Monday, March 16, 2009
A Little Spiritual Help #8: God's Relationship of Love
Why has God allowed the angels and man to sin? Why does God permit evil and suffering? We answer: Because he is a God of love. Love implies sharing, and love also implies freedom. As a Trinity of love, God desired to share His life with created persons made in His image, who would be capable of responding to Him freely and willingly in a relationship of love.
Where there is no freedom, there can be no love.
Compulsion excludes love; as Paul Evdokimov used to say, God can do everything except compel us to love Him. God, therefore - desiring to share His love - created, not robots who would obey Him mechanically, but angels and human beings endowed with free choice. And thereby, to put the matter in an anthropomorphic way, God took a risk: for with this gift of freedom there was given also the possibility of sin. But he who takes no risks does not love.
Without freedom there would be no sin. But without freedom man would not be in God's image; without freedom man would not be capable of entering into communion with God in a relationship of love.
Archimandrite (now Bishop) Kallistos Ware, The Orthodox Way, (Crestwood, NY: St. Vladimir's Seminary Press, 1st Paperback Edition, 1979), 75-76.