A few points for clarification before we start this meal.
I switched to the NIV translation when quoting bible verses, as it is the most popular bible translation by unit sales. It would then logically be the most read bible translation.
When I write in UPPERCASE, I am NOT shouting. It is for extra emphasis.
So, let us start.
Imagine being on an aeroplane and the hostess comes round with the food tray. "Beef or chicken?" she asks. "I am a vegetarian", you say. "Sorry sir, no vegetarian meals available," she says, "Beef or chicken?"
According to Christians this is called "free will". You are "free" to choose anything on the menu. Like the airline menus, the Christian menu also consists of only two items: "life" or "death". According to Christian belief, although there are two items on the menu, there is actually only one CHOICE to be made..." life"! If you do not exercise your "free will" and choose "life", a choice is made for you, and that choice is DEFINITELY not "life"!
Where in the world do Christians get this idea from? Well, of course they think it is written in the bible!
Let us quickly recap the Christian doctrine of how things went down in the bible:
1. After first creating the heavens and the earth, the biblical god creates humans, animals and everything else (Gen 1:3-27).
2. He then puts these humans in a garden (Gen 2:8), and tells them not to eat the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil planted in the middle of the garden, right next to the tree of life (Gen 2:16-17).
3. These humans are deceived by a serpent (who is a pre-created already-corrupted fallen angel), and the humans eat the fruit from the forbidden tree (Gen 3:1-7).
4. This single deed causes sin to enter all humans, and ultimately leads to the death of all humans (Gen 2:17).
5. God promises that a descendant of Eve will trample the serpent's head (Gen 3:15).
6. The humans are kicked out of the garden (Gen 3:23), and everything is chaos and mayhem from then on.
7. Jesus appears 4,000 years later, gets crucified, resurrected and goes back to heaven. In the process he manages to undo the deed of Adam.
Now, sounds like a nice solid story there. I have to emphasize AGAIN for those folks who can't really read or understand what they read: what is written above is not MY opinion of what is written in the bible. It is what Christians believe!
So, Adam was given a choice, and he chose "death". The bible teaches that one man (Adam) chose for approximately 105 billion humans, with many more to come. Thanks to the wrong choice of ONE man, we are now all doomed. Then Jesus rocks up on the scene, and brings "good news". If you hear the message of the "good news" and confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and you believe this in your heart, then you will be saved from the "death" promised in Genesis 2:17. This is written in Rom 10:9 (NIV) - That if you confess with your mouth, 'Jesus is Lord,' and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. Subsequently, if you hear the message of the "good news" and reject it, you will suffer the "death" promised in Genesis 2:17. Christians themselves are not entirely sure what happens with people who never hear of Jesus. The most common consensus is that they will suffer the same fate as people who reject the "good news".
This, according to Christians, is "free will". You choose "yes" for "life" and "no" for "death", and if no choice is offered to you, then "death" is chosen for you. For something that claims "free will", the menu seems very limited.
I think in order to slay this myth I will start at the beginning...where everything went wrong.
Gen 1:1 (NIV) - " In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
It is written in the bible that before the biblical god did ANYTHING else, he created the heavens and the earth. Then only did he create everything else. Even LIGHT was created AFTER the foundation of the earth. Check it out in Gen 1:3. The Hebrew word for Genesis 1:1 "In the beginning" is "ray-sheeth" and means "first in order" or "beginning". So, the bible says that "first" the biblical god created the heavens and the earth.
So, please allow me to introduce a Greek word into this article. Readers, meet "proorizo". Now, "proorizo" means "to limit in advance", or "to decide beforehand". This word appears 6 times in the New Testament.
I will begin with a little "starter" to ease you into the concept:
Acts 4:27, 28 (NIV) - Indeed Herod and Pontius Pilate met together with the Gentiles and the people of Israel in this city to conspire against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed. They did what your power and will had decided beforehand should happen.
See those underlined words? That is our new friend "proorizo". This basically says that the people spoken of in verse 27 did exactly what was intended by the biblical god. So, Herod and Pontius Pilate only did what was DECIDED BEFOREHAND by the biblical god...they had no choice, and were mere puppets in his hands. They were being manipulated to reach a certain outcome. The word "proorizo" does not necessarily indicate an exact time, but is simply used to establish the order of events. So, Herod, Pontius Pilate, the Gentiles and the people of Israel met together to conspire, but it was DECIDED BEFOREHAND by the biblical god what the outcome of their meeting would be.
