Essentials Of The Unification Principle
by Thomas Cromwell
A fundamental paradox of religion is that God, the Creator of all things, is almighty and good, but the world people live in and know through history is full of evil. In other words, the sinful world of human experience does not mirror the sinless, perfect God who created it.
This paradox is further complicated by the widely-held belief that an omniscient and omnipotent God must be in control of all human affairs and thus predetermines the course of human lives and history. Taken to its extreme, this traditional theory of predestination obviates the need for human effort altogether, including the practice of prayer, meditation, fasting and other religious disciplines, since an individual's life course is decided by God irrespective of that person's thoughts and deeds. If God were in full control of human lives, how could they be so steeped in ungodliness? How could it be that a good and loving God created a world of sin and suffering?
The key to resolving this lies in understanding why God gave a portion of responsibility to human beings, according to which human life is determined both by the will of God and individuals' voluntary response to God's will. If human beings fail in their portion of responsibility, the fulfillment of God's will is postponed until such time as they become responsible. An individual's life is predestined for goodness by God, but the fulfillment of that purpose depends on his or her response to God.
Love and Free Will
As discussed in Chapter 3, men and women were created to receive love from God and to return love to Him by sharing it with others within the paradigm of the three blessings. Love can be given and received only out of human free will. Any human expressions of affection and passion that are forced or contrary to God's will are not in fact true love, but merely simulations of it. They cannot truly fulfill men and women and they do not give joy to God.
It is the essence of God's nature to give love. God's desire to experience joy by giving and receiving love inspired the creation of a man and woman to receive and reciprocate His love. But God would not force His children to respond to Him and His love because to do so would violate His own principles of love, principles by which God exists and by which He created. Therefore human beings are free to love God or not to love Him.
God created human beings with the expectation that they would grow in their capacity to receive and give love, passing through the three stages of the learning process: formation, growth and completion. Thus God created His children with only one purpose and destiny: to grow to maturity as true men and women who would develop their love in the creation of families, clans, tribes, communities, nations and a world of true love relationships, centered on God. This purpose is unchanging and absolute, a manifestation of God's absolutely good nature. Therefore, it is right to believe that human destiny on the individual, family, tribal, national and global levels is predetermined to be one of goodness and ultimate fulfillment.
The timing of the fulfillment of humanity's original, good destiny is determined by the response of individuals to God, in particular the fulfillment of their responsibility to learn how to give and receive love. Until human beings fulfill that responsibility, they will not be fulfilled and will not create the world of love and goodness that God intended.
It is not in any way a diminution of God's power for Him to endow His creation with a portion of responsibility. On the contrary, to do so is to confirm His omnipotence in that all His creation ultimately lies within His domain and belongs to Him. Regardless of what people do with God's gifts to them, eventually God's will shall be done. The unchanging will of God is for human beings to create an ideal world by completing the three blessings.
Thus the traditional view of predestination, which holds that all things (including human salvation and damnation) are predetermined by God as part of His overall scheme for the creation, is correct in recognizing the absolute nature of God and His will but wrong in ignoring the role of human beings in the accomplishment of that will. Without understanding the human portion of responsibility in salvation, such a concept of predestination provides a theological basis for individuals to maintain fatalistic views of life instead of responsible attitudes towards God, other people and nature. A traditional predestination theory may also negate the value of religious figures who have appeared in history as guides and saviors for fallen humans, begging the question: if the destiny of men and women is pre-determined, why would God send prophets and messengers to turn fallen people from ways of error to paths of goodness?
The evil that exists in the world today, and has made human history such a tragic record, is not part of God's dispensation for humanity, but rather the product of men and women failing their responsibilities. Not until people take full responsibility for their lives will evil end and good begin. All people are predestined to live lives of goodness, in the fulfillment of God's ideal, but the timing of that fulfillment depends on them. To believe that human life is determined by God's will alone can lead to irresponsibility and fatalism, whereas to recognize and carry out the human portion of responsibility in the fulfillment of God's will leads to a life of spiritual growth and the completion of human purpose.
The next chapter will show how the first man and woman failed to fulfill their responsibilities, and how this affected fulfillment of their predestined purposes. Instead of completing the three blessings, they destroyed the ideal world intended by God and created hell instead of heaven. Their error is the root cause of all that has been wrong in human history and all that is wrong in the world today.
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