Let's be reasonable with one another, shall we?

Friday, August 30, 2013

I haven't been here for a while but if there is anyone out there who thinks about the Bible, please help if you wish.  I have been thinking about what the Bible has to say about LOVE. 

It happens to us as human beings that we enter relationships in which we think we really love someone.  But: I was thinking about this passage and that "old familiar feeling." Whether it is philea (friendship) love, romantic love (eros), familial love (storge?) or sacrificial love (agape) ... the same question applies for me.  If the object of love forsakes the trust or shows themselves to be inevitably prone to do that which betrays trust... are we as humans supposded to trust them still?  Even Jesus didn't trust certain people, because he knew what was in their hearts.  Sometimes, we must admit, reasoning can show us when people aren't trustworthy.  When do we, as people who might be trying to really follow this description of love, cease to be obedient to it because we stop trusting?

I Cor. 13: 4-12Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when completeness comes,what is in part disappears. 11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. 12 For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.


  • Sis! So good to hear from you!

    I like Wesley's commentary on vs. 7:

    “Love covereth all things - Whatever evil the lover of mankind sees, hears, or knows of any one, he mentions it to none; it never goes out of his lips, unless where absolute duty constrains to speak. Believeth all things - Puts the most favourable construction on everything, and is ever ready to believe whatever may tend to the advantage of any one character. And when it can no longer believe well, it hopes whatever may excuse or extenuate the fault which cannot be denied. Where it cannot even excuse, it hopes God will at length give repentance unto life. Meantime it endureth all things - Whatever the injustice, the malice, the cruelty of men can inflict. He can not only do, but likewise suffer, all things, through Christ who strengtheneth him.”

    I don;t find that we're commanded to be gullible but rather instructed against the prejudice that accompanies distrust. We're should be always willing to consider that what is offered is true with the hope that it truly is. At the same time we are to be careful for false prophets, etc.

    By Blogger Kc, at 8/30/2013 6:36 AM  

  • Rose! Lordy, if I didn't keep seeing your avatar pop up on FB, I'd have thought you were raptured!

    The Greek for 1 Cor 13:7 says only "Love believes all [things, neuter]."

    The most logical and consistent way to take this would be to see the "all things" here as related to the promises of God in the implied setting of suffering that calls forth this kind of love in response. It is faith in these promises that enables us to "bear all things" and "endure all things" in the same verse. I therefore don't think the "trust" in your translation is referring to trusting those who have proved themselves un-trustworthy, as you alluded to John 2:23-25.

    By Blogger agent4him, at 8/30/2013 7:47 AM  

  • This comment has been removed by the author.

    By Blogger agent4him, at 8/30/2013 7:56 AM  

  • Hi Rose!

    It's very nice to hear from you again! I thought you had left the blogosphere for evermore.

    I don't believe that the scriptures ever command us to trust someone again after a trust is broken. We are commanded to forgive that person (seventy times seven times if necessary). Forgiveness is not the same as trust. Decisions have consequences.

    Jeremiah 17:5 comes to mind:

    The man who trusts in mankind,
    who makes human flesh his strength
    and turns his heart from the Lord is cursed.

    I know your not talking about trusting someone and turning from the Lord but trusting people is still not a highly regarded thing in scripture.

    Nice to hear from you again.


    By Anonymous Glenn, at 8/30/2013 12:21 PM  

  • I think that one can love and not trust someone to do the right thing. God loves us but it is doubtful that he always trust us to obey Him.

    By Blogger Kansas Bob, at 9/01/2013 12:33 PM  

  • Hi Rose, good to see you back in the virtual world! I haven't been posting in my regular forums, so if you don't mind, I'm using your blog as a transit area, before going into the heavy hitting stuff.

    Love and trust are used in particular contexts in the Bible. Our job is to find out what that context is. Providing a drink of water is rewarded with eternal life? Who gave the water, believer? Who received the water, a misssionary?

    By Blogger anton, at 9/02/2013 10:25 AM  

  • This comment has been removed by the author.

