God Is Love….God Is Light

If God is Love, then maybe this should change everything we think about God? What do I mean by change everything? If God is Love, then maybe our view of justice doesn’t do God justice.

If God is Love, then maybe this should change everything we think about God? What do I mean by change everything? What I mean is, if God is Love, then that should change the way we see God…see Jesus…see each other…and even see ourselves relating to God. We are obsessed with judgement and wrath, yet we talk of love and compassion in the same sentence. We want to see god-is-lighthuman versions of justice exacted on our enemies by God, all the while, we want to say that God will stand up and defend our rights and our freedoms. The results we really want is the hope that those who threaten us will be taken down under the wrath and judgement of a holy and righteous God, which of course we think is on our side. But I want to ask…who has a problem with this view of God? Should we be OK believing in a God that would answer our prayers of vengeance on our enemies? We want to see justice served and we want our enemies that refuse to believe like us to experience the flames of hell and eternal torment. But if God is Love, are we not asking God to deliver something that is contrary to his very divine nature? Are we not asking God to think like us? In addition, what if our enemy’s god answered their prayers about our destruction…what then?

We see pastors that say things like this from the pulpits to stir the pot of fear,

“Hell is a literal place of torment for those who consciously and willingly reject the matchless, sacrificial love of God found in Jesus Christ. Hell is not a state of being; it’s not a metaphor; it’s not a symbol. Hell is a real place.”

My first question is…how would this person know? The answer…this person doesn’t really know the above statement to be true. They may think it to be true based on subjective denominational statements of faith and certain evangelical translations of verses in the bible, but when we get to the very end of the line, this person does not know if there is a literal hell or not. So why do pastors take the liberty to make statements that are most certainly unknowable at this stage in human existence? The answer…control, which is absolutely the opposite of Love. But I don’t want to talk about control. However, I do want to get you to ask yourself questions like…if God is Light and in him there is no darkness…in him there is nothing but the manifestation of Love, then is hell really the place that we think it is? Is it the place that all these pastors behind the pulpits say it is? Do they really know anything at all about something they have never experienced?

 

So, if God is Love…if God is Light, how does this help us understand the idea of hell within the fallen human condition? I am saying that we cannot understand anything about heaven, hell, salvation, or any other doctrine unless we can see that God is Love. Most pastors result to saying you need the bible, but truth can only exist after Love, not before it. Our lens for interpreting the bible, logically, would be to see all scripture from the point that God is Love…that God is Light and in Him there is no darkness. I do not believe that we need to take that “in him there is no darkness” as a way to say that God cannot be in the presence of sin. Rather, it seems that this is a way of saying that God, through his self-emptying, self humbling divine nature, is the opposite of our self-centered, violent, wrathful, retributive idea of justice.

What is more plausible…that a literal hell exists through righteous judgement (explained in literature alone) or that when we play the accuser (which is the meaning of the title “satan”) in others lives, and then we throw them into hell as a result? Is not the job of satan to accuse? So, do we join in on the satanic when we accuse others, especially if we use our subjective truths of the bible to do so? Let me be more specific here… I believe we can play “the satan” in another’s life. Through accusations that stem from a rivalry, they believe the accusations to be true. The belief of accusations, coming from the fundamentalist, manifests itself as the demonic, which creates hell in their life…and in the lives around them. Is hell a real place somewhere off where no one can see it or is it a real place that we find ourselves in or help others to enter through our accusations we feel justified to dish out? Just ask those who have been beaten by their fathers their entire childhood and believe they are worthless because of it. The father and son find themselves in an arena of rivalry and violence that creates “weeping and gnashing of teeth” for both involved. What breaks this rivalrous cycle of violence and accusations? Love does of course. When we understand that God is Love…that God is Light, we then see that our own lives benefit from living in that Love that was and is manifested through the person of Jesus through his example. Nothing cane8011b8b3e95303208b2feb1bab551f8 break the cycle of violence like the self-emptying, self-humbling Love that Jesus showed all of humanity through his life, death, and resurrection.

