Bernard Nguyễn Trọng thưởng, CMC Phụ Trách
7. How can sin
be sinful if it is from free will?
Did God made man out of clay?
It's me once again, AC. Remember
me from last time? Anyway, I read your Teens Puzzled of the last
month's edition and I thought I could give some insights to
the teens out there.
First of all, I, too, have difficulties
in life that would often urge me to doubt the existence of God.
It's OK to feel that way. God has some deep and mysterious
ways to reveal his divine love. I doubt God with some complex
rationality even though I know He's looking down at me and
laughing. Overall, I am deeply rooted and believe in the existence
of a Supreme Being and everything in the Catechism of the Church.
Some of the best ways I solve
problems concerning faith are the following:
1. Faith is a free gift from
God. I do not take the Catholic faith for granted because of the
lives of the faithful throughout history have shed their blood
to witness this true faith so that later generations would carry
2. You must look at the lives
of the Saints and holy people, past and present, and comtemplate
on how they have lived. They are the best, the true evidence of
3. Finally, Our Blessed Virgin
Mother is too hot to be a figment of an imagination!!!... haha.
Our Faith is in the one, holy,
universal and apostolic Church, far most the strongest Christian
faith in the world. The religion of ours has started ever since
the beginning of time. It originated from the Hebrew faith through
the Jewish tradition and then became Christian with Jesus of the
New Testament, the promised Messiah, and now is what we know as
Catholicism. Our God is the one true God because He is the only
known God that is loving and forgiving. And lastly, Death is the
beginning not the end. Sometimes I crave death just to see the
beauty of God (maybe just for few minutes... hehe). This life
will come and go but eternal life is forever.
But now I have questions. How
can sin be sinful if it is from free will? He gave us the power
to choose. Why did God put the Tree of Life? What's the whole
point of the trial? By what grace people who don't know God
are saved? Do they still obtain heaven in anyway? So Did God make
man from dirt literally by his divine power or was it by millions
of years of evolution did man get here??? Thanks for your time.
In God always, (AC)
Thank you for your contribution
of thoughts. How can it be sinful if there is a free will? It
is exactly because of free will that there is sin. Animals
have no free will so they cannot sin. Infants have no free will
so they cannot sin. Free will is the power of an intelligent being.
Only persons who are old enough to have free will can sin. Free
will is one of the 3 factors that make up a sin:
1/ Material: involving
a violation of God's commandments, Church's laws.
Knowledge: the person knows that what he is doing is a violation
of God's commandments, Church's law.
Free will: the person carries out the act freely, not being forced.
Missing one of the three above factors, there is no sin. Look
at the story of Adam and Eve. Both of them were free; they knew
that God forbid them to eat the fruit of knowing good and evil;
they knew that whenever they'd eat the fruit they would die;
they ate it anyway. That was why God held them accountable for
their action. You might ask why God also held us accountable for
the action of Adam and Eve. We are not accountable for their action.
The mark of original sin is the consequence of sin that was passed
on to the whole humanity because Adam and Eve were the original
ancestors. Original sin was the spiritual state of being without
grace whatsoever, being spiritually dead. The state of grace was
the gift belongs to Adam and Eve in the beginning. They could
have passed it on the their children and descendants. However
in eating the forbidden fruit, they violated God's instruction,
therefore, lost the state of grace for themselves and for their
descendants. They could not passed on what they had lost. Why
did God put the tree of knowing good and evil in the garden? The
tree of knowing good and evil is more of a symbol than a real
tree with fruit. It could have been true that God put such a tree
in the Garden of Eden. However the point of the story was that
human beings and the creation were created by God, therefore,
they must be perfect originally. But in reality both creation
and human beings are not perfect, so something must have gone
wrong along the line in history. That something wrong could only
happen because human beings were free. That tree symbolizes human
freedom. The forbidden tree and our freedom are the tests. Freedom
in itself is a test. When a person is free, he or she can choose
to do good or evil. It is because human beings have freedom that
there is good and evil. Evil is the abuse of freedom. God might
not have intended to try us but when He gave us freedom we were
automatically tested. The point is God loves us and he wants us
to be able to love and to be free like him. We are free to accept
his invitation to join Him in the eternal happiness or to reject
How would people who didn't
know God be saved? By using their freedom to live a good life
and they could only do that by the grace of Christ who died for
the whole humanity. Did God made man out of clay literally or
let them evolve through time? The Bible is not a book of science.
