Homosexuality, free will, and God’s omniscience

Question:

Taking everything you have said into consideration, I believe that you claim that people are free-willed and thus are responsible for their actions. However, if we believe that God is omniscient, then he timelessly knows all things. Among these things, he must have known long before who would have become homosexuals and what they would have done regarding their homosexuality. If God knows this, then homosexuals cannot will themselves to choose to act how they are acting regarding their homosexuality. Therefore, homosexuals cannot be blamed responsible for their actions over their homosexuality, because whatever they do regarding it has already been determined – whether carry the cross or give in to temptation, via God’s omniscience. Au contraire, if we hold onto saying that people have free will, then we have to deny that God is omniscient, because, if the future depended on the actions of man, then he does not perfectly know the future. And this, as Catholics, we will vehemently deny. What do you think about this, sir?

Also, as the church disapproves of homosexuality, it is just modest that it should acquire sufficient information and justification to believe in the wrongness of homosexuality. I see that you quoted verses in the Pentateuchregarding homosexuality in your blog. But, I think that explanations for the nature of homosexuality’s existence will provide me better context in understanding why the Church sees it as wrong.

Response:

Regarding predestination and the omniscience of God, your thoughts are similar to that of Calvinism, a heresy condemned by the Church.  God’s omniscience means that he knows all possibilities in the chain of events, how they branch out and link to the decisions of others.  It’s like as if God sees the whole city map and you are there in your car choosing this way and that.  Some roads leads to a cliff and God warns you not to go there: these are the mortal sins–read theTen Commandments.  Some roads lead to happy picnic places: these are the roads to heaven–theSacraments, Spiritual and Corporal Works of Mercy.  God wishes all men to be saved from eternal damnation.  “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life.” (Jn 3:16)  Below is along quote from the Book of Ezekiel:
As for you, son of man, tell your countrymen: The virtue which a man has practiced will not save him on the day that he sins; neither will the wickedness that a man has done bring about his downfall on the day that he turns from his wickedness (nor can the virtuous man, when he sins, remain alive).Though I say to the virtuous man that he shall surely live, if he then presumes on his virtue and does wrong, none of his virtuous deeds shall be remembered; because of the wrong he has done, he shall die.
And though I say to the wicked man that he shall surely die, if he turns away from his sin and does what is right and just,
giving back pledges, restoring stolen goods, living by the statutes that bring life, and doing no wrong, he shall surely live, he shall not die. None of the sins he committed shall be held against him; he has done what is right and just, he shall surely live. Yet your countrymen say, “The way of the LORD is not fair!”; but it is their way that is not fair. (Ez 33:12-17)

There are some things that we have to trust God’s Word: if he says that homosexual acts deserve the punishment of death (mortal sin), then consider them as such.  We have to trust God’s Wisdom, because it is God who created us and he knows what is best for us.  Surely your most powerful computer comes with a manual.  If you don’t read the manual, you may destroy your computer by over voltage, water spill, and high temperature.  In the same way, God has provided us with a manual on how to live properly: the Bible and the Church.  We have Christ as our model.

In the Old Testament, God warned the Israelites to eat only fishes: crabs and shrimps are forbidden because they don’t have fins and scales and they crawl.  Now we know that they have too much cholesterol.  God also forbade Israelites from eating fat: fat is only offered to God as aburnt offering.  Now we know that fat is bad for our heart.  God also forbade those with leprosy to go near other men: those with leprosy must be quarantined until they are healed.  Now we know that quarantine of those with diseases works: germs are transmitted by contact or proximity (sneeze and cough).  If God’s wisdom is shown in the laws of clean and unclean animals, the laws of burnt offerings, and the laws of leprosy, then we should also trust God’s wisdom when he condemns homosexuality, bestiality, and sorcery in Leviticus.

About Quirino M. Sugon Jr
Theoretical Physicist in Manila Observatory

2 Responses to Homosexuality, free will, and God’s omniscience

  1. It is nice to hear that what I think and believe for a long time that God is still omniscient even though we have free will doesn’t contradict each other for God will always be the highest being. If God doesn’t exist, then the universe does not exist. But the universe exist, therefore God necessarily exists! Nice post, Dr. Sugon!

  2. Slick says:

    If I’m not mistaken, God’s omniscience means that He not only knows all that can happen but also all that will happen. He is Eternity. All that will happen happen at the same time before Him, in a manner of speaking.

    As for homosexual sexual act, I think the medical conditions that result from the act prove that it is wrong. When God condemned the homosexual sexual act, He merely reminded us of what we already know.

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