A person's world view must frame how they approach subjects like this....my world view is Christian in the sense that I grew up in a Christian home and spent all my formative years learning about God and the Bible. I did not however, learn about love. I learned the do's and don'ts as well as punishment and rewards....these are all valid things but NOT the essence of what Christ taught.....do's and don'ts can be legislated and enforced with punishment and incentivized with rewards but they are best when love flows and they become natural instead of forced.So this is the basic frame work through which I see the world.....lets dig a little deeper now.
Stephen Covey, author of The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People said that one should begin with the end in mind. In other words, do today what will bring desired results tomorrow. I intend to change that up a bit and begin with the beginning in mind.
One must make some assumptions about the beginning. Leaps of faith if you will. There are only two: 1. There is no God and the world we live in is a freak accident. This is a belief system that requires the same level of faith atheists accuse the simpleton believers of having in a God and the hereafter. Basically a religion with man as the object of worship. And to some degree, I can see why man in his finite wisdom chooses to worship and love man or perhaps more accurately, mankind. After all, man is an incredibly complex and creative wonderful being. Almost god like in our creativity. Whats not to worship?
These humanity worshipers dream of utopia where all humans live in harmony, peace and love united by our common respect and honor for each other and our differences. Tolerance I think they call it. But man keeps defying these Utopian dreams with their ugly actions...war and violence erupt much more frequently than peace and harmony and so the dreamers use creative and often times coercive means to achieve their dreams. Rules and regulations, submission to the Utopian dreamers because they know best. Physical force and physical laws to achieve what really is a spiritual goal. I hate to say it but its a futile dream. This train of thought is a rabbit hole from which there is no escape. Its hard to have a discussion of love with this context as a foundation.
Number 2 and where I believe the only rational discussion of love can originate from. Lets begin with the assumption that God exists. Lets not argue about the why or how He exists, only that He does. Lets further make assumptions the Bible is correct when it says that God created the universe. Lets not argue about how long that took or if 6 days mean 6 actual days or if they represented a longer period of time. I really don't care. I'm good with both viewpoints. They are irrelevant to the larger reason of WHY God created the universe.
So with the beginning in mind.... lets proceed with a basic framework within which to work. To save some time, I am going to bullet point them without to much explanation.
- God created the universe and everything in it.
- God created man in His own image. Essentially the nature and DNA of God flows in man's veins. Therefore we have characteristics and attributes of God just like children have characteristics and attributes of their parents without being their parents. This is something atheists forget. They are not their "parent".
- God created man different than the animals. Man was created with free will. This free will was to be exercised in his relationship with God. Free to choose to love or not to love. That's what we all want isn't it? Some that loves us because they choose to, not because they have to.
- God created man in order to have relationship with him. This seems odd because it implies that God was lonely and wants to be around creatures that has his same attributes and characteristics.....a peer group if you will. Someone or many someones to hang out with and do cool things with. This is why the Bible says that man was created a little lower than God. He couldn't create more gods but he could create a creature with most of his characteristics and attributes. This implies that we humans were at least originally created with many godlike powers. I believe we retain many of these yet are blinded to them due to sin and our focus on lessor things.
- He had the host of heaven to hang out with but they were not His peers. They were created beings whose job it was to serve the King of Heaven.
- A portion of those created beings whose job it was to serve the King of Heaven rebelled and were cast away from heaven. Their leader, Lucifer hates God's crowning creation, man. Why you ask, because man represents everything Lucifer is not. The center of God's attention and love. This means the agenda of Lucifer is driven by jealousy. Therefore his ultimate goal is to destroy the crown jewel of creation, mankind.
- The physical world we live in is the battle ground for the cosmic battle between the rage and hatred of Lucifer that seeks to take as many of God's beloved with him to the pit of hell where he was banished by any means necessary including diverse and false religions and the all powerful, overwhelming love God has for His beloved creation, man.
- Man choose to sin. To listen to the seduction of Lucifer instead of the wisdom of God. Because life is in the blood and genetics is passed from parent to child, the sin that infused man in the Garden now lives in the blood of all mankind.
- Man's choice requires death. This seems harsh but since God is perfect and no imperfection can be in His presence, death is the only option. Yet God in his desperate love for mankind, decided to make a way for mankind to be free from sin. He began with law. Keep the law and you will be perfect. Again, allowing man free choice to keep or not keep the law.
- Mankind could not keep the law because sin drives man to sin more. Its sin's nature. To be worse and worse. It's a disease of the blood. And that requires sacrifice.
This is the basic frame work from which the remainder of the discussions regarding my random thoughts will flow. Next will be how sacrifice came into being and why. Its an incredible story. And leads directly to love.