The Evangelical Universalist Forum

GOD is love

and thank goodness for that for if that weren’t the case we would all be stuffed and I would ever so reluctantly be getting shoved to the front of the queue by a giant hand reaching out of the clouds , but the idea that everything that GOD does stems from his essence which is love should naturally lead one to question just what is love ?
you could at this point quote the obvious ‘‘love is patient love is kind …’’ ect and to be sure love most certainly is those things that should go without saying but I would like to suggest it is those things in the eternal sense [for the here and now! ]

but I would like to throw a spanner in the works at this point and suggest love is so much more depending on the context in fact some may find the following shall we say awkward to say the least !

‘‘you brood of vipers’’ :astonished: ,a harsh statement indeed ! , doesn’t sound very loving to those who have sentimental ears perhaps !

or the even more painful

‘‘but these enemies of mine who did not want me to reign over them bring them here and slay them in my presence’’

remember everything GOD does is bore out of his love !

or ,’‘so he made a whip out of cords and drove them out of the temple’’
or ,’‘the Lord is a warrior , the Lord is his name’’
or ,’’ know therefore today that it is the Lord your GOD who is crossing over before you as a consuming fire . he will destroy them and he will subdue them before you so that you may drive them out and destroy them quickly’’

goodness the list is almost endless but an embrace of universal reconciliation goes at least some of the way to resolving this seeming dilemma :wink:

I agree, it’s a good question to ask what we mean by love. Personally I think that it extends directly out of our understanding of the Trinity. As Jason would say, fair-togetherness between persons. I found Explaining how the Trinity leads to Universalism (to a 10yo? very helpful in starting to understand this.

Basically I think love is about wanting the best for someone else. Sometimes this isn’t pleasant e.g. taking drugs off an addict or God’s discipline.

This is an excellent question Stuart and one which urgently needs addressing.
I would define ‘Love’ to be ‘that which desires and does all possible for the welfare of the other’
Hi Alex:

Did Jason use this as a ‘definition’ of Love? IMO it falls way short. It only works between like-minded spirits so it can apply to the trinity but not to the Love Christ showed to the pharisees.
Whilst we must love our enemy, there is no way that God would have us experience ‘fair togetherness’ with our enemy.
When Jesus said ‘You brood of Vipers’, if we are serious about UR, then we must believe that this was an expression of His love towards them. That is precisely what I believe.
I really do believe that in our post-modern culture, which is also part of this forum, we have replaced love for ‘niceness’. This ‘niceness’ will always speak sweetly to another and, with great etiquette, will flatter rather than speak the truth in Love.
Yes, true love does include tough-love. Jesus knew exactly what the pharisees needed at their point on the journey and He did not neglect His duty.

That’s probably how I would define love myself. And I agree that Love is often better served tough. Niceness is nice, but it’s not necessarily Love. Responding to each situation properly is the real difficulty; being tough whenever love demands it, and being soft in every other situation.

Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.(Proverbs 27:6 KJV)

goodness we are all brothers I agree with you :wink: let me ask the question this way [from another angle]
when GOD separated from man [and has remained so to varying degrees even with Christians] was that love ? in other words
is separation love ? if that is the case when are we to imitate GOD and ‘‘be ye separate’’ ? there’s yet another classic verse that’s flung about !, the fundamentalists use it at any given moment !
yet some universalists tend to not see validity in separating over anything even some on hell yet with others hell is THE ONLY thing worth separating over !
this brings me to the next related issue

‘‘do not think that I have come to bring unity but division’’ , I would suggest that division is to some extent love

to my mind true unity only occurs when the truth is acknowledged
on every topic ! yet another reason why I just love u.r.[as opposed to the false unity that exists in modern Christianity] :unamused:
this leads to the next issue ‘‘what is truth’’ talk about a profound question ! sometime what’s true on a given issue is hard to discern [granted !,are you listening we are all brothers :slight_smile: I’m having a go at myself here] however , I do believe that a genuine heart seeking the truth reading as much as one can find on a given topic should lead us all to a point of what I term ‘‘a reasonable approximation of the truth’’ on a given topic, in other words unlike those who have a fundamentalist streak and tend to view truth in very narrowly defined terms [something that I loath] I’m equally unimpressed by the approach that views truth rather loosely and just in effect ends up being a pat everybody on the back parade I will end at this point by leaving you all with a saying I have come up with
‘‘love without truth is not true love’’

Kinda like…cruel to be kind?


I am the way THE TRUTH and the life. THE WORD is truth, and a lamp unto my feet. And the word became flesh and dwelt among us. The mystery hidden to generations past is Christ(THE WORD) in YOU the hope of glory.

He came to cause division, For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two–edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

He came to cause division between the old man and new man, soul and spirit. And he is creating one new man jointly fitted together in unity and love, there is neither jew nor greek.

yes, well summed up ! love can be shall we say hard !

Yeah, kinda like we sometimes have to learn the hard way…whatever it takes to get us to repent…God will allow to happen…Sorta like that i take it? :nerd:

on a personal level most certainly ,but coming at it from a corporate vantage-point, taking division again , since the reformation
there are approximately 23 thousand different , sects , splinter groups , denominations , church’s and cults they are all wrong on at least one point if not many so perhaps this is GOD’S way of ultimately bringing true unity [out of love] [with-in this context]
knowing human nature as he does , hence division in the context of a fallen world is a temporal expression of his love !

for example take the tower of babel where GOD divided man or the spiritual equivalent the reformation :smiley: where these two events unloving of GOD ?

