When I was young, charity was a common word. Especially with my religious upbringing. When the modern translators substituted charity for love, they did not change the scripture, they changed what was being communicated. I think the position I hold is that charity better communicates the intent of scripture, unconditional, deep, personal enderement better than the word love. When I hear love, I think of a condition of the heart, a feeling. But when I hear the word charity, I think of love in action without thought of payback.
OK this is my last attempt... for a while anyway. I want to re-educate you ;-) so that every time you read the word 'love' in the NT you think 'Calvary'. I can't do so if you insist of your own personal definitions of both love and charity. Love is not a sentiment in the NT, nor an emotion (although it will certainly affect the latter) It is not a general mood of benevolence towards folk. It is not the impersonal, unknowing generosity of charity; it is love focused. A verse which I often delight in is But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, (Eph. 2:4, KJVS) 'love with which He loved us'. This is what God's love is like; it is never academic love, or love in theory, but always 'love which loves'. The verse is also interesting because the word translated 'mercy' here is one which is much closer to the English word 'charity'. It is the Greek word 'eleos'. Perhaps you know the English word 'eleemosynary' which the dictionary may define as 'charitable'? It comes from this word 'eleos'. In other words 'charitable acts' are 'acts of mercy'. Now God is certainly a God of mercy, but He is also the God of grace, and grace is a bigger word than mercy.
The word mercy has the feel of someone stooping down in condescension and compassion. The word grace has enabling power in it. We need both; Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need. (Heb. 4:16, KJVS) Mercy for our lacks, grace to equip us for the future. Charity is a stooping down in compassion and condescension, but love will lift the begger to a throne.
| 2005/5/10 11:22||Profile|
Quote: There is a Shakespeare sonnet which speaks of 'love'. I suppose he had 'eros' in mind mostly but it has a ring about it which constantly challenges me.Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Can love be fabricated by keeping the law? Maybe it could- but it would seem to lack the deep affection that when present needs no law.
Admit impediments. [u]Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove:
O no! it is an ever-fixed mark
That looks on tempests and is never shaken;[/u]
It is the star to every wandering bark,
Whose worth's unknown, although his height be taken.
Love's not Time's fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle's compass come:
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out even to the edge of doom.
If this be error and upon me proved,
I never writ, nor no man ever loved.A duty-love may have the appearance of the real thing but when the tempests come it will be seen for what it is; a mere duty-love.
Sacrifice and offering thou didst not desire; mine ears hast thou opened: burnt offering and sin offering hast thou not required. Then said I, Lo, I come: in the volume of the book it is written of me, [u]I delight to do thy will[/u], O my God: yea, thy law is within my heart. (Psa. 40:6-8, KJVS)The Love of God poured out in our hearts will turn every duty into a delight.
| 2005/5/10 11:39||Profile|
The Love of God poured out in our hearts will turn every duty into a delight.
Thanks Bro. Ron,
So are we safe to say that man in of himself/herself is not capable of loving as God has commanded that we love apart from the love of God being shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost? If this be true then it only reinforces the Gospel and spells the doom of all who in the arm of the flesh attempt to love by keeping the law. Man could neither love his fellow man or God as He should unless the love of God fill His heart.
I think of the passage:
[b]...who, subsisting in the form of God, did not esteem it an object of rapine to be on an equality with God but emptied himself, taking a bondman's form, taking his place in the likeness of men;...[/b] (Darby)
Where do we learn more of the selfless abandonment nature of God than from here to the Cross? Love must be simply to esteem others better than ourselves as a permanent state of mind or being. It makes the needs of others to be as important to us as our own needs- unconditionally. Even as we love our own 'flesh' unconditionally. it makes me think of a definition for agape I heard once- and it was that of a 'decision.' If it is a decision to love all unconditionally it would have to be a once and for all decision. What other means than by the Holy Spirit could one ever carry out such a decision?
Robert Wurtz II
| 2005/5/10 12:01||Profile|
By this shall all men know that you are my disciples, by the love you have one to another. When I see charity I see the world as having the ability to fulfill this. Just look at all the acts of charity that poured out after 9/11. These deeds I'm sure were done with some emotion, but not as a result of regeneration, We love God because He first loved us. But out a response toward social action. I keep thinking of the sermon 10 shekels and a shirt and his example as to try he went to the mission field and how God dealt with him and changed the true motivation for his ministery. And while I know that to a certain extent love is a choice we make, I also know that the feelings should come eventually. Is that accurate to say?
| 2005/5/10 13:41||Profile|
| Re: Ron, Daryl, Robert...|
Very good posts. Thank you so very much. Christian hugs all around.
| 2005/5/10 20:57|
1Jo 4:16 - Show Context
And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.
| 2005/5/14 19:47||Profile|
| Re: what is love|
Im a new comer and have been struggling about this very subject. Perhaps the way to define what a thing is to define what it isnt. Its appropriate then when someone asked "What is Hate". There is a wonderful book by Rebecca Peppard (?) called "Out of the Salt Shaker" where she defined what she thinks is Hate and I will try and paraphrase:
The opposite of Love is Hate. And the ultimate expression of hate is INDIFFERENCE.
So, sometimes love can come in the form of anger and even rage. We are angry with someone, we are still loving them (to a certain extent), especially if we see them destroying themselves. Its when we dont care (indifferent), we show most our hatred.
Now, we all know that love is an action, not ONLY an emotion (altogether its nice to have that too). So my question is : is Duty then love. I struggled with that a lot.
Over to you all.
| 2005/7/13 8:14||Profile|
Good post! It sure does check my heart. I find that I'm often to busy to be anything but indifferent. Time to slow down and look around.Bro. Daryl
| 2005/7/13 8:43||Profile|