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Free Will
Question from james on 9/18/2012:

You've answered questions on free will before but I've found them somewhat vague. Let me just ask, why wouldn't God just show himself, allowing us to choose whether or not to love him, rather than choosing whether or not to even believe in him. The answer I've always heard is that it would violate our free will. How does this work? Surely an all knowing God can know our hearts and whether or not we truly love him right? Satan and the other former angels also chose not to love God despite a complete knowledge of Him. Surely we're capable of the same.

Answer by Richard Geraghty on 10/28/2012:

Dear James,

As you said, the fallen angels knew who God was but chose to love themselves, not God. Human beings are presented with the same choice. But in the case of human beings the situation is more muddled because our minds are more muddled due to the effects of original sin. Now our parents did not have the excuse of having muddled minds. But they had weaker minds compared to the angels and so could be tempted to pride by the serpent, the devil. Thus they were capable of repentance, something the angels were not capable of. Once an angel makes up his mind, there is no changing it. Human beings can change their minds. To help them do so, God promised them that a woman would come whose fruit (Jesus) would crush the head of the serpent-devil. If our first parents and their descendants kept that promise in their hearts till that day came, they would be friends of God as they were before they sinned. Now God foresaw how things would turn out. Nevertheless he created the human race. Why? He did not need the human race to praise and love him. He was perfectly happy before creation and is perfectly happy after creation. But it make a great difference to us in how we choose to live. No other creature has this ability to choose. They are programmed. We are not programmed because we have intelligence. Hence we have the power to choose. Is this not a great privilege and responsibility for us? God did not create us to please himself. He is absolutely and infinitely happy in himself. He chose to create us from nothing for our sakes. This is certainly a mystery to think about. So keep thinking about it, which you are already doing. Pray for more light.

Dr. Geraghty



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