Quite commonly people toss out the phrase, “God is love.” Some important people in my life are devout Southern Baptists and me, well I’m spiritually liberal, I suppose. A lot of the stuff that feels like truth to me is downright blasphemy to them. But if we sat down and had a conversation about religion, God and spirituality the one thing we might agree on is that “God is love.”
I have a couple of blogger friends that are “nonbelievers.” At one point in their lives each of them were very devout…one Baptist (I think) and the other Pentecostal. Each of them for various reasons began to question their faith and ultimately left religion and “God” behind. One of them wrote a series of posts the other day with the title “Your God is a Monster.” He was writing about Hell and how really sick and twisted the concept of Hell is. He mentioned God and love and how nonsensical it is that a God who is supposedly so loving would send those who don’t accept his love (or his son’s) to be tortured eternally.
It is quite a conundrum. How can God be all loving and yet have such violent tendencies? So I had a little click. What if we switch the phrase around: LOVE IS GOD!
When love is God there is no room for torture and punishment. Love can’t change it’s mind and stop being love. Love will not judge you. Love sees itself in everything and extends compassion. Love is open and expansive. Love will never use fear to control people.
My atheist friends believe in love. My Southern Baptist family members believe in love. I’d be willing to bet that everyone, no matter what religion, believes in or has experienced love. Love is universal. Love is one thing we all have in common.
There is a lot of debate about the Bible. Many people believe that the Bible is absolute and is to be taken very literally. Some people believe it is poetry and literature left up to each individual’s interpretation. Some believe it was written solely to control the masses and has no foundation in truth at all. I’ve never read the Bible all the way through. I have read bits and pieces, some of which I found hard to accept and some that made my heart sing. The following is one of those “heart-singing” excerpts:
Love is patient, love is kind.
It does not envy.
Love is never boastful, nor conceited, nor rude;
It is not self-seeking, nor easily angered.
It keeps no record of wrongdoing.
It does not delight in evil,
But rejoices in the truth.
It always protects, trusts, hopes, and preserves.
There is nothing love cannot face;
There is no limit to its faith, hope, and endurance.
In a word, there are three things that last forever:
Faith, hope, and love;
But the greatest of them all is love.