- If God wants us all to follow and worship him, why didn’t he create us as such?
This is a question thrown by people who would like to sway others to believe that there is no God. This question is the relative of the question, “If there is a loving God, then why are there so many evil in this world.”
One trait of God is His omniscience (He is all-knowing). He knows what will happen for all of eternity. The things that man know are not even a tip of a nail compared to what God knows. He even knows what will happen to you a minute from now which you don’t have an idea of. That established, atheists and agnostics would argue that God, if He does exists, with His omniscience, should have decided NOT to give man free will because He knows that they’ll just use it to rebel against Him which will result to them going to Hell to pay for their sins. If He does exists then He must enjoy seeing people go to Hell?
First of all, the Bible makes it clear that God has no pleasure in seeing sinners die which lead them to eternal punishment (Ezekiel 33:11). He created man for His glory and for His pleasure (Revelations 4:11). Now here’s a question… If you’re God, will you derive pleasure from the “love” your created gives you if in the first place, you have programmed them like robots to give you love (they have no choice but to love you)? I believe that you’ll agree that “love” that’s not freely given is not true love. God had to give man a free will so that He can experience true love from His created so that pleasure is achieved. He wanted man to love Him willingly. Free will allows man to love God willingly. That’s why God gave us free will. Not doing so goes against reason. God is a logical Person that’s why He saw it right to give man the freedom to choose for himself and He hoped that we’d use it to give Him pleasure.
But how about the fact that in man’s use of his free will to do evil, it results to suffering in Hell? Shouldn’t have God just sacrificed His desire to experience true love from His created so that no one goes to Hell? I believe that God could have chosen to do that… IF He had no power to use evil to bring out good. What do I mean about that? God used the evil of the cross to solve man’s problem of sin. The cross is a reflection of all the evil of man. The cross is a picture of what any criminal should deserve. God experienced the cruelty of the cross as if He was a hardened criminal just so He can make a payment for man’s sins. Buddha had no solution for the penalty of man’s sins. Mohammed offered no real solution either. Catholicism, although claiming to be Christian in beliefs, still gives man a big responsibility in saving himself. The New Age movement can only suggest something that will make you focus on the “here and now” so that you’ll not be burdened with what’s ahead in eternity. This makes Christianity unique. It offered a solution. Jesus was the solution. God turned evil to good by transferring all of man’s evil on His beloved Son so He could pay for them. The chains of sin on us were broken because Jesus let himself experience the evil of men.
God still uses evil in our time to bring out good. How many people have turned to God for assurance of life in Heaven after they’ve realized how fragile and short life is through the death of someone they know? I believe you and your other Christian friends can name some. God uses natural calamities like the tsunami in Japan and the big earthquakes that rocked major cities early this year to bring to the minds of people that there is a powerful God that they should fear, or better yet, be reconciled with. Crimes around us, heavy and petty crimes alike, show how man has gone low in their morals, and therefore, disqualifies them from the future joys of Heaven. Your own offense of God’s Moral Standards, the Ten Commandments, should bring you to the realization that you’re not a good person, that’s why you need Jesus’ perfection to be transferred on you to enter into His Kingdom. For Christians, God uses circumstances to bring out new strength from us so that, we, in turn, can also be used by Him to strengthen others. He also uses sufferings to re-focus ourselves to Him so that we can enjoy Him even in this world.
In conclusion, God gave man free will even if He knew it will cause problems through man’s wrong use of it because He also knows the solution to it… Jesus. When God finished making this world on the sixth day, He looked on the whole of His creation and saw that it was all good, including the free will He gave man. To you who are still living in sin, use your free will by deciding to forsake your sins and to have Jesus be your Lord and Savior. To us, His children, let us use the free will God gave us to bring pleasure to the only One who can use evil to bring out good for our benefit. Praise be the Lord!
Great question, and you’re not the first to ask it. King David asked essentially the same thing:
“When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers … what is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him?” (Psalm 8:3-4).
