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~Note to the Reader~
The following examination based on the biblical (and rational) idea that LOVE can only reside within a moral framework, is being done within the foundational premise of the Christian documents that God is Truth and there is NO LIE that can reside within Him.
If you are a Christian, you will be able to recognize that in examining life within this intellectual framework, all ideas that conflict or challenge the written Christian record must be seen (intellectually and morally by the Christian) as being at odds with biblical truth and rejected on the basis of rationality.
This logical consequence is an inherent "moral mandate" and must take place regardless of how a specific teaching within present day teaching/preaching may make a person feel about God's love.
Yet, one need not be a Christian, to understand that love cannot be unconditional.
The concept that love could and should be unconditional is not rational.
The definition of love inherently implies love always resides within a moral framework.
The Bible supports this concept within its definition of love.
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THE BIBLE AND TRUTH
The Bible declares that its writings are grounded in truth. Inside its pages are the mind-gripping affirmations that the two most important commandments in all of life are:
"Thou shalt LOVE the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets" Matthew 22:36-40.
What Is Love?
The Christian source for the definition of love is scripture (the Hebrew and Greek documents that make up the Bible).
The scriptures claim that God is Love.
"The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love." I John 4:8
ROMANS - CHAPTER 5 ~ Where We Find Ourselves in A Real World ~
"Therefore, just as through one man (Adam's choice against God) sin entered into the world, AND DEATH THROUGH SIN, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned____for until the Law sin was in the world; but sin is not imputed when there is no law. Nevertheless death reigned from Adam until Moses, even over those who had not sinned in the likeness of the offense of Adam, who is a type of Him who was to come. (Verses 12-14)
~ The World is Condemned Already ~
All human beings are born into a world already judged. All are under the penalty of death. Satan rules this world (see John 12:31)
"But the free gift is not like the transgression. For if by the transgression of the one the many died, much more did the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abound to the many."
~ Jesus said: "These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world."
~The Motivation of The Christian God ~
"For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world should be saved through Him. "He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. John 3:17-18
"The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love."
I John 4:8
"We have come to know and have believed the love which God has for US. God is love, and the one who abides in love (agape) ABIDES IN GOD, and God abides in him."
I John 4:16
"Agape" is the Greek word for designating a specific type of love. This love is relational (it is love that is returned). Agape love defines loving relationships. Agape love is that love founded on moral loyalties forging the deepest most profound human emotions found in relationships. It describes a love that holds affection, a benevolence, a love feast.
The Bible tells us that love is grounded in the moral nature of God, Himself. It affirms we know love by its moral behavior:
"By THIS the LOVE (agape) of God was MANIFESTED IN US, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world SO THAT WE (those who return His love) might live through Him.
I John 4:9
The Bible maintains that Love is behavior grounded in morality. God, because he is LOVE and because He is Just, is willing to rescue the person who repents of his sins from the consequences of living in a cursed and dying world.
Paul teaches in Romans that God's love and justice has the same source, God's nature.
"... for the demonstration, I say, of HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS at the present time, that He might be JUST and the JUSTIFIER OF THE ONE who has faith in Jesus." Romans 3:26
Jesus teaches that what is evil and what is right are opposing forces~~
"For everyone who does evil hates the light, and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. John 3:20
"But he who practices the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be manifested as having been wrought in God." John 3:21
The Bible definition of Love, is that love, to be LOVE, must be grounded in perfect morality (it comes forth from within a perfect moral standard).
It follows then, that it is impossible for God to love outside His moral Nature. Thus, God cannot love without conditions.
There can be no truth to the idea that a Perfect God can love a person unconditionally. This truth about love is the foundation for asserting all human rights and personal freedoms. There must always be conditions to love in order to provide liberty and freedom from wrong (evil).
If one loves justice; then one hates injustice. If one loves liberty; then one abhors the evils of enslavement.
The Truth Shall Set You Free
Jesus told the Jews who had believed Him,"You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free."
This declaration, "You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free...", tells us something primary about Jesus, but it also tells us something primary about truth. It tells us that truth is liberating.
This foundational statement regarding truth, spoken by Jesus, claims that true freedom comes only when there is truth. It tells us that not only is our spiritual freedom and eternal destiny dependent on what is TRUE, but that our personal freedom on earth depends upon our understanding of that which is true, against that which is false.
When Jesus responded to some of the Jews (those who were unbelieving) at the Mount of Olives, He underscored the truth about lies and who and what they serve: "You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning,---
[Satan [the devil] murdered Adam and Eve and all of us who came after them. He is a serial killer. See Genesis 2:17 and Genesis 3:4]---
--and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature; for he is a liar, and the father of lies." John 8:44
Jesus couldn't have made it more clear. The nature of a lie is to destroy the liberating power of truth.
Notice that God does not accept accountability for Satan's evil nature. Satan made the choice to be a liar and a murderer.~
Each time a person is told that God loves unconditionally, it implies (and is taught) that all Christians are required to love unconditionally.
This modern myth denies the moral nature of God by stating that God loves those who do evil. A significant number of modern Christian preachers and teachers have allowed this myth and others to develop within organized Christendom without challenge or public censure.
This modern myth about the unconditional nature of God's love has evil consequences to truth. It is damaging to the corporate body of Christ. Myths do injury to individual persons, families and to children.
Myths deny that truth can set you free. Myths imprison people in a world of untruths. Myths distort the real world, mangling the spirit and confusing the heart and mind.
This false idea that God loves people unconditionally, is a dangerous and destructive misunderstanding of the Nature of God. It has serious consequences to the human condition.
It challenges the justice of the nature of covenants (thus, the nature of justice, itself). It challenges the moral nature of family relationships and the moral nature of our individual responsibility toward God and each other.
It makes the PROFANE statement that God LOVES Satan.
By declaring there are NO conditions to God's love, it spreads the lie that God is willing to make accommodation with evil. Scripture denies God is willing to make accommodation with evil.
The Holy Spirit, through the Apostle Paul, warned believers:
"Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness?" 2 Corinthians 6:14
"Or what harmony has Christ with Belial, or what has a believer in common with an unbeliever?" 2 Corinthians 6:15
Could God have stated it any more clearly?
GOD DOES NOT LOVE SATAN!
