“I don't know if we each have a destiny, or if we're all just floating around accidental-like on a breeze. But I think maybe it's both. Maybe both are happening at the same time.” --Forrest Gump
Some folks think that God is like a giant puppeteer pulling on all of the strings and orchestrating everything that happens, but is that consistent with the concept of Free Will and the Laws of Nature?
Do we actually make choices and decisions or is everything preordained by God? And if everything is preordained, how can it be fair for God to judge us for the things that we've done in this life?
If sin is our failure to obey God's directives, doesn't that definition imply that we made a choice to disobey "Him?" How do we develop character without the ability to make decisions? Why get out of bed in the morning if everything has been predetermined?
Did God ordain that some people be born physically and/or mentally handicapped? And if so, why? Don't genetic mutations and environmental factors play a role in the development of a fetus in its mother's womb? Doesn't the very nature of the way that God designed both of those things (nature and nurture) to operate indicate that sometimes things will go awry? Is it more accurate to say that God causes these things, or that "He" sometimes uses them to teach people spiritual truths?
Did God ordain that a group of terrorists would get together, plan and execute the attacks of September 11, 2001? If so, how can we characterize what happened that day as evil? Wouldn't that make the terrorists God's instruments and free them of any guilt that might otherwise be associated with their actions?
Does God spin tornadoes from heaven or are they the product of the interplay of cool and warm air within a supercell thunderstorm? Is God responsible for the loss of innocent life when one of these storms hits a community? Is a hurricane the product of an area of low pressure gathering heat and energy from a warm ocean or does God dip "His" finger into the ocean and start swirling it around and around? Are earthquakes the product of a release of energy generated from the shifting sides of a fault line or is God stomping on the ground?
Did Lucifer decide to rebel against God or had God already determined that the cherub would become Satan the devil? If so, how can God hold Satan responsible for any of "his" actions? Likewise, can a human decide to obtain an automatic weapon and walk into an elementary school and shoot a bunch of innocent children or was God pulling the strings on that one too? And if God is truly behind all of these things, doesn't that necessitate that we take another look at how we define good and evil?
Is our destiny potentiality or inevitability? Maybe Forrest Gump was right?