There’s this big question of, how do we meet non believers (in God) in the talk about the love of God?
The essentials: reasoning and logic
We cannot meet atheists or agnostics in the talk about faith in God by citing bible verses and sharing about our past prayer meetings. It would simply not work. Much less talk about His love. Dr. Scott Hahn, in his book ‘Reasons to Believe’, said that if we cannot meet them in faith, we should be able to meet them in logic.
There’s an aspect in theology called,
the natural theology, which is the branch of philosophy that treats God’s existence and attributes by means of reason, without relying on the authority of Scripture, tradition, or the Church.
Speaking of which, we have the natural laws. The natural laws include the law of gravity, inertia, impenetrability, etc. From all of which we are bound to. No exceptions. For example, if you jump off from a cliff, you’ll always go down because of gravity.
Morality. The standard of right and wrong.
In the talks about morality, some philosophers argue that morality was only set by people, culture and preference. But! Here’s a big but. Even those philosophers don’t want to experience being wronged. Like robbers don’t want to get robbed, cheaters don’t want to get cheated on, etc. Even bad people doesn’t want someone to do something bad to them. Why is this? Because we are bounded by a natural law. A standard of right and wrong. You don’t even have to become a Christian to know that. You just know bad from the good. And this is universal and absolute! Speaking of natural laws, there is this law called the law of love.
The law of love
According to Vincent Genovesi in his book, ‘In Pursuit of Love’:
In affirming that we are created in the image of God, and thus we are called to be lovers, we also acknowledge that as human beings, it is not we who determine what is it or means to be truly human. Rather, God does, and it is God who initiates our destiny by inscribing in our hearts the only law that reveals the true meaning and purpose of humanity and draws us toward the fulfillment of our nature. This is the law of love, which is the most fundamental law of our human nature. As such, the law of love is never cast aside with impunity, for in refusing to love, we deny our true humanity, and this takes its toll in terms of our own self-violation, self frustration, and ultimate self destruction.
It means that the essence of being human is about love. About loving. It is your very core regardless of religion, regardless of whether you believe in God or not.
To not love means denying the very truth of humanity. To deny your very existence. The consequence? Dissatisfaction. You’ll never be happy even if you own the world. And ultimately, as Genovesi stated, you’ll destroy yourself.
Jesus validates it
When Jesus was tested by the Pharisees and asked about which commandment in the law is the greatest, He said:
You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind. This is the greatest and the first commandment. The second is like it, you shall love your neighbor as yourself. The whole law and the prophets depend on these two commandments.
In here, Jesus is showing us that we really cannot separate loving God from loving our neighbor. If you think about it, how can we love God that we couldn’t see if we cannot love our neighbor whom we can see?
Who is our neighbor? According to the parable of the Good Samaritan, our neighbor is anyone and everyone in need. Everyone! Even the not so lovable. Jesus said,
You have heard that it was said, ‘love your neighbor and hate your enemy’. But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get?
Is it hard? Definitely. Impossible? Absolutely not. Because you were made to love. That’s your TOR in this world. Your natural profession. The very cells of your body were formed by love. You just don’t realize it sometimes. It’s okay, it happens to the best of us.
Love is like taking a bath. You have to do it everyday. You don’t say, I took a bath last year, it’s gotta be okay now. Please, have mercy on your seatmate! Love is like that, you have to do it everyday. So that everybody can experience it and remind them to take a bath. Sorry, to remind them about God’s love, I mean.
Friend, I invite you to celebrate. Celebrate your humanity. Your being human. Because God Himself formed you in love. By sharing your love, you multiply it. Making life more “LIFELIER”. Making God’s love magnified through you. And then, and only then you’ll be satisfied.
Share the love. To everyone.
Peace be with you.
Mark Lester Fernando