Freedom of Choice or Choice of Freedom (1)
Traditionally, Christians held the concept of “freedom of choice” as an inalienable right given to us by the Creator. The Bible, however, does not explicitly address the “freedom of choice,” or the “freedom to choose”; but, it frequently emphasizes the need for “choice of freedom.” Nevertheless, the “freedom of choice” is implied. Even at the creation of first human beings, the Creator commanded the freedom of choice among what is good, but He did not grant the freedom of choice of what is not good. Only the creator could know what is good for humankind and what is not because He knew it all before He created the humankind. “And the Lord God commanded the man, ‘You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die.’” (Genesis 2:16, 17, NIV)
We should notice that, in the above verse, the definition of “freedom” is not an informational statement but a “command.” The statement “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden” also includes the tree of knowledge of good and evil. We could conclude that God did not forbid the freedom to eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil, but commanded the man not to choose to do so. God, because of His love for the humankind, commanded the first human beings not to eat of it because the consequences are undesirable.
When God created the humankind the evil force, the enemy of God, already existed; therefore, it was necessary to instruct the first human beings concerning the exercise of the “freedom to choose.” If the evil force did not exist, there would be no need for the tree of knowledge of good and evil. God chose what is good for His creation, for eternity. The enemy, the Satan, chose the opposite of what God did. Choice of the ways contrary to what God chose results in eternal separation from God, the only source of life. Such a selection results in an immediate and eternal death with no possibility out of it. The intelligent choices are irreversible.
More next week.