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Thread: A conundrum on God's love

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    Re: A conundrum on God's love

    A person does not merely love their neighbor by not stealing from them. A person loves their neighbor by doing all that they can for the neighbor for the well-being of the neighbor. If Jesus did this to every single person then He would have also died for every single person and regenerated every single person.
    For whatever strength of arm he may have who swims in the open sea, yet in time he is carried away and sunk, mastered by the greatness of its waves. Need then there is that we be in the ship, that is, that we be carried in the wood, that we may be able to cross this sea. Now this Wood in which our weakness is carried is the Cross of the Lord, by which we are signed, and delivered from the dangerous tempests of this world.--St. Augustine

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    Re: A conundrum on God's love

    I'm going to respond with sarcasm to make a point....

    Hey, it sure is loving of those muslim terrorists not to kill me!
    This is my signature.

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    Re: A conundrum on God's love

    wildboar---I catch your point, but is that what the law really requires of men ("doing all that they can for the neighbor for the well-being of the neighbor")? Or, is that a construction that has been superimposed upon the law? How would you prove that the law teaches that construction from the Scriptures? Sincere question.

    Perhaps a more complete description would be: Doing all that I can for the well-being of my neighbor within the time constraints God has given me, according to the gifts and abilities God has given me, proportioned by my proximate relationship to my neighbor (e.g., degree of "neighbor-ness"), consistent with my commitment and adoration of my Triune God.

    Darth---I'll take that as a "loving" jab . Anyway, the muslim terrorists are somewhat hindered in doing what they would like to do for/to you.

    Don't miss my point, please. Is or is not the decalogue a compendium of how we must love? If it is, then "not stealing" must be viewed as subset of the whole.

    Javelin
    Defend the Bible? I would just as soon defend a lion. Just turn the Bible loose. It will defend itself.
    -----Charles Haddon Spurgeon

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    Re: A conundrum on God's love

    Pardon my ignorance, but why everytime we discuss "love" (for anybody) we have to use the "legal" standard for love?

    I propose, as in a few posts above, that we should discuss "love" as it is taught by the New Covenant: In the New Covenant "love" is a
    1. new commandment,
    2. new standard (As Christ loved us and no longer as "we love ourselves"
    3. It is restricted to the "circle" of Christ's followers. This is proven by the fact that Jesus says: "they shall know you are MY DISCIPLES..."
    I propose that to attempt to analyze God's love for anyone, elect or unelect, using the legal standard in the Old Covenant is to miss entirely what was NEW about Jesus' commands.

    Okay, Jesus "loved" some to fulfill the Law... He also fulfilled the law in that he partook of many Jewish feasts and was present in a few of them. That does not mean that we are to "fulfill" the same.

    Although I really admire Javelin's reasonings (I also appreciate the fact that he has not labeled us anything yet and it appears that he will not), I fail to understand the relevance of saying that Jesus loved his enemies to fulfill the law, and that he fed some reprobates as well as some elect, if this is mentioned to establish anything between "the abstract concept of love from its concrete fulfillment". He is probably right and I am wrong, but I fail to see how.

    I believe that Jesus abides today by the NEW commandment that He gave His disciples with repercussions for us, which is in a restricted field. He tells us to love our enemies as He loved His: Calling them "generation of vipers, children of the devil, and sepulchers".

    Again, no one is denying that God is good and feeds His birds, clothes His lillies and His other creatures such as men, and allows or makes the wicked and the reprobate to prosper. If He does that out of some "special" kind of love is what I fail to perceive.

    I don't want to degrade the high level of this discussion, but I "love" my dog and I love my sons. I feed my dog and I feed my sons. I give my dog shelter and I give my sons shelter, do I love my dog as I love my sons? Is what I feel for my dog the same as what I feel for my sons? Can the love I feel for my dog be really love?

    Milt
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    A pitiful servant of God; a pitbull guardian of the message of Grace

    My pledge to other members:
    A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger. Prov 15:1
    A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver - Prov. 25:11

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    Re: A conundrum on God's love

    Javelin:

    Not killing people is showing perhaps an absence of hatred toward a person but it could hardly be called an act of love. The unregenerate man cannot love in the true sense of the word and yet we find many unregenerate men who manage to live their entire lives without physically harming anyone. If I were to see my neighbor fall into a pit and I had it within my ability to get him out but I chose not to, could you really say I loved that neighbor just because I didn't push him into that pit? And yet Christ came into contact with countless people who were dead in their trespasses and sins and whom He was capable of regenerating but He didn't, and you want me to believe He loved those people?

    In your profile you list the Heidelberg Catechism as being an accurate representation of what you believe. Is the Catechism wrong in teaching the positive commands which go along with the prohibitions and which all the reformers including Calvin taught?

    Q. 107 But is it enough that we do not kill any man in the manner mentioned above? A. No; for when God forbids envy, hatred, and anger, he commands us to love our neighbor as ourselves;(7) to show patience, peace, meekness, mercy, and all kindness, towards him,(8) and prevent his hurt as much as in us lies;(9) and that we do good, even to our enemies.(10) (7) Mat. 22:39; Mat. 7:12 (8) Rom. 12:10; Eph. 4:2; Gal. 6:1,2; Mat. 5:5; Rom. 12:18; Ex. 23:5 (9) Mat. 5:45 (10) Rom. 12:20
    For whatever strength of arm he may have who swims in the open sea, yet in time he is carried away and sunk, mastered by the greatness of its waves. Need then there is that we be in the ship, that is, that we be carried in the wood, that we may be able to cross this sea. Now this Wood in which our weakness is carried is the Cross of the Lord, by which we are signed, and delivered from the dangerous tempests of this world.--St. Augustine

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    Re: A conundrum on God's love

    Bill Twisse said something about it being ok to hate certain people after thier death if they are known enemies of God....couple quick questions and points.....

