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The Giving of Faith is Loving

It is an act of eternal love for God to give people faith. Prior to having faith, people don’t want to believe. They are opposed to the things of God (Gal 5:17). That changes when God steps in. God gives faith to people who oppose faith. This is an infinitely loving act.

Many object to this idea, however. They state that love requires acceptance. Rob Bell highlights this in his book (which I don’t recommend) Love Wins: “Love demands freedom. It can’t be forced, manipulated, or coerced. It always leaves room for the other to decide.”

Is this objection valid? No. Everyday life provides us with examples of acts of love that do not require acceptance. Here are two.

For the first example, think of depositing money into someone’s bank account. To do this, you do not need the person’s consent. I’ve had individuals do this for me. I never gave consent and yet the money was in my account. Was that loving? Yes! Did it require my consent? No. If you think I’m wrong, you should try to put money in my savings account without me knowing. 😊 A second example is Involuntary Commitment. In many states, the law permits for persons, who are a harm to themselves or to others, to be admitted to the hospital against their wills. To involuntary commit someone to the hospital is loving and coercive.

The objection mentioned above—love must be accepted—is rhetorically catchy but logically weak. Examples from everyday life disprove it. God shows his love by giving faith to those who are opposed to faith.

Pastor Chance

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