Just think about it…if God is Love, does he need to live up to our idea of earthly justice? If God is Light and in him there is no darkness, will he then throw you into the darkness of hell because you did not know that Love benefits all and is salvation? These are questions we all need to ask ourselves over and over again. We do not need pastors behind pulpits shaking their fists in the air determining who is saved and who is not and will end up in hell. What we need are real people who understand the “Good News”….that God has reconciled all people to himself and that real salvation comes when we step outside of the rivalries around us…become self-emptying and self-humbling…and see that those around us are more important than ourselves. What is more important to you…showing your rival that they are truly Loved, or shaming them to see that you are right? Also, ask yourself….do you want hell to exist so God will throw those in who don’t believe like you? If you said yes…is that Love?

Author: The Religious Vortex

I want to have real, heart felt conversations on religion and how it effects our lives...the good and the bad. Why? Because I believe that religion is different than following Christ and living in the Life System He came to set us free in, which is The Kingdom of God. We need to contemplate that religion is man-made and that being in religion doesn't mean that we are in Christ.

18 thoughts on “God Is Love….God Is Light”

  1. Thank you for your post, and for the depth of thought you placed into it.

    You make a poignant argument for the dissonance between the compassion we are called to have towards one another, and that which is so often lacking in expression. I agree that too often there is condemnation, rather than love, but it stems from the fact that we are all more inclined towards the nature of our flesh, then to the nature of our Father. We know in part, and we act in part. Whether it’s justice, or love, our understanding of those concepts are simply what we are capable of understanding. Hence, we are urged by the Word to continually seek a greater understanding.

    The Word absolutely mentions hell. What it is exactly, only God can sufficiently explain. However, I don’t think it’s predicated by our judgements. I think the greater pursuit here though, is seeking a true understanding of God’s love.

    Love isn’t all accepting, it disciplines. It doesn’t just dismiss a wrong, it transforms it. Firstly, through acknowledgement, and then through correction. An act of forgiveness has no significance if that which is being forgiven carries no weight. Jesus’ death didn’t undo our sins, it transformed them into the redeeming power of His love for us.

    Also, I feel love is more than just being selfless. It’s adopting what’s in the best interest of others, and not just putting them before you. If everyone was to practice selflessness, there would be no impetus towards anything. However, Christliness propels us to do good towards each other. It empties us of self-motivation, and fills us with the earnest desire to do the best for another. It’s not a state of selflessness, but otherfullness.

    God bless

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    1. I love your conversation here….my first thought is that I think that Jesus was self-emptying, not necessarily selfless. Philippians 2 seems to say that Jesus ,being God, was showing God to be self-emptying….that his divine nature is to be self-emptying. So as Jesus was of no reputation, so is the Father through being self-humbling. I would love to expand our conversation on this, because I believe it is important. What do think?

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      1. I am whole heartedly with you if by self-emptying you mean not being self-serving. I just feel that it’s important to emphasize that simply lacking a thing, doesn’t necessarily make you something else. For example, take someone who has an addiction. By simply abstaining, or removing that particular habit, they are not fundamentally any different. It takes replacing that core drive with something radically other, to engender a true change.

        If self-emptying ends only at self, then it is only selflessness. However, if once emptied of self, we allow ourselves to be filled with the desires of God, that is when we become Christlike. Jesus removed any personal ambition, or self-serving desires in order to serve God to His fullest. He humbled Himself, so that the Father would be exalted in Him. He replaced the drive to serve self, with the drive to serve God, and others. Philippians 2:4 was exactly what I was referring to by having otherfullness.

        God doesn’t call us to hold others in higher esteem than ourselves because we are inherently less than, or lower than them, but because if every person held themselves as the highest, they would only have the esteem of one person, themselves. If however, each of us elevates others before ourselves, we too are elevated as every other person elevates us before themselves. It’s ingenious honestly. It’s also the principal behind Jesus’ statement in Matthew 20:27.

        Although it may seem as slavery to the world to serve others, in truth, in serving ourselves only, we actually become enslaved. We become dependent, whether it be for prestige, or worldly wealth, or whatever. But when we serve others, we become free in that we are no longer burdened by a dependence, but bound by love, and respect for one another. Paul really knocks the concept of servitude out of the park in Romans 6:16-23.

