Wouldn’t the world be happier if everyone was programmed to respond to God’s loving advances and not commit evil?
Think of a world where freewill has been removed. A world in which humans do not act in response to anger, lust, revenge, selfish desire, greed etc. Sounds great but is this a loving world? After all, without freewill, the same people could neither cherish, honour, reward or praise (etc) as the ability for positive decision making has been removed from them and herein lies the problem…
While a ‘programmed’ arrangement might work for a time between God and humanity, there is good reason to suppose humans would eventually come to resent this control over. Moreover, the inability to make freely determined choices for themselves. All of which brings us to the dynamics of what actually constitutes a loving relationship.
In seeking to explain the dynamic of love, CS Lewis in his book ‘The Four Loves’ outlines various types of love of which ‘agape’ is one of them. This love – the unconditioal love of God – is different to the other three because it is always directed toward the recipient in selfless ways. A love which make no demand on the recepient to respond or show gratitude for whatever benefit has occurred.
As such, ‘agape’ of God is best understood as the unconditional love that humans experience which allows them to make their own choices in the world (even when running contrary to God’s commandments). A world in which there is also no requirement to acknowledge God as provider or anything for that matter.