Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth He any man. But every man is tempted when he is drawn away of his own lust and enticed. James 1:13-14
Several years ago, a Chilean man identified himself to Pope Francis and admitted to being gay. According to CNN, the Pope reportedly told him being gay didn’t matter because “God made you like this, God loves you like this, the Pope loves you like this, and you should love yourself and not worry about what people say.”
Now, whether or not that was an accurate representation of what Pope Francis said is up for debate. What we do know for certain is that God loves His children, sinners included, but that does not mean He condones their sin.
Some will argue that in Isaiah 45:7 God admitted to creating moral evil, what some call sin, but they are relying on a mistranslation of the Hebrew word rah which actually means adversity, affliction, calamity, or misery, from the prime Raa, to be good for nothing. Rather than saying God created “moral evil,” Isaiah is presenting that God brings disaster or calamity on those who continue in rebellion against Him, not that it is okay to blame God for one’s own sins.
Let’s be honest, life would be much less complicated if God prevented us from making bad choices or refused to hold us accountable for those choices. But God did not create a robotic creature, He created his children with free will allowing them to make their own choice of whether or not to follow Him. True love is, after all, a two-way street – it is not genuine if there’s no other option.
To assist us in making the right decisions in our lives, God gave us commandments, rules, regulations, as any parent would have their children follow. He gave us prophets or teachers if you will, to help us make the right choices in life but if we choose to ignore His help, that is a reflection on us, not God.
We are constantly bombarded with messages from the left about our right to choose to be or do whatever we deem is right for ourselves. What they conveniently forget to mention in their attempt to push man away from God is the consequences that our choices bring.
Paul in his Epistle to the Galatians in 6:7 writes: “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.” Good choices bring about good results; bad choices eventually result in unpleasant or disastrous outcomes.
God’s commands of the Old Testament were attached to blessings for obedience and penalties for disobedience. In other words, the Law emphasized the responsibility of individuals to respond in morally appropriate ways to God’s revealed truth. God clearly defined right and wrong, and His people were expected to do what was right.
To paraphrase Kenneth Boa in his article Divine Sovereignty vs. Human Responsibility, the Bible makes it clear that we are not pawns in the hands of a deterministic and fatalistic universe. Every command given of God is proof of the reality of human responsibility.
“Evil spreads in the darkness where the light of truth and justice does not shine. When evil is ignored, or worse, forgotten, its power is able to grow; the greater the evil the greater the harm it will cause.” Henry Karlson
Sources: Chilean Abuse Victim: Pope Told Me To Accept Being Gay, by the Catholic News Agency; Choices Create Our Future, by Betty Miller; and Free Will, What is It? By by Don Henson