Why did God make us? To answer that, we need to know three things:
First, and you mentioned this in your question, it wasn’t because he needed us: “The God who made the world and everything in it … is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything” (Acts 17:24-25).
And he didn’t make us because he was lonely. Long before we were here, God already had “company” with his Son and the Holy Spirit, referred to in Genesis 1:26, “Let us make man in our own image.”
And he didn’t make us because he needed his ego fed. It’s not like God made us to satisfy some craving to be worshiped. God is totally secure in who he is—without us.
Second, despite not needing us, God chose to create us anyway, out of his great love: “I have loved you with an everlasting love” (Jeremiah 31:3). Yes, God loved us before he even created us. It’s impossible to get our heads around that idea, but it’s true; that’s what “everlasting” love means.
God is love (1 John 4:8), and because of that love and his wonderful creativity, he made us so we can enjoy all that he is and all that he’s done.
Third, God created us to fulfill his eternal plan. I could write pages and pages about this, but suffice it to say that God, in his infinite wisdom, chose to make us a part of his eternal plan.
What part do we play in this plan? Well, the Bible is full of instructions for how we should live our lives. But here are a few key verses to remember:
- “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength” (Deuteronomy 6:5).
- “Love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 22:39).
- “We are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do” (Ephesians 2:10).
We’re also part of the war between God and Satan, and God’s ultimate plan to defeat Satan. By putting our faith in God, we can defeat Satan and his lies (see Ephesians 6:10-18).
Finally, perhaps the most important part we play in God’s eternal plan is to point people to eternal life with God—through his Son Jesus Christ. The Bible calls this our “ministry of reconciliation” (2 Corinthians 5:18-19).
That’s why we’re here. But it’s also important to note that we have a choice in all of this. When God created us, he didn’t make us pawns in some cosmic chess game. We’re not his toy soldiers. God gives us freedom of choice.
Bottom line: God may not need us, but we certainly need him. I hope you’ve made the choice to put your trust completely in him—and play an exciting part in his loving, eternal plan.
his introduction that you’re reading now is really my third. Twice, I wrote a few paragraphs, only to remove them after finding that they were going nowhere.
Despite having spent a couple of hours coming up with the first two versions, it wasn’t really difficult to click on “delete”. I mean, why continue something that is flawed?
Which makes me wonder, why didn’t God do the same thing with creation? When God created the heavens, the earth and everything else, it was all perfect. Seven times, Genesis 1 observes that God saw that “it was good”. Then everything went wrong (thanks, Adam and Eve), and here we are, living in a far-from-perfect world that is pretty much destined for destruction.
Now we know God is omniscient ie. He is all-seeing and all-knowing, of everything as well as of what will happen in the past, present, and future. That means He would surely have known that Adam and Eve would, at some point, decide to disobey Him. He would have known that this sin would condemn not just the duo, but succeeding generations of mankind, along with the earth.
So why didn’t He “delete” the earth and start all over again? After all, another six days’ work wouldn’t have been too difficult, would it? Of course, you could argue that knowing man, Creation 2.0 would probably have gone down the same route, anyway. So the question is, why did God bother at all? Why create a world that He knew was going to go wrong eventually?
First, a disclaimer…
I’m not going to pretend that this is an insightful question of mine; it’s probably one of the most-often asked questions among Christians. And I’m not going to give the impression that it led me to study the Bible carefully and come up with biblically, logically and theologically sound explanations. To be honest, all I did was to read a bit to see what has been discussed about this question, and to try to re-frame it so I could understand it better myself.
I also wasn’t looking for a watertight answer that even the staunchest atheist or strongest cynic couldn’t refute. (So, yes, please feel free to disagree.) No, I was just looking for some possible answers—a new perspective, if you will, on the question. After all, the Bible doesn’t say explicitly why God decided to continue putting up with the flawed humans that were corrupting His creation, or why He created the world even though He knew it would go wrong.
Before going into why God decided to proceed with Creation, however, I figured that it would help to narrow the scope of the discussion by considering (and dismissing) several alternative options to explain what happened. As a believer, I kept to the basic assumption that God is good and that He is perfect.