"Then He will also say to those on His left, 'Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels; Matthew 25:41
~God cannot love unconditionally~
Because God is moral:
2 Corinthians 6:14 states, "... what fellowship has light with darkness?"
"Or what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; just as God said,
'I WILL DWELL IN THEM AND WALK AMONG THEM; AND I WILL BE THEIR GOD, AND THEY SHALL BE MY PEOPLE.' 2 Corinthians 6:16
"Therefore, COME OUT FROM THEIR MIDST AND BE SEPARATE," says the Lord. "AND DO NOT TOUCH WHAT IS UNCLEAN; -- And I will welcome you." 2 Corinthians 6:17
The conditions of His love require a human heart that is washed free of sinful practices and evil motivations. This modern myth (and lie) psychologically punishes (is abusive to) victims of crime (and their families) for desiring justice for the crimes done against them.
This false idea, that love can be, and should be, unconditional, labels those who seek justice for the crimes done against them as unmerciful and "vengeful." It implies that they cannot be genuinely walking the Christian walk if they will not "forgive" the criminal unconditionally.
Without the murderer/criminal showing public or private remorse, people who wear the name, Christian, impelled by this modern Christian myth, have publicly "forgiven" murderers of family members.
This is a myth without truth, pity or justice.
~ Unconditional Love - A Moral Contradiction ~
The word, "unconditional" means, "not limited", not subject to any conditions.
The word, "unconditioned" is defined as not subject to conditions and implies an "absolute" sense whereby NO conditions are required or expected for the thing stated to take place, i.e., the thing stated, stands by itself; without conditions -- unconditional.
In order to examine the question regarding God's love and how the biblical God defines Love, His nature must be examined within the framework of biblical descriptions of Who God Is.
God Cannot Lie
" ...in the hope of eternal life, which GOD WHO CANNOT LIE, promised long ages ago," Titus 1:2
The Prophet David, in Psalm 106:42, reminded the Hebrew people that when God gives His word regarding the thing that He promises to do, it is a done deal.
In other words, God always keeps His promises about what HE will DO.
David declared, "For He remembered His holy word With Abraham His servant;"
The Hebrew word used in the verse above, within the term, "His holy word", the 'word' in this verse is designating that God gave a promise to Abraham regarding His (God's) personal conduct.
This Hebrew word, is "dabar (daw-bawr) meaning, "to speak". God had given His Word to Abraham regarding His actions (separate from the actions of others).
David was reminding the Hebrew peoples that, in actuality, ALL that God had given His Word regarding, had taken place. The actions being spoken of were God's actions, dependent on God's choices, alone.
This type of action by God is not contractual (a covenant - between parties) but singular and without reference to any other person's actions or responses.
This is a - ~"It's got MY NAME on it " ~ promise from a morally Perfect God.
The word, "covenant," is briyth (ber-eeth), in Hebrew, defined as, "a compact," an agreement between parties.
It carries legal authority whereby both parties are constrained (obligated) by conditions within the covenant. It is always conditional on each of the parties fulfilling his/her part of the covenant/compact.
The word, briyth (ber-eeth), in Hebrew meaning, "a compact" (covenant), is the word used in Genesis 17:19:
"But God said, 'No, but Sarah, your wife shall bear you a son, and you shall call his name Isaac; and I will establish My covenant with him for an everlasting covenant for his descendants after him.'"
The covenant to Isaac was, "everlasting" only so long as the parties fulfilled their part of the covenant.
Because a covenant depends on each party fulfilling his/her part of the covenant, it carries the legal authority that conditions must be met by both parties or the covenant is broken. When a Covenant is broken, the Covenant obligation has stopped as though there had never been a covenant.
This legal use of the term, "covenant" was a common way of doing business:
"And Abraham took sheep and oxen, and gave them to Abimelech; and the two of them made a covenant.
The word for "covenant" in Genesis 21:27, is the Hebrew word,"briyth (ber-eeth)," and is the same word used regarding God's covenant with Isaac.
A Covenant is Always Conditional
" Now then, IF you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, THEN you shall be My own possession among all the peoples..." Exodus 19:5
A Covenant is Always Conditional
The covenant with God could be broken -
"But an uncircumcised male who is not circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin, that person shall be cut off from his people; he has broken My covenant."
A Covenant is Conditional
~A covenant with God means that only the other party to the covenant can break it - God is perfect, He would never break His Word ~
Leviticus 26:15 - maintains that a covenant can be broken, "If, instead, you reject My statutes, and if your soul abhors My ordinances so as not to carry out all My commandments, and so break My covenant,.."
Levitcus 26:16 - "I, in turn, will do this to you: I will appoint over you a sudden terror, consumption and fever that shall waste away the eyes and cause the soul to pine away; also, you shall sow your seed uselessly, for your enemies shall eat it up."
Levitcus 26:17 - "And I will set My face against you so that you shall be struck down before your enemies; and those who hate you shall rule over you, and you shall flee when no one is pursuing you."
~ A Covenant is Conditional ~
Why Did God Make Covenants Conditional?
God is without spot or moral blemish and is perfect in every aspect of Being. He is Just. He is Judge. He is never wrong.
Covenants are legal documents, legal oaths of faithfulness between parties.
When God makes a covenant, every covenant is founded on and written within His Perfect moral nature.
Because God is Moral, no covenant, God puts His Name on, could ever be unconditional in any of its requirements between the parties named in the covenant:; "Know therefore that the LORD your God, He is God, the faithful God, who keeps His covenant and His lovingkindness to a thousandth generation with THOSE WHO LOVE HIM AND KEEP His commandments; Deuteronomy 7:9
BUT REPAYS THOSE WHO HATE HIM, TO THEIR FACES, to destroy them; He will not delay with him who hates Him, He will repay him to his face." Deuteronomy 7:10
The Hebrew and Greek documents assure the reader - over and over - that the biblical God can no more love unconditionally than He can establish an unconditional covenant.
God is wholly and completely Holy. He hates evil and unrepentant evildoers:
"For Thou art not a God who takes pleasure in wickedness; No evil dwells with Thee. The boastful shall not stand before Thine eyes; Thou dost hate all who do iniquity. Thou dost destroy those who speak falsehood;..."
The LORD abhors the man of bloodshed and deceit." - Psalm 5:4-6
The word, "abhors" is the Hebrew word, "ta'ab (taw-ab'), meaning, "to loathe, to detest, to make abominable - utterly."
The documents under examination, repeats -- over and over again -- that God in His perfect moral nature can not love evil, unrepentant evil-doers nor can He accommodate evil.
The Bible always deals with the real. The person who murders is a murderer and God cannot love an unrepentant murderer. God cannot love sin or the unrepentant sinner because God is perfectly Holy.
