This debate started on my Facebook timeline. A friend of mine, who is a Christian, updated posted the following:
Chris: Love God, Love People.
This is how the comments rolled:
Adam (me – reason42): But does God love people?!……
Chris: i think so, i would have done away with us ungrateful lot years ago!
Adam: You don’t seem sure!
Chris: You’re right, but God’s been trying to convince me that He does for more than 20 years… and that’s just that He loves me… some people hey! 😀
Adam: Ok so you think, or believe, or have faith or whatever that he loves you. That’s you all wrapped up. How about other people – because that’s where I was going… you know… thinking about *other* people…?!
Chris: I think I’d be a bit self centred if I thought he only loved me… hmmm interesting thought tho lol! maybe someone should write a book on it – I vote for Tom Holt!
Adam: It would be ridiculous to suggest he only love *you* though some people have thought that (a kind of Solipsism)!
Okay so shoot from the hip – does he or does he not love people. Or let’s get some precision here. Does he:
A) love all people
B) some people
Your answer please 😉
Chris: I’ll let you know if I meet someone and God tells me He doesn’t love them… If I do then I’ll love them anyway… Or maybe that’s God’s Spirit living in me… 😀
John (a friend of Chris (a friend of Chris is a friend of mine 😉 )):”For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen” (1 John 4:20). I think that is where Chris is coming from. Its quite difficult to discuss this subject without a clear definition of the meaning of the word, “love”. As a father, I love my children unconditionally, but that does not mean I approve of everything about them. I feel that love more intensely at times when I least like them (eg when they are having a quarrel). Jesus said “By this shall all men know that you are my disciples, that you have love for one another”. The body of people that are redeemed by Him are at their most convincing when they have, and show, that love.
Adam: Hi John, I know the perspective Chris’ quote is coming from however – still the question is on the table:
A) love all people?
B) some people?
John: God loves all people. (Adam – my emphasis <- this answer is what I was expecting all along as will come clear later)
Chris: Does God love you Adam?
And if you would like to explain why please
Adam: Hi John, expected answer – but there are deep deep problems with your answer. I would have been more impressed if you said B! I would like to discuss – you up for it?
Chris, good question. As you know, I’m an atheist – but from a philosophical enquiry point of view I would say A if I was to grant all aspects of God I assume you take to be ‘true’ – scare quotes intended! Again, I would like to discuss why…. But facebook comments are not very conducive and I’m not in London for a wee while…
John: Hi, Adam, I’m up for discussing it. What are your deep deep problems with my answer? And before we go too far, just in case we are talking about different things, what exactly do you understand by the word ‘love’?
…and this is how we ended up here. All comments are welcome and moderation will only weed out racist and obscene posts – and here I’m thinking of random posters from around the world.