Unconditional Love

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Harry12345
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Unconditional Love

#1

Post by Harry12345 » Tue Jul 15, 2008 12:36 pm

Do you think Unconditional Love (agape) is possible for non-Christians? I tend to view agape as a 'base love' for anyone I meet, and then add philio and/ or eros as time goes on.
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Re: Unconditional Love

#2

Post by Cross.eyed » Wed Jul 16, 2008 10:17 am

I don't know about all non-Christians, but before I comitted my life to God, it was impossible.

I don't recall hearing the phrase "unconditional love" much less understand it. I thought I loved my family, but in looking back, I see my former self as someone who provided for his family and calling that provision "love."

For me, it was as John wrote in 1 John 4:12 No one has ever seen God. If we love one another, God remains in us and His love is perfected in us.l

While i can't comprehend perfection, I can say that today, I have much more love in me for my family (and all others) than I ever thought possible.

Without any doubt, it took the Holy Spirit of God to do that.
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Re: Unconditional Love

#3

Post by Furstentum Liechtenstein » Thu Jul 17, 2008 4:17 pm

Harry12345 wrote:Do you think Unconditional Love (agape) is possible for non-Christians?
My answer on this is less circumspect than Cross.eyed's...a flat-out NO! it is impossible for non-Christians - and highly unlikely for Christians - to give agape love. The only exception, perhaps, would be for some parents of newborn infants.

Here is a biblical definition of love:

Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for he who loves his fellowman has fulfilled the law. The commandments, «Do not commit adultery,» «Do not murder,» «Do not steal,» ...and whatever other commandments there may be is summed up in this one rule: «Love your neighbor as yourself.» Love does no harm to its neighbor, therefore love is the fulfillment of the law. Romans 13:8-10 NIV

Notice the last two sentences, Love does no harm to its neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law. Can anyone living on Earth claim to have done no harm to others?

Again,

...I am not writing you a new command but one we have had from the beginning: I ask that we love one another. And this is love: that we walk in obedience to his commands...
2 John 5b-6a NIV

Since coming to Christ, I get glimpses every once in a while of what love really is...but I fall way short of the mark, usually. I can identify with Cross.eyed when he says:
Cross.eyed wrote:While i can't comprehend perfection, I can say that today, I have much more love in me for my family (and all others) than I ever thought possible.
So...how can people who do not know God, love?

FL
Hold everything lightly. If you don't, it will hurt when God pries your fingers loose as He takes it from you. -Corrie Ten Boom

+ + +

If they had a social gospel in the days of the prodigal son, somebody would have given him a bed and a sandwich and he never would have gone home.

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Re: Unconditional Love

#4

Post by B. W. » Thu Jul 17, 2008 6:05 pm

Harry12345 wrote:Do you think Unconditional Love (agape) is possible for non-Christians? I tend to view agape as a 'base love' for anyone I meet, and then add philio and/ or eros as time goes on.

1 John 2:15, "Do not love (agapao) the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves (agapao) the world, the love (agape) of the Father is not in him." ESV

Yes - it is possible. So possible that God's love cannot rest upon them for their love is twisted toward what the world agapes.

1 John 2:16, "Because all that [is] in the world-the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the pretentious pride of life-is not from the Father _but_ is from the world. "ALT

Also, the defintion used for agape 'Unconditional Love' is not the best way to define this word. Research it more on your own.
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Re: Unconditional Love

#5

Post by zoegirl » Fri Jul 18, 2008 5:09 am

hmmm good points BW

I suppose its as simple as this. People who refuse God love the world more than HIm, willing to die for it.
"And we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Jesus Christ"

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Re: Unconditional Love

#6

Post by Harry12345 » Fri Jul 18, 2008 2:09 pm

B. W. wrote: Also, the defintion used for agape 'Unconditional Love' is not the best way to define this word. Research it more on your own.
I have. All the sources I investiagted said that agape = unconditional love, epitomised by Jesus' sacrafice for Mankind. :?