As, 2 Corinthians 6:14 states, "... what fellowship has light with darkness?"
The answer to the question in, 2 Corinthians 6:14, is given in the Bible. The answer is that love cannot be unconditional. It is an answer that is rational, consistent and realistic with what is REAL in life.
Whether or not, this answer is recognized from Bible teachings or intellectual examination outside the Bible -- it is not rational to believe that there can be fellowship between truth and lies, i.e., fellowship between light and darkness. All people have the ability to reason even when he/she denies the God of the Bible His place in his/her life and in his/her law.
The Hebrew and Greek documents that make up the Bible are reliable backstops by which every idea can be bounced off. It is apparent that in this false teaching in today's world --- regarding what love is and/or what so many are claiming love IS and SHOULD be---- so little of that type of examination is being done, is deplorable (regrettable - something to feel sorrow about).
Hell Is A Real Place for the Unrepentant and Eternally Rebellious
Within a moral universe, JUSTICE requires that sin (crimes) be paid for. Without a penalty for crime(s) all things would be allowed. If all could be allowed, "Justice", itself, becomes meaningless.
God created a perfect moral universe and Man made a choice against God as rightful Lawgiver. God judged Man for his immoral choice and death has reigned since that time (see Genesis 3:22-24).
The penalty for sin is death (see 2 Thessalonians 1:9). If any person REFUSES
to allow Jesus to pay for his/her sins then he or she will have to pay for them.
~ Parallel Doctrines ~
- Unconditional Love
Hate the Sin, Love the Sinner -
The modern idea that a person can be seen as separate and distinct from his/her acts (behavior) is not biblical.
The Bible does not portray the idea that God separates the sin from the sinner. The murderer who did a murderous act remains connected to his/her crime in the Mind and Justice of God until he/she has repented of that act.
The false teaching, that the Bible teaches that Christians should, "hate the sin, and love the sinner," places a disconnect between what a person does and what he/she IS -
and it is something that God does not do.
Biblically, a person who murders, is a murderer. A person who steals, is a thief. A person who lies, is a liar.
That Jesus told Christians to love their enemies and do good
to those who persecute them, does not change the reality of the nature of sin and sinners (this verse is suggested as a proof text for this idea that we are to hate the sin and unconditionally love the sinner).
Love, is always to be acted out within a moral framework. It is this reality about love that determines its expression on many different levels and within many situations.
"Agape" love is expressed within relationship. This is not the type of love Jesus was examining within Matthew 5:44. The love within the context of Matthew 5:44 is a moral option provided for the Christian because Love compels a moral response
The context of the passage, is that Love can be expressed to an enemy in SPITE of mistreatment by them. The choice of the Christian -- Jesus was teaching -- should be to express mercy and kindness (which are moral aspects of love) when human life is not being threatened.
If there were no inherent moral conditions regarding the love expressed or within the framework whereby it is to be experienced by human beings,
~ IN OTHER WORDS ~
---- that Christians actually were called upon to love unconditionally (without conditions)
Christians would invalidate (take away it's legal authority) their God-given right to self-defense within all human relationships, within every human institution and at every level of interaction when attempting to act out Christian love.
The command to love our enemies does not remove a fundamental RIGHT to self-defense given by the commandment to all Mankind: "Thou shall not kill (murder)."
The foundational premise of the Bible regarding our inherent personal value (directed at all humanity), is that each human being has a right to "love self." Because we have been given a RIGHT (and moral obligation) to love "self," we are able to feel empathy with others.
It is on this inherent moral ground of our personal value that God directs us to, "...love your neighbor as you love yourself."
If the nature of love were truly "unconditional," what would compel us toward repentance?
It is our recognition of moral failure (the inability to meet perfectly the conditions of a moral God) and the realization of the consequences of sin that is able to bring us to repentance before a Holy God.
The truth is, that we have no more moral blueprint to love ourselves, WITHOUT CONDITIONS, than we have to love others, in this manner.
God has not given anyone a right to love himself/herself -- or anyone else, -- "unconditionally." We must love God first, before all else, because all that is GOOD originates within Him. In fulfilling that first (and greatest) commandment, we must be willing to take every self-serving impulse or desire and place it under the conditions of God's moral nature.
It is important to understand the context of Matthew 5:44. It is a directive to Christians, that a Christian should love his/her enemy in a specific manner. It is teaching that each Christian should be willing to expose God's moral kindness to the enemy.
It is a command that the Christian is to DO something good to the enemy, in spite of being persecuted by the enemy, in order to emulate the mercy and kindness (which is inherent in love) of God to His enemies.
The word, "love" in Matthew 5:44, is the Greek word, "agapao." It is love that emerges out of moral responsibility. This love is not the love of "relationship."
These moral acts of love a Christian is to act out do not change the moral status of the enemy who persecutes the Christian.
He is still the enemy, he is still evil (until he/she repents). Turning the other cheek or loving an enemy within the context of the command regarding HOW to love the enemy by doing good to the enemy, defines the type of love being required.
The context indicates that Jesus was teaching what our response to such a situation should be. It should be governed by a moral response (inherent in love) in spite of the reality there is no "agape" love being exchanged
Any other way of looking at the context, would have Jesus teaching Christians that they were commanded to be willing to provide cannon fodder (without resistance) to any enemy in a suicidal (self-murder) manner.
The scripture that teaches that we must love our enemy and do good to those who persecute us, is asking us to mirror the manner by which God acts out kindness (which emerges out of the nature of God, who is love) even to His enemies.
It is a commandment that we act out the moral nature of God in front of the unjust.
To teach that a perfect God separates the sin from the sinner, such as, an act of murder from the murderer, is to imply that God can overlook the murderer's heart of sin.
Because this is a true consequence of reasoning, this modern secular (and at this time) Christian myth, destroys truth and slanders the PERFECT moral nature of God.
This modern cultural myth (more and more being taught by Christian teachers) flows, uncontested (not challenged) through entire congregations. It moves destructively and insidiously into the lives of families, individual men, women and children.
As Myths gather momentum, the whirling debris of the false viewpoint, rush into the wider world at large, bringing devastating consequences to the people who accept these myths, (within Christianity they are false doctrines) and attempt to live their lives as though they were true.
The Bible doesn't merely suggest that love must have conditions to be love, it teaches this idea over and over.
Love Must Have Conditions for Love to Have Meaning. Love must be grounded in moral imperatives. Just as Truth is exclusive because it excludes all that is not true, love is exclusive because it excludes all that is evil.
