Friday, July 06, 2007

"Unconditional love": two questions

  1. Does it seem to you as if those most vocally demanding to be shown "unconditional love" always exempt themselves from the obligation?
  2. Does it seem to you that the demand for "unconditional love" always end up being a demand for unconditional approval?


James Kubecki said...

I sometimes think when people speak of "unconditional love" they mean "love those who are unconditional."

Terry Rayburn said...

1. Yes.
2. Yes.

Very perceptive.

This is one of your gifts, Dan. Taking what is "obvious" only after someone points it out, and being the one to point it out.

Always making us think.

Since love is a fruit of the Spirit, what we see is the most biblically unspiritual people are often the most demanding of biblical spirituality.

The biblically spiritual one (i.e., filled with the Spirit, or walking by the Spirit) is thereby in a position to care less whether he is loved by another, unconditionally or otherwise, being content in the love of God and what is right.

He will still love and forgive, and do right, whether he is loved and forgiven in return or not.

Rand said...

Yes, and yes.


Personal experience with your question # 1:

While preaching the Gospel downtown, I had a homosexual throw his cigarette at me, and he said:

"You unloving, hateful *%$#!"

Personal experience with your question # 2:

My wife and I refused to go to the funeral service for her grandfather, which raised the ire of her family. The reason we did this was to take a stand against the false religion of her family, which of course, would have declared her unregenerate grandfather, a saved man.

Well, you can very well guess what charge came up: "You are sooo unloving!" We tried to reason that our stand WAS loving; we did our best to explain that love does NOT mean, as you have put it, unconditional approval.

Sadly, it didn't go over too well.


Tom Chantry said...

What's fascinating about this short post is its universality. The absence of context leaves me wondering, is he talking about politics? international affairs? theogical debate? counseling? preaching? parenting? And it doesn't really matter, because you could take any of those contexts and prove the statements in this post true!

DJP said...

You're a sharp man, Tom Chantry.

David said...

Yes, especially #2.

David A. Carlson said...

what everyone else said

Livingsword said...

Interesting points, and of course it is clear that commonly the answers would be yes to both statements.

1. Although they do “exempt themselves from the obligation” they actually have no obligation as they are not claiming the same belief system as we as followers of Jesus are. They are often just pointing out how often our walk does not match our talk, and/or as is commonly referred to these days as “genuineness”. If we really believe this then why are we so weak at living it? They are pointing out that we should live by the “rules of the game” we are proclaiming. They on the other hand are not claiming to be part of this. “Sinners” act as…

2. Excellent point! So how can we better model Godly love for the lost but still not show approval for their actions? How did Jesus do it? How did He interact with “religious” people (sinners) differently from blatant hedonists and other aggressively clear “sinners” (sinners)?

Kevin Stilley said...

You are so judgmental. ;)

Daniel said...

Everyone else has said as much, but #2 is the coup, those who equate love with approval can get quite loud when they are shown the one and not the other.