So what happened? Three options
One, God made creation perfect, but somehow it went wrong, and He had to get His Son to do a quick rescue job. On the surface, this might seem plausible. Genesis 1 doesn’t tell us that God anticipated any problems; you can even imagine Him nodding satisfactorily at the end of each of the first six days, saying, “That’s good”, then sighing sadly days later when Adam and Eve take those fatal bites into the forbidden fruit.
But to say that creation didn’t quite turn out as expected suggests that God had lost control of His product. Keeping the assumption that God is sovereign, all-powerful and all-knowing, I felt I had to dismiss this option. If God wasn’t in full control . . . then everything I believe would come apart. Next!
Two, God made creation such that this would happen, so He could send His Son to earth to show His glory. This idea might seem to fit in with why God made creation (“The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands”— Psalm 19:1). It suggests that like a director of a dramatic movie, God somehow arranged it all such that man would sin, and He would send His Son down to show His mercy and love.
Except that . . . this would be tantamount to saying that God created sin; that He made everything good, then deliberately arranged for things to fall apart, just so that He could show His mercy and grace. And that would make God seem a little manipulative. The Bible, however, makes it clear that God is good (Psalm 107:1, 1 Timothy 4:4, James 1:17), so let’s dismiss this option too.
Three, God made creation knowing that it would rebel against Him one day—but He made it anyway. This third option keeps to the assumption that God is good and perfect; it’s like having a good parent who raises a child perfectly, only to see this child become a rebel. Of course, this option leads us back to the original question: Since God knew that the world would turn against Him, why did He bother creating it?
You could have endless discussions (and arguments) over this, and it would be hard to come to a definitive conclusion that would be acceptable to most. But a little reading threw up the following three points which I felt appealed to my sense of logic and reasonable-ness, and most importantly, were also consistent with what we know about God. They aren’t necessarily answers to the difficult question; I saw them more as perspectives that helped me address the question. You be the judge.
Because it shows God’s glory, love, mercy, and grace.
This sounds a bit like option 2 above, but with one difference: God didn’t make the Fall of Man happen (because that would suggest He made man sin), though He knew it would. But He allowed to happen so that we could see His glory and experience His grace and mercy. The Bible tells us that God’s ultimate purpose in everything is to have Christ the Son rule over everything, so that the Father is glorified. “With all wisdom and understanding, he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, to be put into effect when the times reach their fulfillment—to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ” (Ephesians 1:8-10).
It would be hard to fully define what God’s glory means, but it includes His greatness and all His attributes, such as holiness, justice, love, mercy, and grace—all of which were manifested through the story of Creation. Through the creation of the world, we see God’s greatness and power. Through His judgment of sin, we see His justice and holiness. And through Christ’s redeeming work on the cross, we see the Father’s love, mercy, and grace.
So you could say that allowing mankind to make that choice to obey or rebel against Him served God’s purpose. Of course, that might beg the questions: Could God’s glory have been manifested if He had not allowed the world to rebel against Him? Couldn’t He have been glorified in another way? In other words, did God need the world to fall to show His glory?
Well, I believe this question is too hypothetical to come up with a satisfactory answer. We could become indignant and demand to know why God didn’t show His glory another way. But we’d also have to remember that He didn’t make man sin; it was Adam and Eve who chose to disobey God themselves. And because of it, and what happened later, we got to see and understand God’s holiness and justice, and experience His love and grace.
Because He wants a relationship with us.
If you think about it, God really didn’t have to create the world—or us. As a self-sufficient and complete God, He doesn’t need a world to support Him, nor anyone to keep Him in power. He isn’t even lonely; the Holy Trinity is, after all, made up of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
Yet God made man because He wanted to have a relationship with us. He could have stopped at creating the universe, the earth, the plants, and the animals (and have a two-day weekend), but He went on to the sixth day to make man. How is man different? We are created “in his own image” (Genesis 1:27) ie. unlike His other creations, we have some of His attributes. That enables us to relate to Him in a way that other creations can’t. God doesn’t need us to keep Him company, but He wants to enjoy our company. In Genesis 1:31, after making man, God noted that “it was very good”—the previous days, it was merely “good”.
