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Christianity Myth #3: 

God doesn't suffer because He is perfect.

 

Why did God create human beings? God is the source of true love. Yet the joy of love wells up in the heart only in the context of a relationship. A solitary being cannot experience it. Even God could not experience any stimulation as long as He existed all alone. Alone, He cannot love. For His love to blossom, God needs objects to love. For this reason, God created human beings to be His children, partners in His true love.

God is the Father of all humankind, and we are God's sons and daughters. In creating us, God invested everything the bone of His bone, the flesh of His flesh, and the marrow of His marrow. Parents raise their children hoping to reach that most exalted place where parent and child come together that central point where their loves converge, their lives converge, and their ideals converge. In this way, the omniscient and omnipotent God created us to grow into a position on par with Him and equal to Him in rank.

Then, what is required to complete God's ideal of creation? Beyond anything God can do, there is the human element. Because God's ideal is the oneness of God and human beings, God cannot be perfect until human beings reach perfection.

How God must have yearned that the first human ancestors, Adam and Eve, would become beings of infinite value reflecting His image. Yet because Adam and Eve fell, God no longer had His own true sons and daughters. Tragically, God could not establish His family capable of possessing the deep bonds of true love and propagating a divine lineage.

Instead, Adam and Eve were seduced by the false parent. Their family was entangled in the chains of false love, false life, and false lineage. As a consequence, we their descendants suffer from an incessant struggle between the mind and body.

Adam and Eve fought constantly, and so did their children, resulting in murder. They did not become the exalted beings whom God could relate to as His eternal son and daughter. God could not glorify them as the true ancestors and true parents of humanity. Yet with their fall, God lost the only son and daughter He had.

What happened between Adam and Eve that caused them to fall? Was it, as the Bible literally says, that they ate the "fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil"? Could merely eating a piece of fruit be the original sin? Could our ancestors by eating a piece of fruit doom thousands of generations of their descendants to be sinners? No. It is because the root of sin was planted in the lineage that it continues on forever in accordance with the laws of inheritance. The only transgression that can have such lasting impact is a mistake of love, committed between two people of the opposite sex.

Eve committed adultery with the archangel Lucifer, and they became one. When Eve then joined with Adam, she bound him in that same oneness. As a result, Adam and Eve built their family on a conjugal relationship that centered not on God but on Satan, the fallen archangel. Consequently, all human beings, because we are descended from Adam and Eve, have inherited Satan's lineage.

According to the Principle of Creation, love determines the right of ownership. In a relationship of love the partners possess a right of ownership with respect to each other. By this principle, Satan used his ties of illicit love to claim ownership over fallen human beings. Satan took over the role of the "father" of humanity, even though the true Father of humanity is God. This is why Jesus, in the Gospel of John Chapter 8 verse 44, chastised the people as children of Satan, saying: "You belong to your father the devil, and you want to carry out your father's desire."

Christians today may think that almighty Jehovah sits on His royal throne, and because He is omniscient and omnipotent, He can give orders as He pleases and have everything go exactly as He wants. In reality, God sits in a place of wretchedness and harbors tremendous grief.

God had intended Adam and Eve to become the ideal counterparts for His pure, essential love. Can you imagine the sorrow in God's heart when they fell? It was infinitely worse than the sorrow that Adam and Eve experienced; indeed, no one in this world has experienced anything nearly so painful. The most tragic loss is to lose what is most precious. Carrying this grieving heart, God has to this day pursued the path of restoration in order to recover His lost children.

There is nothing vague or ambiguous about God. He possesses a definite character. He desires to form a relationship of the highest true love with human beings. He desires to share with each of us the most exalted love and joy eternally. But God lost the starting point for this, due to the mistake of the first human ancestors. The fall of Adam and Eve caused such damage.

God is the original True Parent, yet He was robbed of His rightful parental position. How heartbroken He is over this! God looks upon His fallen children, who inherited the lineage of the enemy Satan and refuse even to recognize that He exists. How excruciating must God's heart be each and every moment, as He observes humanity's wretched condition!

For God, nothing was more precious than to have flesh and blood counterparts who could share His true love. God would not have traded His beloved children for the entire universe. His sorrow upon losing them was as if He had lost the entire creation. He felt that His entire purpose for creating the universe had collapsed. He became a God whose enemy unjustly robbed Him of His cosmic throne. The fact that God invested His love so completely, in keeping with the principles of absolute faith, absolute love, and absolute obedience, only made the results of the fall even more devastating. God was plundered of His ideal, plundered of His beloved son and daughter, and plundered of His sovereignty over the cosmos. And yet, forbearing all these years, the innocent God has had to endure Satan's false accusations.

Seeing the history of lamentation that befell the world following the fall, the Book of Genesis says that God grieved in His heart. The Apostle Paul said, "Creation groans, our ancestors groan, and all humanity groans, waiting in eager anticipation for the appearance of the sons and daughters of God." All creatures desire to escape this realm of lamentation.

God's inmost heart is broken as He surveys human beings struggling, leading lives of no value, having lost the glorious value with which they were originally created. God cries out in grief and agony, saying, "You are supposed to be my direct lineal children, possessing My love, My life, and My lineage. You should be enjoying all the glory of the Kingdom of Heaven. My heart is grieved to see you wearing the mask of the defeated, struggling in pain, lamentation, and despair until the end of your meaningless lives."

