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9/21/2003                                                                                       View Comments

Unconditional Love...

I have heard it so many times that it is indelibly etched into the very fabric of my subconscious. Usually the rhetoric goes something like this:

"God's love is not like human love. There are conditions placed on the fragile affections between people, but God's love is greater than that. He loves us just as we are and accepts us unconditionally."

Is Bible-God's love really unconditional? There is at least one Christian who understands that God's Love is not in any way, shape or form "unconditional".

Let me quote a small part of this Christian author's perspective on the issue:
"A Critical Review of a Pop Religious Truism
Scripture clearly teaches that God's love (phileo, agape, aheb, ahabah, etc.) is unfailing, undeserved, and unilateral (completely one-sided in initiation). But is God's love without condition--I.E.: UN-conditional?

On this we should consider three things.

1) Where did this idea come from?

2) Is it consistent with Scripture? and

3) Is it false prophecy?

On 1), you will not have to look back very far, as this is uniquely an American, 'modern' doctrine. It is never once mentioned in Scripture, nor do any of the church fathers use the phrase."
The rest of the article can be found HERE

The main premise of this Christian's disertation is that without real repentance followed by willing obedience to the commands of the Triune-God of the Bible, no love is granted. The writer makes a very good case for his position, fully supported by solid passages in THE BOOK. This very concept is one of the realizations I came to while still a Christian and one of the issues that helped me understand what an unloving tyrannical parent that "our Father which art in heaven" really is.

Unless a person becomes a Universalist, there is no alternative for the Christian but to believe and accept that untold millions/billions of people are being relegated to an unloving, unforgiving, eternity, in the flames of of the Lake of Fire. Hell is not corrective discipline; hell is eternal punishment. Hell is not a merciful punishment of separating miscreant spirits from the rest of the harmless heavenly universe; hell is mind-boggling torture and pain for all eternity. Hell is the full measure of an offended angry Parent poured out unceasingly on all those who for one reason or another either never heard the gospel or found it to be simply unbelievable.

Is there any love in hell? Absolutely not.

Since God is love, hell is the absence of God. Hell is supposedly the total and complete separation of mankind from God and therefore a complete separation from love. The descriptions of hell picture it as a sadistic place of insanity, violence, and unfulfilled lust. It may have been created for the devil and his angels as the good book says, but the loving Father in heaven imagined it, created it, and commands those who don't accept Jesus in their hearts to "Depart from me ye cursed into..."

Imagine, if you will, a family who follows the example of this loving father. The Father of the family would require the children to turn from their own ways and endeavor to follow his commands without question. Stumbling but repentant children would be forgiven and accepted, but rebellious children who refused to tow the line, after a limited number of opportunities to get with the program, would be tortured unmercifully in the basement for the rest of their lives. Children, rather than being loved unconditionally, would have at least a few rules that they must adhere to in order to reap the rewards of Dad's favor. If they refused to adhere to the Dad's arbitrary, even if minimal, requirements, then the Dad would he justified at some point to pour out the full measure of his wrath until his sadistic offended heart was satisfied.

Obviously such a father would be prosecuted and placed under a doctor's care for mental instability. Such a parent might be justifiably called a monster. It is simply unnatural for a parent to stop loving their own children. Parents are often disappointed, angry, fed up, and emotionally hurt by their children, but no parent wants to see their children dead or in horrific painful torture. This is even evident of parents of the criminal or criminally insane. The parents often realize that their children must be locked up for society's and their own good, but the parent who wants their child to suffer painfully forever is pretty rare, if such a parent even exists at all.

Bible God's personality and view of justice is rooted in a primitive patriarchal time that was often cruel and inhuman by today's standards. Modern Christianity understands this at some level, so attempts in many ways to give their chosen deity a better more palatable image. God is made in our image so Christians today demand a nicer, gentler god that they can love and respect. That is not the God of the Bible. He is cruel, demanding, and jealous. He will not stand for disobedience and dominates his insect-like creations by HIs ever present threat of eternal retribution for failing to get on board with His “loving” program.

Unconditional? No way!

2 comments:

Jonathan said...

I'm sorry, but I'm going to kind of use this article as a response to an advice newsgroup that bore a message of, 'find god and his uncondtional love, he loves you so'. So then hell would be...? I love the article.

webmdave said...

I agree with the above comments. I too have been baffled by the statement 'God loves us unconditionally' and 'He loves us as we are' is
another thing. How can that be true if we are threatened with Hell for not believing in certain doctrines or not obeying certain rules. The Catholic church teaches one will go to Hell for ever just for missing Mass on Sunday. I am an ex-Catholic precisely because of this repugnant doctrine. Also because of the atrocities committed in the Old
Testament and the animal sacrifices demanded by this fiendish, tyrannical God. As the poetess Stevie Smith wrote, Christianity is a mixture of sweetness and cruelty, have none of it!