Unconditional Love of God in a performance-based religion

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DarkJedi
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Re: Unconditional Love of God in a performance-based religio

Post by DarkJedi » 01 Jun 2014, 04:07

mikegriffith1 wrote:I think part of this is semantics. But, I can logically understand that a person's actions can affect how much they are loved. Certainly any parent knows that some children are move lovable than others.

As for our end of the bargain, the scriptures seem pretty clear:

"If ye love me, keep my commandments" (John 14:15).

"He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him" (1 John 2:4).

"They claim to know God, but by their actions they deny him. They are detestable, disobedient and unfit for doing anything good" (Titus 1:16).

"No one who lives in him keeps on sinning. No one who continues to sin has either seen him or known him" (1 John 3:6).

"If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth" (1 John 1:6).

"And being made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation to all who obey him" (Hebrews 5:9).

"God, who will render to each one according to his deeds: eternal life to those who by patient continuance in doing good seek for glory, honor, and immortality; but to those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness—indignation and wrath" (Romans 2:6-8).

"Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven" (Matthew 7:21).
And we all know you can prove almost anything you like using scripture. I don't spout scripture at others, especially here, but there are also many scriptures that say all we have to do is believe.
In the absence of knowledge or faith there is always hope.

Once there was a gentile...who came before Hillel. He said "Convert me on the condition that you teach me the whole Torah while I stand on one foot." Hillel converted him, saying: That which is despicable to you, do not do to your fellow, this is the whole Torah, and the rest is commentary, go and learn it."

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Re: Unconditional Love of God in a performance-based religio

Post by mikegriffith1 » 01 Jun 2014, 05:15

DarkJedi wrote:
mikegriffith1 wrote:I think part of this is semantics. But, I can logically understand that a person's actions can affect how much they are loved. Certainly any parent knows that some children are move lovable than others.

As for our end of the bargain, the scriptures seem pretty clear:

"If ye love me, keep my commandments" (John 14:15).

"He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him" (1 John 2:4).

"They claim to know God, but by their actions they deny him. They are detestable, disobedient and unfit for doing anything good" (Titus 1:16).

"No one who lives in him keeps on sinning. No one who continues to sin has either seen him or known him" (1 John 3:6).

"If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth" (1 John 1:6).

"And being made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation to all who obey him" (Hebrews 5:9).

"God, who will render to each one according to his deeds: eternal life to those who by patient continuance in doing good seek for glory, honor, and immortality; but to those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness—indignation and wrath" (Romans 2:6-8).

"Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven" (Matthew 7:21).
And we all know you can prove almost anything you like using scripture. I don't spout scripture at others, especially here, but there are also many scriptures that say all we have to do is believe.
Actually, there are only a handful of scriptures that say all we have to do is believe. Furthermore, if you read ancient Christian statements on what it meant to "believe," you will find that they did not mean that the simple act of accepting something as true was all that belief entailed. They meant it in the sense that a coach would tell a player "you gotta want it." Now, of course, the coach doesn't mean the player will improve if he merely "wants" to be a good player. No, he's saying that being a better player requires sustained effort and action. This is the same sense that the ancient Christians understood the word "believe" as it related to salvation.

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DarkJedi
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Re: Unconditional Love of God in a performance-based religio

Post by DarkJedi » 01 Jun 2014, 07:27

I will not engage you. It is not my purpose in life to try to convert anyone else to my point of view, nor do I believe that doing so is the purpose of this forum.
In the absence of knowledge or faith there is always hope.

Once there was a gentile...who came before Hillel. He said "Convert me on the condition that you teach me the whole Torah while I stand on one foot." Hillel converted him, saying: That which is despicable to you, do not do to your fellow, this is the whole Torah, and the rest is commentary, go and learn it."

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Re: Unconditional Love of God in a performance-based religio

Post by Curt Sunshine » 01 Jun 2014, 08:34

Joseph said that there were so many ways to read the Bible that it was impossible to reach a conclusion based solely on an appeal to it, so he had to approach God personally and find his own individual understanding.

I like that standard as part of the foundation of our religion.
I see through my glass, darkly - as I play my saxophone in harmony with the other instruments in God's orchestra. (h/t Elder Joseph Wirthlin)

Even if people view many things differently, the core Gospel principles (LOVE; belief in the unseen but hoped; self-reflective change; symbolic cleansing; striving to recognize the will of the divine; never giving up) are universal.

"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong." H. L. Mencken

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Re: Unconditional Love of God in a performance-based religio

Post by Roy » 02 Jun 2014, 08:44

mikegriffith1 wrote:I think part of this is semantics. But, I can logically understand that a person's actions can affect how much they are loved. Certainly any parent knows that some children are move lovable than others.
Hi Mike,

Thanks for contributing. I can't have this conversation with my EQ because having a different perspective can be seen as laziness, disloyalty, or apostasy. But here we can talk plainly.

