What I’m about to say might seem like a different language. At least, it’s not a very modern language. But, I believe we have already conceded our language to the opposition and are playing the language game by their rules. We just manage to shift some words around in the right order to make some semblance of Christian sense. But, it’s just like playing football using the rules of chess. Ultimately, it may not work. We must start to learn what the opposition learned years ago: if you want to change the collective consciousness of a people, you must change their language.
So, here it goes…
A large part of the rejection of God, conscious or unconscious, is a desire for determinism.
My explanation of this statement will begin by clearing up a misunderstanding about God. For mankind to be free, means that every act man takes is a result of the direct and immediate creative activity of God. A man’s actions can be considered to be free when no other thing constrains him; and that the choice he makes is not the result of some other creature or anything else guiding and directing him. But, let me clarify something. God is not anything else. God does not occupy the same universe as man, nor does he exist along side it. He is not an existent among existents; and therefore is not an outside force guiding man at some times and not at others. Yet, everything exists and continues to exist by God’s creative activity. If God were to stop his activity, everything would cease to be. It’s not that the universe would stop. It’s that there would be no universe to stop.
Now, for my purposes here I will group God’s creative activity into two categories: determined and free. By determined I simply mean that some things are caused by other things: such as the wind blowing a leaf. This could also be called indirect creative activity. By free I mean that Fred’s decision to ride his bike is not due solely to indirect creative activity. Indeed, Fred may ride his bike because his body feels like it want to be active. But, by free I also mean that there is an element of Fred’s decision that is not due to anything else. It is not the result of outside forces but is the direct activity of God making Fred’s action free.
Now, you may begin to understand my first statement. A rejection of God is a desire to be free from the direct creative activity of God whether one realizes it or not. It’s no wonder that many who deny the existence of God think themselves not free to have done so. They think they were determined to have done it. To them, logically, there is no other option but determinism.
Many of us have felt our actions to be determined in some way. This is what is meant by the psychological term addiction. We feel compelled to go back again and again and do the same thing. We have addictions to drugs, sex, food, and many other things. We may try to stop, but we feel as if we are being acted upon by some outside force. That is a glimpse of what it is like to live in rejection of God. But to be free, is not to be constrained by anything else, but to have nothing else in between the creative action of God and you. Freedom takes the direct creation of God. It’s ironic, though, that God is usually rejected in the name of freedom.