The truth that love must be exclusive of evil is the moral imperative (making it absolutely necessary) of Love
As way of examination of this concept, it is morally and legally understood that for marriage to have meaning, it must have conditions of marriage or marriage, itself, cannot be defined.
In the same way, faithfulness, to have meaning, must have conditions of faithfulness. Truth, to be truth, must meet the conditions of Truth (that nothing truthful can be a lie).
Love, to be love, must have conditions to be met or love cannot be defined. In other words, LOVE, cannot embrace evil and remain love. Close biblical examination confirms that it is impossible for God to love unconditionally because He cannot love evil or the unrepentant evildoer.
God being HOLY never acts outside His perfect Nature of Justice, Mercy and Love. God Loves Only Those Who Love Him in Return Because God Loves Man within RELATIONSHIP.
God created Man in His image in order that Man could commune with his Creator (The words in capital letters in each verse that follows, references the conditions of His love).
"For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, THAT WHOEVER BELIEVES IN HIM, should not perish, but have eternal life. John 3:16
"For the Father Himself loves you, BECAUSE YOU HAVE LOVED ME, and HAVE BELIEVED that I came forth from the Father. John 16:27
"Now before the Feast of the Passover, Jesus knowing that His hour had come that He should depart out of this world to the Father, having LOVED HIS OWN WHO WERE IN THE WORLD, HE LOVED THEM to the end."
Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also LOVED THE CHURCH AND GAVE HIMSELF UP FOR HER. Ephesians 5:25
"Now may our Lord Jesus Christ Himself and God our Father, WHO HAS LOVED US (obedient believers) and given US eternal comfort and good hope by grace,"
2 Thessalonians 2:16
"For the Scripture says, 'WHOEVER BELIEVES IN HIM WILL NOT BE DISAPPOINTED.'" Romans 10:11
"For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, abounding in riches FOR ALL WHO CALL UPON HIM; " Romans 10:12
"And THIS IS LOVE, that WE WALK ACCORDING TO HIS COMMANDMENTS. This is the commandment, just as you have heard from the beginning, that you should walk in it." 2 John 1:6
Love, to be love , must be conditional.
~Conditional Love~ The Positive Implications to Freedom
Understanding that the love felt ( and expressed by the Creator toward His obedient creatures ) can only be present within the moral conditions of God's perfect nature, has implications beyond the fundamental nature of God.
Conditional love has liberating implications regarding the nature of Justice, itself -- within all its aspects; -- the nature of a just government, the nature of justice within the family and the nature of individual liberty.
The biblical definition of love is that it must be conditional. Christian love in its essence is grounded in and founded on a specific moral viewpoint - the nature of the
The Teaching That Love Is Unconditional Imprisons People Who Believe It In A Lie.
A woman or man attempting to live under the false teaching that he/she must love his/her spouse unconditionally, has no moral basis by which to request divorce for adultery or abandonment. A marriage with no conditions is not marriage.
A person attempting to live under the false concept that he/she must love unconditionally has no basis whereby he/she may leave a relationship because of physical and/or psychological abuse.
A child that has been taught that he/she must love unconditionally (teaches the child that he/she must obey his/her parents unconditionally) imprisons the child in evil.
The false idea that the child (or adult) must be taught to love unconditionally imprisions the child (or adult) into a non-challenge environment. This teaching denies that a child (or adult) has any human right(s). This teaching ultimately calls God a liar when He states that we each have a right to act out a protective self-interest.
Parents taught that they must love their children unconditionally have no moral basis to refuse to tolerate anything the adult child decides to do or any lifestyle the adult child determines to express. This is in direct conflict with the words of Jesus in Matthew 10:32-39
Parents, sisters or brothers who are taught they must love unconditionally have lost the biblically stated right to remove themselves from an evil environment or reject any behavior that is not consistent with Bible teachings.
Any person who has accepted the false idea that he/she must love others unconditionally is "morally" (if they are rationally consistent) forced to endure all kinds of evil within his/her personal world, work world or political world in the name of Christian "love."
This false teaching is endemic within the secular and Christian worlds.
This foundational misunderstanding regarding the nature of love can now be seen everywhere in the secular world -- in articles, self-exploration essays/seminars/web sites, in books and in music.
Within the Christian community this false teaching regarding the definition of love as being "unconditional" is easy to find by listening or reading what Christian writers have written and stated publicly about love.
Christian speakers and writers have taught that in spite of the personal choices of their sons or daughters to publicly practice sinful and perverse behavior, they would feel called upon to love them regardless of what they were doing.
They teach that loving unconditionally, is a fundamental truth about God's Nature. They contend that it is this view of God's love that compels their own unconditional acceptance of adult children regardless of what the adult child does.
They declare that the adult child should be embraced and accepted as a continuing presence in their homes in spite of their public sin.
The Bible does not teach this profane view of love. It teaches that everything in life (including all those persons we care about) is to be examined under the light of biblical truth.
What does scripture actually say about these kinds of issues?
"Everyone therefore who shall confess Me before men, I will also confess him before My Father who is in heaven. But whoever shall deny Me before men, I will also deny him before My Father who is in heaven."
"Do not think that I came to bring peace on the earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. "For I came to SET A MAN AGAINST HIS FATHER, AND A DAUGHTER AGAINST HER MOTHER, AND A DAUGHTER-IN-LAW AGAINST HER MOTHER-IN-LAW; and A MAN'S ENEMIES WILL BE THE MEMBERS OF HIS HOUSEHOLD".
~ The God of The Bible is a Holy God ~
"He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me; and he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me."
"And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. He who has found his life shall lose it, and he who has lost his life for My sake shall find it."
The Apostles, also, taught a consistent view of the conditions regarding truth and love.
"It is actually reported that there is immorality among you, and immorality of such a kind as does not exist even among the Gentiles, that someone has his father's wife. And you have become arrogant, and have not mourned instead, in order that the one who had done this deed might be removed from your midst." I Corinthians 5:1-7
~ The Apostle's response was to allow Satan to have his destructive way on this unrepentant Christian. ~
"For I, on my part, though absent in body but present in spirit, have already judged him who has so committed this, as though I were present."
"...I have decided to deliver such a one to Satan for the destruction of his flesh, that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus."
Does This Situation in the Early Church, Indicate That Congregations Were Being Told To Set-Up "Morality" Control Systems, (In Order To Monitor The Moral Behavior of Fellow-Members)?
NO - The context makes it clear that this was a PUBLIC display of an immoral lifestyle.