    By Blogger anton, at 9/02/2013 10:26 AM  

  • Thanks for your thoughts everyone! I really like the Wesley commentary. It is where we live isn't it?

    By Blogger Rose~, at 9/09/2013 7:20 PM  

  • if I could click "like" for all the comments I would :)

    By Blogger Rose~, at 9/09/2013 7:21 PM  

  • Hi Rose! PTL, the blog lives!

    The term "trust" in the Bible is normally employed within the framework of a task, project or mission where a group of people gather to accomplish something. It could be a one of Job or an ongoing aim, say keeping a family united.

    Jesus's sentiment was with regard to how his followers, "others", would react as his plans unfolded. True?

    Today, love and trust play out in families, churches and other commonplace groups. I'm guessing that since this is a blog where we are trying to minister to one another, you must be concerned about some thing that affected your trust in a brother or sister in Christ.

    Here's the thing: God's salvation is a work in progress. That means that we are all in the category of "other". Look at what Paul says:

    1 Corinthians 9:27 ESV But I discipline my body and keep it under control,lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.

    Can you trust someone to live out the Gospel ALL the time? Nope! Can't even trust ourselves.

    I don't know how many gazillion other contexts there are in which trust can be betrayed, but as a believer, living out the Gospel is the only context to be worried about.

    Central Idea
    Someone is more interested in protecting his property/name/relationship rather than living out the Gospel. This is a source of worry. Every effort must be made to bring him back on track. Because judgment can be looming ahead.

    It's hard, learning spiritual lessons, because the Bible is communicating very complex ideas. However, our Father doesn't leave us to fend for ourselves:

    Luke 11:9NASB “So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 10 “For everyone who asks, receives; and he who seeks, finds; and to him who knocks, it will be opened. 11 “Now suppose one of you fathers is asked by his son for a fish; he will not give him a snake instead of a fish, will he? 12 “Or if he is asked for an egg, he will not give him a scorpion, will he? 13 “If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him?”

    By Blogger anton, at 9/11/2013 10:05 AM  

  • Anton and everyone: like. I think about JV Mcgees thoughts on this passage every time I read it, but it doesn't seem to be down where we live, even though I love JVM

    By Blogger Rose~, at 9/16/2013 12:21 AM  

  • Of course Wesley is where we live, but again, what is the context? Who trusts who?

    Jvm seems to expose an all encompassing prescription : love and trust the whole world even when it betrays you.

    Remember, Jesus is rejecting people before they have even showed signs of betrayal. Now let's focus.

    He had come to deliver them.
    He is rejecting their help:

    John 2:23 Now when He was in Jerusalem at the Passover, during the feast, many believed in His name, observing His signs which He was doing. 24 But Jesus, on His part, was not entrusting Himself to them, for He knew all men, 25 and because He did not need anyone to testify concerning man, for He Himself knew what was in man.

    IOW, he refused the support of those who believed in him, this before they showed even any little sign of opposing him.

    This was because he knew that any sane person would reject his final revelation, message, even Peter, who accepted the teaching of needing to eat Jesus's flesh, albeit with great difficulty, when others, the shallow believers, began to leave Jesus's camp.

    If Jesus stopped trusting men, how could Paul teach steadfast trust?

    The Context :
    The trust that Paul prescribed was the continuing in hope that a teacher has, that his message will finally be believed.

    The passage is placed in the midst of gifts. Prophecy, tongues, wisdom. Paul says that the teacher will be misunderstood even if he is the most brilliant, gifted preacher. Maybe he will even give up on his abilities to convince his listeners and let them fade away. But faith, love and trust will conquer all resistance. When John had become old, history records him as pleading with the church, "Love one another, never stop loving one another!"

    Did Jesus stop in his mission after refusing the support of his listeners? No... oo...oooh! He pressed on. So we know that Jesus and John were on the same page: never stop loving and trusting (hoping) that the message would sink in .

