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Thursday, June 5, 2014

Jesus-Follower or "christian"? - Part 4b - Unlove

(This is Part 4b.  Click here for Part 1)

God is Love and has no needs but freely chose to create the heavens and the earth.  He programmed the material world to function in largely predictable ways.  Even living beings were genetically programmed.  We like to anthropomorphize animals and pretend that they have human-like thoughts and feelings but for the most part the operate purely on instinct.

Having made and programmed the worlds, God said, "Let us make man in our image."   The Bible doesn't specify what this means but in context it clearly refers to those qualities that differentiate us from the rest of the animal kingdom and that we share with God.

God, being Love, desired to create beings who could Love.  But you cannot program Love.  A sow's "love" for her piglets, or even a dog's "love" for it's master, are not the type of Love we are speaking of.  Love is a choice that often means going against one's instincts (e.g., for self-preservation).  It involves emotions, intellect, will and character. You might be able to program a robot to act and speak in "loving" ways toward you, but you cannot program it to Love you.  Love that is programmed, whether by DNA or silicon chips, is not genuine Love.  For genuine Love choice must be involved.

The problem and danger therefore is that creating beings who could truly Love meant creating beings who could choose not to Love.  One could choose to hate or one could choose to simply not care.  Either way one is making a choice that God would not and could not make.  In choosing not to Love, one is choosing to sin.

So Genesis goes on to tell us how Adam and Eve made a choice not based on Love and Sin entered into the world and into the race through them.  Since that time no human baby needs to be taught how to be selfish or unloving.  With this Sin come all of the problems of modern humanity: wars, cheating, lying, stealing, abusing, as well as all forms of selfishness and not-caring.  We all know how hard it is to live 24/7 in such a way that we put others and their needs and longings above our own.  It was never God's intention for us to be this way.

Romans 13:10 tells us that Love is the fulfillment of the Law.  All of the commandments were given to either forbid behaviors that interfere with Love, or to teach us how to be more Loving people.

But commandments and prohibitions cannot, in and of themselves, turn selfish people into Loving people.  The Law can point the way, but more is needed.  That brings us to another unique doctrine of Christianity, Grace.

1 comment:

Jamie said...

Where is part 4c? And how do I find myself reading a Christian blog and asking where the next part is?