Luck, Freewill and God

One’s view of luck illustrates an important distinction between the left and the right.

The far theistic right views luck as a nonexistent thing believing that events occur as a result of sovereign acts of God or other forces which are determining all human affairs. Luck and thus freewill are seen as merely an illusions. Everything is said to happen for a reason which is predetermined by a sovereign God. This view is held theologically and yet is difficult to maintain in practice because it conflicts violently with our everyday experience. When the waiter asks me what I would like for dinner, it really feels as though I’m making the choice myself. It’s a hard sell.

An easier sell is the opposite view held by the far atheistic left. Events are seen random and based on luck. They see no planning by a god or mind. All things are perceived as the random colliding of particles and firing of neurons in a mindless universe. This is the philosophy of materialism. This overwhelming perception of luck and randomness leaves the materialist with his belief that there is no God.

Curiously, these two seemingly opposite views on the nature of luck are actually two sides of the same coin in which both misunderstand the nature of God and the nature of the realm in which we live. Furthermore, they also both arrive at the same conclusion that there is no freewill although they arrive at it from opposite sides. The religious right dismisses the idea of freewill because of the sovereignty of God while the materialist left dismisses it because they reject the idea of a non-material mind altogether which is necessary for freewill to exist.

Both the left and the right imagine that if there is a God, in order to be God, he would control everything. He is not merely sovereign but absolutely sovereign in a totalitarian way. It is also why the systems of government found on the hard left and the hard right are similarly totalitarian. (The right has the King and the left has the autocrat). It is this limited view of God that leads both the left and the right down a dead end.  Simply put, the right says luck is an illusion where the left says God is the illusion. Both are incorrect.

The truth lies in the middle and is found in a proper understanding of God, of sovereignty, the nature of human beings, and the nature of the temporal realm in which we live. There is indeed luck and there is a sovereign God. They are not mutually exclusive. God’s sovereignty does not require the micro-managing of all human affairs. If this were so, God would be a slave to his own sovereignty but he is not. God is Lord of his own sovereignty and he can use it whenever and in whatever manner He sees fit. God does not micro-manage and neither does randomness or luck indicate that God is not present, real, and sovereign. As the Bible states, “it rains on the righteous and the unrighteous”.

The position of ordered liberty and reality Christianity is that God has created a world in which freewill is an integral part. It is woven into the very fabric of creation. It is exercised by a mind whether it be the mind of God or the mind of man.  Freewill is everywhere. Randomness or “luck” is the result of a very very complex myriad of freewill choices along with the material acts of nature which run in accordance with the laws of nature established by God. The laws of nature are a testimony to God’s sovereignty rather than proof that God does not exist. While God very rarely violates the laws He created, this does not mean He is incapable of doing so. The sovereignty of God remains but He is not enslaved by it as the religious right would have us believe. He is Lord over His own sovereignty and he exercises it according to his own freewill.

God influences the created temporal world of freewill not by edict or demand but rather by gently changing the minds, wooing the hearts, and thus the decision-making, of the agents of choice, that being human beings. Depending on human will, and what we believe, we make various choices in one way or the other and the sovereignty of God does not interfere with those choices but rather works to change and shape the human heart (beliefs) in order to make different choices. God is not intimidated by our freewill choices nor is his sovereignty threatened.

He is delighted when we make good choices and He is saddened when we make poor choices. He is also a present help, not to make choices for you, but rather to help you make good choices that please Him. This is really so simple it is amazing that the materialist left and the religious right both miss it as they shun and fear God’s gift of freewill.

Comments are closed.