Does God want us to have Free Will? Does God need us to suffer?

We continue today our review of what humanity has been taught by its various teachers and religions about WHAT GOD WANTS regarding every area of our life.

The views and the experience of humanity on so many things have been impacted by what our teachers have told us about God and about God’s. Today we shall look at what many of us have been told that GOD WANTS regarding Will and Suffering. And then, finally, we’ll explore God’s desires regarding Morality and Death.

Then we’ll have brought you in this space a fairly complete summary of what both our ancestors, and our contemporary teachers, have told us about What God Wants.

So…how are you doing here? I know this is taking a while, but that’s because, as I said, the influence of the teachings we have all received about God runs deep. It embraces philosophical areas as well as the practical aspects of life.

Even though the following final topics touch upon concepts that we may think we’ll encounter only in the abstract, the fact is that how we think about these abstractions affects—and creates—our concrete moment-to-moment experience.

Free Will

Many humans have been told that What God Wants is for human beings to have Free Will. Thus, they may determine and decide for themselves which of the Ultimate Outcomes—heaven or hell—they wish to experience after their death. They may do as they choose at any moment, at every juncture. They are not restricted in any way.

Humans have been told that God has granted humanity this Free Will so that humans may freely choose God, freely choose God’s Way, and freely choose to be reunited with God in heaven. In other words, they may freely choose to be good, as opposed to being forced to do so. God wants humans to return to God by choice. No one should be required to do so.

Human beings have also been told that under the doctrine of Free Will, while people may do as they choose, if they do not choose What God Wants they’ll pay for it with continuous torture through all eternity. No element of duress is seen in this. It’s simply the Way Things Are. It’s Justice, at the highest level. It’s God’s Justice, which follows God’s Judgment. It’s important, therefore, to freely choose What God Wants.

One result of this teaching: Humanity’s concept of freedom has been deeply affected and profoundly shaped by its understanding of what God means by “freedom.”  Humans have decided that freedom doesn’t have to mean freedom, but can mean simply the ability to select outcomes. This is better than having no choice at all, and so humans in positions of power have learned to use the word “freedom” to privately describe the process by which they get others to do as they as are told. People don’t have to do as they are told, of course. But if they do not, there will be a price to pay. That could mean anything from having taxes audited to being thrown in jail for two years without charges being filed and without any explanation other than being labeled a threat to the security of the country. Using this measure, nations call themselves “free.”

Most people, except, perhaps, the most stubborn apologists, see the contradiction in all of this. They understand perfectly well that no people are truly free who face the most horrendous outcomes imaginable if they don’t do what they’re told. Only a hypocrite or a fool would call such a choice “free.”

Humans have learned, then, that hypocrisy—especially hypocrisy for the “right” purpose, in the “right” cause—is acceptable on earth as it is in heaven. Much of humanity’s political activity has been informed by this ethic. And elsewhere within the spectrum of human activity as well, in the way many humans communicate with each other, in the way many deal with each other, it has come to be understood that the end justifies the means.

In fact, many humans have now convinced themselves that none of this is hypocrisy at all. It’s simply a matter of interpretation.

And so, in this day and age, freedoms are taken away in the name of Freedom itself. Millions of people gratefully embrace the political rhetoric that says lack of freedom is what guarantees their freedom, and the religious doctrine that says their choices in life are free only if they do as they are told, because this is What God Wants.

Suffering

Many humans have been told that What God Wants is for suffering to be used by human beings to better themselves, and to purify their soul. Suffering is good. It earns credits, or points, in God’s mind, especially if it’s endured silently, and maybe even “offered up” to God. Suffering is a necessary part of human growth and learning and is, more importantly, a means by which people may be redeemed in the eyes of God.

Indeed, one whole religion is built on this belief, asserting that all beings have been saved by the suffering of one being, who died for the sins of the rest. This one being paid the “debt” said to be owed to God for humanity’s weakness and wickedness. According to this doctrine, God has been hurt by the weakness and wickedness of humanity and, in order to set things straight, someone has to suffer. Otherwise, God and humanity could not be reconciled. Thus, suffering was established as a redemptive experience.

With regard to the suffering of human beings due to “natural” causes, it’s not to be shortened by death under any circumstances that are not also “natural.” The suffering of animals may be mercifully ended before “natural” death, but not the suffering of people. It’s God and God alone who determines when human suffering shall end

One result of this teaching: Human begins have endured unimaginable suffering over extended periods in order to do God’s will and not incur God’s wrath in the Afterlife. Millions of people feel that even if a person is very, very old and is suffering very, very much—lingering on the verge of death but not dying, experiencing interminable pain instead—that person must endure whatever life is bringing them.

Humanity has actually created civil law declaring that people have no right to end their own suffering, nor may they assist another in ending theirs. However anguishing it may be, however otherwise hopeless a life may have become, the suffering must go on.

This is What God Wants.

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Neale Donald Walsch

Neale Donald Walsch is a modern day spiritual messenger whose words continue to touch the world in profound ways. With an early interest in religion and a deeply felt connection to spirituality, Neale spent the majority of his life thriving professionally, yet searching for spiritual meaning before beginning his now famous conversation with God.

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