necessary a judgment wherein every person will be held accountable for the choices they have made. In II Corinthians 5:10-11, Paul speaks of a future judgement, saying, For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad. Knowing therefore the fear of the Lord, we persuade men. The great American statesman, Daniel Webster, when asked what was the most sobering thought to ever enter his mind, immediately replied, "My personal accountability to God."

The ability and freedom to choose is a powerful force in our lives that also affects others. I recall hearing a Christian man who is the co-founder and president of one of the most successful private companies in America, say, “I did not get here by making a really big decision, but by making a lot of small decisions.” Those daily decisions to trust God and do the right thing are so important in getting us to where we want to be in life.

Is God pro-choice? In the sense that He created us with the ability and freedom to choose, yes He is. He will, however, hold us accountable for the choices that we make. In Deuteronomy 30:19, God through Moses urged the people of Israel to make the right decisions and choose life.

I call heaven and earth today as witnesses against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life that both you and your descendants may live.