Why did God create the world even though He knew it would go south? Because He desired a loving relationship with man, and was ready to be patient, forgiving, and merciful when man failed. Compare that to a couple who have a child. They already have each other for company, but they desire the companionship of an addition to the family. And even though they know that this child will be naughty, flawed, and rebellious, the hope of the joy that this child brings is worth the heartbreak and the pain.
Of course, here’s where we could ask: So why didn’t God create human beings that couldn’t sin? Why did He give them the choice?
Because free will is needed for love
Why does a couple choose to have a child and not a robot? Easy—the robot won’t love back. A relationship is meaningful not only when it’s two-way, but also when either party chooses to stay in it. Love cannot be forced or controlled; otherwise it’s no better than slavery or forced loyalty.
Why was the father of the prodigal son in the well-known parable so overjoyed to see his son return (Luke 15:11-24)? Because the son had, of his own accord, chosen to repent and to return to his father. The latter had not forced nor bribed his son to come back; that was what made the young man’s repentance and love even more valuable to the father.
That’s why God calls us His children, and not His servants. If He had made man such that we had no choice but to obey Him, our “love” and “loyalty” would not mean much to Him. No, He wanted us to decide for ourselves if we wanted to love Him back. So He made us with a free will, the ability to choose whether to follow His instructions or not.
That may also explain why God put the tree of knowledge of good and evil (Genesis 2:17) in the Garden of Eden in the first place. That’s one question I always had—why did God have to plant it there? Was He not tempting Adam and Eve? Did He not know they would eat from the very tree they weren’t supposed to? Some Bible teachers have posited that the tree represented the choice that God was giving to the first couple. It was as if He was telling them, “In case you complain that you have no choice but to obey Me, here’s an option you can take. I’m making it clear that you’re not to take it, but the decision is still yours.” The tree of knowledge of good and evil was thus a test.
(If we argue that God was being unfair in putting this temptation in the Garden, consider this thought: There must have been thousands (maybe even more) of fruit trees that Adam and Eve could eat from, but they had to eat from the one forbidden one.)
Christian writer Max Lucado, in his book In the Eye of the Storm, paints a beautiful portrait of the day God made man. He imagines God putting a “seed of choice” into a lump of clay that he will soon bring to life. A watching angel asks if this is wise, and God answers by showing the angel a glimpse of a future in which man will rebel and forget his Maker.
“Wouldn’t it be easier to not plant the seed? Wouldn’t it be easier to not give the choice?” the angel then asks. “It would,” God replies. “But to remove the choice is to remove the love.”
It Comes Down to Trusting in God’s Character
If you’re still not entirely convinced, I don’t blame you. It can be hard to wrap our heads around an issue that packs so many apparent contradictions in logic and invites even more “what-ifs”. Every answer is likely to lead to 10 other questions. After all, we’re talking about an issue that is beyond human comprehension.
Some would quote Deuteronomy 29:29—“The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may follow all the words of this law”—to stress that it’s simply impossible to understand some of God’s actions and decisions. But I believe that these three perspectives do offer some measure of logic to understand why God still proceeded with Creation despite knowing what would happen. They may not link up like a mathematical equation, but they help us to see that what God did was entirely consistent with His purpose and character.
I suppose it’s a bit like trying to get to grips with a decision that a good friend has made, but which you simply don’t understand (say, like him taking an unusual job). You may not be fully convinced—at least for now—that he did the right thing, but what you can do is try to see the situation from his point of view and understand what prompted him to make his choice. And if you know him well, you will trust that the choice he made is consistent with his character, and that he knows what he’s doing.
In the case of Creation, it may come down to simply accepting that God’s action comes from His attributes of being good, loving, and perfect. Those are the assumptions I made in the beginning, and they are the same ones I continue to hold on to, no matter how humanly “illogical” some of His actions seem to be.
