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 THE TRAGEDY OF LOVE

(PART 2)

In this section, we are going to take a deeper look on THE LOVE OF MAN FOR MAN under three general headings:

1. Impersonal & Personal Human Love

2. The Perilous Human Love Affair

3. Commanded to Love

IMPERSONAL

AND PERSONAL HUMAN LOVE

Both in Greek and English language, “love” is a transitive verb; it takes both a subject and an object. The subject is the one who loves; the object is the one loved –the recipient of love. In the sentence I love you, “I” is the subject, and “you’ is the object.

This distinction between subject and object explains the two basic types of genuine love that exist between members of the human race. When the emphasis is on the subject (the one who loves) it is called impersonal love. When the emphasis is on the object (the one who is loved), it is called personal love.

The subject –the one who loves

The object – the one who is loved

Impersonal love depends on the honor and virtue of the one who loves.

Personal love depends on the beauty, attractiveness, capacity and response of the one who is loved.

Impersonal love does not require familiarity, closeness, friendliness or

even acquaintance with the object of love. A close relationship between the subject and object may exist but not necessary. Impersonal love is simply the consistent function of your own human virtue toward other people.  The impersonal love can be directed toward friends, enemies, loved ones and even strangers –toward the entire human race.

Personal love requires knowledge of the object with some degree of intimacy. The object of personal love must be attractive to you, share basic value with you, and have capacity to love you in return. Only a selected few qualify as objects of your personal love, but all mankind can bee the object of your impersonal love.

Personal love is designed for relations with a few selected desirable close people, while Impersonal love is designed to benefit the human race. Personal love is very discriminating; whereas impersonal love is by no means discriminate anyone. Personal love is conditional, but impersonal love is unconditional.

Personal love creates weaknesses. You bring your own problems into any personal relationship, and so does the one you love. In personal love, the problems, shortcomings, faults, and sins of two people are combined and multiplied. Your vulnerability to the influence of the one you love can spawn subjectivity and the mental attitude sins (like jealousy, self-pity, bitterness). Therefore, personal love is emotionally stimulating, complicated with impulsiveness, fickle-mindedness and capriciousness that lovers cannot control.

Human personal love is often turbulent and frustrating. It is never stronger than the virtue of those involved. Personal love cannot pass the test of time, conflicts, crisis and storms of human relationship. This is the reason why two persons attracted to each other in the beginning will end either in separation, divorce or freezing relationship. Nothing can make it last except virtue impersonal love.

An enduring personal love depends on virtue impersonal love.

Human personal love is not a virtue but a problem-manufacturing affair of the heart. Impersonal love is the virtue that alone can make stronger and stabilize personal love. The only variable under human control in impersonal love is the mental attitude of the believer. Whereas personal love may lead to compromise of true norms and standards, impersonal love never compromise virtue.

Impersonal love for mankind is the result of your advancing relationship with God; on the other hand, personal love is the distraction from what is most important issue of the human life, that is Bible doctrine. Personal love by itself is a problem while impersonal love is a problem-solver.

In 1 Corinthians 13:13 impersonal love furnishes the ultimate Christian virtue. Impersonal love furnishes the perfect environment for faith and hope. Virtue impersonal love is mandatory while personal love is optional.

Personal love is certainly legitimate and potentially wonderful, but it is virtue-dependent, hanging on virtue of impersonal love, which represents the highest degree of integrity of the soul. For this reason, Satan is working hard in keeping believers away from the truth of Bible doctrine. The devil is an enthusiastic supporter of personal love and successfully deceiving many.

I                                   You                     Love

  (subject)      (transitive verb)    (object)

 

IMPERSONAL LOVE

PERSONAL LOVE

Emphasizes subject

Emphasizes object

Demands integrity in subject

Demands attractiveness in object

Requires no personal acquaintance

Requires close personal acquaintance / intimacy

Directed toward all

Directed toward few

Unconditional

Conditional

Virtue

Virtue-dependent

Strong

Vulnerable

Stable

Volatile

Variables under control

Uncontrollable variables

Depends on doctrine in the soul

Depends on impersonal

Love

Problem-solver

Problem maker

Mandatory

Optional

 The believer with impersonal love does not rely on the object of his love for strength and support because he is sustained by Bible doctrine in his soul. No variables or unreliable are involved except those controlled by his self-determination. Based on his decisions over an extended period of time in learning and applying Bible doctrine, he can cope up with the problems of the personal love and maintain a marvelous relationship with another person, or he can content alone.

Such spiritually mature believer (those with maximum Bible doctrine in the soul) can function without fail in any given situation whether faced with hostility, admiration, antagonism or whatsoever. His attitude of impersonal love does not depend on emotional stimulation, attraction or what he can get in return. He cannot be influenced or manipulated by flattery or human approbation. He does not depend on advices or counseling of his others. The Bible doctrine in his soul gives him strength and wisdom to live his own life before the Lord. He is genuinely humble and teachable yet he is not controlled by what anyone else thinks, says or does.

