1)      Does Man have the power of free choice in his life or not?

V Man is free to choose everything in his life but of course that except what is about his birth and his homeland where he was born, also he can't choose his parents or his gender: male or female, or his colour, also he is not free to choose the talents that God has endowed him with or deprived him from. That God created Man on his image in righteousness, holiness, in mind, thinking, will and free choice.

2)      Then why did God created Man, although He knows that Man will sin?

V Some people claim that God created Man because He needs him to worship Him, but of course that's untrue, that God is absolute; He is the all perfect and so by this claim we are to in charge God of being imperfect that He needs Man to worship Him. God forbid; that God is not the imperfect who needs to be perfect by His own creature whether a man or an angel. And theologically God is not increasing or decreasing, that when we glorify him he gains nothing and also he loses nothing if we didn't. And we say in the Mass: "You weren't in the need of me to worship You, but it's me who was in the need to worship You." But God created Man for His love for him, that God loved us before we exist and for that reason He made us; that God created Man to bestow upon him the blessing of existence.

And here the simplest example we can offer is that of the mother who knows how much her embryo will make her suffer and how much pains she will bear for him and that from the very beginning for him to be in her womb, and then his birth, till his bringing up and his mistakes, andů..and, but also despite all this she tries to keep him and cares for him as much as she can and she is very happy doing this, Why?! Isn't this because of her love for him even before his existence;" for God is love." (1st John (4:8)).

3)      Why did God give us the commandment?

V God endowed Man with a mind and a free will which means a free choice, and for that reason there must have been a trail before Man to choose and then he will value his mind and this free choice and then he can choose whether to go in the way of life or in that of death.

For example: if you gave someone a torch, he won't know how it is very important and useful but if he is in the dark, that as long as he is in the light, the torch you gave him is useless. And just as this example God, the whole omnipotence the whole knowledge and wisdom, create nothing that is unworthy.

4) If God knows that Man will sin, then why didn't He rest him from the temptation of the devil?

V Of course God knows that Man will sin and also God knows that He will redeem him and transfer the evil that Man himself had done to the good for him. And God could have created Man with a nature that never sins or to make him be driven forward only to the good. But in this case Man wouldn't have deserved to be rewarded that he hadn't succeeded in a test that actually there was no test. And so for this reason God created Man with a free will, and let the devil tempt him.

Also if God would have rested Man from the temptation of the devil, Man would have stayed in the Garden of Eden on earth, but God prepared what is better for him. "Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him." (1st Corinthians (2:9)).

5)      Is there what is really called judgment and fatalism?

V At first let's know the meaning of each word:

' Judgment means the decision or the control, which means ruling and here we mean the judgment of God and his former eternal knowledge.

' Fatalism means to take into consideration or account or to give a certain or definite appreciation of something. And some people use it to mean how judgment works upon the lives of the people in details. But also we should maintain that this word (Fatalism) is never mentioned in The Holy Bible.

Therefore we don't believe in the Fatalism.

6)      What is the wrong conception of fatalism?

V Some people believe that Man can do nothing in his life by himself or by his own decision that he has no power for this and that Man is a creature who is driven forward only by fatalism. And that everything is written and it is impossible that something can be changed. And so by this belief they explain anything bad or evil happens in their life by saying:" Oh!! It's our fate."

And we should say that this belief that God had written people's fate before, take away from Man a very important issue which is the responsibility of evil in the world, that anything evil happens we come to the explanation that it was either God or Man who caused it. but in case we wanted to analyze the problem logically, we will find that the righteousness of the God in any religion is a fundamental truth that should never be violated, so it is only Man who is responsible for the evil in the world and here as Man wants to remove this responsibility away from him he will then turn it to an unknown power that is fatalism or to an unknown divine wisdom that is the good wisdom of the Lord. And then he has freed himself from any responsibility of any pain or evil in the actual life. That why did that man or that died for any reason? It is the fate! While the true reason is hidden that can be something like negligence or ignorance or some human evil morals which the human free will is the one that should be responsible for and not the former knowledge of God.

So the conception of fatalism is an ancient philosophic statement and then it became a religious one. And it is the easiest way to free Man from any responsibility towards evils in the world.

Some people also claim that there are some people that God had sentenced them to faith and paradise, and that there are some other people that are sentenced to be unbelievers and that those will be the fuel of the hell. And they also assure that it is useless for those miserable people to try to reform their lives and satisfy God. That according to this belief, the destiny of people is not based on any principle of the principles of justice, but it is only depends on the absolute free will of God.

7)      Does that former conception agree with the divine justice?

