Let us begin our blog by clarifying that the words “unconditional love” are not found in scripture. No church father referred to the term or any other Christian author until the 20th century. The term was originally coined by socialist, humanist psychoanalyst atheist Erich Fromm in 1934 in his bestselling book, The Art of Loving, 1956. As an atheist, he argued against the fundamentals of the Christian faith. In his work, The Art of Loving, he writes that unconditional love is what you get from a mother, and conditional love is what you get from a father. Among the emotional needs of humanistic psychology are unconditional acceptance, unconditional self-regard, unconditional self-acceptance, and unconditional love. The usual meaning of the word unconditional is “without conditions or reservations; absolute.” The practical extension of the theories of Erich Fromm’s definition of unconditional love is a permissive attitude and a morally nonrestrictive atmosphere.
Only God Can Satisfy
Fromm’s concept of unconditional love is the one currently being used today by people practising sexual sins such as adultery (Hebrews 13:4), fornication (1 Corinthians 7:2), incest (Leviticus 18:6) and homosexuality (1 Timothy 1:10) to demand their acceptance by the Christian community. Many people living in sin have become creative in justifying their sinfulness, even adjusting the Bible to suit their ideologies. God’s love in the Bible is revealed as eternal (Psalm 136:1), perfect (1 John 4:16-18), unfailing (Psalm 33:5, 143:8, Exodus 15:13) and infinite (Ephesians 3:16-19). Despite God’s love not being directly described as unconditional in the Bible, the inner longing of man is to be loved unconditionally. Unfortunately, human love is limited and cannot satisfy the inner longing of another. That inner emptiness that longs to be filled can only be satisfied by an infinite being, and this happens to be our Lord. God is love (1 John 4:7-21); he alone can satisfy that inner need when we put our faith in him (Psalm 107:9, John 6:35, Psalm 22:26).
God’s love for his people led him to give his Son to die for the human race (John 3:16). The rejection of his love by humans comes with a consequence, as the previous scripture says, “those who don’t believe in him will perish” (John 3:16). We want to feel and experience God’s love but don’t want anything to do with what he demands of us, a living relationship with him. Ignoring God’s merciful love and rejecting the Savior who bought us (2 Peter 2:1) is subjecting ourselves to God’s wrath for eternity (Romans 1:18), not His love. Once one joins the family of God, he ensures that everything in their lives works out for their good (Romans 8:28). For a child of God to willfully disobey God is to invite the Father’s correction (Hebrews 12:5–11). Our love for God is expressed through keeping his commands (John 14:23). Can the non-believer or those claiming the unconditional love of God qualify in this attribute of those who love God, yet they are violating the exact word of God that defines our boundaries?
God’s love is Unconditional in Relation to His Nature
We can say God’s love is unconditional when discussing his nature. The fact remains that God is love, and he never ceases to be love (Deuteronomy 7:9, 1 John 4:8). As explained above, our loving God reprimands the child he loves (Hebrews 12:5-11). We can then conclude that everything he does is out of love and not anything contrary to that. In fact, the anger of the Lord is a holy expression of his love (Psalm 30:5, Micah 7:18). Even while enslaved in Babylon, God still gave loving guidance to his people on how they should live regardless of the hardships they were facing which were a consequence of their sins (Jeremiah 29:1-11).
In Matthew 5:43-48, Jesus portrays the depth of the Father’s love for his people and how it is expressed to both believers and non-believers. Christians have been commanded to emulate God as they relate with all people (Matthew 5:44-45). Our love for people (Matthew 22:39) also demands that we warn others of their sins, even as we pray for their salvation (Romans 10:1-4). On the contrary, many non-believers want Christians to love them on their terms. To them, Christian love should be unconditional, which must translate into being silent about the wrong things they do. When Christians try to correct their sinfulness, they are usually accused of being judgmental, holier than thou, etc. The above is only meant to intimidate Christians. Despite their false accusations, Christians should still aim to warn unbelievers that their sexual sins, as God defines them, will lead them to hell (1 Corinthians 6:9-11, Galatians 5:19-21). Failure to make people aware of their sinfulness and believe the gospel (John 1:14-15) is the exact opposite of how God initially expressed his love to us (Romans 5:8).
Love Leads Christians to Confront Sin
To clarify, Christians are to call out societal sins, yes, but in ways that align with the will of God (2 Timothy 3:16, Romans 12:1-2). Christians should always be careful to approach unbelievers with gentleness and respect (1 Peter 3:15), with speech that is gracious and seasoned with salt (Colossians 4:6). It is not to be done in a Kenyans-on-Twitter-like fashion with judgmental tones, or insulting language meant to shame people into repentance. Instead, Christians should be grace-filled yet truthful. What better expression of love than caring about where our neighbours’ souls will end up after death (Matthew 22:39, 25:46). It is, therefore, misleading to preach things like: “God loves you just the way that you are.”
It is safe to conclude that God’s qualities can only be described best from a biblical perspective, as given in 1 Corinthians 13:4-13, for instance. It is not for us, creatures, to determine who God, our Creator but it is for us to understand who he has revealed himself to be. He does all he wishes according to his flawless wisdom. Ours is to submit to his will, resting in the fact that he loves us, well.
Is God’s Love “Conditional” or “Unconditional”? – Truth According to …. https://www.truthaccordingtoscripture.com/documents/articles/conditional-love.php
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