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The Moral Foundations - Page Three
What Is This Thing Called Commitment...?
What do you mean, I made a covenant?
Covenants Stand On the Foundation of Justice within the Law of Love
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. Genesis 21:27
A Covenant is Always Conditional
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.
" 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
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.- 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." verse 17
~ 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 HIMAND KEEP HIS COMMANDMENTS;
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."
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 answer is that love cannot be unconditional.
The LORD abhors the man of bloodshed and deceit."
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?"
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 (or biblical) 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 Was NOT God's Idea!
Hell was created because there can be NO fellowship between light and darkness.
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 False Doctrines
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 we 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 goodto those who persecute them, (when used as a "proof-text" for unconditional love) teaches a non-contextual understanding of love.
This scripture is examined because it has been incorrectly suggested as a proof text for the idea that we are to hate the sin and unconditionally love the sinner.
Jesus was teaching that 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.
~ 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 love.
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 (all types of 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.
Logically, if there were no inherent moral conditions regarding the love expressed or within the framework whereby it is to be experienced by human beings,
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 - to kill innocent human life)."
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.
~ This is LOVE ~
It is on this inherent moral ground of our personal value that God directs us to, "...love your neighbor as you love yourself." Matthew 22:39
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 are 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 wrong 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 those who understand that GOD IS really there in a REAL world -- and who have chosen to Love God in return.
This teaching is about how each person who loves God, should be willing to expose God's moral kindness to an enemy. It is not teaching that we have given up our fundamental human rights or that we must love without conditions.
It is a command that the Christian is to DO something good to the enemy, in spite of being persecuted by an enemy, in order to emulate the mercy and kindness (which is inherent in love) of God to His eternal enemies.
This misunderstanding (that love is unconditional) regarding what love is (more and more being taught by Christian teachers and counselors) flows, uncontested through entire congregations.
It moves destructively and insidiously into the lives of families, individual men, women and children.
The truth that love must be exclusive of evil is the moral imperative (making it absolutely necessary) of Love
As such 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.
Regardless of what type of love one is talking about… the moral obligation of love by which we are to treat an enemy within a non-persecuting choice of behavior or the love within relational love, there must be moral conditions met 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.
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.
Every human relationship requires this concept of love: That there must be moral conditions that are active within every relationship for the relationship to be able to be sustained.
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." John 13:1 ~~~~~
"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.
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