Friday, May 15, 2020

Love? Or Justice? Covenant or Contract?

If God relates to us conditionally, through a contract, in a religious way, then God no longer loves us. We must be talking about another sort of God. Certainly we are not talking about the God who is definitively revealed by Jesus.

Love is not conditional. We have just seen this when we talked about healthy families and deep friendships. Love is irrevocable. It is unconditional. It never gives up, never lets go. If we introduce conditions into our relationships with people then we only love them if they fulfill those conditions. If they break those conditions we stop loving them. If God only loves us when we fulfill certain conditions then God has to be conditioned into loving us, and this is quite a limited situation. God’s fundamental attitude toward us—to which he will immediately return if the right conditions are not fulfilled—is something different from love, and is presumably just. This is, moreover, how God relates to most people since most people in history have not been members of the church. Now justice is okay, but it can be very harsh, and it certainly isn’t love; and love based on the fulfillment of certain conditions isn’t love either. I am not a husband or a parent who loves his family because my spouse and my children fulfill certain conditions. Our relationships are not based on contracts or justice. My family can do nothing to break this relationship. It is a covenant, not a contract, and God is just the same. Love is higher than justice as the heavens are higher than the earth.—Paul: An Apostle’s Journey, 140–41

<idle musing>
It boils down to this: Is love an attribute of God? Or is love who God is in essence? If an attribute, then God isn't love; God chooses to love some and not others. If that is true, then god is capricious and not worthy of love. Such a god is worthy of fear and probably worship, but not love.

Personally, I believe the scriptures teach that God is love. It is who God is, not a mere attribute like justice or power.

Just an
</idle musing>

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