I read this thing about love the other day and I tried to ignore it. I really did. I was just gonna let it go, but it keeps sitting there in my brain waiting to be exorcised.
I have lots of problems with the way people talk about God, love and Christianity. Most of what is said just irritates me, which is the opposite of love, I know, I know. But seriously.
Here is one bit that I read:
“If I am to possess the kind of love for people that God holds, how is that going to happen?
“The beginning of love is to let those we love be perfectly themselves, and not to twist them to fit our own image. Otherwise, we love only the reflection of ourselves we find in them.”
The struggle is to figure out how to love others as God loves, which is a fine thing to think on. The author goes on in the next paragraph to say,
“Before each of us comes to trust in Christ we are already perfectly loved by God. He does not require that we change who we are as individuals in order to first receive that love.”
Now, OK, let me say I agree to an extent. But then there’s this whole other extent to which I don’t.
Does God love everyone? Yes He does. “For God so loved the world.”
Does God love in a way that does not make them fit His own image? No. The whole point of the Gospel is to conform us into the image of Christ from glory to glory.
Is it true that God does not require that we change in order to first receive His love? Yes, He does not make us change to be loved, we love Him because He first loved us.
However, I take exception to the statement that “before each of us comes to trust in Christ we are already perfectly loved by God.” I don’t think so.
Now, again, maybe, depending on how you define words. An unbeliever is not “perfectly loved by God.” He just isn’t and there’s no way he could be. “Love covers a multitude of sin” yet the unbeliever does not have his sins covered, therefore he must not have God’s perfect love.
What about John when he says, “If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us.” If you are an unbeliever, you can’t love others, and thus, God does not dwell in you and His perfect love is not shown through you cuz it aint in you..
Again, I tried to let this go because I know the quote above is common knowledge in Christianity today, but it just hits me as being off.
There is a general sense in which God loves all people, and then there is a particular sense in which He loves His people. It’s the difference between how I love my wife and how I love the women in my church. It’s the difference between how I love my kids and how I love your kids.
The quotes above sound nice, who would argue with such things? Apparently I would. I’m probably a jerk, but alas, it had to be exorcised.