When sin becomes public, fellow members, were told by the Apostle, they must demonstrate within their congregation the conditions of morality or else they risk becoming "arrogant" and allowing sin to escalate (increase) into the Christian community.
Paul was not teaching that Christians were to shut themselves away from rest of the world in order to NOT become contaminated by the world. He was talking about the PUBLIC exposure of God's moral conditions reflected back into the world by those who claimed to be His people, but who were not His.
"I wrote you in my letter not to associate with immoral people; I did not at all mean with the immoral people of this world, or with the covetous and swindlers, or with idolaters; for then you would have to go out of the world....."
"But actually, I wrote to you not to associate with any so-called brother if he should be an immoral person, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or a swindler-- not even to eat with such a one..." Verse 11
This moral obligation was to be acted out by each member of the Church, "...not even to eat with such a one..." Each member is to make these types of decision when the sin is public.
"For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Do you not judge those who are within the church? But those who are outside, God judges. REMOVE THE WICKED MAN FROM AMONG YOURSELVES."
Paul was keeping his instructions in context.
This was a public sin that every member knew about. The context is not Paul requiring the church to set-up a system of moral control over the personal lives of the people.
Paul was reminding them, THEY DID KNOW what was going on because the sin was not being hidden. Public sin and their indifference to it, was a gross affront (to insult openly) to the moral character of God. ~ I Corinthians 5:9-13
Paul made the point, that their willingness to look the other way -- regarding this public sin was arrogance on their part.
Paul warned them: "Your boasting is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump of dough? Clean out the old leaven, that you may be a new lump,"
The Bible speaks to the conditions by which Christians are to define and act out truth and love. In the Bible, Truth is not hidden in some tortuous maze of conflicting sophistical thought (clever or plausible, but unsound idea).
Paul reminded them what they should have remembered:
"....Or do you not know that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, shall inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ..." I Corinthians 6:9-11
All human rights within the Christian world view are based on moral affirmations founded on the moral nature of God.
The Ten Commandments Hebrew Scriptures, Exodus 20, 1-17
"I am the Lord thy God, Thou shalt have no other gods before me." Affirms that there is only one true God. States the foundational condition for belief in God.
"Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven images." Affirms that all other gods are false. States the conditions of worship and recognition of what is true against what is false.
"Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain" Affirms that God is Creator and is due respect and reverence. States the conditions regarding expressing respect and reverence toward God's Name.
"Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy". States a Day to rest out of seven days of labor by which a person was to honor God. The condition regarding keeping it, was to "remember" to keep it holy.
"Honor thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long." Affirms the rights of godly parents to be respected by their children. States the conditions and consequences of that respect (that thy days may be long).
"Thou shalt not kill." Affirms each human being has an inherent right to life. It states the conditions for respecting human life.
The Hebrew word, "ratsach", is used in above verse. It is the word meaning to kill a human being - "do no murder."
In the Greek (Mark 10:19), Jesus, in referring to this commandment, used the word, "phoneuo (fon-yoo'-o), "...to be a murderer...", from the Greek word, "phoneus" - "a murderer."
"Thou shalt not commit adultery." Affirms the rights and states the foundational condition of marriage.
"Thou (you) shalt (shall) not steal." Affirms the right of every person to own property. It states the conditions of ownership rights (the requirement that no one has a right to steal what is yours).
"Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor." Affirms the right to not be slandered. It states the conditions of truth by which we define perjury, lying, slander regarding our neighbor
"Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's house." Affirms the right of each person to hold and keep possession of things others do not have.
It states the conditions of that right, as being the requirement that others do not have a right to "covet" (desire to have) those things you own (put another way, they have NO right to attempt to take what you own, away from you).
Love Must Be Defined By Truth
Love can only be defined by examining the nature of God. Any aspect of love that is not dependent on or does not have its origins from within the Nature of God is (by definition) evil and a lie.
"Unconditional love" can only be defined outside God's nature because it cannot rationally be expressed from within a perfect morality.
~ MORALITY TO HAVE ANY RATIONAL MEANING MUST HAVE BOUNDARIES -- CONDITIONS ~
Any idea that provides license to evil when it is attempted to be practiced, is in reality, a doctrine of demons
The Apostle Paul warned the Christians at Corinth:
"And you have become arrogant, and have not mourned instead, in order that the one who had done this deed might be removed from your midst [until there is repentance and the sin is stopped]." I Corinthians 5:2
Whatever the reason for the Corinth Christians to have been willing to overlook public sin by one of their members, it was not acceptable for the Christian community to become indifferent to it's public display.
The Christians at Corinth, who had done nothing about this sin (they could not say they didn't know about it....it was publicly known), were not loving God because they were ignoring the public sin of one of their members. The Bible teaches that when a person loves God -- Before All Else -- LOVE can never be without conditions.
Certainly they understood what the Apostle John had said about love in relationship to the requirement (one of the conditions) for loving God.
John 14:15, teaches -
"If you love Me, you will KEEP My commandments."
The Christians at Corinth understood that loving God had conditions. The consequence of not loving God by ignoring or overlooking public sin is the same, regardless if the public sin is being overlooked through a false idea of what Christian love means, an unwillingness to take action against a fellow church member or arrogance.
~ The Consequences to Truth is The Same~
LOVE CANNOT BE WITHOUT CONDITIONS
Hatred and The Christian
Because love can only be acted out and seen within a moral framework, does this mean that a God-hater is to be hated by the Christian? Does this mean Christians should hate all those who are indifferent, non-believing or hostile to Christ and His followers?
Because hate is a legitimate (right) option for the Christian does not mean we stand outside God's justice when choosing to hate.
God's status as Creator provides Him an omniscient (all-knowing) view of the minds and heart of all men. No human being has that ability to view the lives of other human beings OUTSIDE Time.
God examines all things through His Omniscience (He knows all things. He has infinite - unlimited - knowledge). He knows those persons who will remain unrepentant (not sorry for what they do wrong) throughout their lives. He knows those persons who will confess their sin and stand before Him, brokenhearted in repentance and willing obedience.
Christians understand good and evil only through understanding what God is telling them about good and evil through the words of scripture.
Christians are to make decisions regarding those who stand convicted of being evil on the basis of what is just and true.
"By their fruits you will know them..[Matthew 7:20]," the Bible instructs the reader. When a man or woman murders, the Christian can understand that the person is a murderer. As long as a person is known as an unrepentant murderer, the Christian has nothing else to go on by which to examine this person's life.
