Conditional Acceptance

9 09 2008

          Every Christian is to radiate one great quality… love. We are to love God, our neighbors as ourselves, fellow believers, and even our enemies. Jesus said, “By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another” (John 13:35).

          There is a problem, however, in understanding what it really means to love biblically. Surely the best examples of love are to be found in Jesus and God. The Bible says, “Whoever does not love does not know God, for God is love” (1 John 4:8).

          If God is love (and He is) then everything He does is consistent with love (biblical love). That means God’s judgment and stance against sin and unrighteousness is a loving stance. Think about that for a moment. It is just on this point that many people get confused.

          There is a tendency to equate love with unconditional acceptance these days. In other words, some think that to love means to totally accept a person regardless of what they are or do. But that is not biblical love. That is a worldly twisting of biblical love into a monstrous embrace of paganism. That is surely not what believers are called to do.

          God loves everyone, but He doesn’t accept everyone just as they are. In fact, the Bible is quite clear, if people stay just as they are they will die in their sins and go to hell.

          Turn it round this way, if love meant accepting everyone just as they are then Jesus didn’t have to die on the cross because everyone was already totally and unconditionally accepted by God. Clearly this was not the case.

         In a way, to teach that love means “unconditional acceptance” is to imply that God is less than loving. 

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One response

15 09 2008
theepiphany

Thank you for offering some clarity on this rampantly confused principle. I completely agree.

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