Unification News for July and August 1998

Divine Principle Study

Volume 2 - Part 8

Though free will did not cause the Fall, Adam and Eve lost their freedom because of their sin. The reason is that freedom exists only within the confines of God's law. Outside of God's law, there is no freedom.

To understand this apparent paradox, think of the freedom which we enjoy our society. This freedom exists only so long as we abide by the laws of the nation.

To take a simple example, if one chooses to run a red light, he may lose the privilege of driving. Similarly, our freedom of motion exists within the law of gravity. If we try to walk out of a fifth story window, we will quickly find the limits of our freedom! When such limits are ignored and freedom is misused, disharmony, chaos and destruction result.

In the case of Adam and Eve, the illicit love of Lucifer shattered God's law and destroyed the freedom of man. Because of this, man has lived under a Satanic bondage.

Spiritually man does not have complete freedom to do what is right and good in God's eyes. He is inextricably enmeshed in voluntary and involuntary captivity; this has been brilliantly analyzed by such thinkers as Augustine, John Calvin and Reinhold Neibuhr, as well as portrayed through our greatest novelists.

On this point the apostle Paul lamented: "We know that the law is spiritual; but I am carnal, sold under sin. I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing that I hate...Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? (Rom. 7:14-15,25)

Hence it is necessary man to restore his original liberty before he can build the Kingdom of God in his midst; though man may have free actions, those actions may not be the result of inner freedom. One of the signs, it is felt, of growth in the spiritual life of mankind is that in present times there is a universal demand for liberation on every level, whether it be in racial, national or theological terms.

In history, free will from a religious perspective is best illustrated in the lives of those who chose God and the spiritual liberty at great risk or even at the cost of their lives, for example, Joan of Arc, Martin Luther King, Cardinal Mindszenty and numerous Christian martyrs.

God Restrained

By and large most believers assume that God knows everything and can do anything; there are no restrictions on His power and no limitations on His knowledge. He is seen as omniscient and omnipotent.

On the basis of such belief it follows that God could foresee the possibility of the Fall of man. Actually, some traditional Christian theology goes even further, arguing that God knew that the serpent would seduce Eve and that she would successfully tempt Adam even before these events took place. In such theology God is said to see in His mind past, present and future as an instantaneous "now."

According to such thinking God knew beforehand of the coming Fall with its calamitous effects on human history yet did not prevent the monstrous transgressions. Whenever this sort of theology is taught, sooner or later some genuinely troubled believer will ask, "Why did not God intervene? Why didn't He prevent the Fall?"

Confronted with this kind of dilemma, many sensitive and thoughtful people have concluded that God is either not all good or He is not all-powerful; with our kind of world as evidence of His workmanship, He cannot be both.

This problem has been struggled with before. For example, when the devout Christian philosopher Liebnitz sought to defend God, he argued that ours was the best of all possible worlds; Voltaire demolished the argument with ridicule in his novel Candide. The classic Book of Job wrestles with the problem of God and the existence of evil without coming to a generally accepted solution. This where the situation remains. Within the Christian faith, many theologians have been content to declare that Christianity did not come to solve the problem of sin but rather to overcome the fact of sin.

Why then did God allow the Fall? In the Divine Principle view, God created man as His child to whom He could send His limitless love and from whom He could receive a full response. Thus God wanted man to live in the highest expression of love. If God's principle controlled man's love, then it could not be absolute. After reaching the state of perfection, man is no longer under God's principle, but under His direct dominion, where the bond between them in unconditional and inseparable.

Divine Principle suggests that God could foresee the possibility of man's fall; but though almighty and all-knowing, He would not intervene directly in Adam and Eve's affairs until, in accordance with His principle, they had grown to perfection. Adam and Eve, though warned, fell when they were immature. Had God intervened, He would have violated His own perfect system and usurped His children's responsibility.

Furthermore, God created man to be lord of all creation. To assume that position, Adam and Eve had to pass through a process of maturation; in this they were given a large measure of responsibility to develop self-initiative and self-discipline. They had to grow to a state worthy of trust by God, by their children, as well as by creation.

For this reason, God did not explicitly forewarn Adam and Eve of the archangel's temptation. They had to use their judgment in all situations. If God had exercised direct dominion over Adam and Eve, He would have been recognizing them as mature, which they were not. Also, it would have been an indication that Adam could not be trusted to reach perfection.

God's Integrity

For these reasons God sought to preserve the personal integrity of man. However, there is another side also, having to do with God's own integrity. Christian theology has always been determined to avoid a dualistic world view in which God and Satan are co-creators and co-rulers of the universe.

As a Being of perfect goodness and utter holiness, God could not recognize evil as part of His plan of creation. Therefore neither the sin of Adam and Eve nor the non-principled act initiated by Satan could be related to His divine creation. The Fall was man's affair alone. God is in no sense a responsible participant. If God had interfered with the Fall, He would have been automatically recognizing it as part of His creation. Since the Fall was initiated by Satan, He would in essence be recognizing Satan as another creator, virtually the equivalent of Himself. This God could not do.

 Download entire page and pages related to it in ZIP format
Table of Contents
Tparents Home