Yes, according to this post, God prefers slaves rather than people who are in love with Him.  That would come as a surprise to Jesus, I guess, who in John 15:15 said,

“I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.”

It also misses the point of much of the Biblical narrative.  It seems to me that even in the Old Testament, God was looking for people who loved them with all their hearts.  When David wrote,

As the deer pants for streams of water, 
 so my soul pants for you, O God.

My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. 
When can I go and meet with God?

was it sickening to God?  Too wishy-washy and touchy-feely?

I have been reading the The Return of the Prodigal Son by Henri Nouwen, which is more a personal testimony of Nouwen coming to an understanding of the Father’s deep love for us than a theological treatise.  I am struck again and again in that parable how God is portrayed as a Father who offers unconditional love to us, and is waiting for us to return with open arms.  If He truly wanted servants, it seems to me, He would have honored the son’s request to be made a servant.  Instead, though, the Father throws a huge party for the lost son that has returned.  How can we not be “in love” with a God like that?

  • Share/Bookmark
This entry was posted on Wednesday, September 12th, 2007 at 8:20 am and is filed under Christian Living, Editor. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.
+/- Collapse/Expand All

15 Comments(+Add)

1   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
September 12th, 2007 at 8:25 am

Welcome, Phil!

Excellent observations! If you want to read the Bible and come away believing that God wants people to be his “bond-slaves” instead of being desperately and gratefully “in love” with Him, you must be reading an adaptation of the Thomas Jefferson Bible.

2   Tim Reed    http://theotstrikesback.com
September 12th, 2007 at 8:47 am

It wasn’t long ago in our comments that Chris P wondered what it meant that when we read Song of Songs and saw love poetry instead of the love between Christ and the church. I hope the anonymous editor doesn’t kick him out of the watchdoggie clubhouse.

3   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
September 12th, 2007 at 9:17 am

How can we not respond to the Great Love of God in like kind? He displayed His passion for us on a Cross… dying for us… so I agree we need now Live for Him as He now Lives…

I find it rather revealing when someone mocks others loving God.

God does not want people to be “in love” with Him. This carnal phrase is a sick way to refer to our Lord. God desires bond-slaves who worship Him and adore Him as their sovereign Master, not who are in love with Him as one is with their lover.

1 John 4:16And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him.

I wonder if the author of that post ever read the bible… I think that verse pretty much negates all he had to say… notice we are to live “in love”… it seems he is the one with the “carnal” mind as he only sees love as “carnal”… we are not only to be in love with God but to LIVE in love with God.

Be Blessed,
iggy

ps Welcome Phil!

4   Ian    http://lostintheheartofsomewhere.blogspot.com/
September 12th, 2007 at 9:25 am

Mind you, the Perry Noble post is out of order too. Where does Jesus say we’re to “punch that dude in the throat!”??? I think I am equally sick and tired of the hate-filled watchdoggies AND the macho new pastors. As far as I can see neither reflects the person of Jesus I see in the gospels.

5   Coop    http://whileromeburns.blogspot.com
September 12th, 2007 at 9:29 am

Welcome, Phil, and thank you for writing this post. I’ve got some thoughts that I’ll likely blog later today (assuming work is slow today, which it has been lately), but I do want to dive in to this thread and say that you are right on! I’ve got so many verses bouncing through my head about this that it’s going to take some time to write them all down and straighten them out. For instance, Jesus said that the greatest commandment is to love God with all of our heart, soul, mind, and strength. Jesus called us his friends, as you mentioned. I could go on…

Just one more post proving that CRN has gone off the rails…

6   ianmcn    
September 12th, 2007 at 9:59 am

I agree Ian, of all the things he could have legitimately called Perry out on, it was the phrase “we need men and women who are madly and passionately in love with Jesus…” that got him going! Huh?!

7   Sandman    
September 12th, 2007 at 10:47 am

Just wrong on so many levels. Perry is off in the flesh and “editor” seems to have a personal issue.

8   Kevin I    
September 12th, 2007 at 11:30 am

To hold to the belief that we should be only like bond-slaves and not as people in love with God would require omitting a great deal of verses, especially about being the bride of Christ. Sure a bond-slave is one image among many in the Bible, but I wouldn’t call it the primary image or even the bigger theme of it all.

I’ve been thinking of a way to extend the benifiet of the doubt to the “editor” on this one and the only thing I can arrive at is that the “editor” may have difficulties in expressing love in general and this may cloud their reading of scripture.

