@eot1990 Great question. At the end of the day, this argument becomes circular because for it to hold true requires that God is not Himself the highest good and that sin is profitable. If God is truly the highest good and His commandments are best for both us and those around us, then it is loving to demand they be kept and would be unloving to do otherwise. The person who views God is dictator is actually making the claim that God is not the highest good and that disobeying His commands can someone lead to something better than obeying them.
In addition - God gives us the freedom to disobey in this life. A dictator does not give freedom to disobey - disobedience is automatically met with vengeance. God gives us this life in which to choose - as Lewis points out - we all get what we want in the end. To those who choose sin - death. To those who choose God - life. That is not dictatorship.
You see, to believe God is dictator requires denying that sin is fundamentally destructive and that God is not the highest good. If sin is fundamentally destructive, leading to death, and God is the highest good and God makes to to rain on the good and evil, then the case for God as dictator falls apart. So the counterargument, or at least one approach, would be:
- God is the highest good and to have Him is better than life
- life is in God - to reject God is to reject life
- sin is fundamentally destructive and leads to death
- God gives us freedom to choose in this life and is kind even to those who reject him
Matthew 5:45 - Then you will become children of your Father in heaven. For he makes his sun shine on good and bad people alike, and he sends rain to the righteous and the unrighteous alike.
James 1:17 - Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.
Romans 6:23 - For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
John 6:35 - Jesus said to them, I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me will not hunger, and he who believes in Me will never thirst.
“There are only two kinds of people in the end: those who say to God, “Thy will be done,” and those to whom God says, in the end, “Thy will be done.” All that are in Hell, choose it. Without that self-choice there could be no Hell. No soul that seriously and constantly desires joy will ever miss it. Those who seek find. Those who knock it is opened.”
C. S. Lewis
“But if God loves us the way the Bible says he does, then he will give us what is best for us. And what is best for us is himself.”
Sam Storms - Is God a Megalomaniac
Are those thoughts helpful? The Lord bless you with wisdom as you engage with people on these topics.