V Of course it doesn't and also it doesn't agree with the human justice; that if God had created some people and sentenced them to evil and then punished them, and created some others and sentenced them to the good and then rewarded them, here God will be unfair, God forbid. That why does God punish a Man on something evil he had done and it is God Himself who had ordered him and forced him to do??! And also why does He reward a Man for something good he had done and also it is God Himself who had ordered him and forced him to do and it is not coming out of the man himself??!

Also this belief in charge God with being the cause of evil and also its commander, God forbid.

8)      Is there any difference between the former knowledge of God and His will?

V Yes, there is a difference, that the former knowledge of God involves every thing and all ages that God knows every thing, every thing is known before Him, and there is nothing that God doesn't know. But God's will is that all men will be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth" Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth." (1st Timothy (2:4)) and "For this is the will of God, even your sanctification" (1st Thessalonians (4:3)).

9)      Does the will of God make that of Man of no use?

V Of course not, that the will of God is the good, benevolence, and sanctification. But also He doesn't force us on this, that God gives us a free will and free choice." I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live " ( Deuteronomy (30:9)). And "how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!" (St. Matthew (23:37)).

10)  Does the judgment of God involve the evil deeds?

V God didn't create evil and also He is never happy with it, but He may let it happens, and if so, He only permits a certain amount of it, and He also transfers the evil of the evil people to the good for those who love Him. And one of the most prominent examples on this is that of St. Joseph the chaste, that God transferred all the evils that happened to him into good and made him the first man in Egypt after the king." But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good" (Genesis (50:20)). And also the crucifixion of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which we were delivered and redeemed, is another example.

11)  Did God created the devil?

V God created the angels, and the devil, before he fell down, was one of the archangels, from the cherubim, but he fell by his ignorance on God that he wanted to be like Him, like God, so he lost his position. " For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High. Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit " (Isaiah (14:13-15)).

12)  Is it possible for the devil to be saved, or has he the chance for repentance?

V The devil has no chance for repentance or salvation, for as an angel, God created him with a knowing, conscious, and sane nature, and also he has a free will, and he is able of the correct mentally appreciation, that the angel doesn't misunderstand, that if he slanted to the way of evil, this won't be the result of a wrong appreciation or lack of apprehension, but it is out of determination and true intention. And so he differs completely from the Man, that the angel never repents on anything wrong he had done and he never changes his direction because, as we said before, his slanting to the evil was not out of misunderstanding but out of a well-established will that never changes. In addition we should say that the devil wasn't tempted by anyone, but Man was tempted by the devil.

13)  Does the judgment of God involve Man only?

V No, that as we said, the judgment of God means His decision or His former knowledge, and this knowledge of God involves all His creation beginning with the tiniest creatures and up to the planets and the stars. "Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father. "(St. Matthew (10:29)). And He use it for the glory of His name like what happened during the war of Joshua when the sun stood still until the people had avenged themselves upon their enemies (Joshua (10:13)), and also the drying of the seawater and its standing as a fence on the right and the left of the children of Israel during their getting out of Egypt (Exodus (14:21)), and also the speaking of the ass of Balaam (Numbers (22)).

14)  Does God change His judgment or repent?

V The judgment of Man may change and that can be out of a lack of wisdom, power, or a lack of the truth and honesty. This is different in the case of God who never changes His judgment, God forbid. "God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good? "(Numbers (23:19)).

15)  So how can we explain that God had lengthened the age of Hezekiah with 15 years more, and also how can we explain the expression of the repentance of God in The Holy Bible?

V God drew, since the eternity, to add 15 years more to the age of Hezekiah, on condition that he entreat and beg this from the Lord, and he did, and also, since the eternity, God knows that he would do, but here it is the vision and knowledge of Man that is limited.

And about what was mentioned in The Holy Bible that God repented, that is not an evidence that God changes His judge, that actually what changes here is Man himself who places himself once under the performance of the justice of God and once again under the performance of God's mercy which is expressed in The Holy Bible as repentance, that The Holy Bible expresses God's sentiments and emotions towards us with our language as if it is being expressed from one man to another. So this expression was only chosen and mentioned to be understood by us, and just to clarify the meaning. "When I shall say to the righteous, that he shall surely live; if he trust to his own righteousness, and commit iniquity, all his righteousnesses shall not be remembered; but for his iniquity that he hath committed, he shall die for it. Again, when I say unto the wicked, Thou shalt surely die; if he turn from his sin, and do that which is lawful and right; If the wicked restore the pledge, give again that he had robbed, walk in the statutes of life, without committing iniquity; he shall surely live, he shall not die." (Ezekiel (33:13-15)).

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Translated by:
Marian Fouad

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