1. Standard memberknightmeister
    knightmeister
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    23 Oct '08 18:401 edit
    Real love can never be based upon performance , it has to be unconditional. Real love is when you love someone when they behave poorly or hurt you but you still love them anyway. This is what every good parent aspires to and wants their children to embrace.

    Anyone can love someone who always does things they like , it takes real love to penetrate and see beyond the sin to the person underneath. Real love is based on seeing the person for who they really are and who they can therefore become.

    But let's be clear about this. Unconditional love is not pretending that everything is Ok or about condoning sin or bad behaviour.It is not about saying that that person does not need to change. It is about saying that change is not needed to earn that love , just as a child does not have to change in order to be loved by their parent.

    God's love is unconditional . To suggest that he does not accept us as we are , warts and all , is to attack the very nature of God himself. It is to make out that God's love cannot see beyond our faults and that he is petty and concerned about performance.

    It's only unconditional love that can transform humans. Christ taught us to love our enemies and that presumably means those who hurt us. He demanded that (for example) Arab learns to love Jew , Catholic loves Protestant. If God does not accept and love us as we are ( and not as we should be) then what hope love in the world? Even those who do not believe would no doubt see the necessity for God to love unconditionally (if he existed in their eyes).

    "Love keeps no record of wrongs"
  2. Joined
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    23 Oct '08 20:58
    Originally posted by knightmeister
    Real love can never be based upon performance , it has to be unconditional. Real love is when you love someone when they behave poorly or hurt you but you still love them anyway. This is what every good parent aspires to and wants their children to embrace.

    Anyone can love someone who always does things they like , it takes real love to penetrate a ...[text shortened]... o love unconditionally (if he existed in their eyes).

    "Love keeps no record of wrongs"
    Real love is when you love someone when they behave poorly or hurt you but you still love them anyway.

    Does this mean that if God never behaves poorly and never hurts anyone, then one can never display real love for God? What a shame: He loves us so dearly* but we can only fake love Him in return because He is too much of a gentleman.

    ---
    *Of course, one still needs to be ever vigilant, lest He toss you in a fire to suffer for all eternity.
  3. Cape Town
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    23 Oct '08 21:04
    Originally posted by knightmeister
    This is what every good parent aspires to and wants their children to embrace.
    I am not sure that is true. I think I love my child unconditionally and certainly don't aspire to anything more unconditional. That just wouldn't make sense. I don't think my love for my child is due to my aspirations either, nor is it an attempt to be a good parent.

    God's love is unconditional.
    But entry to heaven apparently is. What happened to the love there?
  4. Cape Town
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    23 Oct '08 21:101 edit
    Originally posted by LemonJello
    Does this mean that if God never behaves poorly and never hurts anyone, then one can never display real love for God? What a shame: He loves us so dearly* but we can only fake love Him in return because He is too much of a gentleman.
    Jesus had that one figured out, and basically said 'stop trying to love God, and love your neighbor, your enemy and the poor and downtrodden.'

    I have always thought that the heavy emphasis placed on entry to heaven by many Christians essentially makes their love a conditional one. They love God, their neighbors, their enemies etc on condition that they get to heaven in return.
    My favorite challenge for a Christian is 'would you give up your place in heaven for someone else'? Now that is true love. But it leaves most people I have asked spluttering.
  5. Standard memberDoctorScribbles
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    23 Oct '08 21:13
    Jesus loves Eminem just the way he is.

    YouTube
  6. Standard memberknightmeister
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    23 Oct '08 21:17
    Originally posted by LemonJello
    [b]Real love is when you love someone when they behave poorly or hurt you but you still love them anyway.

    Does this mean that if God never behaves poorly and never hurts anyone, then one can never display real love for God? What a shame: He loves us so dearly* but we can only fake love Him in return because He is too much of a gentleman.
    ...[text shortened]... rse, one still needs to be ever vigilant, lest He toss you in a fire to suffer for all eternity.[/b]
    You just really love God for who he is , just as he really loves us for who we are.
  7. Standard memberknightmeister
    knightmeister
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    23 Oct '08 21:20
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    Jesus had that one figured out, and basically said 'stop trying to love God, and love your neighbor, your enemy and the poor and downtrodden.'