A legitimate moral option to hate, does not allow any Christian to feel hatred without evidence or cause.
In reality, the option to hate frees the Christian from a pretense to "unconditionally love" those who do evil.
Any church community who accepts and teaches the concept of "unconditional love" encourages a pretense of an emotion and acceptance of a supposed moral position a person can not internally accept (nor are they morally required to feel) toward those who have done them an injustice. This is a cruel and arrogant requirement regarding living out Christian love and it is not supported by scripture.
The person who teaches and preaches unconditional love has forgotten, is ignorant of, (or is arrogantly dismissive) of the moral nature of God.
David hated God's enemies.
"For they speak against Thee wickedly, And Thine enemies take Thy name in vain. Do I not hate those who hate Thee, O LORD? And do I not loathe those who rise up against Thee? I hate them with the utmost hatred; They have become my enemies."
David teaches us that to love God, we have made a choice against God's enemies. God's enemies become our enemies. When Jesus taught that a person should love their enemies and do good to them, He was not suggesting that David had been wrong to hate the enemies of God. He was telling us that we are not to act out anything in like kind. The expression of love is a free choice to be based on that which is true and moral.
To hate someone and not to commit sin because of that hatred is always a choice. This is supported by the biblical definitions regarding love. The word, love, used in Matthew 5:44, cannot morally be removed from its context where it is speaking to the kinds of choices one makes regarding how to deal with an enemy:
"You have heard that it was said, 'YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR, and hate your enemy.' " (Jesus was referring to an out of context use of the word, "hate" being accepted by most of the Jews of that day).
The context indicates that He was referring to, Leviticus 19:18. This text refers to the command in the Hebrew scriptures to love your neighbor:
'You shall not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the sons of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself; I am the LORD (note that God provided the moral basis of His Own Nature for His requirement that they were to love their neighbor)."
Leviticus 19:18, says nothing about hating your enemy (within its context). By the time of Jesus, this had become a common opinion (that you love your neighbor but you hate your enemy). Jesus was telling them, that this common idea (understood among them), of hating your enemy (with the idea that it is right to PERSECUTE THEM) was negligent in carrying out the moral conditions of God's love.
"But I say to you, love ["agapao" love is defined as love in a social or moral sense] our enemies, and pray for those who persecute you in order that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous [those who act out "right"] and the unrighteous [those who act out things not right]."
In using the word,"agapao" Jesus was talking about a love that embraces the judgment and deliberate assent of the will. It chooses the right (proper moral) thing to do in spite of an offense by the offending person.
It is a reaction based on principle, duty and propriety (moral behavior). Acting out this love is a free will choice based on a person's moral viewpoint grounded and founded on the moral nature of God.
The context reveals, that Jesus was not claiming that the duty to love our enemies and do good to them that persecute us forfeits (gives up) our fundamental right to life given to us by the mandate of God through the presentation of the ten commandments.
There is nothing within the context under examination to suggest that Jesus was claiming David had been sinning when he said that he hated God's enemies. Scripture records that David sinned only regarding Uriah:
"...because David did what was RIGHT in the sight of the LORD, and had not turned aside from anything that He commanded him all the days of his life, except in the case of Uriah the Hittite."
I Kings 15:5
Jesus could not have been claiming that a Christian has given up his/her moral right to hate, loathe or be repelled by an evil person(s). Jesus was not claiming His followers must love (agape) such people in history as Hitler, Stalin or any of the nauseatingly (so evil it makes you sick) evil people who have lived and acted out evil throughout time.
Jesus was not claiming that "agapao" love wipes out truth. He was teaching them, that there is a requirement that the moral person must be willing to act out "agapao" love to his/her enemy. This acting out of "agapao" love emerges through the conscious will of the person (who has made the choice to be moral), to respond within a moral framework.
By using the word "agapao" love within the context where He told His followers to love their enemy and do good to those who persecuted them, Jesus emphasized the moral behavior of God.
Jesus by this teaching, laid down the moral framework by which individuals (and thus, "nations") are to morally act toward their enemies. There is no right to torture our enemies. We have a moral right to self-defense. Torturing a prisoner is not self-defense (the enemy is already being secured). To torture an enemy is a choice against the clear teachings of Jesus Christ.
Jesus portrayed (to make a word drawing) the picture of how God will allow blessings on earth even toward those He hates (the eternally unrepentant).
In spite of God's foreknowledge about their lifetime refusal to repent of their sins, Jesus tells us that God will still act out of benevolent love by NOT withholding from them, the blessings of nature (on earth).
While God states that He hates the unrepentant ungodly, He has shown "agapao" love to them in spite of their offenses. Jesus makes the comparison between how God acts out "agapao" love in the presence of evil, with the command Christ has given to his followers, to love (agapao) their enemies and do good to those who persecute them.
The context shows that He does this to define for them "agapao" love. "...in order that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous....
For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax-gatherers do the same? And if you greet your brothers only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect." Again, basing all moral positions on His Own Perfect Nature. Matthew 5:45-48
This biblical teaching -- about where morality comes from -- is of PRIMARY importance to this examination about "unconditional love. Matthew 5:48, reveals the defining criteria for showing love to your enemy (you should do these things because God is PERFECT), "...be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect."
THE FOUNDATIONAL PREMISE of LOVE, is that it is based ON, founded ON, grounded IN, HIS Perfect Moral Nature.
Can This Be Said Too Often (considering the false idea we are looking at)? The context whereby "agapao" love is examined in Matthew 5 is expressing a specific moral aspect of love.
If you show love to your enemy, you are showing love just as God has shown love even to those He hates and to whom will remain His enemy throughout their lives (as David reveals, "The boastful shall not stand before Thine eyes; Thou dost hate all who do iniquity..." Psalm 5:5.)
Jesus used the word "agapao," in Matthew 5 because it expresses the moral context for love when dealing with an enemy. This is not the same word "love" as "agape." Agape has to do with the emotions, an affection, a benevolence, a love feast. The word, "agape" love has to do with relationships.
Jesus is NOT teaching that, God did not approve such military battles as when the United States and its allies went to war in World War II, because He had taught us how to love "agapao" our enemies, within a moral framework.
There is no indication anywhere in the Bible that His morality would force us to lie to ourselves or others. There is no biblical teaching that we are to sacrifice ourselves or those we love, to evil or evildoers. He does not expect us to feel agape love for those we loathe or hate (for just reasons).