I am a proponent of God’s overwhelming love.

I agree that an individual’s actions make them easier to love. Some are sugar and spice and everything nice while others are surly and abrasive. But I also consider that we are God’s children and that He knows us (our pains, personalities, and hang-ups) better than we know ourselves. I might compare this to a parent of a child with a behavioral disability. The child will act out but the parent realizes that the child is working from certain limitations and makes allowances for that. I believe that most parents love these children. How much more so our Heavenly Father with His “unfailing love?”

I am not particularly versed in many religions but I imagine that the concept of a deity that must be appeased with sacrifice and offering is rather common. I find it compelling that in Christianity we have a deity that loved us so much He gave his own life to save us rather than to see us lost. “We love because He first loved us.” For me, it is a powerful concept.

Finally – I do believe that God wants us to be wise and make good choices as far as we are able. I believe that He wants us to learn and grow and progress. I believe that He would like us to care for one another. I believe that He would have us forgive one another even as He forgives us. I believe that most Christian churches would agree on this point.

I believe that this desire for us to make good choices is expressed in the scriptures that you referenced but it is also mixed in with name calling (detestable, liar) and threats (Indignation and wrath). I believe that even in the scriptures holy men express inspiration and revelation with their own words and understandings and experiences. I see the name calling and threats as an example of that.

I may be wrong about that. Maybe God intended the name calling and threats for reasons that I won’t begin to speculate about. But I believe that God will explain it all to me when the time is right. Now I see through a glass darkly but then I will see clearly. I believe that in that day, love will prevail … and understanding and rejoicing will follow.
"It is not so much the pain and suffering of life which crushes the individual as it is its meaninglessness and hopelessness." C. A. Elwood

“It is not the function of religion to answer all the questions about God’s moral government of the universe, but to give one courage, through faith, to go on in the face of questions he never finds the answer to in his present status.” TPC: Harold B. Lee 223

"I struggle now with establishing my faith that God may always be there, but may not always need to intervene" Heber13

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DarkJedi
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Re: Unconditional Love of God in a performance-based religio

Post by DarkJedi » 02 Jun 2014, 09:23

Roy wrote:
mikegriffith1 wrote:I think part of this is semantics. But, I can logically understand that a person's actions can affect how much they are loved. Certainly any parent knows that some children are move lovable than others.
Hi Mike,

Thanks for contributing. I can't have this conversation with my EQ because having a different perspective can be seen as laziness, disloyalty, or apostasy. But here we can talk plainly.

I am a proponent of God’s overwhelming love.

I agree that an individual’s actions make them easier to love. Some are sugar and spice and everything nice while others are surly and abrasive. But I also consider that we are God’s children and that He knows us (our pains, personalities, and hang-ups) better than we know ourselves. I might compare this to a parent of a child with a behavioral disability. The child will act out but the parent realizes that the child is working from certain limitations and makes allowances for that. I believe that most parents love these children. How much more so our Heavenly Father with His “unfailing love?”

I am not particularly versed in many religions but I imagine that the concept of a deity that must be appeased with sacrifice and offering is rather common. I find it compelling that in Christianity we have a deity that loved us so much He gave his own life to save us rather than to see us lost. “We love because He first loved us.” For me, it is a powerful concept.

Finally – I do believe that God wants us to be wise and make good choices as far as we are able. I believe that He wants us to learn and grow and progress. I believe that He would like us to care for one another. I believe that He would have us forgive one another even as He forgives us. I believe that most Christian churches would agree on this point.

I believe that this desire for us to make good choices is expressed in the scriptures that you referenced but it is also mixed in with name calling (detestable, liar) and threats (Indignation and wrath). I believe that even in the scriptures holy men express inspiration and revelation with their own words and understandings and experiences. I see the name calling and threats as an example of that.

I may be wrong about that. Maybe God intended the name calling and threats for reasons that I won’t begin to speculate about. But I believe that God will explain it all to me when the time is right. Now I see through a glass darkly but then I will see clearly. I believe that in that day, love will prevail … and understanding and rejoicing will follow.
Great post, Roy, thanks for sharing. I believe very much as you do in this respect. Relative to the section I highlighted, "It is not that simple" immediately popped into my head.
In the absence of knowledge or faith there is always hope.

Once there was a gentile...who came before Hillel. He said "Convert me on the condition that you teach me the whole Torah while I stand on one foot." Hillel converted him, saying: That which is despicable to you, do not do to your fellow, this is the whole Torah, and the rest is commentary, go and learn it."

