waitingforaface asked a question:
You say God loves unconditionally, but isn’t salvation based on an action on our part to choose the grace that is given? Does God love even those who will one day be eternally separated from him? Sorry to ask such a pointed question
You know, I tend to get confused about God’s love because I’ve heard it abused in so many strange ways. And I think the devil totally loves it when we trade simplicity for semantics.
I remember a Calvinist telling me “You can’t say God loves everyone because you’re lying to people who are going to Hell.” Or I’ve heard that God’s love is conditional because it’s inactive for those who don’t love Him. Or I’ve heard that God’s love includes His punishment, because He loves enough to “punish the guilty.”
I suppose I understand all those intricate little detailed arguments. But the plain truth is: God is never contingent on a human response for anything, so His nature is irrevocably independent of our treatment of Him.
No one could possibly imagine what this is like. We’ve never seen a kind of love that keeps initiating from itself without exhaustion. We’ve only seen conditional transactions in every interaction on earth, where we expect pay-offs and paybacks and paychecks. It’s impossible to imagine a relationship where one side is perpetually constant.
So maybe we need to reframe this conversation. When we think of God in purely abstract doctrinal terms, then it seems like salvation is a kind of “equation” where my choice equals some positive outcome. But that’s still a transaction, an exchange of goods. Life is way, way messier than that — because even our choices are full of mixed motives, mistakes, and imperfection. It would be impossible to know who is really “okay with God” based on our own actions, because really, my current grade would get me burst into flames.