Is Wordly Evil The Result Of Individual Free Will?

    MannaXPRESS Free-will-2 Is Wordly Evil The Result Of Individual Free Will?
    Free will


    By John Clark

    Would you agree that people have a free will regarding how they think or act? I know, there could be exceptions, but in a general sense is that a true statement? Next question: Do you think free will is an expression of the inner character of a person? Can inner character become so bad that the will is capable of doing all the evil and morally horrible acts we are seeing today?

         Is there such a thing as sin? Google thinks so. It defines sin as “an immoral act considered to be a transgression against divine law.” So, even Google admits that there is  a higher force or God that has set a standard of righteousness. In the original writings of the Bible sin means to “miss the mark of the standard of perfection established by God and evidenced by Jesus.”

         Is sin a result of the free will of choice, or do the actions of the free will come from the innate character embedded with a sin nature? Many Christians believe that people are born with a sin nature. This is not a popular belief and people don’t want to admit that the problem lies within the person. The question remains, therefore, as to how does one explain evil? I mean, is something or someone making people commit evil acts? Things are happening that just a few years ago were not even thought about, like killing babies at birth, or ISIS beheading people. We could make a list of headlines of many more horrible acts. Even things like racial prejudice is basically a choice. One can choose to love or hate. 

         There is, however, much deception today. People are being deceived to choose to believe wrong things and do wrong things. Evil has become okay. Deception can be defined as acts or statements which mislead, hide the truth, or promote a belief, concept, or idea that is not true. Matthew 24:4 records Jesus saying, “See to it that no one misleads you.”

         Thinking today, though, has gone beyond deception. It has become delusion. II Thessalonians 2:11 mentions a deluding influence. Delusion is a belief or altered reality that is persistently held despite evidence to the contrary, generally in reference to mental illness. Doesn’t the first part of this definition sound a lot like today?

         Romans 1:28 says the time will come when people will also develop “depraved thinking.” The Lectric Law Library’s Lexicon has a legal definition of depraved thinking which perfectly fits today’s culture. “Depravity of mind is a condition of the mind characterized by an inherent deficiency of moral sense and integrity. It consists of evil, corrupt, and perverted intent which is devoid of regard for human dignity and which is indifferent to human life. It is a state of mind outrageously horrible or inhuman.”

         Notice the terms “inherent deficiency” and “evil, corrupt, and perverted intent.” This falls right in line, does it not, with a sinful nature with a free will.

         The secular culture wants to deny that humanity has a sinful nature. It wants to believe that human nature is inherently good. While the vast majority of people are decent and good, how does one justify using good things for evil purposes and intentions?

         Yes, some want to say that some of the evil is attributed to mental illness. Even though mental illness has a higher probability of evil acts or deranged thinking than a normal person, I have often wondered how many times “mental illness” is used to skirt and deny the real issue of a sinful human nature? Where does one draw the line between mental illness and the exercise of sane free will? It is a stretch to believe that everyone who becomes angry or hateful, or commits evil acts, is mentally ill. Jeremiah 17:9 says, “the heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked.”

         Dr. Caroline Leaf, a cognitive neuroscientist with a PhD in Communication Pathology, says that mental illness is “trauma and habituated incorrect thought reactions that have not been dealt with.” Could this not include anger, hatred, revenge, or even allowing oneself to be influenced by negative and destructive ideologies, or choosing not to deal with one’s issues that can escalate into killing others (free will again).

         However, quoting Dr. Leaf again, there can be “cognitive, emotional, and behavioral changes {in people} who choose to intentionally and deliberately use their minds in a very disciplined, consistent, and meaningful way.” (There is free choice again.)

         So, people can change the way they think that will alter their freedom of choice. 

         The problem goes even further than deception and delusion. Satan, the god of this world, has blinded people to not recognize human nature as the problem. One obvious example of this is gun control. Liberals want to blame shootings on guns rather than on human nature. There is a spiritual darkness that has descended over the world. 

         Because people have been spiritually blinded they don’t see their human condition, and thus, see no need to call upon God’s grace. This has, in turn, led to more depression, hopelessness, life with no purpose, and a suicide rate that is higher in this generation than for any generation in history. 

         Use your free will to turn to the grace of God to save you. Then accept the free gift of salvation made possible by the death and resurrection of Jesus.  

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