Is Jesus something other than love for some Christians?

Collibri offered by way of explanation on a thread in ATMB:

I am not Christian, so I am full of ignorance to be fought on this topic. I thought the belief that “Jesus is love” is universal among Christians.

Do some Christians believe Jesus is something other than love? If so, what?

Fight my ignorance on this topic, but please keep you replies in the form of an answer to the question, so that we don’t get moved to GD :slight_smile:

Moving to Great Debates.

General Questions Moderator

The answer from my liberal Christian perspective is that Jesus was the personification of self less love as opposed to the human condition that is self love.

He is the example that we should try and emulate.

I am a Christian and Yes Jesus is all about Love.
Loving God with all my heart (The greatest of all commandments) and the next is to;
Love my neighbor as much as I Love myself and my family.
What we need to keep in mind is this Love is Agape Love.

Please close this thread as I am not interested in a debate. I am interested in a factual answer to a a question.

Lots of people believe Jesus is God. Another common refrain, and one that is not limited to Christians is God is Love.

But no, I wouldn’t say that it is universal among christian that Jesus is literally love. I would go even further in saying that there is very little about christian faith that is truly universal. Perhaps the death and resurrection and some other factoids :stuck_out_tongue: of his personal history are close to it. But as to the actual nature of Jesus, the essence… well, that gets mixed up into the whole Trinity thing. Is Jesus God, or the son of God and therefor a second God, and WTF is the deal with the Holy Ghost? If Jesus is the same God as the Old Testament God, was there some kind of therapy in between?

I think the issue of Jesus’s nature is too… fuzzy… for there to be universal agreement about it.

FYI, I was raised catholic, but I’ve been an atheist for a long lime.

Some Christians believe that Christ was just a man who taught some moral precepts that they believe are valid.

Since this concerns a basic religious issue to which there are various answers, it will inevitably lead to debate. I’ll only close it if you agree not to open another one in GQ.

My father’s God was the God of Wrath.

My mother’s God is the God of Guilt.

My own God is the Loving God of Freedom. I believe that God (and sorry but this is hard to express in a short way) “gave up” the usage of part of his power so that we’d have freedom; that, “to make us in his image” as free-willed Creator, he gave us the power to create, but also the option to destroy, and that we really have the freedom to choose between both (that is, I do not believe in predestination).

We’re all nominally Catholic.

God (and presumably by extension Jesus) isn’t love for the Westboro Baptists. They may not be particularly orthodox, but they are Christians.

Love & Justice, with the latter being the servant of the former. The Jesus which taught about turning the other cheek & loving one’s enemies also taught about the pains of Hades & Gehenna Hell, and of spiritual purification which could be compared to amputation, beating & burning. He is not a tame Lion.

To me & this is the faith of all Christian Churches in the Orthodox, Catholic & Reformed/Protestant mode- Jesus is Yahweh God, with His Father & The Spirit. A lot of Jesus-fans however hate Yahweh.

It would be difficult for any Christian denomination to deny that the statement “God is love” is true. It’s in the Bible.

But many Christian denominations do not affirm that God loves every human being. And there’s no contradiction here–Love itself does not love everything. In fact, love can hate. Love hates what separates the lover from the beloved, for example.

Most Christians believe that Jesus was God incarnate, the human son of God who lived and breathed and walked the Earth to experience life, then die as a sacrifice for sins, then was resurrected and now “lives” as an eternal spirit with God and the third incarnation, “The Holy Ghost”.

I don’t believe that most christians believe Jesus was love incarnate, though the refrain “God is love” is fairly common, I have not heard “Jesus is love” as much. “Jesus loves you” is much more common, which is an expression of what he does, not what he is.

*Former Southern Baptist.

Agreed. Certainly his speeches against the Pharisees and various cities were not exactly warm and fuzzy.

Huh? :confused: While there are Yahweh worshippers who think Jesus was a fake or a charlatan I think everyone who thinks Jesus is the Son of God believes him to be part of the Trinity of Yahweh. (BTW is the prohibition against speaking of “Yahweh” anywhere in the Old Testament?)

I ask once again for this thread to be closed - there is an ongoing discussion on this matter in ATMB. I am not interested in debate, nor in leaving it in GD. I really only want people’s opinions, and since that isn’t going to happen, and maybe someday later I might be in the mood for a broader discussion on this topic here, I’d rather wait until then.

So moderators, since you won’t let the thread evolve the way I had hoped for, will you do me the kindness I have seen you do for others, and close this thread forthwith? thank you kindly!

I think what FriarTed was getting at was that a lot of Christians, especially those of the less-Orthodox sects, consider Old-Testament Yahweh (with the fire and punishment and jealousy and nitpicky rules) to have become irrelevant with the New Covenant of Jesus’ sacrifice and resurrection and “Love God with all your heart, and love your neighbor as yourself–that is the whole of the law”.

On your aside: certainly some Jewish groups believe that the prohibition against taking the Lord’s name in vain extends to speaking/writing any of the names of god without profound reason–my wife will even write “g-d” in this context. I am not familiar with any Christian sects that do this but I wouldn’t be surprised if they existed.

I was also speaking of those ancient Gnostics, Marcionites, & the ABC’s (Albigensians, Bogomils & Cathars, oh my) & their modern compatriots who considered Jesus as sent by the Good God of Pure Spirit to rescue us from the Demiurge Yahweh, the Lesser God of Material Creation. Also, in real life & on the Net, there are plenty people who like the gentle & mild Jesus while recoiling at the OT Yahweh (and about half of what JC says in the NT also- which HAD to be the nasty old Church putting words into the mouth of Jesus.)

But what if the lover and his beloved are gay?

If you wanted people’s opinions, then the thread was never appropriate for GQ. IMHO would have been a possibility, but it would likely end up in GD anyway.

No. You have been quite ready to debate these issues in ATMB, where it was not appropriate. And you can obtain factual information here; you don’t need to actively debate yourself, you can simply request clarification for points you don’t understand. Given that others might be interested in the question, I see no reason to close the thread.

Quoth Colibri:

And I daresay that most Christians think that Jesus was that in addition to whatever else He might be. That is not to say that Jesus is not love, but He is certainly something other than love, also. I would expect that the number of Christians who think that Jesus is only the abstract concept of love, and not anything else, is vanishingly small.

Yes. A divine vending machine for granting personal wishes.