You asked, "Does anyone else sense this distinction between the two concepts?
I merely stated my opinion. I'm not out to change you. Yet you accuse me of bible-thumping.
But what disturbs me is, shouldn't the question you asked concerning scripture elicit a scriptural response?
I don't think God uses fear to coerce people into loving Him. But rather to discover who He is.
It is much like the fear a father puts toward his children when they are doing something wrong that could cause harm to themselves or others. For example, if he see one of his kids playing in the street after being told not to, he harshly disciplines that child, maybe even give him a whipping. The father's intention is not to punish, but the instill a fear that will preserve the child's life. He does it not out of hate, but out of love for the child.
Not all love is that flowery, fuzzy, good feeling type of love.
Of course we want to know this kind of love, but that's not what going to help us to grow. There has to be steel to go with the velvet.
Looking back, I'm glad my mother whipped my for things I done wrong, like the time I set my grandfather's barn on fire because my cousins and I were into playing with candles and fire. She wanted to make sure that I didn't do that again. Why? Because I could just as well have gotten trapped in the barn and burned to death.
It's OK Cage...confusion is the general condition of the world these days IMO.
But I was trying to say that the G-d of the OT seems to me to focus on punishing wrongdoing, holds grudges, and even states several times that He is a jealous G-d.
However the G-d revealed to us in the NT is predominantly a G-d of forgiveness and all-encompassing love without much of the punishment stuff. What do you think about this distinction, and why do you believe there is this difference between the two images and concepts ?
Discipline is not punishment, it's love.
God's love might be unconditional, but man's understanding of it is not. Love has to have some basis. How are we to know God's love unless we know the conditions in which we can experience it?
Do you think God wants us to wallow in our sin? Are we going to "feel" God's love if we are living against His Will? Isn't repentance an important factor in turning our hearts to God?
God wouldn't be a god of love if He didn't want us to see a positive change in our lives. The trouble is that we are so used to our own ways, we resist change. Something has to wake us up, get our attention. You ever notice that fire alarms are not that pleasant to listen to?
The truth is, we have both, and perhaps need both in order to survive the way we should. I think anger, and wrath and this kind of power should be in us, but instead of placing our hearts on such things, we should embrace his Love. I think this is what he wants from mankind...
As for the jealousy...there is but one God, and perhaps when we start making others up he gets frustrated, and merely wants to bring us back to him? I'd get jealous if my son were to ignore me, and embrace another man as his father. Jealousy shows, or inflicts a sense of weakness, and we get weak when we [think] we fail someone, and they turn somewhere else. I see no good end to jealousy, it is only a spirit that causes pain, and great wrath if it's not tamed.
If you were an all-present, all-knowing, all powerful God and you created something that you give the power of free choice to, knowing full well that the possibility existed that they would not love or obey you from their own free will then why would you ever have cause to be angry with them? Can you see that God cannot be disappointed in you. He made you subject to vanity and carnal nature. It is not an accident. Not for authority but so as not to put a stumbling block before you: Romans 8:20
For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope,
Now if God made you that way and knew full well the ramifications of giving you choice then how can he get angry that you are the way you are? How can God be jealous of anything. All is his regardless of whether they love him or not. How could he be all knowing and not know this is what would be? There is nothing for him to be jealous of. He is complete. No part is missing. Jealousy would do him no good. Jealousy is impossible to conceive in God's love.
I perceive from some comments by others on various threads that there are those who view love as an act, a noun, doing something, or an understanding. I think the love we are speaking of is 'a state of being' that yes, manifests fruits, such as joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance, etc But love is not the fruits. And most definitely, anger, wrath and jelousy cannot be included as even a fruit of Love/God.
Just some things to consider and contemplate. Thanks for your patience.
Love in Christ,
I see what you're saying, but mankind abuses the power we have, and that cannot please God. We have free will so we can choose to live differently. Love is the only way to temper what we have become, imo.
Cage said:I view jealousy as a weakness, and I see no weakness in God. His anger is merely against those who would destroy the essence of his Love in mankind, but he is more than Love, imo. I think our knowledge of this is what has caused man to fall. We were made in his image, and we have abused the power he has given us. It will take Love to temper us, and lead us away from abusing this power...
Cage said:Love is both action, and feeling, and its fruits are good indeed. Love can lead anyman away from our destuctive ways, but I feel that sometimes we must also embrace who God made us to be. You say there is no wrath in Love, but what does it destroy within the heart? Surely, there is more to God then just Love, and if we are made in his image, we should be fully capable of tempering that which we abuse through the Love God has for us.
Cage said:With that said, do you think we should deny what God made us, and and resist anger and wrath at all times? Do you think it wise to allow those who would kill to do so w/o a fight? If we walk in Love, then those who would rise against us are an enemy of God, and God has given us the power to overcome them.
Cage said:Through Love, or through anger and wrath is the question?
I Love myself, my friends, and my family, and I do fight back when I must, but out of Love. Do you think we should abandon our right to defend ourselves, and leave such power in the hands those who abuse it by giving our lives over to them?
Joseph, your post made me think a great deal, and I'm not sure the answers, lol!
