People talk with intent. Reflected in their speech are their aspirations as well as their illusions. Is the expression of God’s love an aspiration or an illusion? Or both?
God’s love is everywhere, it seems.
Yes, and I do not get it. How can that be? What do people mean when they refer to God’s love indiscriminatingly all the time? The use of this vague language drives me crazy.
God’s love in nature; God’s love in the Bible; God’s love in the family. And even at night in bed, there is God’s love. Can I not ever be with just my spouse, without a God lurking from underneath the pillows?
Come on now, Tom. Don’t be so harsh on people’s way of talking. Most people talk intuitively, and not analytically. It is up to you to figure what they really mean. It is hard to say what one means, and hard to mean what one says. Life moves fast, you know.
Stop trying to quote me.
Uhh… Leaving things open for misinterpretation is not necessarily done intentionally, but who has the ability in the spurt of a moment to exactly explain him or herself all the time? That is why people talk so much. It takes a lot of talk to communicate even only one thing right. As you say, it is what it is.
Well, okay, but in presentations, lectures, in official communications via media, etc., anyone’s got to do better. Else, one may mislead or turn off others rather than helping them along. Young people are often gullible and naive, and easy game for even underachievers trying to get the upper hand.
Sure. What is your take on God’s love then?
Is it God’s love or godly love? A big difference. The notion of God’s love is demeaning to me. It tells me that I, apparently, cannot love. God is the subject of love, the originator of love, the causer of love, and the imposer of love. Love is God’s property, his possession alone and I am a mirror at best. I am just one of his minions, a fool if not a sinner. Unworthy, and thus should feel compelled to surrender my humanity to God’s almighty powers.
Do you know what I mean?
Well, it’s a bit extreme in my view. But okay, there are lots of folks like you who take issues with a traditional view of God. I think that you might be hung up a bit. Can you not get over it?
That is easy for you to say. To you, it’s just all peanuts.
Like many, I have been considerably hurt by some impostors of and believers in God the imposer. Just think what people throughout history had to endure in the name of God, in the name of God’s love. Religious wars in the Middle Ages having killed millions and thousands still being killed in the Middle East, little boys being fondled and traumatized by Catholic priests all over the world, girls being mutilated in African countries by their own parents, you name it. In the name of God’s providence, I had to put up with a lot of hogwash, from sexual deprivations to economic insecurities and then some. No, do not feel pity for me, but there is only anecdotal evidence for a God who actually cares and acts on it.
Okay, okay. We peanuts do not know anything about that sort of thing, though. What about that godly love?
Yes, allow me to explain. I think what people seek is a rather safe or secure way of living in a world full of trouble, full of uncertainties. Life and love are naturally afflicted by vicissitudes and vagaries and all. It is what it is. I myself prefer safety, security, and peace over chaos. I now do think that religion is a human projection of some of humanity’s most essential motivations and intentions into a particular worldview. And what people call God’s love might be just a moniker for a godly love, a love that is caged off in its definition and exercise (as much as possible) by people themselves from said uncertainties, vicissitudes, and vagaries.
But calling that responsible love a godly love does not seem to have enough moral weight to grab most people, even the faithful. Some educators seem to be inclined to invoke the power and authority of an almighty God, fantasy or not, to make “it” stick and so, they call it God’s love. That does not work for me as it brings up the wrong associations. But qualifying responsible love simply and rather unassumingly as a godly love could. It would be good enough. Am I asking for too much?
Oh no, it’s peanuts to me.
The author of this blog, Tom Froehlich, is a graduate of the Unification Theological Seminary (Class of ’83) and is infatuated with musing about the phenomenon of lasting erotic love in human affairs.