I am thoroughly convinced that everyone believes in “God” on some level; in something that is beyond themselves and transcends their personal understanding. I also feel that anyone who claims to not believe in this “Transcendent Something” simply does not feel that the established ideas surrounding “God” are sufficiently large or inclusive enough to be applicable to all peoples at all times. There are many ideas that have been perpetuated about God that are, in my opinion, simply not true or useful. The notion that God is loving is one of them.
This leads us to another problem which is necessary to discuss before addressing the first. There is a famous quote by Voltaire stating, “God made man in his image and man returned the favor.” We (those who profess a belief in God) have often thought of and described God as some sort of man in the sky, which God is not. People speak of God’s hands or eyes as if God has hands or eyes. It’s okay to utilize metaphor and symbolism for the sake of understanding as long as we recognize these words are simply metaphor and symbolism. The idea that God is not some super-human is important to establish because although God is super, God is not human; God is not like us. We become like God, to the degree we learn to love. Whatever this God is is invisible, wonderfully beyond understanding, utterly mysterious, is everything and holds everything together.
Christian scripture states, “God is Love” and this profound pronouncement is what I want to discuss briefly because it is the utmost importance. It is important for men everywhere to understand that God is not loving. Loving is something one does. We love some people and some people we do not. By attributing the act of “loving” to God we have, once again, however unintentionally, made God in our own image. We have anthropomorphized (made like a person) the One that is the Omnipotent Light and is Life itself. God is not loving, God is love. Loving (from a human perspective) is conducted on a conditional basis, during a particular time, in response to a relational position. Love itself is substance, power and life. Loving is the act of giving the substance Love. God is Love; is the substance itself that is moving through us when we are lov-ing.
The difference between God loving and being Love is immense and full of implications. If one is loving they have the option or ability to love or not to love. Loving is not something God does but what God is. There is no one on the earth outside of this Love and there is nothing you can say, do, practice, think or profess that could bring you into this Love. You already exist inside the center of this Love. This is the message personified in Jesus, and is why I am a follower of him. The generosity with which he distributed compassion and mercy was without measure or condition. No one was in or out. He extended a hand of friendship to hookers, addicts and those who were broken and afraid. To the ones society and religion had cast aside he offered relationship. He was demonstrating what unconditional love actually looks like and how a life in Union with Love can change the world. And these statements are not against the religious. Religion, though it has its faults, has also been and continues to be a catalyst of healing, helping, and reuniting people with purpose and hope. No, I am not opposed to religion, popular society, government, or any other established structure. I am simply in support of Love.
Regardless of your stance, belief or unbelief, it is critical that we begin to embrace one another in Love. This is what is to be Christian, or like Christ. To not recognize the inclusive, enormous, immeasurable, unconditional nature of the Love that is God is to not be like Christ. To be a follower of Christ is not membership to a club or a religious affiliation, but a recognition that all are beloved and to live a life of unconditional kindness that gives flesh to the reality: God. Is. Love.