I sense annoyance, B.W. :shock: The "one your own" comment seems like a "shoo" or "buzz off".
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Re: Unconditional Love

#7

Post by Leprechaun » Fri Jul 18, 2008 2:13 pm

Harry12345 wrote:Do you think Unconditional Love (agape) is possible for non-Christians?
Is it possible for anyone? We often try but more often than not we fail.

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Re: Unconditional Love

#8

Post by B. W. » Fri Jul 18, 2008 4:40 pm

Harry12345 wrote:
B. W. wrote: Also, the defintion used for agape 'Unconditional Love' is not the best way to define this word. Research it more on your own.
I have. All the sources I investiagted said that agape = unconditional love, epitomised by Jesus' sacrafice for Mankind. :?

I sense annoyance, B.W. :shock: The "one your own" comment seems like a "shoo" or "buzz off".
No not at all Harry, I am sorry about sounding like that. I should have placed a ;) by comment.

Anyways, I would recommend reading the 'Dictionary of New Testament Theology' (editor - Verlyn D. Verbrugge published by Zondervan) on the use and history of this word. It is on page 5 through 7 small print on 8x11 page. It helps the reader to understand how the word was used and why. Very good read.

Now to find a good smile so I do not sound so glum: :cheers:
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Re: Unconditional Love

#9

Post by B. W. » Tue Jul 22, 2008 9:04 pm

Harry have you read the sourse I gave on this topic?

It would be interesting to see what others say about Agape? what it means, etc...
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Re: Unconditional Love

#10

Post by Harry12345 » Fri Jul 25, 2008 9:12 am

B. W. wrote:Harry have you read the sourse I gave on this topic?

It would be interesting to see what others say about Agape? what it means, etc...
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No not yet, though I plan to. :) Perhaps a more fitting term for this type of love is 'Caritas'?
If you're born once, you die twice; but if you're born twice, you die once.

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Re: Unconditional Love

#11

Post by B. W. » Sun Jul 27, 2008 9:48 am

Harry12345 wrote:
B. W. wrote:Harry have you read the sourse I gave on this topic?

It would be interesting to see what others say about Agape? what it means, etc...
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No not yet, though I plan to. :) Perhaps a more fitting term for this type of love is 'Caritas'?
Deus caritas est - "God is love"

Good point - Latin word used to decribe Greek Agape helps but there is still more - what does charity do?
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Re: Unconditional Love

#12

Post by Harry12345 » Mon Jul 28, 2008 11:09 am

B. W. wrote: Deus caritas est - "God is love"
Haha! I'm onto something then! :mrgreen:
Good point - Latin word used to decribe Greek Agape helps but there is still more - what does charity do?
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Caritas is a love that is defined by a conscious decision as opposed to an unstable emotion.

It is a love that loves despite the flaws as opposed to a love that loves blind of the flaws.

It is a love of the will as opposed to a love of the whim.

It is a love which looks beyond any discrimate qualities of the beloved or specific factors in the circumstance(s) that bring you and the beloved together.

It invloves casting aside your own agenda if favour of what's best for the beloved in question. <--- This is important because a distinction is made between "what's best for them" and "their own agenda"... they're own agendas may be flawed, and Caritas love, although indiscriminate, is not permissive.

It is a love that transcends subjective values and personal opinions.

It is a love that lasts forever.
If you're born once, you die twice; but if you're born twice, you die once.

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Re: Unconditional Love

#13

Post by B. W. » Sun Aug 03, 2008 8:25 am

Harry12345 wrote:…Caritas is a love that is defined by a conscious decision as opposed to an unstable emotion.

It is a love that loves despite the flaws as opposed to a love that loves blind of the flaws.

It is a love of the will as opposed to a love of the whim.

It is a love which looks beyond any discrimate qualities of the beloved or specific factors in the circumstance(s) that bring you and the beloved together.

It invloves casting aside your own agenda if favour of what's best for the beloved in question. <--- This is important because a distinction is made between "what's best for them" and "their own agenda"... they're own agendas may be flawed, and Caritas love, although indiscriminate, is not permissive.

It is a love that transcends subjective values and personal opinions.