My Introduction

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Re: Unconditional Love of God in a performance-based religio

Post by Forgotten_Charity » 02 Jun 2014, 10:08

[quote]I think part of this is semantics. But, I can logically understand that a person's actions can affect how much they are loved. Certainly any parent knows that some children are move lovable than others.[/quote]

Hi Mike,

Thanks for contributing. [b]I can't have this conversation with my EQ because having a different perspective can be seen as laziness, disloyalty, or apostasy.[/b] But here we can talk plainly.

I am a proponent of God’s overwhelming love.

I agree that an individual’s actions make them easier to love. Some are sugar and spice and everything nice while others are surly and abrasive. But I also consider that we are God’s children and that He knows us (our pains, personalities, and hang-ups) better than we know ourselves. I might compare this to a parent of a child with a behavioral disability. The child will act out but the parent realizes that the child is working from certain limitations and makes allowances for that. I believe that most parents love these children. How much more so our Heavenly Father with His “unfailing love?”

I am not particularly versed in many religions but I imagine that the concept of a deity that must be appeased with sacrifice and offering is rather common. I find it compelling that in Christianity we have a deity that loved us so much He gave his own life to save us rather than to see us lost. “We love because He first loved us.” For me, it is a powerful concept.

Finally – I do believe that God wants us to be wise and make good choices as far as we are able. I believe that He wants us to learn and grow and progress. I believe that He would like us to care for one another. I believe that He would have us forgive one another even as He forgives us. I believe that most Christian churches would agree on this point.

I believe that this desire for us to make good choices is expressed in the scriptures that you referenced but it is also mixed in with name calling (detestable, liar) and threats (Indignation and wrath). I believe that even in the scriptures holy men express inspiration and revelation with their own words and understandings and experiences. I see the name calling and threats as an example of that.

I may be wrong about that. Maybe God intended the name calling and threats for reasons that I won’t begin to speculate about. But I believe that God will explain it all to me when the time is right. Now I see through a glass darkly but then I will see clearly. I believe that in that day, love will prevail … and understanding and rejoicing will follow.[/quote]

Great post, Roy, thanks for sharing. I believe very much as you do in this respect. Relative to the section I highlighted, "It is not that simple" immediately popped into my head.[/quote]

More specifically, like a parent to child, the parent teaches there kid what they belief to be right and supports the child in their own autonomy. Doesn't try to impose on them their beliefs. Just teach what they believe to be right. And love the child as they themselves are not perfect, while realizing each child has particular needs. And tries to cater to that as best as possible instead of shut-gun parenting standards.

That's who I look at god and his children as well. No one on earth has the knowledge or authority to to declare what is right for everyone. Humans just don't work that way biologically and a wise parent knows it. God knows it.

Allowing the child to explore and find there way as they grow up assist ending them without I referring with their choice (autonomy) as they grow up and become self-determined.

Sometimes the mistakes hurt and you cringe, but nothing is more for filling then to watch the child grow into his own self determination of helping others and spreading love. As they figure out what they uniquely have to offer others and contribute at their own way and pace. It is t quite for filling to have it come out because you mini pulsates the experience and wondered if they were doing so because they were condition or because they actually wanted to.

Love is ever hopeful. Even if it doesn't match the reality. I can imagine the same of Heavenly Father.

After all, he did just drop down his children on earth with no way to have real interaction with him. Insisting instead in a mediator who insist on knowing what the biological wants and how to get back to him by doing everything that's outlined and blueprinted for the masses and resolved with the differences of his children ala... Deus ex machina.

I would expect that patent to be very very understanding of the circumstances he/she created in doing that.

Aka, compassionate and loving of the situation they, not their children created.

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Re: Unconditional Love of God in a performance-based religio

Post by mikegriffith1 » 29 Jun 2014, 03:10

Speaking of faith and works, we have this fascinating statement by none other than Augustine of Hippo:
We can see, then, why St. Peter in his second epistle urges the faithful to live good and holy lives. . . . He was aware of the fact that certain unrighteous men had interpreted certain rather obscure passages of St. Paul to mean that they did not have to lead a good life, since they were assured of salvation as long as they had the faith. He warns them that, although there are certain passages in the epistles of St. Paul which are hard to understand—which passages some have misinterpreted, as they have other passages of Sacred Scripture, but to their own ruin—nevertheless, St. Paul has the same mind on the question of eternal salvation as have all the other apostles, namely, that eternal salvation will not be given except to those who lead a good life. (De Fide et Operibus, 14.21, in Gregory Lombardo, translator, St. Augustine on Faith and Works,Westminster: The Newman Press, 1988, p. 29)
He also said this:
Let us now consider the question of faith. In the first place, we feel that we should advise the faithful that they would endanger the salvation of their souls if they acted on the false assurance that faith alone is sufficient for salvation or that they need not perform good works in order to be saved. (Ibid., p. 28)
You can fill dozens of pages with quotes from the early Christian fathers expressing the necessity of performing good works for salvation.