    I have always thought that the heavy emphasis placed on entry to heaven by many Christians essentially makes their love a conditional one. They love God, their neighbors, their enemies etc on condition that they ...[text shortened]... or someone else'? Now that is true love. But it leaves most people I have asked spluttering.
    The problem with that one is that if you had such a strong love in your heart that you would sooner sacrifice your own soul than see someone else not be saved then you would end up in heaven anyway. A soul with such a love in them is inevitably heaven bound anyway.
  8. Standard memberknightmeister
    knightmeister
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    23 Oct '08 21:23
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    Jesus had that one figured out, and basically said 'stop trying to love God, and love your neighbor, your enemy and the poor and downtrodden.'

    I have always thought that the heavy emphasis placed on entry to heaven by many Christians essentially makes their love a conditional one. They love God, their neighbors, their enemies etc on condition that they ...[text shortened]... or someone else'? Now that is true love. But it leaves most people I have asked spluttering.
    Jesus had that one figured out, and basically said 'stop trying to love God, and love your neighbor, your enemy and the poor and downtrodden.' -----------------whitey---------------

    "Love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your mind ,and all your soul " - Didn't Jesus say that this was the fulfillment/ greatest of all the commandments?
  9. Standard memberknightmeister
    knightmeister
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    23 Oct '08 21:24
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    Jesus had that one figured out, and basically said 'stop trying to love God, and love your neighbor, your enemy and the poor and downtrodden.'

    I have always thought that the heavy emphasis placed on entry to heaven by many Christians essentially makes their love a conditional one. They love God, their neighbors, their enemies etc on condition that they ...[text shortened]... or someone else'? Now that is true love. But it leaves most people I have asked spluttering.
    I have always thought that the heavy emphasis placed on entry to heaven by many Christians essentially makes their love a conditional one. They love God, their neighbors, their enemies etc on condition that they get to heaven in return.--------whitey-----------

    Is this how you feel about my comments regarding physics when you feel that I just have no idea what I'm talking about?
  10. Standard memberknightmeister
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    23 Oct '08 21:31
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    I am not sure that is true. I think I love my child unconditionally and certainly don't aspire to anything more unconditional. That just wouldn't make sense. I don't think my love for my child is due to my aspirations either, nor is it an attempt to be a good parent.

    [b]God's love is unconditional.

    But entry to heaven apparently is. What happened to the love there?[/b]
    Entry to heaven is conditional upon accepting God's unconditional love (eg faith, grace). But do not mistake this as an artificial condition that God places on the whole deal.

    God may love us unconditionally but unless we surrender to it ourselves we cannot experience it or let it transform us. It's not something God has any choice about so it's not a "condition" as such that is an optional extra. If I am offering you a gift then in order to receive the gift you have to ....erhem...receive it. If you don't want the gift there's not a lot I can do. But saying that you must receive the gift in order to receive it is not a "condition" it's just the way it is.
  11. Standard memberRajk999
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    23 Oct '08 22:231 edit
    Originally posted by knightmeister
    Jesus had that one figured out, and basically said 'stop trying to love God, and love your neighbor, your enemy and the poor and downtrodden.' -----------------whitey---------------

    "Love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your mind ,and all your soul " - Didn't Jesus say that this was the fulfillment/ greatest of all the commandments?
    LOL ... I can guess why you wrongly stuck in the word 'fulfillment' in there. Christ just said its the greatest commendment. The second is 'love thy neighbour'. On these TWO commandments hang all the law and the prophets.

    Matt 22:36 Master, which is the great commandment in the law?
    37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
    38 This is the first and great commandment.
    39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
    40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.

    ******
    Edit : You were probably subconsciously combining the above verse with this one in James 2:8 where it speaks of fulfilling the royal law of 'love they neighbour as thyself'.
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    24 Oct '08 04:34
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    Jesus had that one figured out, and basically said 'stop trying to love God, and love your neighbor, your enemy and the poor and downtrodden.'

