Articles

Articles

Love, Seeking Oneness

Love

By Mark Chatfield

Many lessons on love deal with various Greek words that have been translated into English as the word “love.” Agape, Phileo, Eros, Storge, Xenia, etc.  Most of those lessons and articles deal with the different aspects of the word “love” and almost forget about the word itself.

There is a way to think of love that is simple. Simple enough to allow us to stay away from too much head-scratching about what the Greek words mean in their scriptural context.  There is an easy definition that helps me when I try to understand just what God means when the Bible says that God is love; we are to love God, our neighbor, ourselves, and our enemies.

Only by knowing God’s nature is this possible.  And God’s nature is all about having a relationship with the souls He created.

Unity.  God is One, Jesus is One, the Holy Spirit is One and together they are one. Moreover, God wants you and me to be one with Him.  He wants us also to be one with each other to the extent we can be. He wants us even to find ways to be one with our enemies.

Seeking oneness is what God does.  Seeking oneness is what He expects of us.

Perhaps there is no greater word to be clear about.  Love, to me, is mostly about seeking oneness.  Pursuing unity.

The Bible is about God.  It is about love. There are emotions and actions and words and attitudes.  At the core of love is seeking oneness.  When you read 1 Cor. 13 and the many, many other passages about love, give thought to that as a definition.

 

Hate

By Mark Chatfield

If God is love (and He is), how can He hate, (and He does)?

Understanding love and hate is very important to Christians. A previous article dealt with the word “love” as translated in the Bible and concluded that the core of “love” is seeking oneness; pursuing unity. God is pursuing oneness with all men.

God is love. Yet, God hates.  He hates a proud look, lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, hearts that devise wickedness, feet swift to mischief, false witness, one who sows discord among brethren. (Prov. 6) plus He hates divorce (Mal. 2:16).

As with the term “love,” we need to understand that the definition is the key.  We tend to use the word hate and think of a red-faced person with steam rising from the ears.

If hate is the opposite of love, and I think it is, and if love means seeking oneness or pursuing a level of unity, and I think it does, then … then …

We need to think of “hate” more more in terms of seeking separation, or rejection.

Does it make sense that God seeks oneness and rejects evil? I think so.

We can read that God loved Jacob but hated Esau. To me this means that God sought unity with the obedient Jacob but since Esau was disobedient, God rejected him.

Application.

Our first consideration toward God, others, and self needs to be “love.”  What can we unify around? However, when we know something or someone is sinful, we are to reject it, disassociate from it.

Love the good. Hate sin.

Be one with God on His terms. Seek unity with others to the extent we can “in the Lord.” Reject Satan and evil.