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(Supporting article)

The Will of God

What exactly is meant by this term that is shared by
the three great monotheist religions
?

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1. INTRODUCTION

This commonly used term leads to quite a bit of confusion. Simply put, the will of God refers to his view of what is best for us individually, and collectively. The subtle effect of God’s will, i.e. through his guiding power, should be seen retrospectively in our individual lives and within humanity’s past history.

2.    MISCONCEPTIONS

At times, Christians, Jews and Muslims read more into the “will of God” than their individual holy books require of them. When things go wrong, a Christian might say, “It was meant to be!” or “It was sent to try us!” A Muslim might say of a sad event, “It is the will of Allah”. These people tend to think that God pre-ordains one’s life, e.g. if you do become seriously ill it happens because it is God’s will. For them, this logic even applies to natural disasters such as the effects of devastating tsunamis, or earthquakes, on countless human beings? (For more information on this topic please see the article, Suffering and evil.)

Such a view presents a world where our destiny is locked in place even before birth – in effect making a world where freedom of choice and free will are only illusionary. Theologically, this would mean that an atheist is destined to be an atheist before birth, i.e. free will plays no part supposedly. And in turn that could mean that the person is doomed to Hell before drawing his or her first breath? (That is, if we are to take the point of view that God’s punishment for being an atheist is damnation.)

3.    AN UNDERSTANDING  BASED ON GOD'S LOVE

More acceptable theology incorporates the impact of human ‘free will’ on our lives. God attempts to guide us in our decision making with loving care in that more acceptable model. He takes into account how our actions might affect ourselves and, importantly, how they may affect other people involved. Gods guidance and assistance does in fact  provide strong proof of his presence within our lives.

God loves us and tries to guide us away from poor choices, bad habits and deeds, because they will negatively impact our relationship with others and indeed God himself. Examples would include stealing, cheating, destructive greed and betraying loved ones. Within this context, God’s will is only that we become as good a person as is reasonably possible. And if we do not heed his guidance then God, in the long term, brings about good from bad through his subtle but powerful influence on our individual lives and human history itself.

As for natural disasters, God generally allows the laws of nature, e.g. cause and effect, to run their course. To do otherwise would produce a world that looks unreal, and would prevent life as we now know it. (Again, for more information on this topic please see the article, Suffering and evil.)

4.    CONCLUSION

The will of God should then only be understood in the context of goodness, and not pain and suffering!

Please note that this website also contains guidance on how to ascertain for yourself whether God exists.  An entire section, “Believing in God” has been provided to address that issue.  It is all about how to identify evidence of God’s presence and genuinely evaluate it – thereby building up a body of evidence that will stand the test of time, indeed grow with the passing of time.  The stumbling block for most of us, when beginners, is knowing how and where to look for this potential evidence.

The final section of the website, gives a simple explanation of Christianity. This article is obviously in that section.

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