Yes, one could look at it as mankind abusing the power we have but God is not a man that he should choose to be pleased over 'this' and displeased over 'that'. We can choose to live how we want. That is the nature of his love for us. We can be the way we are or can change and be different. All our choices have consequences of our own choice. It seems to me you are correct that love is the way to temper what we have become. Still God is not displeased with his creation no matter what. Why? Because it is exactly as he intended it to be in spite of what it looks like to ones mind. Otherwise, God would not be all-knowing.
It seems to me your first sentence is very insightful. Your second sentence seems to me to contradict that insight. NO one can destroy the essence of his love in mankind. It is present everywhere at all times. It can only be covered as a cloud covers the sun by our ignorance. It is indestructible and cannot fail. Where is his anger? Anger is a weakness of man just as is jealousy.
Okay Cage. I understand you see Love as action and feeling. Whether it is true or not that is something you will have to discover or find out for yourself. To answer your question, Wrath destroys nothing of love. It is mans substitute for love only. Saying God is Love is about as close as one can come with words. There is more to man than love but God is Love. That's why I say it is not an action or feeling though you may see actions or have feelings. Love is more 'a state of being' from which these things manifest. To me, that understanding seems most important even though it is being a bit 'picky' with words. Please do not be in the slightest offended by my expressing a different view. Your view is as valid as mine, just different in some ways. To many my words may sound like pure nonsense. I understand where they are coming from. My words are only for you to consider and contemplate as I have done with yours.
I think that we are more of what we made ourselves by choice. God made us 'perfect'. He made no mistakes and everything is under control. "Those who live by the sword shall die by the sword". Personally you do what you must do. For some it is their destiny in this life to be a soldier and kill. I cannot say for you but personally I would rather be killed than to kill because death has no power over me.
Sometimes my words are a bit gruff in my posts but regardless, I am as you and as one on a journey. God loves us all equally and unconditionally. Take my words lightly and experience life for yourself. It seems to me it is good to consider other views. I again cannot advise you on what you should or shouldn't do. One does what he does. It is what it is, but for me in this point of my journey, death holds no surprises so why should I resist?
Love in Christ,
Love is an essence, and I think it is Gods essence. Even so, we are not God; we are not that essence. Man is limited in how we express, show, feel, and experience it, imo. I don't think Love will ever radiate from man as it does from God. The best we can hope for is to experience it, and show it, and feel it, and walk in it.
Cage said:I think death is a natural part of life, and there is perfection in it. I wonder if we 'never' died, how mankind would be living today, if at all? Death is needed for the natural order of things.
"Those who live by the sword die by the sword" is not always true, unless you mean by the sword of Spirit. No one in their right mind would kill if there were another alternative that didn't involve dying, and leaving family members behind; I certainly wouldn't. It might hurt my soul deeply to kill another, and that would be because I Love them. Still, I think Love heals all wounds, and it can heal those who have been subject to such events as well.
Cage said:Jesus the Christ came in Love, and I Love him, but I Love God more, and according to the OT, God has a dangerous side, too. Just like me, you?, him, her and every other creature on this earth. You can't have one w/o the other, and that is why we shouldn't ignore that part of him. We were made in his image ... Christ showed us his Love, and the OT showed us his dangerous side. Perfect Love casts out fear, and I think it is the full knowledge of God and God in us that allows this. (My view for now)
I think I'm gonna stop thinking so much for the time being, and attempt to live, and enjoy life for a bit. I do this when I get a bit burned out, and that's what is happening right now. The endless information, and the different views for me to break down are starting to weigh heavy on me, and that is not a good thing. I'm taking a break from the Bible as well, as it too can weigh heavy on a man. Tomorrow I give a special thanks, and you all will be included, as I've gotten a good deal of info from you to discern over the next few months.
I've enjoyed my stay, but it's time to take a break. I'm sure to be back with another viewpoint, and I'm certain I'll be ready to share it when I return, lol.
I'll probably peak in from time to time until I'm ready to post, so until then, I wish you all well, and send my Love.
Reminds me of:Yes, one could look at it as mankind abusing the power we have but God is not a man that he should choose to be pleased over 'this' and displeased over 'that'. We can choose to live how we want. That is the nature of his love for us. We can be the way we are or can change and be different. All our choices have consequences of our own choice. It seems to me you are correct that love is the way to temper what we have become. Still God is not displeased with his creation no matter what. Why? Because it is exactly as he intended it to be in spite of what it looks like to ones mind. Otherwise, God would not be all-knowing.
Joseph I did see the same logic in your post: "exactly as he intended it... all-knowing." I would state my objection this way: I don't think everything here is per God's will or intention. If it were then I think people would be servants of his will, and nothing more. I know that I have sinned and it would displease people including God (swt). But if I am responsible for sinning then I had to of had a choice in doing it. I selected the genes or desires of the body (or soul) over what I knew at some level was wrong. That selection resulted in sins that I know God (swt) was displeased with. So I know that not everything is as God (swt) intended.
You must be careful not to read into my words. 'Exactly as he intended it' is in respect to his intentions to give man choice. Knowing man would at times choose unwisely God is not displeased at his creation just because choices have not been in wisdom. He created the ability to choose knowing full well its ramifications. Therefore in that sense he is not moved by your choice to displeasure.
It was never meant to say God is sending storms or not preventing them or anything of that nature. Storms and disasters happened before man even came on the scene. Perhaps you would like it better if I restated it as "All things are in God's divine order" therefore he is not displeased by any of it. Even that has to be taken in context of what I said above.