        It is not that Jesus is of no reputation, it is that He sought no reputation for Himself. His desire was only to glorify God, to the extent that “being in the form of God…took upon Him the form of a servant…and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross” Phi 2:6-8. To the contrary, He has been exalted to the right hand of God.

        It is in this same sense of being self-emptying that the Father, manifest in the Son, came to serve His creation unto death, so that they would be exalted in the Son unto life. Our God is awesome.

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      2. We are on the same page here. Excellent explanation and I could not agree more with being self-emptying so that we can fill that with Christ likeness. Do you believe that my last 4 or 5 posts convey this? How would you critique it if I haven’t?

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    2. I bring up hell to see what it really means to us. If we think it is far off and avoidable, then we may never see the hell that we cause in others lives through judgement and rivalry. Once we deal with the reality of hell in those around us, by helping them to come out of it through Love, then we can contemplate the possibility of a place of eternal torment.

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      1. No, I agree with you. I think the concept of hell shouldn’t be treated as a distant, or removed principal from our lives, just as I think our salvation shouldn’t be treated as a far away thing of the past, or future. I think that separation is what causes people not to truly live by the grace that Jesus grants us. If a person thinks that their eternal condition is somehow divorced from the moment they live in, they might be more inclined to cause hurt, or be insensitive to others. Our salvation, or damnation bears fruit in our actions every moment.

        Although I agree that we can, and often do cause torment in the lives of others, to equate that condition of life to hell is an injustice to life. I am not trying to diminish, or minimize the suffering of those who are tormented, nor advocate that there is any leniency for treating others badly, but rather to promote the hope that there is always an opportunity to turn things around in life. Hell does not afford that chance.

        We should all strive to serve, and love one another as we have been commanded to do. But before we can see the damage we cause in others lives, we have to be able see the damage we cause in our own. The first victim of an outburst of anger isn’t the other person on the receiving end, but the angry person with their loss of peace, and the sin that is committed.

        I agree with everything that you are saying, and I really support the points you make. There needs to be overall more awareness of what we are doing to others, and what we are doing to ourselves. We all need to understand that salvation, and damnation are not future conditions unattached from the moment, but conditions that are intimately tied to the choices that we make every day. As long as we are alive, we have the choice to decide that, one way or the other.

        I suppose my only challenge though, is over the semantics of the word hell. That’s only because it can be a point of contention between believers.

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  2. I really enjoy your site, and the quality of discussion you bring. It would be a pleasure to go back and read your older posts, and I’m sure you will hear from me, one way or the other. haha

    God bless

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    1. After going back, and catching up on some of your past material, I have to say that you’ve really put forward the defining argument against modern American “Christian” religiosity.

      All around the globe Christianity is dying. In the East, literally, and spiritually here in the West. While brothers, and sisters are martyred for refusing to denounce their faith right this very moment all across North Africa, the Middle East, and parts of Asia, here in the states you’ve got “Christians” advocating their own apostasy, while simultaneously proclaiming themselves free from any persecution, because Jesus is going to “rapture” them up.

      It’s that same self-serving, feel good, “I should be catered to” mentality, that’s going to have a lot of “believers” finding themselves before the Lord hearing these words: “I never knew you: depart from me ye that work iniquity” Matt 7:23. At that time there will be much “weeping, and gnashing of teeth” Matt 13:42.

      Now before I start to sound self-righteous, let me clarify: I. Am. Nothing. At best, of my own accord, I am a fleeting, insignificant, vapor, and it’s all down hill from there. But thankfully, my worth isn’t measured by my account, but on the account of Jesus Christ, through whom I am strengthened, and through whom I can do all things.

      We are called to daily, take up our crosses, put our old selves to death, and be reborn in Christ in the resurrection. The power of the atonement should be alive in us every moment. The redemption wasn’t just a one time thing. Although it occurred once, it is for all time! If we aren’t redeemed in this very moment, then when will we be?

      I urge anyone who would listen, please, put aside any notion of self, lay down at the feet of the Good Shepherd, and learn who you really are.

      God bless

      Liked by 1 person

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