Foreword: Must I Love Your Dog Too?

Recently a presidential candidate was asked about having a homosexual son or daughter. His response seemed to be highly regarded by the media and astute on the part of the candidate. He responded to the effect that because God gave him unconditional love, he would give his child unconditional love no matter what. Evidently this "unconditional love" would be embraced regardless of what the child might do -- murdering his mother, raping a baby, or having sex with the neighbor's sheep, comes to mind as possibilities.

 This concept of unconditional love comes from the proverb: "love me, love my dog." This means, if you love someone, you must accept everything about them, even their faults or weaknesses. Certainly, we love each and every child, along with their faults and weaknesses. Most of these faults and weaknesses are the result of our spouse's DNA (?). Sometime, however, we see too much of our self in the offspring. As a rule then, we all love our children, however a child's conduct might, and can, become so distasteful that we would actually disinherit him (or her- to be politically correct). You may remember, God once threatened to disinherit the descendants of Israel (Numbers 14:12) and Moses talked Him out of it.

 It is true the Bible teaches that "God is love." However, the statement is found but once in the authorized or King James Version. The apostle John states, "He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love" (1 John 4:8). God's love to man is because man is special. In all of God's marvelous creation, man alone is created in the image of our Maker (Genesis 1:26-27 etc.). The so called, "golden text of the Bible" is found in John 3:16. It states, "God so love the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life."

 The sacrifice of God's only begotten Son on the cross for the sins of man is based on the fact that there will be a final "Judgment Day" (Acts 17:31). As the context of John 3:16 states, the purpose of His death was "that the world through him might be saved" (John 3:17). This "salvation" is conditional -- it is based on "whosoever believeth in Him" (that is by believing the gospel and living the Christian life). As John points out, "he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God" (John 3:18). The truth is, in the 21stcentury, as in the 1st century, "every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved: But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God" (John 3:20-21).

 Like our heavenly Father, we parents may love our children, but there comes a point when we cannot and must not tolerate their conduct (c.f. 1 Corinthians 5:9-11). In the days of Noah, God looked at His creation and saw, "the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually" (Genesis 6:5). Moses states, "it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart. And the LORD said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them" (Genesis 6:6-7).

 Dale I. Royal, Elk City, OK