It is a love that lasts forever.
Very good! Also note how the Latin corresponds to the Hebrew words translated in English as Love: Ahab, Aheb, ohab, ahaba.

Another thing to note is how Agape and its varied spelling-grammar forms are used in the LXX (Septuagint). It is by looking at how the Hebrew was translated into Greek and Greek into Latin that we begin to uncover the meaning of the word Agape.

Different languages captures shaded of meaning for a word that has been lost to time and culture. It is by looking at how the words were translated from one language into another is most helpful in uncovering the meaning of a word.

Many years ago (maybe it was during the 1950's 60's — not sure) the definition for Agape (Love) was popularized to mean Unconditional Love.

What was meant by 'Unconditional Love' was that there was absolutely nothing we can do, or do to earn God's love. That God poured out his love not due to anything we deserve. Humanity deserved wrath and God pour out his love through Christ Jesus without conditions to change those that believe.

Others reading this from can add more here if they like. I am only simplifying how agape was popularized to mean unconditional love. The basic concept was that there was nothing we can do and absolutely no way anyone can earn God's Love (agape) by works. Very true, yet a profound truth about Love was still being missed.

I think it was during the mid 1990's and currently, the definition of Unconditional Love is in process of being redefined into meaning: Love that has no conditions and is lovingly accepting and tolerant of all; A love that cannot bear to punish or hold to account.

Agape is being twisted to mean a loving tolerance without conditions. This is a far cry from how Agape was taught a mere 20 to 40 years ago as meaning: absolutely nothing we can do, or ways to earn God's love and that humanity deserved wrath yet God poured out his love through Christ Jesus without conditions to change those that believe.

Agape now means basically anything goes because God loves you so much that you do not have to repent because he is so loving he can never bear holding anyone to account. Agape Love now is beginning to mean as all embracing tolerance without responsibility.

Agape does not mean this at all. The key is to uncover its meaning from the LXX from Hebrew to Greek to Latin and how each word was used in its time and culture. What a person is to look for is the theme that the words translated from one language to another are conveying. It is here you'll uncover more about what Agape means and its meaning is far deeper than the traditional meaning of Unconditional Love held 30 years ago

Henry, what theme does Caritas have in common with the Hebrew words for love?

The Shema (Deut 6:4-6) holds a clue but that is an advanced bible study :ewink:
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Re: Unconditional Love

#14

Post by Jac3510 » Mon Aug 04, 2008 12:32 pm

Personally, I don't think we should make a big deal about "agape" being unconditional love or "God's kind of love." Koine Greek just isn't that precise. Let me give you one example from the LXX:
  • In the course of time, Amnon son of David fell in love (ηγαπησεν - agape) with Tamar, the beautiful sister of Absalom son of David.
Here's a link if you want to see it yourself.

http://bibledatabase.net/html/septuagint/10_013.htm

"Agape", as I understand it, is just a word that was used interchangably with "philos" to mean "love."
Proinsias wrote:I don't think you are hearing me. Preference for ice cream is a moral issue
And that, brothers and sisters, is the kind of foolishness you get people who insist on denying biblical theism. A good illustration of any as the length people will go to avoid acknowledging basic truths.

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Re: Unconditional Love

#15

Post by B. W. » Mon Aug 04, 2008 1:56 pm

Jac3510 wrote:Personally, I don't think we should make a big deal about "agape" being unconditional love or "God's kind of love." Koine Greek just isn't that precise. Let me give you one example from the LXX:
  • In the course of time, Amnon son of David fell in love (ηγαπησεν - agape) with Tamar, the beautiful sister of Absalom son of David.
Here's a link if you want to see it yourself.

http://bibledatabase.net/html/septuagint/10_013.htm

"Agape", as I understand it, is just a word that was used interchangably with "philos" to mean "love."
Great point Jac3510!

I tried to qualify it to the Shema usage between God and his people as you are correct the "Koine Greek just isn't that precise." Agape was used interchangeably.

But there is a usage of the word when referring agape to God towards Man (by man I am including women too) as well as Man towards God. That is what I am trying to explore and see what others know of this.
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