Day 18 of 40: Does God care about this world or did he create it and move on? When speaking with the filmmaker of the first American made Orthodox feature film, he told me something quite interesting. Nathan, the filmmaker, interviewed about 100 people who do not associate with any religions or are atheists/agnostics for the film. One of the most common issues people had with God was the problem with evil. If there is a powerful, loving God then how come there is evil in the world?
Answering this question is easier through stories than doctrine and theology. I have tried several times, and maybe this is only my lacking, to explain how free will works. However, it seems easier when I tell a story. For example, if I share the story of Corrie Ten Boom, if forces people to realize we have a choice. We all have a choice. If I talk about the choices Nelson Mandela had to make while in prison and after, people realize he had a choice to make. It is through stories of people turning away from hatred toward love that we begin to understand the power of free will. After people understand that we have free will and how it applies, I ask them, “Now do you want God to take away your free will every time you are about to make a bad decision?” The answer is, “NO! I would just be a robot.”
These stories of people making good and bad choices, people that we are all aware of and know, are useful in explaining the power of free will. Do not expect people to immediately believe in a loving and powerful God. These stories and questions plant the seed. Now you have to water that seed with care and attention. It can take time to connect the dots between free will and how much God loves that individual.
Can you recount some powerful stories from the last 100 years of people who turned away from hate and chose love instead?