In an article on Apologetics Press, Christian apologist Kyle Butt sums up such debates rather nicely. There is no possible way, he notes, for our finite human minds to fully understand why God created humans. He concludes: “God’s attributes of omniscience, impartiality, and love provide the basis to conclude that only He would be in a position to determine which world would be the very best. When understood properly, the Bible presents a completely consistent picture of God’s moral perfection in regard to His choice to create humans.”
Any concept of a god requiring the worshiping of him is a myth. It is a myth-understanding. It doesn’t matter how many people buy into it or for how long. It doesn’t make it any more true.
The need to be worshiped is a lower level human ego mechanic. Human beings with that neurosis must eventually grow out of it. What real and lasting good can come from an organized system of self loathing based upon convictions of guilt and failure? The very premise upon which religion is based, working inevitably with the Law of Attraction can only create more guilt and failure for humanity using the power of its own belief. Of course the Law of Attraction doesn’t seem to be something the Christian god comprehends.
Need for worship could never in a million years be a divine attribute. It is certainly beneath the intelligence that set this creation in motion. All of this craziness about sin and sacrifice and suffering is a massive illusory strategy that programs followers using codes and emotional triggers, starting with the cross. People who were aware of truth deliberately distorted any authenticity in the words of Jesus et al, , and fashioned from it a lure to empower the single point of its true focus: dominance of the masses to perpetuate their patriarchal agenda in the world.
As this creation is a an intelligence that prompts the expansive nature of its every part, it certainly would not insist that a human being limit his or her own potential and self authority by handing it over to a god that needs it more as proof you love him. Why would an all knowing god need proof of anything? Does he not have all knowledge? Perhaps Alls-heimers was setting in. There is no end to the foolishness the authors of religion would have you believe.
People believe in such things because they have a need for it to be true. That need does not make the myth any more true. It is this need that allows them to bypass irreconcilable contradiction in the religion itself, accept convictions of self lowliness, and carry the burden of dictated demands, finding them inexplicably acceptable. Religion starts on a real sour note by denigrating humanity and just builds up from there. It makes as much sense as if an alien race came down and experimented to find out if they could control humanity by first convincing human beings of their own inherent weakness.
Any love, hope, and strength derived from that myth is also experienced by those who don’t buy into it. Oops. Religion has no monopoly on anything but the self authority of every human being who buys into it. In reality, divine mind and its attributes of love are in every aspect of the creation. Believing it comes from a character in the bible does not stop it. However, it stops any hope of enlightenment and spiritual freedom.
Of course there are millions upon millions who could never find the bible and attending stories acceptable. The fact is, when a more expansive truth is realized, one sees clearly how the dynamic of religion and the information upon which it is based, (which has been deliberately misinterpreted and carelessly embellished to wholly change its dynamic), is in direct opposition to the working of universal laws that this intelligence supposedly set into motion.
Human need created from indoctrination/programming of self limitation is what sustains religion. Religion preys upon human weakness. Without human convictions of separation, lack, loss and lowliness, religion would have no power to control anyone, as they would have nothing to attempt to offer. As religion does not serve the greater potential in mankind via its very untruth, it can only eventually dissipate. It is a part of the illusion experienced in this world. Its elaborate splaying of churches on every corner will indeed have an ex-SPIRE-ation date.
As it is the same bloodlines that started religion that are now using our own world governments and big business as pawns to further our retreat into darkness from the very principles that set this country in motion, we have far more than religion to deal with.
But, we are in this world to learn who and what we are by experiencing who and what we are NOT. Human beings are not sheep to be herded and prodded and killed for food. The creators of religion probably initially couldn’t believe that people would accept such a raunchy story about their lack of self worth. The whole messy guilt ridden fear based scenario is a very baaaaaaaad idea for humanity. The god as interpreted into the bible is an almighty fraud.
Because man has free will. God of perfect love granted man free will when He created Adam.
Because of love. In love there is freedom.