There is nothing in the Bible to suggest that God expects us to act out "agape" love (the love of relationship) toward our enemies. Note that in the following verses where the word, agape is used, agape love is warranted by the moral conditions of the relationship.
"By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for (agape) one another."
"Just as the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you; abide in My love. "If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father's commandments, and abide in His love." John 15:9-10
"Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends."
"You are My friends, if you do what I command you." John 15:13-14
The "agape" love being looked at has moral conditions set within a loving relationship (emotional ties grounded in morality) between the parties. --- "Who shall separate us from the love (agape) of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
Agape love is biblically defined as being so strong, that NOTHING, but our own choices can separate US (obedient believers) from God's mighty LOVE
Agape love is the love within relationship. It is love that will be returned or turned back toward the One Who Loves, by the Loved.
Hate Is Not Intrinsically Immoral
The Bible records that hate is not intrinsically (belonging to the real nature of a thing) wrong. It can be wrong. It can be right. Hate can be seen as a negative or it can be seen as a positive. The specific definition of the word, hate, and how it is used within the context of biblical teaching, is how the morality of its place in our lives, is determined.
David declares that God hates His enemies (those who do evil): "The boastful shall not stand before Thine eyes; Thou dost hatest all who do iniquity." Psalm 5:5 The word, "hate" in the context of Psalm 5:5, comes from a Hebrew word, "sane (saw-nay') meaning, "to hate personally -- utterly."
There are moral implications to each type of hate a person feels or acts on. A person can hate and do nothing wrong regarding the hate. A person can hate and do a lot wrong because of the hate.
A specific type of hate is seen within the context of Jesus' exhortation regarding how Christians are to treat their enemies. You'll remember that Jesus had been responding to a common view regarding those who had accepted the idea that it was good to "hate" his enemy.
Remember that Jesus had quoted the common circulating opinion to them. "You have HEARD that it was said, 'YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR, and hate your enemy.'" John 5:43
The Greek word, "heard", in this verse is, "akouo" (ak-oo'-o). The word, "akouo" has been used in a various sense, such as, a person accepts an idea because it has been making the rounds of human society; it means to, "...hear, to come to the ears, reported, noised about [rumored]."
The implication for Jesus having repeated back to His disciples this common idea is that they had accepted that it was good to persecute (hate) their enemies (on the BASIS they were enemies).
The word "hate," Jesus used in this verse carries within its definition, persecuting action against an enemy. Jesus was talking about a particular brand of hate (a hate that gives permission to persecute). The word, "hate" used, is a Greek word, "miseo (miseho), coming from a Greek word "miso" meaning "hatred".
"Miseo" expresses hate through actions against those hated, to "detest - especially to persecute." Jesus examined this question about how we are to react to our enemies within the framework of how God treats His enemies.
The implications of the specific words Jesus used (and the context wherein He placed the words) show the direction Jesus was attempting to take His disciples in their understanding regarding this issue.
When Jesus compared God's behavior toward His enemies with what they had been accepting as morally justifiable behavior toward their enemies (which was that they had a moral right to persecute them), it challenged their understanding regarding the issue.
Jesus confronted them with the morality within God:
"But I say to you, love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you in order that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His
SUN to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous." Matthew 5:45
Jesus taught them that if God does not persecute His enemies (those He hates) then His followers should not persecute (hate in that way) their enemies. Keep in mind that "judgment" and "persecute" do not mean the same thing.
Jesus was telling them, they had it wrong regarding their attitude toward their enemies (They had it wrong because they had allowed a false idea into the context of Hebrew Scripture).
The common circulating idea was incorrect. Jesus took time to tell them why the idea of persecuting your enemy (on the basis that they are your enemy), is a non-moral act of hatred. Jesus stated that if God is willing to do good to His enemies, in spite of His hating them, then they should be willing to do good to their enemies.
That God can act in love toward those He hates is because both His hate and His love is a moral response and morally correct within each context of its use.
God's prophet, David, defines God's enemies:--- "For, behold, Thine enemies, O LORD, For, behold, Thine enemies will perish; All who do iniquity will be scattered." Psalm 92:9
The difference Between Judgment And Persecution
All who sin (the unrepentant and disobedient) are God's enemies. Yet, Jesus reminds the disciples, that God is gracious to send the refreshing rain on His enemies, whom He hates, as well as on His own, whom He loves (agape love).
~ Both hate and love are moral imperatives.~
"I hate those who regard vain idols; But I trust in the LORD." Psalm 31:6
"Hate evil,---- you who love the LORD,---- Who preserves the souls of His godly ones; He delivers them from the hand of the wicked." Psalm 97:10
"But my enemies are vigorous and strong; And many are those who hate me WRONGFULLY." Psalm 38:19 Notice that David did not say that to hate was a moral wrong. He said that he was hated "wrongfully."
David hated evil doers personally: "I hate those who are double-minded, But I love Thy law." Psalm 119:113 "Do I not hate those who hate Thee, O LORD? And do I not loathe those who rise up against Thee? I hate them with the utmost hatred; They have become my enemies."
The word, "hate" that David used is "sane" meaning to hate personally and utterly.
The Bible declares that David was a man after God's own heart. Yet, David said he hated evil doers personally and utterly. Did David do wrong in hating those who did evil?
God stated that David did right before Him except in one sin: (see verse cited above). David replaced Saul as King because God had judged Saul: "But now your kingdom shall not endure. The LORD has sought out for Himself A MAN AFTER HIS OWN HEART [David] , and the LORD has appointed him as ruler over His people, because you [Saul] have not kept what the LORD commanded you." I Samuel 13:14
God loves those who love Him within the conditions of His moral nature.
God said David was a man after His own heart and David hated those who did evil. The examination of the term, "unconditional love", indicates that it does not find its origination (beginnings) or inspiration within the pages of scripture.
In reality, this idea, that love can be unconditional, when attempting to place it within one's life, results in betraying the moral nature of God and His commandments. The problems with this concept of God's love are numerous.
Only God can define Himself. God teaches us that He is a HOLY God. It is impossible for God to love with no conditions. Hell couldn't be God's victory if God could love UNCONDITIONALLY - WITHOUT CONDITIONS. It would be His betrayal of His word (if it were true) that He loves unconditionally. This would make God a liar (the Bible maintains God cannot lie).
If there are NO conditions to God's Love, there can be only one rational conclusion, the biblical God ceases to be moral and turns into a devil.
To maintain that Romans 5:8-9 supports the idea that God loves the unrepentant in spite of their sin and is an example of unconditional love is misunderstanding God's foreknowledge, His love and His justice.
