The definition of Love Without Condition


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For years I have been labelled (and self-labelled) an extrovert.  It makes conversations over what we normally do (or don’t) far easier.  When an introvert wants to stay put and I – an extrovert –  doesn’t, then it’s not the introvert’s fault or mine that we disagree.  It just “is”.

Like “sin”.

But having now “shielded” for three weeks (and with another nine to go), I wonder if these two labels are as simple as we have always thought.

I am finding life not that different “to before” … yet Mrs Paul, the introvert, needs to get out whilst I, the extrovert, having worked from home for a number of years (and still am) don’t.  And in all the years of working from home no one told me that I needed MS Teams, Zoom, WhatsApp (and all the other video-call paraphernalia) to keep in touch.  I was told to turn up at the office once-a-week.  Which involved an unwelcome weekly commute to the office AND being told frequently to “stop singing” as I was irritating everyone (an unconscious habit I have picked-up working alone).

So the new “need” for all this video-calling and hi-tech “team huddles” (I now have no choice in “attending”) is an  imposition.  Like the universal and biblically-correct-teaching of sin and me …

That I sin – that I must sin – that I will always sin – that I am sinner and must be saved for my sin to be forgiven – and that if not I will be separated from God for all eternity.  And all because I am sinner either saved or not.

Hello Easter!

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Where is free-will in any of that – where is “love without condition” in any of that – where is this “God” we must worship in any of that?

We love the simplistic.  The yes or no.  The either/or.  The black and white.  The labels that make it easy for us to be who we are not by choice – but because “that’s who we are”.

On the one hand we claim free-will as our right – and on the other reject free-will because “that’s who we are”.

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Like “sin”.

Like needing new “drive thru confessionals” … like needing new choreographed live-streamed services … like the (eternal) new need for the faithful to be together more than to be with the very God the faithful need to worship and confess to (in order to be forgiven for another week).

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There is much I have questioned over the years.

Yet this Easter, unlike other Easters, I find myself wondering whether anyone else notices (or wants to notice) the many unasked but obvious questions.  Like this unhealthy level of “need” across the global/local church we teach is of God.

A God the church teaches is a God of love without condition but which the church never manages to make a reality because “only God can love like that” – so the “no choice conditional love” is the church (not) taught “reality” most Christians then live.

I think I might have spotted the reason “why” this Easter.

The definition of “Love Without Condition” requires that “love” is without need and/or transaction (which is biblically correct).

Yet the reality across the global and local church this Easter is of massive “need” – a need to keep doing what “we” have always done with this transaction we call sin.

Anyone else find that a little odd?

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