I read an interesting idea from Abraham Lincoln, (I’ve been studying historical figures,) he said that God did not give Adam the tree of knowledge of good and evil so he could choose between the two, but so he could choose to not to eat of it. (I’m paraphrasing.) I’ve never heard this idea before. I’ve thought for a long time that Free Will means the ability to choose between right and wrong. Of course we know that it’s not right to choose wrong, but God won’t stop us.
But Lincoln gave me a paradigm shift. I believe whole heartedly the Good and Evil are real things. But what if freedom is not choosing between them, but simply choosing. It sounds like the same thing, I know. But let’s dive in deeper.
The thing about evil is, it depends upon the fact that the longer you allow it, the less you can resist it. The Bible says Sin makes us its slave. But I haven’t been the only one to think that it’s kind of unfair that Adam makes one choice, and screws up the rest of humanity. Yet that’s how it is. It’s called the Ripple Effect. Plus, every person re-enacts the scenario found in Genesis, we all have Good and Evil before us, we all at some point decide what we want to know.
Knowing Good and Evil is not the same as knowing it exists. Adam and Eve knew that tree was there, but they didn’t know what it was to be evil, to do evil, or to understand it. They were innocent. God made them good, but perhaps they didn’t know what that meant either. The choice they really had was God, or getting knowledge their own way. God didn’t set them up, the tree was not a bad thing, it was how it was used that was.
That’s another theory in of itself, but what I’m trying to get at is that Freedom to Choose remains freedom only as long as you choose rightly. That’s the nature of choice, to be able to make the right decision, not just any decision.
It used to be that people would tell you what a bad decision was, none of this nonsense about it being up to you to decide what was right. People, there is a difference between choosing right, and choosing what Right is. I don’t mean that we can’t decide what is the right course of action, but we don’t set the standard.
If God really wants what’s best for us, then he want us to be free. Evil doesn’t make you free, it makes you evil. Stealing makes you a thief, drugs make you an addict, lying makes you a liar, etc. Once you are that, how can you ever not be that again? Your deeds stand. We do have a choice, we can choose God. That is the only choice we have, because he allows us to keep our choice. Evil doesn’t. You get in, it won’t let you get out.
But I don’t despair. Evil may trap us, but evil is not the most powerful thing in the world and we all know if you can’t free yourself, the only option is to be rescued by someone stronger than your captor. This is why the Word says Christ freed us, and “It is for freedom that Christ set us free.” You might say Christ freed us for our own benefit, or you might say he freed us so we could be reconciled to God, but the Christian knows those two things are the same. It’s true, we are described as slaves for Christ, but slavery to one thing is freedom from another.
Freedom is choosing God, that is just the fact. I know from my own experience that this is true. There are tons of reasons to back it up, but I suggest Mere Christianity as a resource if you’re curious.
(This post got preachy, but I want everyone to know that was unintentional, I was thinking as I typed. I don’t just say this stuff, I really think this way. So it’s no more preachy than anyone else sharing their thought. I’m only saying this to clarify that I wasn’t proselytizing.)
Whether you like my conclusion or not, this subject is certainly intriguing. Feel free to comment with your thoughts. Until next post–Natasha.