Looks like some of my FTBlogfellows are picking up the topic of free will, so I thought I’d toss in a couple cents worth on how it relates to abortion and the pro-life movement. Most believers don’t stop to think about it, but there’s a major conflict there, in that a God who is pro-free-will is necessarily a pro-choice God.
Look at the story of Adam and Eve, back in Genesis 3. The dramatic climax of the chapter is when the serpent tempts Eve to eat the forbidden fruit. Hit the pause button right there. How is this story going to look from God’s perspective? He’s omniscient, so He knows what’s going on, the moment it happens. That means He knows that Eve is facing a choice that will mean life or death for her offspring, depending on how she chooses. What’s more, because God is omniscient, He knows she’s going to make a choice that will result in the (eventual) death of her offspring, and of their offspring, and of their offsprings’ offspring, etc., etc., and even of Eve herself.
At this point, God Himself faces a choice between two alternatives. The pro-life alternative is to intervene, to snatch the fruit out of Eve’s hand before she can eat it, and to thus save the lives of Eve and all her descendants. The pro-choice alternative is to respect Eve’s free will, and not to interfere, even though it means ultimate death for herself and all her descendants.
I’m sure you remember the rest of the story: God prefers the pro-choice alternative. He supports the woman’s right to choose regardless of the life-and-death consequences for her offspring. In other words, as the Bible clearly describes, God is solidly pro-choice.
You may say, “Hang on, respecting Eve’s free will is not the same as supporting a woman’s right to choose an abortion.” And you’re right, it isn’t: abortion only ends the physical life of the fetus, whereas the choice that God supported is one that, according to the Gospel, meant that most of Eve’s descendants would burn in Hell for all eternity (think about that the next time a pro-lifer tells you that saline abortions are painful). God’s support for a woman’s freedom of choice goes far beyond what any feminist would even dream of asking for, because He puts freedom of choice, not just above mere mortal life, but above the eternal salvation of billions of souls.
And it all comes down to free will. God has to be pro-choice so that Christians can use the “free will” excuse to rationalize the existence of evil and suffering in the world. It’s a question of God’s own survival: if God diminishes His support for freedom of choice, then the undeniable existence of evil and suffering calls His very existence into question. Thinking Christians might lose faith.
So the next time you see a pro-life protest, give them a good cheer. “Way to deny God, guys!” By saying that life is more important than free will, they’re condemning their own God as immoral.