So, let's add some "meat" to this dish.
Eph 1:3 (NIV) - Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.
Eph 1:4 (NIV) - For he (God) chose us in him (Jesus) before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight.
A quick rewind. The bible teaches that when man was created, there was no sin. Adam and Eve were "holy and blameless" in the sight of the biblical god. They were "children of god". Sadly for Adam, tragedy struck, and through Adam's disobedience, sin entered the world...Rom 5:12 (NIV) - Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned. According to the bible this incident also caused a rift between the biblical god and humans, so humans were NOT "children of god" anymore, as they were not "holy and blameless" anymore. They were now vile sinners and cast out of the Garden of Eden.
So, as a direct result of this, Paul and the Ephesians will not be "holy and blameless" in the sight of the biblical god anymore, as it is clearly stated "because all sinned". Just to confirm that this is what the bible says, it is also written in Rom 3:9-12 (NIV) - What shall we conclude then? Are we any better? Not at all! We have already made the charge that Jews and Gentiles alike are all under sin. As it is written: "There is no one righteous, not even one; there is no one who understands, no one who seeks God. All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one."
It seems that the biblical god planned for Paul and the Ephesians to be without sin, but this plan (as outlined in Eph 1:4) was now thwarted.
Let us analyze Eph1:4 quickly. The biblical god chose Paul and the Ephesians in Jesus Christ BEFORE THE CREATION OF THE WORLD to be "holy and blameless" in his sight.
A quick checklist of the ingredients needed for Eph 1:4:
1. Plans laid for Paul and the Ephesians to be "holy and blameless"? Check.
2. Earth created? Check.
3. Humans created? Check.
4. Humans "holy and blameless" IN THEMSELVES (no external mechanism needed)? Check.
5. All humans that follow will be "holy and blameless"? Check.
6. Paul and the Ephesians (being humans) will be "holy and blameless"? Check.
All ingredients for this meal are checked and ready. Yet, it tastes like something is missing.
Ah, I know, I need to add some "spice" to this meaty dish!
Ephesians 1:5-6 (NIV) - For In love he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves.
See that underlined word? That is our new friend "proorizo" again. It was DECIDED BEFOREHAND that Paul and the Ephesians would be adopted "as the sons of the biblical god through Jesus Christ". But how can this be? Did the biblical god know that there would be a need for adoption?
Still not enough "spice". I think I need to add some more.
Eph 1:7-12 (NIV) - In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God's grace that he lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding. And he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, to be put into effect when the times will have reached their fulfillment - to bring all things in heaven and on earth together under one head, even Christ. In him we were also chosen, having been predestined (proorizo) according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, in order that we, who were the first to hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory.
A quick reminder that our new friend "proorizo" does not indicate exact time...it merely establishes an order of events. However, if we mix verse 4 into the dish for CONTEXT, it was known BEFORE THE CREATION OF THE WORLD that they would need to be forgiven from sin and receive redemption in order to become "holy and blameless", as Eph 1:4 mentions one pesky little fact: they will be "holy and blameless" IN JESUS CHRIST! Paul writes to the Ephesians that it was DECIDED BEFOREHAND that they will be holy THROUGH ADOPTION...IN JESUS CHRIST. We know from John 1:1 that Jesus was already waiting in the wings before the creation! Why then the need for Jesus if all was going according to plan? Could it be that the biblical god knew that there was going to be a deception and sin, and that humans needed to be forgiven, and he KNEW Adam was going to be deceived?
YES! OF COURSE!
The bible states a deliberate intention on the side of the biblical god. He knew beforehand what was going down (having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will). He knew this before he created humans! He knew this before he created the earth! He knew this before he created the serpent to deceive humans! He knew it all...yet the bible says he went ahead and did it anyways!
A little "salad" is needed here to complement the main course.
Rom 8:29 (NIV) - For those God foreknew he also predestined (proorizo - LIMITED IN ADVANCE) to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers...