"But God demonstrates His own love toward US [obedient believers], in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for US." Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, WE shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him."
God is outside Time. He sees past, present and future all at the same time (standing outside time, rationally implies, All TIME, to God, is always His present moment).
"But God demonstrates His own love toward us (the body of Christ - the Church), in that while WE were yet sinners, Christ died for us." ~~~ The words, "while we were yet sinners," is presented from within our viewpoint regarding our initial lost condition within Time.
The Immorality of Love Without Conditions
Why should any person who after examining the Bible expect a morally perfect God to love without conditions? The Bible teaches that Love is moral. If it is not moral, it becomes something else.
Human love that has no moral character turns into lust, fornication or adultery. Spousal abuse is not love; it is the opposite of love. Child abuse is not love; it is the opposite of love. Allowing physical or emotional abuse to continue, is not love, it is giving moral license to hatred and evil.
You may have seen the interview with a woman who had killed her husband. When she was asked by the television interviewer, why had she done the crime, the woman explained that she had been abused by her husband for years.
The interviewer asked her why hadn't she simply left him. The woman said that the Bible teaches that she should obey her husband. Incredibly, the interviewer allowed the statement to stand unchallenged.
Such responses to life's situation show a profound misunderstanding of the teachings of Jesus Christ.
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Each Christian has the option of disobedience in every situation not acted from or based on biblical morality. Instead of acting on her moral and legal rights and leaving this abusive husband, she killed him.
Then she stood before millions of television viewers and mocked the God of the Bible by claiming (without challenge) that it was His morality that had kept her there (the consequences of this profane idea is that she blames God for her act of murder!).
The character of love is moral. It is not a thing that merely IS or stands outside morality. The concept of love without conditions is not in the Bible. Yet, it has been accepted by many Christians as a fundamental statement regarding the character of God.
In attempting to understand the reason for the increasing acceptance of this false concept of God's love, it may be useful to the analysis, to notice the ever-widening gap between biblical morality and the apparent unwillingness of Christians to live their lives within the moral framework of the doctrines of scripture.
As polls and social studies have shown, the gap between the lives of those people who wear the name, Christian, and those who have no allegiance to Jesus, called Christ, reveal very similar acceptance regarding moral attitudes.
This consequence, observable in society, implies that instead of giving up a sinful lifestyle and bowing at the feet of God in repentance and a changed life, the "Christian" continues his/her lifestyle and chooses, instead, to redefine God's love as being unconditional.
The acceptance of the redefinition of God's love from a biblical definition to a non-biblical one appears to have a rationalizing force behind the acceptance.
That the concept of unconditional love actually is damaging and destructive of every human right outlined in the Bible, doesn't seem to make the false concept less attractive to those who maintain the viewpoint.
Somehow, the idea that God's love must have conditions because He is Moral, has caused (within some people) the greater emotional and psychological insecurity. It is as though the person cannot tolerate the idea he/she is accountable to a Perfect God.
That God has provided a reconciliation (to make compatible again) process for the believer when he/she sins after becoming a Christian --- is another indicator that God's love cannot be unconditional ---- does not appear to make an imprint on those persons who cannnot tolerate the biblical definition of God's love:
"My little children, I am writing these things to you that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous;..." I John 2:1
It is a serious intellectual step to accept the idea that a Moral God can love unconditionally. If the Biblical God could love unconditionally, there would be NO need or place for an ADVOCATE.
Once accepting the false concept that God loves without conditions, it is a mere self-rationalizing whisper in the inner ear of the "Christian" who is unwilling to pay the price of his/her faith by changing a sinful lifestyle.
Instead of removing the sin from his/her life, a "Christian" who finds comfort in this false viewpoint, redefines God's love and he/she is able to retain the sinful lifestyle without present penalty or future risk of hell (a fool's paradise if there ever was one).
Another way of envisioning the end-results of this false concept of God's love, is that within this viewpoint, a person can be loved by God in spite of anything -- whatsoever -- he/she chooses to do. That this idea is profane seems self-evident.
That this false concept of love has swept the Christian world with so little challenge should be nothing less than amazing….shouldn't it?
Recognizing the self-rationalizing aspects of this false idea of God's love does not mean that all those who call themselves Christian and who accepts this definition of God's love is involved in lifestyles that are sinful. It does mean, however, that the Christian who has accepted this false idea regarding the nature of the biblical God is allowing His moral Nature to be impugned (to be brought into question).
~~ And That Is Denying Who God IS ~~
A lie that has made its way into the Christian community as a doctrine to be accepted, is a doctrine of demons.
"But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons," I Timothy 4:1
Christian Elders (a position of teaching and watching over doctrine) are to be seen as, "... holding fast the faithful word which is in accordance with the teaching, that he may be able both to exhort in sound doctrine and to refute those who contradict. "
Within God's holiness is His perfect moral Love. It is through this Love God holds toward those who love Him, that He made the decision to provide the opportunity for all persons to be reconciled to Him.
God the Father Did Not Compel Jesus To Die For Your Sins ~~
"For this reason the Father loves Me, because I lay down My life that I may take it again. ~~ "No one has taken it away from Me, but I lay it down on My own initiative. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This commandment I received from My Father." John 10:17-18
This reconciliation of God and fallen Man takes place through a free-will response of each person through faith in the finished Work of Jesus Christ: John 3:15 states, "...that WHOEVER believes may in Him have eternal life."
"For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that WHOEVER believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life."
"And having been made perfect, He [Jesus] became to all those WHO OBEY HIM the source of eternal salvation,..." Hebrews 5:9
Believing in Christ is accepting the finished work of Jesus by which He saves us from the consequences of our sins.
We respond to Him in repentant faith, submitting to Christian baptism (Greek word used is, "baptizo"--"to make whelmed" -- derived from "bapto" to dip, i.e., immersion into water), whereby God marks the moment in Time that He remembers our sins no more as He has promised:
Hebrews 8:12 "FOR I WILL BE MERCIFUL TO THEIR INIQUITIES, AND I WILL REMEMBER THEIR SINS NO MORE."
Peter said to them, "Repent, and let each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit." Acts 2:38
So then, those who had received his word were baptized; and there were added that day about three thousand souls."
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"God does not dwell in error.
It does not matter if the error is innocent - or malicious.
It does not matter if it arises from simple ignorance - or calculated deception.
He can not be found in those wastelands.
He is the God of truth,
and it is only there He can be found."