Do you think that God, omniscient and omnipotent and seated on His glorious throne, would say to His children: "Come on up here. I'm not going to leave this seat"? Or is it more likely that He would kick His throne out of the way and come down to where we are?

It is important for you to know that for tens of thousands of years, even millions of years, God has been wailing tearfully, crying out, "Oh, My son. Oh My daughter." You may ask how the omniscient and omnipotent God could be in such a pitiful state, but God cannot get over the shock of losing His beloved sons and daughters. If there were a way for God to solve this problem on His own, He would not have had to suffer as He traveled the long, lonely path of the providence of restoration.

God is limitless love and creative energy. His greatest desire is to express Himself fully and freely. But His expression is limited by man's response. Jesus first asked those seeking to be healed if they had faith in him. Without their faith, Jesus could not express the divine power. Their faith attracted God's power and love like a magnet attracts iron.

God's desire is that man establish this deep reciprocal relationship of faith and love with Him. Drawn by man's love, God would have passed on all of His own characteristics to His child, as the child became aware of them and desired to possess them within himself. At first God and man would have been like parent and child, with man passively receiving care and guidance from His Heavenly Father. As man grew he would want to begin to return love to his parent, through sharing. God and man would then enter a more mutual relationship. Finally, man would himself want to give out love more freely to his Parent, to other men, and to creation. Man would become a creator like God, in both the material and spiritual realm, producing and raising his own children. In this way as man matured, he would have been a mirror reflecting God's image, and each of the aspects of God's ability to love.

But with the fall man established the reciprocal relationship of faith with Satan rather than with God. In this way Satan established a hold on men's hearts and has been establishing his kingdom of fear and selfishness on earth. Each of God's aspects of love has been distorted through Satan's intervention. Men are not whole, confident loving beings, freely growing through the receptive, mutual, and then giving stages of love with God and with each other. In reality they are frightened and insecure, trapped on the receptive (taking) level, trying to protect themselves by striking out before someone strikes them.

If the fall had not occurred, man would have been responding deeply to God, and expressing love to his fellow man. In turning towards Satan, man lost his capacity to respond to love, either to receive true love or to give it. Thus man, in never learning how to put forth true love, has never felt true joy either from other men or from the creation. Unreturned love brings neither joy nor power to the giver nor can it last long. This is exactly the same for God. He has never felt love fully returned from man because He has had no perfect vessel to whom He could express His love wholly and His power freely. One feels only frustration and sorrow when unable to express love fully or freely. Throughout history, God has never received true glory and joy from man.

But God's belief in man's capacity to return to Him is steadfast. Since man's fall, God has been seeking His lost family with all the love of His wounded and grieving heart. Since the time of Adam, He has been calling, "Where are you?" (Gen. 3:9)

Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth; for the Lord has spoken: "Sons have I reared and brought up, but they have rebelled against me. The ox knows its owner, and the ass its master's crib; but Israel does not know, my people does not understand." (Isaiah 1:2-3)

The more I called them, the more they went from me; they kept sacrificing to the Baals, and burning incense to idols. Yet it was I who taught Ephraim to walk. I took them up in my arms; but they did not know that I healed them. I led them with cords of compassion, with the bands of love, and I became to them as one who eases the yoke on their jaws, and I bent down to them and fed them. (Hosea 11:2-4)

Separated from God, his True Parent and source of love, power, and joy, mankind has been suffering from spiritual hunger and thirst. In the depth of our being we have felt deep loneliness and a great longing for love, God's love. We have been like orphans, cut off from our true Father and Mother, God.

As a deer longs for flowing streams, so longs my soul for thee, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When shall I come and behold the face of God? My tears have been my food day and night. (Psalms 42:1-3)

I am weary with my crying: my throat is parched. My eyes grow dim with waiting for my God. (Psalms 69:3)

Since positive energy from God is our life, our turning towards the negative energy from Satan has caused our spiritual death and brought about the evil within man and the world. Diverse religions have developed as man's attempt to restore the original God-given ability to love. If man had not fallen, he would have been so naturally close to God that seeking Him through religion would have been unnecessary.

The separation between God and man is reflected throughout the creation. Wholehearted love between people is not possible. For this reason, mankind has failed throughout history to establish a real brotherhood among men and nations. Families continue to disintegrate. Never has God blessed men and women in perfect marriage where a continual exchange of God's love has flowed between marriage partners.

Alienated from God, man has exploited nature rather than cared for it as if it were a part of himself. Fallen man has not loved the creation because he has lost the intrinsic feeling for beauty which God gave him. Rather, man has been proud of himself for conquering nature, using up all of her resources for himself. But his physical environment has reacted with hostility to this exploitation and has turned against man. The suffering creation waits eagerly for man to mature. The Apostle Paul was aware of this when he said:

For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God; for the creation was subjected to futility, not of its own will but by the will of him who subjected it in hope; because the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to decay and obtain the glorious liberty of the children of God. We know that the whole creation has been groaning in travail together until now; and not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. (Rom. 8:19-23)

God, man, and all creation have been suffering because of man's alienation from God. To end this universal suffering, man and all things must reunite with God and establish His kingdom of joy and love. Through His great struggle of centuries, the gate of heaven is open at last, and God is calling all men to enter.

 

Excerpt from:

Exposition of the Divine Principle

The Holy Spirit Association for the Unification of World Christianity

4 West 43rd Street, New York, NY 10036

Copyright H.S.A.-U.W.C., 1996

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior written permission of the publisher.

 

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