    I have always thought that the heavy emphasis placed on entry to heaven by many Christians essentially makes their love a conditional one. They love God, their neighbors, their enemies etc on condition that they ...[text shortened]... or someone else'? Now that is true love. But it leaves most people I have asked spluttering.
    I have always thought that the heavy emphasis placed on entry to heaven by many Christians essentially makes their love a conditional one. They love God, their neighbors, their enemies etc on condition that they get to heaven in return.

    I'm not entirely sure how to interpret this. If you are claiming that Christians are psychologically egoistic (that their motivations are always at bottom self-centered -- for example that their base motivations are always concerned with heavenly reward), then I think that is almost certainly false. There is not a shred of empirical evidence that actually supports psychological egoism; all the relevant evidence demonstrates to the contrary that humans are often motivated by genuine regard for others (and not merely instrumentally so in keeping with ultimately selfish motivations). So I doubt very seriously that any group of humans could be properly described as psychologically egoist, regardless of their shared religion or worldview.

    On the other hand, I do think it is an interesting question to ask to what extent expectation of heavenly reward enters into the motivations of the religious.

    My favorite challenge for a Christian is 'would you give up your place in heaven for someone else'?

    I'm not sure what would be a good test for love. One thing that I think may be integral is that the beloved's interests and concerns become infused with our own and they become directly reason-giving. I like the words of Hafiz:

    Our
    Union is like this:

    You feel cold
    So I reach for a blanket to cover
    Our shivering feet....


    -----
    I think another interesting challenge to a believer (one who argues on salvation by grace) would be the following. Suppose you die, and God, without citing any reasons, denies you entrance to heaven. Now, if entrance into heaven is merely a matter of grace, then God has not denied you anything toward which you were meritorious or entitled. Do you respect His decision?
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    24 Oct '08 04:43
    Originally posted by knightmeister
    You just really love God for who he is , just as he really loves us for who we are.
    I don't love God. I don't even think he exists. But in the improbable case that your version of theism is true, it's nice to know that god loves me for just exactly who I am. Surely if he loves me, he will not allow that I be subjected to eternal torment, right?
  14. Illinois
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    24 Oct '08 05:04
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    Jesus had that one figured out, and basically said 'stop trying to love God, and love your neighbor, your enemy and the poor and downtrodden.'

    I have always thought that the heavy emphasis placed on entry to heaven by many Christians essentially makes their love a conditional one. They love God, their neighbors, their enemies etc on condition that they ...[text shortened]... or someone else'? Now that is true love. But it leaves most people I have asked spluttering.
    My favorite challenge for a Christian is 'would you give up your place in heaven for someone else'? Now that is true love. But it leaves most people I have asked spluttering.

    I definitely would.

    The problem is, things don't work that way.

    Only faith in Jesus Christ can save any given person, and you can't just transfer one person's faith to another.

    I wish I could.
  15. Illinois
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    24 Oct '08 05:25
    Originally posted by LemonJello
    [b]I have always thought that the heavy emphasis placed on entry to heaven by many Christians essentially makes their love a conditional one. They love God, their neighbors, their enemies etc on condition that they get to heaven in return.

    I'm not entirely sure how to interpret this. If you are claiming that Christians are psychologically egoistic ...[text shortened]... d you anything toward which you were meritorious or entitled. Do you respect His decision?[/b]
    Suppose you die, and God, without citing any reasons, denies you entrance to heaven. Now, if entrance into heaven is merely a matter of grace, then God has not denied you anything toward which you were meritorious or entitled. Do you respect His decision?

    I would respect his decision because I would assume, since he is a perfectly righteous judge, that he has a perfectly legitimate reason for refusing me entrance.

    That said, your question assumes that God has not made any specific promise concerning salvation. If God did promise salvation to an individual and withheld that salvation, then God would have been guilty of a lie (something God is incapable of). Indeed, no one is meritorious of or entitled to heaven, and therefore God would need no reason to withhold salvation from anyone whatsoever, but only in so far as doing so does not succeed in violating his essential nature.

    God has made a few promises regarding salvation. The first of which being, that whosoever believes in Jesus Christ shall be saved. Since God has within him "no shadow of turning" and in him "there is no darkness" and only light, since he cannot lie, any individual who believes in Jesus Christ can therefore rest assured of eternal life.

    God is trustworthy. That's the key.
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