Is God a Control Freak?

Science and religion seem to agree that humans have no free will.  But this idea raises many questions about what religion, and particularly the Bible tells us.  If God has already decided what we will do with our lives, why does he need to have us act out this charade we call human existence?  What is the purpose of all the human suffering if we are all just puppets in God’s show?  If God already knows whether we will be saved or not, why not just send us to heaven or condemn us to hell before we are born?  Having us live out our lives will not change anything.  If God has already decided whether we will be saved or lost, then how, as Erasmus asks, can we love a God who punishes people for his own doings? [1]

Why did God give us the Bible?  If we are preprogrammed by God to live a certain way, what is the purpose of giving us his word?  The Bible is to teach us how to live our lives but if we are preprogrammed then nothing the Bible says can change our programming.  The Bible tells us over and over that we will be judged on our actions.  God constantly tells us what our conduct should be like.  Erasmus states that there are over 600 verses in the Bible where God requires something of us.  If we have no free will, if God controls everything that occurs on this earth, why does he give us these requirements? [2]

How can we be judged and how can we obey God in terms of our conduct unless we are free to make our own decisions?  Erasmus states the obvious that a married woman who is raped is not guilty of adultery. [3]  The Bible and our civil law are in agreement on this because even though the physical act is identical, one involves an act of the will and the other does not.  Our legal system acknowledges that if someone is coerced, they are not responsible for their actions.  Are we more just than God?

Why should we try to convert others to the Christian religion if God has already decided who will be saved and who will be lost?  If God has decided that someone will not be saved, then our efforts to convert that person is contrary to God’s will.  Is that not evil? [4]  Some might say we do not know what God has planned for that individual and that God commands us to share our faith.  Then why does God command us to do something that could potentially be against his will; that potentially could be evil?

All the above questions lead us to doubt the idea that God controls all events in our world.


[1]   Ernst F. Winter, ed., Discourse on Free Will (New York:  Frederick Ungar Publishing Company, Inc., 1961), pp. 11-12.

[2]   Ibid., p. 59.

[3]   Ibid., pp. 25-26.

[4]   Ray Weatherford, The Implications of Determinism (New York:  Routledge, 1991), p. 43.

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