Freedom of Will
One may ask: how did it come that God allowed bad material to be included in the New Testament?
The answer is: one of the main principles of God’s work on upbringing us is to provide us with the freedom of will, i.e. the right to choose one’s own life path. Do you want to come to Me? If yes — come! Take My hand, I will help you! If you want to go in the opposite direction — you may go, of course, but try to find Me anyway. I will be constantly reminding you about Me…
To where man aspires with the mind and consciousness is an important indication for God about how to help this person. For the sake of applying this principle, God allows including tempting information even in Holy books which describe the True Path.
We can consider this as lessons on psychology given by our Highest Teacher. These lessons include frequent tests on how much we have advanced spiritually, on the levels of our intellectual and ethical development.
In relation to the above said, it is appropriate to give a few excerpts from the New Testament. The first one is from the first Epistle of Paul to Corinthians (6:12): “All things are lawful to me, but not all things profit…”.
The same was said by Jesus: “Woe to the world because of the things that cause people to sin, (but) it is necessary that such things come…” (Matt 18:7).
The principle of freedom of will implies that the results of each stage of the educational process are reviewed periodically instead of punishing or rewarding for each decision taken by the person. To illustrate it, Jesus narrated a parable about a sower (Matt 13:24-30):
A man sowed good seed in his field. But while the man slept, his enemy came and sowed darnel among the wheat. When the blade had sprung up and had produced fruit, the darnel also appeared. So the servants of the householder came and said to him, “Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? Then where have the darnel come from?” He said to them, “An enemy did this”. The servants said to him, “Then do you want us to go and gather them up?”. But he said, “No, lest while you gather up the darnel you also root up the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest. And in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, ‘First gather together the darnel and bind them in bundles to burn them, but gather the wheat into my granary.’”. In this parable “seeds” are true or false information. Thanks to it, the field can give good “harvest” as well as “darnel”. So time is needed for everyone until the “harvest” to choose through personal quest, personal decisions what I want to become: “wheat” or “darnel”.
When something tempts you, Jesus advised to make harsh decisions for the sake of your own good: “And if your hand or your foot causes you to offend, cut them off and throw them from you. It is better for you to enter into the (True) Life lame or maimed, rather than having two hands or two feet to be cast into everlasting fire (of hell). And if your eye offends you, pluck it out and throw it from you. It is better for you to enter into the Life with one eye, rather than having two eyes to be cast into the hell of fire.” (Matt 18:8-9).
This kind of struggling with oneself is also a manifestation of the freedom of will.
And it is through the use of freedom of will that we form our destinies.
… But freedom of will is not unlimited.
God interferes when we have to make a change in our lives, but our inertness prevents us from doing it. Let us recall, for example, the dramatic changes in the lives of people who were lucky to become personal disciples of Jesus, or the dramatic change of Paul’s way of life, the destinies of many people who were saved from the darkness of ignorance by the Teachings of Jesus Christ.
God interferes also when people intend to do something that must not happen, something that would harm the spiritual progress of embodied souls. If we see it in another way, then we misunderstand something, we are confused.
God possesses perfect Love, perfect Wisdom, perfect Power. He cannot overlook something, miss something. He has no enemies who are capable of struggling effectively against Him. Fairy tales about His battles with the devil are nothing but fairy tales, as for the people who take them seriously — … this characterizes their intellectual level… God can materialize or dematerialize anything, for example — dematerialize the body of a villain who intends to do something that must not happen (objectively!).
And if something like this happens, it means that it had to happen, and God knew about it. Our task then is to try to understand the reason.
We have to learn to trust Him. (Though we should not do foolish things for which He needs to cause us pain).
If the conscience is clear, one has nothing to fear! But if it is not clear, then one has to repent sincerely and redress the wrong.
And if we have the clear conscience but are afraid of some earthly things (except for causing unintentionally harm to others), then our faith is weak, our love for Him is weak. “There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear… The one who fears has not been perfected in love.” (1 John 4:18) “Are not two sparrows sold for an assarion? And one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father’s will. But even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Therefore do not fear, you are of more value than many sparrows!” (Matt 10:29-31)
And when someone says that there is no God, because there are earthquakes, hurricanes, wars, or that He is evil and therefore I don’t want to believe in Him, or that He cannot overpower the devil… — then let us understand that God’s intention for people does not consist in creating for them a paradise on the Earth. If there was paradise on the Earth, then we would have no powerful stimulus to advance somewhere else.
On the contrary, we should remember that we have to live on the Earth actively, not lazily, otherwise He will hurry us through pain — for our own good.
The life on the Earth is not the True Life. It is only a short educational course, a possibility for us to become better, to correct our destinies for the sake of the life to come, to get closer to the Ultimate Goal.
And if there were no wars and other calamities, then it would be impossible to display self-sacrificial heroism for sake of others or, on the contrary, to betray as a result of being afraid of pain or death of the body…
Earthly cataclysms are but an accelerator of the evolution of people involved in them. It is an opportunity to become better.