Could God actually be pro-choice? You’re shocked to hear it, of course, and your religious political training is rebelling against the idea. Let me be clear; I’m not trying to make some big political statement about abortion (I’ll leave that hot topic alone)! This is much bigger than one issue – God’s mode of working among humankind has always been pro-choice within the confines of His ultimate sovereignty.
Let’s begin at the beginning. When God created human beings, He made man and woman in His own image which means He gave us freedom of choice. God’s decision to give mankind the choice to reject Him has always perplexed deep thinkers. We wonder why He would allow people to follow a path of self-destruction when He could have intervened in His power. Instead of forcing us to obey Him, He gives us space to make our own decisions and the freedom to fail.
If you are a parent, you understand both the agony and the necessity of freedom. At the beginning of life our children have no real freedoms, but each year we offer them a few more choices and a few more opportunities to show their character. The knowledge of good and evil has been passed down to us by our ancestors, Adam and Eve. Therefore, the choice of good vs. evil confronts us daily. Why is freedom of choice such a necessity? If God created beings who were inherently obedient, they would not be able to choose to follow God.
This links our freedom of choice to God’s longing for real love. Love must always be a choice. Have you ever seen someone who was coerced into a relationship? That’s not love; that’s abuse. God doesn’t force us to love Him and by the way, love is exhibited by obedience (showing we care about His preferences and putting Him above our own selfish desires). If I forced my daughter to make me a mother’s day card, it would be meaningless. When she, with no prompting from anyone, creates a masterpiece of 6 year old love, I treasure it forever. Our love is a spontaneous response to the love we’ve been shown by another. When we experience God’s love, we want to give ourselves to Him. God’s greatest desire is that we love Him sincerely, not follow Him because that’s what we’re supposed to do.
He made us creatures of choice because of love. True love cannot exist in an environment where freedom is absent. Just because He gave us the freedom to choose doesn’t mean there aren’t consequences for bad choices. He wants us to make the right choices and He even promises to lead us along straight paths, but He will never drag us along His way against our will. He will show us the way out of temptation and He will gently whisper directions in our ear, but He leaves the choice up to us.
Sometimes I wish He would make me obey. I want Him to empower me to be a transformed person by simply eliminating choice. I long for the struggle with sin to be finished, but He wants me to keep learning and growing in Him. He is more interested in the process and each time I choose to obey, my love for Him grows.
If you have watched a loved one making decisions that concern you, you know the agony God endures as He daily sees our misuse of freedom. Does He stand by watching idly? No, He has the power to overtake us and force us to obey, but He chooses to wait for us to make the first steps. He constrains His power so we can make our own choices and come to Him in love.