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Re: Unconditional Love of God in a performance-based religio

Post by SilentDawning » 29 Jun 2014, 05:03

I don't have a problem with what Dallin H. Oaks wrote. He is simply saying that love doesn't exclude standards, and it doesn't dole out approval when there is unacceptable behavior. This sentence captures it for me:
Every parent knows that you can love a child totally and completely while still being creatively angry and disappointed at that child’s self-defeating behavior.
Also, if anything, he wins me over a bit when talks about how straying from the gospel can cause unhappiness in families, but families should love each other nonetheless. This supports that notion that when one TR-holder decides to no longer renew a TR, or to otherwise lose heart in the gospel, faithful family members should still love the family member. this implies loyalty to the relationship, although DHO didn't come right out and say that (he couldn't).
.... when family members are not united in striving to keep the commandments of God, there will be divisions. We do all that we can to avoid impairing loving relationships, but sometimes it happens after all we can do.

In the midst of such stress, we must endure the reality that the straying of our loved ones will detract from our happiness, but it should not detract from our love for one another or our patient efforts to be united in understanding God’s love and God’s laws.
Where this talk is likely to disturb StayLDSers is our perceived ostracization and lack of love from local members when we don't "tow the line" or have a faith crisis, or disagree with local leadership on matters of style. In my experience, people tend to write you off. The organization as a whole tends to like you when you are serving as they want, and to ignore you when you fall off the service wagon.

Case in point -- my wife invited some mothers to our home for a social last week. One member of our ward, who I generally like and respect, saw me for the first time in 1.5 years since we attend a different Ward -- even though our records are still in the ward in which we live. We had to get out for own spirituality.

All of this person's questions were aimed at figuring out my employment situation to see if it was still a valid "excuse" for not attending our home Ward (at one time, it was, along with the spirituality problem).

After she got the information about my employment situation, she lost interest in the conversation totally. I stopped asking her questions and engaging her in conversation as it was clearly a dead-end. She had consumed the information about our employment situation "on her lusts" and was no longer interested in myself as an individual -- even though I was interested in continuing our conversation on other personable topics about her own life.

That to me, is the kind of withdrawal of kindness, love, charity or interest we see a lot in the church. When you are serving on the church's terms, everyone likes you, and when you aren't you sort of become a non-entity to the majority of people.
"It doesn't have to be about the Church (church) all the time!" -- SD

"The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. No price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself."

A man asked Jesus "do all roads lead to you?" Jesus responds,”most roads don’t lead anywhere, but I will travel any road to find you.” Adapted from The Shack, William Young

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Re: Unconditional Love of God in a performance-based religio

Post by Roy » 30 Jun 2014, 13:09

mikegriffith1 wrote:You can fill dozens of pages with quotes from the early Christian fathers expressing the necessity of performing good works for salvation.
I am glad that a works based model works for them and helped them to make positive contributions. It worked for me for many years. For me and my experience now – I need an understanding and compassionate God… a father rather than an administrator. (Remember that my stillborn daughter doesn't have any good works or ordinances to hold to. I must have hope in the power of love and love alone that it will be stronger than the cords of death. I admit that my circumstances are unique and everybody must follow their understanding of God according to the dictates of their conscience. I hope for understanding but I seek no followers)
Elder Oaks wrote:Every parent knows that you can love a child totally and completely while still being creatively angry and disappointed at that child’s self-defeating behavior.
This strikes me as "love the sinner but hate the sin" or "We love you but cannot accept your actions" And what does he mean by "Every parent knows." As a parent, I don't know that I would agree with how he has characterized my parental experience.

TSM said that to have charity (pure love of Christ) is to accept someone as they are. There seems to be a disconnect between this type of love that includes acceptance and types of love that apparently do not. This love that includes acceptance seeks out the good in a person and intentionally emphasizes that over the failings.

Love without acceptance for me doesn't feel like love at all.

Having a Heavenly Parent say "I love you totally and completely but I am also eternally angry and disappointed in your self-defeating behavior" does not sound very loving to me.

Could this be from the same God that condescended (as described in the BOM) to suffer and die precisely so that He could forgive us and blot out the memory of our "self-defeating behavior"?
"It is not so much the pain and suffering of life which crushes the individual as it is its meaninglessness and hopelessness." C. A. Elwood

“It is not the function of religion to answer all the questions about God’s moral government of the universe, but to give one courage, through faith, to go on in the face of questions he never finds the answer to in his present status.” TPC: Harold B. Lee 223

"I struggle now with establishing my faith that God may always be there, but may not always need to intervene" Heber13

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