Its writers did not intend to draw for us a picture of how God
created the world. Creation was a gigantically awsome event. No
body was there to witness that but God. So the biblical writer
was inspired by God to draw a symbolic picture of creation in
which God was the creator. How did God create the world was completely
up to him? We could not say that he did this and didn't do
that. He could have literally made man out of clay and blow at
it. He could let human beings evolve through time. The grave mistake
of evolutionism is that it denies God as the origin of creation,
denies God completely. The logic of evolutionism has a lot of
faulty elements. It is a sloppy product of secularism, aiming
to deny God's existence. Without God as the foundation of
all existence, we cannot explain any existence. I hope this answers
your question. Don't forget to pray and God bless.
Is it hard to believe that there is God?
How could I help my dad to stop smoking?
It's hard to believe that
there is God, I mean it's like whenever we needed help from
God and asked him stuff and it never happenned. It's really
hard to think that he's there watching over us and he knows
all about us but we don't know all about him.
At my school they keep telling
us that we are from monkey, monkey evolving into human. I know
that's not true and it's really hard to believe that God
really did created us and stuff like that. I do believe all that
but something inside tells me that I'm talking to myself and
nothing is there. Why doesn't Jesus let us see him at all?
And one more question, my dad
is smoking and I want him to stop, my mom tell him to stop already
and every one forces him to stop and it never happen can you help?
God bless. Sincerly, (Jeni)
We need faith to survive
in daily life. When you go to school, your teacher told you a
lot of things, for example history. He or she told you about people
and events that happenned hundreds or thousands years ago. He
told you about places thousands miles away where you have never
been. You assumed that he told you the truth and you believe in
him. You don't know for sure that there were such people,
events, places in the past, but you never question them. You put
faith on your teacher. You believe that he told you the truth.
You have never seen any of those people in the past, never seen
any historical event, yet you believe that they were real. Believing
in God is more reasonable than believing in your teacher because
we have some signs to start with. We believe in God because we
recognize creation as his work. A log of wood cannot split ifself
into pieces of wood then form themselves into chairs and table.
There must be a carpenter who splits wood then nail them together
into a chair or table. So the universe must have its being from
God who created it.
When we pray to God, we don't
simply treat God as a servant who is waiting there to carry out
our request. Praying is not a device controlling God. Praying
is a relationship between God and us. We may disclose to God who
we are and what are our needs. But it is up to God to give us
our wish or not. Some people became angry with God because their
prayers were not answered. Those people were acting very childishly.
We believe in the God who loves us so much that he gives us his
only Son. There should be no doubt about God's love for us.
It is because he cares for us that he would not give things could
harm us that we asked for unknowingly. So the important thing
in praying is to look for God's presence in our life, not
fulfilling our own wishes.
We recognize God's presence
in our life through all the blessing that we have: a new day to
live, our health, family and friends, food, clothings, a home,
entertainments, money... Then we also need to see God's presence
in all the bad things happen to us so that we can draw some benefit
out of that. In seeing God's presence in our lives we get
to know God more and more.
God also reveals himself in the
Bible, so read the book carefully to know God. In reading the
gospels and praying we come to know Jesus and have a loving relationship
with Him. Jesus is God in the human face. God shows himself in
Jesus who is both God and man. With Jesus we can have a relationship
with God as a human being, as a friend, as a father...
Jesus does not appear to most
of us because He asks us to have faith in him, to believe in Him
freely. If He shows himself to us we are not free to believe;
we would not have the choice of not to believe in Him. He wants
us to freely believe in Him and love Him.
Evolutionism says that human
beings evolve from monkeys. As an intelligent person, which choice
would you pick: we, human beings, were created by God or we evolved
from apes? God gives us the power to reason so that we can recognize
his work in creation. It is an insult to human intelligence to
choose evolutionism over God.
Smoking is dangerous to every
body's health, smokers' and none-smokers' alike. Your
mom and you might want to talk to your dad in a reasonable manner
about smoking as a health problem to every one in the family.
Take the opportunity of Lent to ask your dad to give up smoking
gradually during Lent: reducing by 1 cigarette a week until 0
a day. At the same time your family has to fast and pray for your
dad real hard so that he can quit. Good luck and God bless.