2. The Love of God

Love is a word which has been so debased that it can mean anything, from an adulterer's lust to the indulgence of a lazy parent. Its root meaning, however, is a desire for a person's companionship for their sake; a desire to make someone else happy in the true sense, if possible by being present with them, but if necessary by sacrificing oneself for them. When applied to God it is not sufficient to say that He is loving, but that He is Love: i.e. that loving interest in others is His whole nature, and that all His actions and emotions spring from this one source, the desire for the happiness of others. If He is angry, for example, it is because others are being ill-treated, not Himself.

This point needs pressing to its logical end, since nearly all Christian Theology has quietly taken it for granted that He is selfish. For instance, the Authorised Version mistranslation of Revelation 4:11 "Thou has created all things, and for Thy pleasure they are and were created" is usually taken for the purest orthodoxy. Whereas, if it were true, we should have a selfish personage at the head of the Creation; yet it has seemed obvious to men that, as all powerful men put themselves first, an Omnipotent God will naturally do the same! The correct translation is of course that given in the Revised Version—"For Thou didst create all things, and because of Thy will they existed and were created". The phrase 'the Divine Right of Kings' has enshrined this dangerous lie, and given a twist to Christian thinking from which it rarely escapes. The glorious truth is that God is perfectly unselfish, and has never done anything to please Himself; and that His Son, the image of His Father, "pleased not Himself" (Romans 15:3). This is the glory of God of which we men have come short. We could not, of course, be magnificent nor powerful nor wise like God, but