THE PERILOUS

HUMAN LOVE AFFAIR

Love (impersonal) is a many splendor thing but personal love is a perilous thing. There are many factors to think about and consider related to personal love.

Personal love is not the solution to most of human problems like identity crisis or aloneness. Majority of young people are thinking that a love affair can ease their undefined struggles. The object of their love becomes an avid but ignorant listener of problems of the subject. The subject expects the one he loves to provide the necessary remedy such as lollipops and roses, sex and kisses. Such personal (either pseudo-erotic or virtue dependent romantic) love can only manufacture more problems.

Beware of the human viewpoint that advocates compatibility because no two persons are alike in temperament, in inner nature and composure, and character. Basically, there are points of similarity but it does not give any assurance of harmonious marriage life. Two persons with old sin (OSN) nature cannot be at peace all the time. There is war in the world because there are people with OSN.

People, including carnal, reversionist, and immature believer will search for happiness in the cosmic system, since they lack the genuine happiness that comes only from God. Their minds are occupied with the world and with the things of the world, so they cannot in any way escape the corruption. They indulge their souls in the treasure and pleasures of the world without giving consideration for their spiritual life. The root cause of the problem is the lack of virtue personal love for God and impersonal love for man. The Christian good relationship with men is fortified by his relationship with God and that is by the merits of Christ.

The citizens of heaven must be aware of the traps laid by Satan to destroy the believers who are still in the world but not of the world. Look out for this falling debris of the cosmos disbolicus:

  • Matchmakers around you
  • Love & Marriage counselors
  • Worldly preachers
  • Radio & TV personalities
  • Uninvited advisers
  • Christian books on love

A love affair that involved an unbeliever is not only wrong but also fatal. It is like playing with explosives that might explode anytime. God commanded the believers not to compromise their divine viewpoint –that is what exactly means by “Do not be equally yoked” with the unbelievers.

Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnerships have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness? (2 Corinthians 6:14)

 The prohibition not to be bound with unbelievers is a warning for believers not to build a factory of problems that will continue to operate for a long time even the rest of his life. Some expect God to intervene and save their lovers to relief their pains and miseries. The believer who has knowledge of this doctrine and defy the Word of God by marrying an unbeliever will suffer the rest of his life. Since personal love is a compromiser, it will somehow please the believer for sometime. The lover will attend the Bible study just to please the Christian, but it will not last long after the wedding day.

The love of the world has nothing to do with the love that comes from God. The truth of the Bible doctrine has nothing to do with human viewpoint or with the satanic policy of good and evil. The imputed divine righteousness and eternal life in you has nothing to do with the unregenerate soul of your lover.

COMMANDED TO LOVE

Impersonal love, generated in the believer’s soul no matter whom he encounters, is the only type of love that can fulfill the divine commands to love all believers and everyone else.

Believers are commanded to love (with impersonal love) four categories of people:

·         Our Christian neighbors

·         Our enemies

·         Our literal neighbors

·         Everyone else

A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, (virtue impersonal love) even as I have loved you, (Divine personal love) that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another (virtue impersonal love) (John 13:34-35).

We are not commanded to do the one of the most impossible thing, to love all believers with personal love. The only love you can possess for most individuals is based, not on their weaknesses, idiosyncrasies, or what the world called incompatibility with you, but on the strength of your own character.

Through impersonal love your attitude toward everyone will be basically the same manifested in courtesy, thoughtfulness, sensitivity to the feelings of others, tolerance, and flexibility in nonessential areas of disagreement or dispute. Such mental attitudes can be constantly maintained toward any believer. The Christian love is not arrogant, hypocritical, selfish, and self-righteous. (Romans 12:9)

Impersonal love is not cold, rigid, insensitive, artificial, and emotionless façade, but a gracious mental attitude consistent with Bible doctrine in your soul and fired by the filling of the Holy Spirit.

The policy of impersonal love is:

Virtue toward all, no matter who or what they are.

Through this good policy of impersonal love toward all men, your spiritual aristocracy or nobility is revealed as you honorably represent Jesus Christ in the devil’s world. Impersonal love is not directed only toward the believers but toward unbelievers as well.

We are commanded to love our neighbors (Christians and unbelievers alike) from genuine Christian virtues deep down in a heart saturated with Bible doctrine (Mark 12:31).

"The second is this, `you shall love your neighbor as yourself (from your own virtue of impersonal love) There is no other commandment greater than these."

"You have heard that it was said, `You shall love your neighbor, (virtue impersonal love) and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies, (virtue impersonal love) and pray for those who persecute you in order that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.” For if you love those who love you, (personal love -personal love) what reward have you? Do not even the tax-gatherers do the same? (Matthew 5:43-46)

The divine mandates to love everyone command us to develop virtue by daily intake of Bible doctrine and to live with the people around us by the integrity that is in us. For every divine mandate for believers, God has also provided all that we need to function and fulfill His command. Human virtue-dependent personal love between person is always in conflict. Virtue personal love when misdirected toward man is idolatry. [1]



[1] Bible Doctrine Book 4 –Virtue Love

Cherreguine Bible Doctrine Ministries