The blog posts for the Wonder event this year are featuring some thoughts from me, and some thoughts from my agnostic friend, Sam (see italics).
What does love mean to you?
I think loving someone is putting them before yourself. Sort of… Wanting to do that more than anything. It doesn’t make sense for it to be one emotion. There’s other love, when somebody just feels like part of the furniture. When somebody is such an integral part of life. For Christians, God, and God’s love, is the centre of their moral compass, and some argue it’s the only moral compass. Can you really argue something is wrong on mere consensus which shifts with time? I would say that even as an agnostic, for morality, we need something eternal.
It can be hard to make sense of the love that Christians talk about God having for human beings. How does a necessary being of a different dimension, even an anthropomorphic one, love beings like us? A better question here is, why does God love us? Why love, at all? Christians believe that God just is love. By this I mean that for God to be defined as God, is to define him as love and the bible tells us that Jesus tells us ‘above all’ to ‘love one another’, and to do this as he has loved us. Jesus has done this through atonement – making amends of the evil and hatred in our world by dying. For Christians, exactly as Sam has said, there is no point in hope or faith or morality if one does not love, and if one does not know the love that God has for you.
What is it like discussing the love of God with Christians?
I think it makes me feel awkward. I see people in the CU being good people, but I wonder if it’s separate to them being Christian? Then I think that accepting God’s love is an important part of Christianity, maybe the most important part, and it’s the scariest part. We all agree with being kind, being truthful, and with trying to forgive, and some would even consider themselves Christian if they agree, but the real leap is accepting the love of God. Without God’s love, you are a moral person, but you’re not a Christian.
This isn’t something you can gloss over, you need to seriously understand it, and then say yes or no at the end. I would ask you give it some thought. Perhaps I’m not ready to do this myself but do you consider yourself forgiven?