    Consider: the context is of living out the Gospel. Even as we share the gospel, we never lose hope that it will finally sink in and the listener will begin to live out the Gospel.

    As we read the teachings of Wesley and Mcgee (and others, Arminius, Calvin, Origen, Tertullian Justin Piper, Witherington, Warnock, Crossan, Wright, etc.) we will point out how much or little wrong they were. Heehee, correction, how much wrong they ALL were!

    That's arrogant, right? What if I tell you that this path/method was taught by Paul?

    In 1 Corinthians 3,he writes: if any man's work is burned up,he will suffer loss,though he himself will be saved,but only as through fire.

    This is taught as a judgement of good works, whereas the context here, and in parallel verses, is of testing of teachings a preacher formulates, when he works forward, building from the foundation of the apostles and the prophets, within the framework of Christ.

    Central Idea
    Everybody's understanding must be tested by verifying if Scripture supports the view or not.

    This means that Paul has provided a tool which enabled even his own teachings to be critiqued! By that token, yours and mine, too!

    All the teachers I listed above can be called out because they are either fideists, depending on faith and tradition, or historicists, depending on evidence and reasoning.

    We will examine why those are flimsy grounds for fireproof teachings, if you accept my initial thoughts. I hope (trust) the view will sink in!


    By Blogger anton, at 9/16/2013 9:01 AM  

  • i love the exegesis. what if we were just talking about an unbeliever in an ordinary relationship? Should he keep trusting if she shows herself to keep failing him?

    By Blogger Rose~, at 9/16/2013 10:28 PM  

  • does anyone even bother to address what JVM's interpretation of the passage was?

    By Blogger Rose~, at 9/16/2013 10:31 PM  

  • JVM's teaching is available here :


    I have made a fine distinction about the context in which the word "trust" is used. That is, the text considers the word to mean continuing in hoping that the listener will become a person who lives out the Gospel.

    JVM's view is that trust is exercised even when the other person has lapses in godly behaviour. Not what Jesus experienced when he received a positive response from his followers.

    Let me repeat: Jesus trusted that his message would be finally understood by some and lead to renewal, but he did not trust his followers to PARTICIPATE in his work till they were renewed.

    This view is supported by the text, where protect (support), trust, hopes, perseveres are reiterations, variations on a theme, riffs on this idea:

    7. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 8.Love never fails.

    As for the situation of the unbeliever who has his/her (either can be the failure, untrustworthy!) trust betrayed by his/her partner, it depends on how he/she makes a judgment call. Is the other person able to learn from their mistake and correct themselves?

    Excellent comparison of the spiritual and the romantic contexts.

    The spiritual partner NEVER makes a judgment call! He/she "always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 8.Love never fails."

    Soon we will explore why love is considered a teaching gift, like prophecy, wisdom and tongues.

    By Blogger anton, at 9/17/2013 8:53 AM  

  • Looked through the old posts (it was either that or get out the pop corn ;) ).

    BTW, I don't have a BLOG, but I admire those who set up and run. 'em. I have an orphaned blog somewhere, meaning, I have actually lost(!) a blog. How difficult to do is that? Very, but I still managed exactly that. So props to you, Rose, for your lovely blog, and for all the hard work keeping it going!

    The last directed to your past efforts, since the blog has obviously been neglected of late. Wonder why... Hmm.

    Since its clear that with our busy schedules, blogs may actually be the way, the means, to be faithful Christians. Let me explain.

    To be faithful Christians, we're commanded to fellowship:

    Hebrew 10
    23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful; 24 and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, 25 not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near.

    Not to chinwag, shoot the breeze, or form cliques, but to nurture one another, help each other to grow, mature:

    Hebrew 10
    24 and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds,

    To do so we have to build ourselves up first, become mature (perfect meant mature in koine, but you knew that!) :

    Matthew 5
    48 “Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

    Done by fellowshipping!