Unconditional love still has boundaries. These boundaries are required to truly love someone in an unconditional way. I love my three children without condition (as much as a human can) but I have boundaries in displaying this love. For instance I would not allow my children to play with the light socket. My love would be displayed through disciplining them in such a way where they would stop that behavior. I dont stop loving them because they disobey but I withhold my approval of bad behavior for their benefit. The displeasure God has with our actions are founded in love and the boundaries he abides by are required by someone with a perfect love.

The problem with naming specific events is we dont know what would have happened if God did not do what he did. And remember he gave people enough control over creation to murder and destroy themselves and others. When he does intervene it should be considered mercy/grace. If he does not intervene he is merely giving us the control over our lives we demanded from him.

The issue of the bazillions of denominations (the sect of the green carpet as opposed to the sect of the red carpet, especially) is a painful one. I do not believe that God intended us to be divided, but neither do I suppose He intends that we submit to Diotrephes. Jesus prayed, “Father make them one . . .” and I believe He meant it. The division is between Adam 1 and Adam 2, whether in a single individual or on a global scale, and will ultimately be resolved.

As to the divisions within the ekklesia, that is a sad, sad story. How to differentiate the false church from the true church, especially when there are always so many degrees of differences (right about this, semi-right about that, completely wrong about the other thing)? If only we would all agree to meet around Jesus and Jesus only. As long as we continually keep our eyes and our focus on Him, there may be disagreements, but there can be no divisions among His brothers and sisters. This is the love we are supposed to be displaying to the world, just as Israel was supposed to be the light on the lampstand and the city set on the hill which couldn’t be hidden. :frowning:

But He will have His way, and surprisingly, He always comes up with the simplest solutions (which no one had ever even considered) to the most complex problems. He wants His elect to be one; then we will be! :slight_smile:

thanks for joining in - the unconditional love I have for my children also has conditions attached ! I sometimes have to use violence on their backsides :astonished:

this is yet another logical benefit of U.R. the dispute regarding GODS conditional love and his unconditional love !

:smiley: :smiley: :smiley:

Stuart, I think He certainly expects it and yes, probably requires it when we must take a stand. However in those cases, I wonder if it can truly be called a division of the BODY, but perhaps rather a division FROM some false brothers and sisters. It’s hard to know where to draw the line, but seriously, those who follow some heresies (prosperity?) may not really be following the Jesus introduced to us by the scriptures at all. Of course THEY believe that they are. I myself have been in this trouble for much of my life and it took what seemed to me a quite violent and painful reset process to open my eyes to the true, glorious Son of God. Even now I’m sure I have some mistaken ideas (If I knew what they were, I’d change them!)

Of course, Jesus is so good to us; He knows just how far we’ll have to follow that false Christ before we are able to be gently led away by His own hand into a path that is at least closer to the true path.

But no, I don’t really believe that it is His perfect will for His body to be divided. He doesn’t want false body parts, either, or things that will be part of the body but aren’t yet, etc. Ultimately, I suspect that you and I agree completely on this. It’s just so difficult to get the language together. The problems come when we can’t agree on what is a true point of doctrine, or what is vital enough to justify a schism. Many things aren’t worth separating over that we do separate over, though. For example, it isn’t appropriate (imo) to separate over belief in ECT if we’re genuinely seeking and striving toward the truth together. It may be appropriate to distance oneself from a brother who vehemently preaches such an offensive doctrine, but just for believing it? Nah. Jesus is leading that mistaken brother or sister, and they will eventually come around in His good time, so imo there’s really no excuse for putting her out of the group or even for not inviting him over for dinner.

Yes, I think the key may be that we are all diligently seeking Jesus together with a true desire and longing for the truth from and about Him. No questions taboo, no genuine seekers turned away, and of course, no (and especially no grievous) sin winked at. If this is the case, I can’t think of anything we should separate over, though we might of course, disagree on any number of things. We are together. We are brothers and sisters. In the institutional form of church it becomes more difficult when one might be required to submit to one who calls him/herself an authority and requires that those in membership agree to his/her/their doctrine. That necessitates divisions in a hurry, but I try to stay away from that sort of thing! :wink:

Blessings, Cindy


It does occur to me that my worldview of the gathering of Jesus Christ has changed dramatically in the past several years, and that we may be looking at things from entirely different perspectives. Just to clarify, I’m in an organic house church type setting. We don’t have any leader except for Jesus (unless you take the equally valid perspective that we are all of us leaders in this or that situation). Maybe it’s better to say that we don’t have any in authority besides Christ.

There are no taboo questions amongst us, so long as they are asked by honest brothers and sisters seeking Truth. We don’t always leave our gatherings in complete agreement, but so far we haven’t found anything we disagree about that’s worth separating over.

I’m not saying there could never be such a disagreement. I heard of one group in which one single man (I won’t call him a brother) sinned with one of the wives in the group. The group couldn’t agree whether to put this man out of the fellowship and they ended up dissolving over the issue. Understandably, the wronged husband couldn’t bring himself to sit in fellowship with the unrepentant man who had so sinned against him and who was still being treated as a respected brother (even as he continued in his illicit relationship with the wife). How humiliating! To me, it was clearly necessary to put this man (and the woman) out of the fellowship until they should genuinely repent. This would be one of those things you really had no choice over, but I don’t think that’s the sort of extreme situation you were talking about.

Blessings and grace,

Hi Cindy,
How do you guys in the organic church interpret the scriptures that speak of elders, pastors, deacons, etc?