Musings on Adjectives…

The eight parts of speech are nouns, pronouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, conjunctions, prepositions, and interjections and God is all eight simultaneously.

Unconditional (adjective): not limited by conditions; absolute; an unconditional promise (dictionary.com).

One of the things I struggle most with is the oxymoronic values most Christians and religious people have: like saying God’s love is unconditional while simultaneously placing conditions upon that divine unconditional love.

Unconditional means without restrictions, limits or any modifications; limited by NO conditions whatsoever.

Can I say that I believe in a God whose Love is like this?

I’d be lying if I said yes, for my life and judgmentalism prove otherwise. I judge people all the time; I take their inventory, supplanting God’s unconditional love with my own conditional love. And if truth be told, one thing I know is humanly impossible is my ability to understand the divine delineation between “loving the sinner and hating the sin.” For me it is almost impossible; I end up throwing out the proverbial baby with the bath water. I do not see many others who, if they are honest, do a very good job of this either.

I hear evangelicals and conservatives say they love our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters but the barriers to God’s grace and unconditional love are obvious.  I hear liberals and progressives spew hatred towards conservatives.  I hear Christians hating on their enemies (booth real and supposed) even though Jesus said “love your enemies…do good to those that hate you.”

Is it in any wonder that ‘conditional love’ and intolerance are listed as some of the main reasons so many millennials (35 and under) are walking away from the Church and from all religion?  You can read about this survey taken from a recent article that can be found HERE.

Is God’s love really unconditional?

Is God’s love an Adjective?  If you had never heard of Jesus or the two great commandments, and you walked into a church, would you experience such unconditional love? I shudder to think…

What would happen if all God lovers and followers of Jesus simply laid down as the sole and only ‘doctrine’ of Christianity to be that of unconditional love in any and all circumstances, situations and realities? What do YOU think would happen?

Would we once again discover Divine Love as if for the first time and set the world on fire?

What would happen if all I sought was to love God and the divine image of God in all creatures and creation? What would my life look like? Would I become the hunger for which I pine? Would I become the change I so long for (as Gandhi once said)?

Am I so afraid of unconditional love that I can neither accept it nor give it? I have more questions than answers…hence the musings. But if I – if we – are all honest, we are scared to death of unconditional love and what it means. We are scared to love the other, the different, the unknown and the mystery. I need neat, little categories and compartments to classify and codify all of life and all the people in it. If I am white and you are black, if you are Muslim and I am a follower of Jesus, if you are an evangelical and I am radical Catholic, then in that naming process, I can distinguish myself from you. And in distinguishing myself from you, I can identify out – or more simply put, I can make it easier for me to separate myself from you and set limits on God’s love and grace. I therefore become the arbiter of God’s so-called unconditional love and grace. And in that process, I become an idol, a veritable stumbling block to God’s limitless and truly unconditional love.

When I do this I tame God and his relentlessly Wild Love.  I make God safe for me and dangerous for you, when God’s love should be paradoxically safe and ‘dangerous’ for ALL of us.

If God is love and God is in control, then what harm is there if I, if we, err on the side of ‘loving too much? Of giving God’s love to all and save the judgment for God (whose mercies never come to an end)?

If, in the end, I unleash myself in total abandonment and surrender to God’s love and to becoming an agent of his unconditional love, what might happen?

What might really happen to me, or you or our world?

 

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