9   keith    http://fivepts.blogspot.com
September 12th, 2007 at 11:37 am

I think you can be both. Paul addressed himself as a “bond-slave/servant” in Romans, Philippians, and Philemon (”prisoner”); James, Peter and Jude also used the term.

10   Brendt    http://csaproductions.com/blog/
September 12th, 2007 at 11:54 am

Point, though — it’s not a either/or situation. It’s not simply “servant” or “friend”.

Jesus said, “I don’t call you servants”; He didn’t say “you aren’t servants”. If that’s what He meant, then several epistles start off wrong, as the author refers to himself as a servant of Christ. Also, His teachings and modeling of servanthood would also be wrong.

God’s view of His relationship with us is unchangingly altered by Jesus’ blood. Yes, we are His servants, and perhaps that should be our primary view of ourselves, but it’s not His primary view of us. To be clear, this means that the mysterious Editor’s comments are fallacious. I’m just trying to point out that his idea isn’t completely off — it’s just a massively illogical conclusion. One can be a servant who loves his Master.

I’d probably agree that the portion of Psalm 42 that you quoted is a picture of someone who is in love with God. But “in love” is a fairly modern phraseology, and it’s been demonstrated quite clearly at CRN that any concept born after Charles Spurgeon is of the devil.

Put another way, to “love” is moreso the will, whereas to be “in love” is moreso emotion. While large chunks of the church have taken a viewpoint that’s purely emotional toward God, to react to that (as CRN does) by cutting out all emotions toward God is just as wrong.

11   Phil Miller    http://veritasfellowship.blogspot.com
September 12th, 2007 at 1:03 pm

Brendt,
You are correct, it is not an either/or proposition. I think though it comes down to how we think we are valued by God. If we think God values as more as servants than sons, we will tend to think His love for us is based on what we do for Him. I’ve seen some Christians who view God almost like a reactionary dad watching his kids play sports. They feel valued only when they make the “big play”, but then fear His wrath when they mess up. They have a very hard time accepting God’s love.

I think it is Biblical for us to consider ourselves slaves for Christ, but in the sense that we trust that we are dying to ourselves. It’s not that Christ only values us for what we produce.

12   Coop    http://whileromeburns.blogspot.com
September 12th, 2007 at 1:21 pm

I think our servitude to Christ is a matter of choice, that comes out of our love for Him and gratitude for what He has done for us on the cross.

But I could be wrong.

13   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
September 12th, 2007 at 1:47 pm

I think the point that is being missed about the “punch him in the throat” comment it that he sees that his daughter is settling for less than what she could have if the guy was ‘in love” with Jesus and had true passion for God.

Now, the image is a bit brutal, yet I think that he is expressing that passion. The “good” Christian boy he is talking about most likely is one that think that by his being “good” (don’t drink, smoke or chew or date girls that do) does not truly express that passion… it shows he can have a sense of self purity, but it also means that he may not care to get a little dirty to love others as Christ got dirty loving mankind.

It is that he is expressing that he would rather be violent than let his daughter not have a greater life in Christ…

I mean, John MacArthur took some of Jesus’ words and twisted them to say Jesus was pro war… which was far from the truth or the meaning of the passage he used.

So here a guy uses a brutal phrase to express his passion and another who teaches Jesus was pro war because he wants to justify his own agenda…

So which is worse?

Be Blessed,
iggy

14   Coop    http://whileromeburns.blogspot.com
September 12th, 2007 at 2:13 pm

And then there’s this post at CRN…

http://christianresearchnetwork.com/?p=3130

A house divided against itself…

15   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
September 12th, 2007 at 9:14 pm

WOW!

I finally read Perry’s whole article and it is great! What a powerful testimony and a great example of “gutless grace girliemen” standing firmly on Grace and purity.

Funny that he is attacked for his article that is clearly stating that men need stand up and be men… but then all “sex” is dirty to those who decided that this was just a post was unbiblical that one should actually be passionately “in love” with Jesus…

In fact as I pointed out to be against “living in love” with God… is anti-biblical… and is promoting a lie from Satan.

Stand up “gutless grace girliemen”!
be blessed,
iggy

One Trackback/Ping

  1. Theology for the Masses » Blog Archive » Of Bond-slaves and Lovers    Sep 12 2007 / 4pm:

    [...] or does God want “lovers?” Yes, according to this post, God prefers slaves rather than people who are in love with Him. That would come as a surprise to Jesus, I guess, who in John 15:15 said, “I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.” It also misses the point of much of the Biblical narrative. It seems to me that even in the Old Testament, God was looking for people who loved them with all their hearts. When David wrote, As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God? was it sickening to God? Too wishy-washy and touchy-feely? [...]