    Hebrew 10
    25 not forsaking our own assembling together

    Again, why should we aim for perfection? To be able to nurture our brothers and sisters. How should we become perfect? By following Christ, doing what he did. The recurrent teaching of Christ was his insistence on being nothing, allowing God to have ascendancy, giving God the wheel:

    John 5:19 Jesus gave them this answer: "Very truly I tell you, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does.

    Following, we have Christ teaching amazing things to the crowd, new things, risky things. The Bible uses different words or groups of words to indicate the same things. These are called a class or type. Becoming less and allowing God to become more in our lives is a class called "laying down life". It involves receiving commands from God and obeying those commands, even when they seem to be unlikely commands. Stepping out in faith and seeing God work results in a maturing of the man or woman of God.

    This happens in churches, when we receive a command from God and obey, leading to God being manifested in the work and God being revealed (glorified).

    Today it happens in blogs! In teachings that impact the world! Time shifted to allow us to focus the the best resources we can muster, on those teachings.

    Faithful Christians create material describing what the Gospel is (many blogs don't have a statement of faith, many blogs can't even form that statement, gro....an!). The good blogs defend that statement (good job, Rose! Now tune up your Gospel proclamation, Wright is quite good here, keyword: narrative) , persuade visitors with solid arguments for their claims (don't go the historical grammatical way, you can dig yourself into holes!).

    Ya know, Rose, a post by exist- dissolve replying to Colin on your blog started me on this path, and that and other fresh ideas from interacting here has convinced me I should restart blogging! It's the only way to perfect myself, as participation in teaching in church is a bit difficult (unlike first century churches), although I get several opportunities, being a trustee in a theological college. I encourage you also to take risks and state your views and defend them, as that is how THEY are perfected, as through fire!

    Jer 23
    29"Is not My word like fire?" declares the LORD, "and like a hammer which shatters a rock?

    See the connection to 1 Cor 3?

    By Blogger anton, at 9/28/2013 2:49 PM  

  • However, faith statements need to be tuned up, and blogs aren't as good as forums for this because they often don't get enough visits. Strong faith statements need firing and hammering to be forged into viable usable tools for ministry. Forums can be a place where these tools are formed, and they prove to be good tools, because they work when they are brought out. Often times discussions become repetitive because neither side has a water tight presentation. The fault is not with the issue: no issue is without solutions. The fault is with the presenter.

    Have I been able to resolve issues with definitive solutions? I have! What makes them definitive? They stand on their own merits and the opposing view falls with a little bit of shaking! Really? Yes, really!

    So I'm gold right? No...ooo! It's good till some one new comes along. Then the cycle begins again.

    This is where the blog comes in. It has all my unassailable statements stored in one place, rather than on a forum where the threads sink out of sight. I can direct noobs to my blog and they can see the whole picture, maybe even rebuttals to their particular denominational view.

    I think I'm ready to go back on the forum boards again, to work on my statements. If you feel the need to tune up and firm up your views, DeeDee Warren has a nice site where I think the moderation and the range of views has a good balance. It's the Theology Web site and I post in Theology 101, Christianity 101 and Judaism. There are even FG proponents posting!

    Thanks for letting me use your site for putting down my thoughts, which helped in clarifying my future direction.


    By Blogger anton, at 9/30/2013 3:19 AM  

  • Gosh, TWeb is down! Joined christianforums.net and discussing this and related issues here:


    Think about, we can all be right in our own context, but the context of the original author is what counts. Who wrote the letter, a gardener or an adventure sports fan?

    Remember, reading the NT letters is like listening to half a phone conversation . . . Unless you know the party on the other end, it's difficult to tell what is being said.


    Again, loss of rewards is as unpleasant as not receiving eternal life.

    By Blogger anton, at 10/01/2013 4:13 AM  

  • The footwasher moniker's been taken. I am Wordkeeper there. And I'm getting killed! These guys sure hit hard!

    By Blogger anton, at 10/11/2013 3:50 PM  

  • This comment has been removed by the author.

    By Blogger mark pierson, at 10/21/2013 11:36 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home


Who Links Here