You see, Adam and Eve had no choice. It was DECIDED BEFORE THE CREATION OF THE WORLD that they would fail, as the mechanism for adoption and redemption (Jesus Christ) was already in place BEFORE THE CREATION OF THE WORLD. It was decided by the biblical god to curse all humans and cause untold suffering on billions of people BEFORE THE CREATION OF THE WORLD! Nobody had a choice! Nobody HAS a choice! It has all been DECIDED BEFOREHAND! Adam had no choice! There was only one item on the menu...DEATH!
If Adam HAD a choice, no Jesus would be needed! The problem is...Jesus was already there! Although there were two items on the menu, there was only one CHOICE! And Adam made the RIGHT choice. It could be no other way. Jesus was already created and ready to fulfil his role in this drama. The biblical god would have his way, come "hell" or "high water". If you read my previous article "PART 3: Satan! Be Gone!" you will see that the biblical god created the character of the devil for one purpose: to destroy. And here is the obvious reason it was done. The serpent (devil) was created to lead Adam and Even into temptation so the whole plan could play out exactly as DECIDED BEFOREHAND.
But why give Adam the choice then?
Adam was NEVER given a choice! This is corrupt Christian thinking. It was never said DIRECTLY to him that he must eat from the tree of life. He was only instructed NOT to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. It was a mind game. This is called manipulation. If Adam was created perfect, there would be no need for a "tree of life". And what does this tree of life do? Gen 3:22 (NIV) - And the LORD God said, "The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil. He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever." The tree of life would make them "live forever", thus Adam and Eve never had eternal life in them, even when living "holy and blameless" in the sight of the biblical god! The biblical god never said to them "There are two trees...one is life and the other is death. Choose wisely before you eat". They were manipulated into a certain situation to reach a certain outcome.
A little "palate cleanser" before "dessert".
Rom 8:19-21 (NIV) - The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed. For the creation was subjected to frustration (uselessness), NOT BY ITS OWN CHOICE, but by the WILL OF THE ONE WHO SUBJECTED IT, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God.
Please read it again and weep:
"For the creation was subjected to frustration (uselessness), NOT BY ITS OWN CHOICE, but by the WILL OF THE ONE WHO SUBJECTED IT in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay"
Now I know Toby Strong or Rational_Believer will throw a fit because of the word "creation", and claim that this verse ACTUALLY means that Adam used his "free WILL" to subject the entire creation to frustration (uselessness). This, however, is not true. It means what is written there. The WILL OF GOD was at play here...NO CHOICE!
And a little "dessert".
Phil 2:9 (NIV) - Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
The bible teaches that this whole disaster with Adam and 105 billion humans is done to achieve one thing: to massage the ego of the biblical god by getting everybody to grovel in front of his son!
1 Cor 2:7-8 (NIV) - No, we speak of God's secret wisdom, a wisdom that has been hidden and that God destined (proorizo - LIMITED IN ADVANCE) for our glory before time began. None of the rulers of this age understood it, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.
The biblical god has chosen a few to be "holy and blameless in his sight" before time began, and the rest will just be dumped. If you do not decide for Jesus, "death" is on the menu. Even if you do not know of him, "death" is on the menu by default! Yet, it would appear according to Mat 7:21-23 that even if you do decide for Jesus, there is still no guarantee of salvation! I will get the blood REALLY boiling on this one in my next article.
The biblical god twists and manipulates everything "according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will." Christians want to believe they are good, and when they die they want to believe they are going to heaven as a reward for being good. Therefore, that is what they read in the bible. Likewise, Christians want "bad" people to be punished and go to "hell" when they die. Therefore, that is what they read in the bible. Christians like Sydney Albertus Daniel (to whom I dedicate this article) think that he is better than other people because he believes in the bible and the biblical god. What he doesn't realise is that when he hangs out with the biblical god, he is in the company of an evil, insecure, jealous, spiteful, hateful, manipulating, homophobic, misogynistic, racist, animal killing, infanticidal, genocidal maniac. And then this degenerate Sydney Albertus Daniel has the audacity to call atheists immoral? Hey Sydney! What is that in your eye?
So, no beef or chicken on the menu today. Only the truth.
The bible teaches that Adam doomed ALL humans, but only those who believe in Jesus will be saved. More on this in my article "PART 5: Jesus Christ - Messiah or Misanthrope?"
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