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Saturday, December 14, 2013

Merit vs. Condition

Yesterday on Facebook, I posited the following:

"There is no such thing as 'unconditional love'.

Think, then discuss."

I actually did not want to bring God into it, so of course it was in the first and second comments made, rather like the riddles people put up for others to play with, and the first commenter ruins it by giving the answer (these are likely the same kids who kept their hand up constantly from the front row, buttressing their flailing appendage with their other hand. They generally got beaten up during recess.)

I do not even believe that God's love is unconditional. Love IS His condition. He MUST love, and it takes a lot to negate that love. As Christians, our agape love is conditional, because He commands us to love as He loves. Mileage may vary on this.

The Dread Dormomoo her own self and I discussed this at length, and have come to the conclusion that 

1) People don't know what they are talking about.
2) People really need a good dictionary (I resort to Merriam-Webster)

One thing that was apparent is a conflating of Condition with Merit. To bring God into it, here is the thing: God places conditions on things. He is a covenant-making God, it's what He does! In Acts 2, when the Jews learned that they had crucified the Son of God, the Messiah for whom they had waited for centuries, they cried "What can we DO??!" The apostle Peter said: "Repent, be baptised for the remission of your sins, and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.". God placed a condition upon the proffered salvation. However, fulfilling the condition is not the same as earning or meriting that favor. And therein lies the confusion, which has turned the Faith Once Delivered into a hodge-podge of conflicting modes and incantations.


Michael W said...

OK, I think I've figured out what's bothering me here. The issue is not the level of love but, rather, the duration.

Unconditional love might be impossible on a constant basis. But I feel that it is possible to experience unconditional love at certain moments.

Doom said...

Oh, God's love, in one sense, is extraordinarily conditional. He doesn't stop loving, we can merely, easily, turn away from it. Much like sunshine for all of history (minus clouds and night). We can stay indoors and avoid those rays, but that is us, not the sun, or God. God is even more prevalent than the sun. Think of sunshine that can only be turned off by personal will. Neither man or Satan have found a way to actually block it from others who want it.

As I suggested before, love exists even in hell. The desecration that occurs there is how they attempt to fend it off. Well, there and here, for those who knowingly choose against it.