That’s a pretty good point, isn’t it? After all, I was born a sinner and had no role in that situation. I didn’t cause it, but now I have to kiss God’s fanny to get out of this mess. How is that free will?
I totally love that question because it shows that people are thinking about hard things. Here’s the answer, there is no answer! Well, not a really simple one. Lets answer it in several ways.
First, while none of us are the direct cause our sinful nature, none of us can stop it either. Suppose God were to say to you that He was going to cancel out the penalty of original sin. That’s the part we aren’t directly responsible for causing. How long could you go without sinning? Remember, zero sin is allowed in heaven, so one sin and you’re out. How far could you get? Really? What if the thoughts in your head were played on a big screen for everyone to see? I wouldn’t make it 5minutes. Probably less. So it seems that if God started all over with us, we would do no better than Adam and Eve. It isn’t really that someone else was bad and we’re stuck paying a penalty for them, its that sin is part of our nature. God wouldn’t make us think bad thoughts to be displayed on the screen, we own that. We aren’t really the victim of someone else’s issue, someone else just got to it before us.
Secondly, consider this. Suppose a particular family line had long suffered from a genetic birth defect. How it started is simply a matter of history, the immediate situation is what needs to be done today to save the living. Now suppose a doctor was able to come up with a shot that would save the living, would the family be grateful for the doctor or angry with him? After all, they may feel that they have a right to be angry because they didn’t do anything to need this shot, it was all beyond their control. They didn’t cause it but are still afflicted. They could be thankful that there is a cure. I suppose they could simply deny that they have the problem, even though the symptoms are overwhelmingly obvious. Perhaps they could deny the rigid test methods like a good moral relativist.
See, we’re stuck with the condition of sin. We couldn’t get rid of it on our own if we had the chance. Jesus provided that cure and it cost Him a lot. Grace is easy on our end, but it was pretty brutal for Jesus. If there was another way, He was slaughtered for nothing. Could it be said that our free will is limited to two choices? Yes, I think that would be fair. You only have the choice of being saved or being doomed, you don’t have the option of not participating. You are forced to decide. Just like if you had the winning lottery ticket, your choice is to cash it in or throw it away. Why would anyone throw away eternal salvation? Why would anyone wait? Keep thinking hard friends.