Love Is Not Unconditional - Love Is Moral Or It's Not Love-Page 4Summary - Title: Religious Counseling Within Love Relationships - Ethics Are Moral Aren't They-Page 4Marriage - Dating - Family Counseling - The Moral Foundations - Page 4
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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.
Well-known Christian television personalities have written 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 the Bible actually say about these kinds of issues? --- "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 ~ - God is talking about moral battles. "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." - Matthew 10:32-39
The apostles also, taught a consistent view of the moral 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 should 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 Christian community, "...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." ~ Notice that Paul was keeping his instructions in context. He did not tell them to call a meeting and vote the person out of the congregation or to have a committee to write 'removal' directives --- or any procedural process.
He had already told them how to reprove a Christian who was practicing sin openly through each member personally removing social (brotherhood within community) acceptance from the person (until the person repented and removed him/herself from the sin being practiced) ~
Paul expresses the same foundational truth about love that Jesus taught.
We are to Love God FIRST ~~ This moral obligation on how we are to live life within every relationship we allow ourselves to invest in, provides an inherant right for each person to remove him/herself from a personal environment that is morally wrong.
This Biblical teaching has large implications to personal counseling.
Love Is Always Moral.
~ The context of Paul's response was describing a public sin that every member knew about.
The context is not Paul requiring them to set-up a system of moral control over the personal lives of the people who had chosen to work and worship within that local Christian community.
Paul made sure they understood his viewpoint by 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 God. I Corinthians 5:9-13
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 moral 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. This states the moral 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 an innocent 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 (that what is yours, 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, 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 Can Only 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. The only way to define, "Unconditional love" is to to label it what it rationally becomes - a license to deny love is moral. Love cannot be understood OUTSIDE God's nature
MORALITY TO HAVE ANY RATIONAL MEANING MUST HAVE MORAL BOUNDARIES -- MORAL CONDITIONS
Rationally and biblically, an idea that provides license to evil when it is attempted to be practiced, is in reality, a doctrine of demons.
It is this reality about love that compelled, the Apostle Paul to warn the Christians at Corinth:
"And you have become arrogant, you 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
The ultimately arrogant defense: "We didn't mean for it to happen." is a childish lie whenever an adult responds to a personal crisis within his or her relationship by such a "defense."
Love is moral or it's not love.
Within any counseling situation, to misunderstand what love is, betrays that person who is expecting justice and possible reconcilation support or freedom from injustice.
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 television 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 her abusive husband. The woman said that the Bible teaches that she should obey her husband. Incredibly, the interviewer allowed the statement to stand unchallenged.
The Bible does not claim that a wife should submit to her husband's desires, hopes and dreams outside of Christian morality.
In Biblical fact, it teaches that all Christians are to submit to each under OTHER only within Christian morality.
A Christian husband had been taught to submit to his wife's hopes and desires (the husband was taught to give himself to her AS Christ gave Himself for the Church -- that is a self-sacrificial love - a "submitting" passion).
This submitting Will is always within biblical morality, not outside it:
There were to be no "Leaders" or "Masters" within the Christian community as Christ taught: Matthew 23:10-11
Ephesians 5 The context of the scripture begins with the author of Ephesians stating a fundamental moral position regarding personal respect and caring response to every member from every member,
"...and be subject to one another in the fear of Christ..."
As the writer continued the same message, he wrote, "...Wives be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord." Ephesians 5:21-22
To the husband, the writer of Ephesians sets forth the moral conditions of how he is to love his wife:
Husbands, LOVE your wives, just AS CHRIST ALSO LOVED THE CHURCH AND GAVE HIMSELF FOR HER; ." Ephesians 5:25
The Holy Spirit in rendering what God wanted His people to understand about being "subject" -- to "...one another..." in the "fear" of Christ -- Understandably, made it clear that All women were not in subjection to All men -- emphasizing that all "subjection" as being only within the morality of the biblical God, including marriage (see Ephesians 5:22)
Each Christian has the option (the obligation) 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!).
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, causes 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
Repentance for our sins is the ONLY moral basis for reconcilation - with God and within all troubled relationships in life!
What About Hate?
The Bible Teaches Both Hate and Love Are Moral Imperatives.
"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
God's Prophet, David declared: "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
David did not say that to hate was a moral wrong. He said that he was hated "wrongfully." David understood hate as a right response regarding unrepentant evildoers and not a thing reserved to God only.
David wrote: "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." Psalm 139:21-22
Does the right to feel hate mean Christians should hate all those who are indifferent, non-believing or hostile to Christ and His followers?
To take a look at a more indepth study, click on the, "ChristianResearch" banner below - It will take you to the initial examination of the meaning of love within the Christian worldview.
Looking closer at the meaning of the word, "hate."
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.
The question: "Did David do wrong in hating those who did evil?"
God stated that David did right before Him except in one sin (David's hatred toward evildoers was never criticized by God).
The Bible reveals that David understood the moral nature of God --- that to love justice, is to hate evil.
It is this understanding of God's moral PURITY that brought David to his knees WITHOUT argument or attempted rationalization when God pointed David's sin out to him.
Because the modern world has lost sight of the requirments of a HOLY God, is not God's fault.
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
The teaching of the bible is that God loves those who love Him within the moral conditions of His moral nature.
The Biblical examination of the term, "unconditional love," proves that it does not find its origination or inspiration within the pages of scripture.
In reality, this idea, that love can (and/or should) be unconditional, when attempting to place it within one's life, results in betraying the moral nature of God and His commandments and denies that God gave Mankind the human-right of self-defense.
The God of the Bible is a HOLY God. It is impossible for God to love without or outside moral "conditions."
The logic is overwhelming. 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.
God Does Not Lie!
What About Romans 5:8-9?
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." Romans 5:8-9
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.
~ That this false concept of love has swept the Christian world with so little challenge is nothing less than amazing.
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 God's moral Nature to be impugned (to be brought into question).
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 (Christian servants who taught and watched over doctrine in the first century) were 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." Titus 1:9
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." John 3:16
"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." Acts 2:41
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