The Fact That Evil Is an Option Available to Everyone’s Inner Self Makes It Obvious That We Have Free Choice in Spiritual Matters

I will support the idea that we have free choice in spiritual things first by familiar arguments and then by particular arguments. People will recognize the validity of these arguments as soon as they hear them.

1.The wisest of people, Adam and his wife, let themselves be seduced by a serpent.

2. Their firstborn son Cain killed his brother Abel, and Jehovah God did not dissuade Cain by speaking with him but instead cursed him only after the fact.

3. The Israelite nation in the wilderness worshiped a golden calf, even though Jehovah saw this from Mount Sinai and did not protect the people from doing so.

4. David took a census of the people and because of it, a plague came upon them, which caused the death of many thousands, yet God did not act before but only after the fact, when he sent the prophet Gad to David and announced his punishment.

5. Solomon was allowed to institute forms of worship that were idolatrous. Many kings after him were allowed to desecrate the Temple and the holy practices of the church.

6. Later, that nation was allowed to crucify the Lord.

7. Muhammad was allowed to establish a widespread religious movement, which did not conform to Sacred Scripture.

8. Christianity has split into many sects, and each sect has split into heresies.

9. In the Christian world there are many ungodly people and even people who boast about their godless actions. There are also plots and deceptions, even against godly, just, and honest people.

10.Injustice sometimes triumphs over justice in law courts and business proceedings.

11. The ungodly, too, are elevated to positions of honor and become leaders and heads of the church.

12. Wars are allowed to happen, which involve the killing of many people and the plundering of cities, nations, and households, not to mention many other atrocitIs.

The familiar arguments are these:

it possible to attribute such things to anything but the free choice that exists in everyone? The concept of “permission” well known throughout this world is from no other source. On the point that the laws of permission are also the laws of divine providence, see Divine Providence (published in Amsterdam in 1764) Sections 234–274. The numbered points just above are explored there.

From True Christianity, Section 479

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