The Myth of God’s Unconditional Love
Today is the day we set aside to celebrate the birth of Jesus. Even though there are many questions as to whether this event actually ever took place, we cannot deny the impact this story, related a few decades later in the gospels, has had on the world. This “good news” did not bring the promised peace on earth but resulted in wars and fear. However, as LeoPardus recently pointed out, there are some good things that can be attributed to birth of the church.
As I meditate on the meaning Christmas used to hold for me, there is one particular point that I can no longer reconcile as rational. This event was supposed to be a demonstration of God’s unconditional love for man. That God, so loved the world, that he gave his only son, to die on a cross to redeem me from my sins and thus restoring me into a relationship with him.
Upon reading the scriptures, one cannot help but conclude that God’s love is anything but unconditional. The Old Testament is packed with what I will refer to as “if…then” statements. If you do a list of things, you will be blessed but if, on the other hand, you disobey you will be cursed. In many cases, the curses included genocide, violence, killings, diseases, sicknesses, fire and brimstone, floods, plagues, and a variety of other demonstration of God’s wrath and judgment. How can any of this be described as unconditional?
In the New Testament, this theme continues. If one does not accept Jesus as his/her personal lord and savior, they are doomed to spend an eternity in a fires of hell perpetually being tortured beyond comprehension. Of course, Christians believe that this is a deserved punishment because of a lack of faith on behalf of the unconverted.
Where in this story is there any measure of an unconditional love? Agape love is defined by Christians as “divine, unconditional, self-sacrificing, active, volitional, and thoughtful love.” However, there is no such love to be found in the Christian scriptures.
The reality is, unconditional love does not exist – whether its origin is divine or human. In fact, I would venture to say that I believe I, a mere human, am more capable of unconditional love than the God described in the Bible.
- The de-Convert