    1 a. If we can hate known enemies of God after thier death, is it a commandment or is it something that should be done by faith?

    1 b. Same question to people who are living. If one contend that is alright to hate someone who is alive is this a commandment or is it something that should be done by faith?

    2. If it is not a commandment then why would you hate anybody?

    3. What if my dad died an enemy of God ? ( which praise God is not the case ) I would not hate my dad. I would however hate his sin and the way he lived his life but I would never hate the person. ( I might have to clarify person here but i dont have the time right now ) If a caring family member died without Christ would you hate them? If not then why should you hate another person who you know dies without Christ? That person has family members who still love him or her. Unless you would like to debate the definition of love and if there are differennt kinds of love....

    4. If we can only hate Known enemies of God after thier death then this is going to be a very limited amount of people. How do I know if God did not draw someone to His Son hours before this persons death. Unless I see some body dying and cursing God or read about a person dying without God in the Bible how do I know a person died without Christ.

    5. So it just doesnt make sense to me why we should hate anybody, like wildboar pointed out, hatred of a brother is murder. Now one might contend this only means the elect, but how does anybody know everyone who is elect.

    6. As far as God hatred of the non elect, thats a different story...as you see in the old testament -- Noahs Ark -- God did not seem too loving to his enemies.....

    7. But back to us, those who have been set apart.....Christ came with a New Covanent.. and the resounding theme is love love love love---I would be careful before I start looking for all the people that I could or should hate

    anyways I wrote this kinda quickly --- sorry if the post is irrelevant to anything that has been posted or if it is just flat out the most ignorant post you have ever read---anyways God Bless everyone

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    Re: A conundrum on God's love

    Milt---The law gives us the "ABC's" of love. If we want to understand love (which involves understanding God, who is Love), we need to start with the "ABC's". The Gospel of John does mention a "new" commandment, but this commandment does not negate the didactic character of the Ten Commandments, whose moral character is ongoing.

    wildboar---No, I agree with the Reformed conception that God intended us to extrapolate both positive and negative understandings from the Ten Commandments. The two are like sides of a coin. The sides face opposite directions, but together form a single coin. Just because "not stealing" is the inverse of "giving" does not mean that it is less a part of the concept of love.

    To regenerate men is properly an act of Divinity, of the Godhead. Although the law requires love, it directs its requirements towards finite men and does not encompass acts of God. Jesus' humanity was subject to the law. Jesus' divinity was not. How does this fit with the doctrine of the unipersonality of Christ? I would not want to venture down that road. However, we should rest assured that Christ obeyed the law . . . and that law did not require its subjects to parse out the otherwise hidden personal eternal destiny of each neighbor. Likewise, Jesus was not obligated by the law to regenerate every human because regeneration is a divine act, not a human act.

    By the way, even though I'm Baptist, I still love the Heidelberg Catechism and consider it one of the most articulate and beautiful expressions and compendiums of the Christian faith.

    Javelin
    Defend the Bible? I would just as soon defend a lion. Just turn the Bible loose. It will defend itself.
    -----Charles Haddon Spurgeon

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    Re: A conundrum on God's love

    Milt---The law gives us the "ABC's" of love. If we want to understand love (which involves understanding God, who is Love), we need to start with the "ABC's". The Gospel of John does mention a "new" commandment, but this commandment does not negate the didactic character of the Ten Commandments, whose moral character is ongoing.
    Thanks! That's an interesting view. I know that many defend that the moral aspect of the law is ongoing and I have no problems with it. The opposite would be indefensable. However, I would rather love those whom Jesus told me to love "as He loves them", although falling short of such standard, and "love" my enemies legally, if we can characterize such love as love... That is my only objection to your theory.

    By the way, I received a private message from you with no "message". Since we're neighbors, I would really love to meet you! I visited Wildboar once in his work in Grand Rapids and I feel that we lack a little fellowship personally, at least with those whom I am neighbor with... Let me know! Sorry to bring this up publicly, but the "private" messaging is not working.

    Milt
    Grace Ambassador
    A pitiful servant of God; a pitbull guardian of the message of Grace

    My pledge to other members:
    A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger. Prov 15:1
    A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver - Prov. 25:11

  9. #29
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    Re: A conundrum on God's love

    Everyone come to Baker Book House on a Monday or Thursday night when it's slow
    For whatever strength of arm he may have who swims in the open sea, yet in time he is carried away and sunk, mastered by the greatness of its waves. Need then there is that we be in the ship, that is, that we be carried in the wood, that we may be able to cross this sea. Now this Wood in which our weakness is carried is the Cross of the Lord, by which we are signed, and delivered from the dangerous tempests of this world.--St. Augustine

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    Re: A conundrum on God's love

    Guys . . . great idea. My schedule is kind of cramped at present. Let's try to do this sometime. Baker at 28th and East Paris . . . right?

    Javelin
    Defend the Bible? I would just as soon defend a lion. Just turn the Bible loose. It will defend itself.
    -----Charles Haddon Spurgeon

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    Re: A conundrum on God's love

    Yup...the good one with the used book section
    For whatever strength of arm he may have who swims in the open sea, yet in time he is carried away and sunk, mastered by the greatness of its waves. Need then there is that we be in the ship, that is, that we be carried in the wood, that we may be able to cross this sea. Now this Wood in which our weakness is carried is the Cross of the Lord, by which we are signed, and delivered from the dangerous tempests of this world.--St. Augustine

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