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Who Is God?

Updated on March 23, 2019
James A Watkins profile image

James A. Watkins is an entrepreneur, musician, and a writer with four non-fiction books and hundreds of magazine articles read by millions.

GOD IS LIFE
GOD IS LIFE
GOD IS LIFE
GOD IS LIFE

Who God Is

Who is God? This question is an ancient one for the human race. Who is God? is perhaps the most important question for which we should earnestly seek an answer.

God is Truth; God is Love; God is Life. Who is God? God is the creator and the sustainer of all in our world we perceive and every person that we ever will meet. That is who God is.

GOD IS TRUTH
GOD IS TRUTH

God is Love

Most of us are familiar with the concept that we receive different kinds of love from our parents. Philosophically, it is generally accepted that our mothers give us unconditional love. Even most serial killers receive unconditional love by their mothers no matter what they have done. It is vital for their psychological health that human beings feel unconditional love from someone they love.

Conversely, philosophers generally hold that fathers love their children conditionally. Meaning, that the love of one's father must be earned—to at least some extent. This is also important to a well-developed psyche of a human being.

One of the many tragedies of the postmodern world in America is the tens of millions of people without a relationship with their fathers. This robs them of what they gain psychologically from having to win conditional love from someone they love dearly.

So, both types of love are essential for a healthy human person (in general—every rule has its exceptions).

GOD IS TRUTH
GOD IS TRUTH

God Loves Us

Part of the discovery of Who is God? is the question: Does God love people conditionally or unconditionally?

One of the beauties of God is that the answer is: BOTH! God gives us fatherly love and motherly love at the same time. After all, God is the provenance of all love, so He must bestow both to us. God loves us! God is love!

This is easy to see in the simple example of how God provides sunshine and sustenance on the wicked as well as the righteous—demonstrating His maternal love. But it is deeper than that. God loves all human beings unconditionally because He created them.

At the same time, God demonstrates a greater love on those who love Him by granting them additional blessings; answering their prayers; blessing their loved ones; forming a loving relationship with them; guiding them through life's travails; forgiving their sins; and offering the incredible gift of eternal life. This demonstrates God's conditional love—His paternal love, which must be earned.

Now I must quickly clarify for my Protestant friends before they work up a lather: I do not mean we earn this conditional love through good works or being "good people." Good works must be done—but only as the result of our faith in and love for God.

I mean that we earn the conditional love of God based on the condition He has set down in His Word and communicated to us, which is this: we must accept His Grace—which is freely given to those who accept it in faith. We can only earn His conditional love by accepting His Grace.

Part of understanding who God is then, is coming to grips with the two sides of God's love for people. God loves us both unconditionally and conditionally. In my opinion. Thank you.

GOD LOVES US
GOD LOVES US

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    • James A Watkins profile imageAUTHOR

      James A Watkins 

      23 months ago from Chicago

      Bridgette Crowe ~ Thank you so much for visiting and reading my Hub. I appreciate your encouraging words. And you are welcome.

    • Bridgette Crowe profile image

      Bridgette Crowe 

      23 months ago from Morrow

      Sincere, simple and to the point. God is both. Conditional and unconditional love. Thank you.

    • James A Watkins profile imageAUTHOR

      James A Watkins 

      11 years ago from Chicago

      ShadestoShoes--- Thank you! Welcome to HubPages! Jesus will be there when you approach the velvet rope. Nice analogy. None of us deserve anything. Thank God for He is so gracious.

    • ShadestoShoes profile image

      ShadestoShoes 

      11 years ago

      awesome hub ! I think your right on about God! Also, I kinda think of Heaven as an exclusive club and Jesus as my vip friend that gets me into that club. I mean I still have to be at my best, but I cant be turned away if Jesus is with me!

      I also wanted to say i love my papa in heaven he has been there for me even when i sooo didn't deserve it!

    • James A Watkins profile imageAUTHOR

      James A Watkins 

      11 years ago from Chicago

      The Rope— Offend me!? This would be a dream come true! I would be honored for my Hubs to be useful to anyone. Thank you so much for suggesting such an idea. This is very encouraging to me.

    • The Rope profile image

      The Rope 

      11 years ago from SE US

      I finally found an answer to our study sessions at church - maybe we'll start a review and discussion about James A. Watkins writings! What a beautiful way to open up sacred conversation about a still speaking God! You are a treasure and what an amazing way gift you would be giving us - let me know if this would offend you.

    • James A Watkins profile imageAUTHOR

      James A Watkins 

      11 years ago from Chicago

      skye2day— I was always too cool for school. :)

      I thank you from the bottom of my heart for this gracious response. I don't know what else to say. This may be the most encouraging words anyone has ever written to me. I think the Holy Spirit is in you—and prompted you to lift me up. And so you have. You are a blessing to me.

    • skye2day profile image

      skye2day 

      11 years ago from Rocky Mountains

      Dear James You are too cool. I have to chuckle. You have an answer for all that are confused, lost, curious, brilliant and smart, naive or bull headed, spirit filled, or plain stubborn. You pass no judgement in a very keen use of words. There is a Holy Spirit movement on you my friend. It is better to put on honey reather then the vinegar. You have a huge amount of fans that are led to you. This is truly the Holy Spiit in you working through you to reach others. God is amazing. I feel blessed to know you. You have much wisdom. James you are young not many have this much wisdom. The HS is evident in you my friend. You understand what to write to lead others to the truth. Thank you for all your hard work and for reaching and touching others. I believe Christ will say well done 'good and faithful servant' This hub was very well written. It brought others out of their 'place' into a light' People are searching for truth for hope, even if they do not think so. This is good very good. You do not pass judgement and you know the truth. Love Ya James.

      I wrote Holy Spirit hub check it out when yo have a minute. No hurry. It will be there.

    • James A Watkins profile imageAUTHOR

      James A Watkins 

      11 years ago from Chicago

      Dolores Monet— I worry about all those little children, too. Even more so boys with no male role model they know personally—only images on television, many of which are less than wholesome.

      Your second point is well taken and I see 3 sources for that problem: sometimes, the mothers shut the dad's out any way they can, many times for some kind of sick revenge; sometimes the so-called family court doesn't give a father but one day a week to see his children—if that; and sadly, sometimes fathers just aren't that interested.

      God is too great to be confined to a definition by mere men. But all religions? Buddha was an Atheist. Are you including Buddhism in the all religions category? Hindus believe there are millions of gods—can that possibly lead to the same place as monotheism? A better case can be made for Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.

      Your statement is good and hopeful and inclusive—what I would expect from a heart big as yours. I thank you for your wise words. I appreciate you coming to see and respond.

    • Dolores Monet profile image

      Dolores Monet 

      11 years ago from East Coast, United States

      James, you are so right about the difficulties concerning the absent father. It makes me worry about the children, so many of them, whose fathers are not involved in their lives. And the guys who I hear others call 'good' fathers are often merely visitors in their childrens' lives.

      Just like the real good father whose presence must be constant, God's presence must be constant.

      Of course, I can not visit you without some disagreement.:) The very concept of God is so huge, so great, that one does not have to center on a particular religion in order to sing God's praises. All religions follow different paths to the same place. All the gods are aspects of the one true God. He is too great to be contained in one single idea or form.

    • James A Watkins profile imageAUTHOR

      James A Watkins 

      11 years ago from Chicago

      Opinion Duck— That is fair enough, friend. I respect your opinion and where we can we will celebrate our agreement. Thanks for this comment.

    • profile image

      Opinion Duck 

      11 years ago

      James

      You know that we don't agree or God or religion but I do read the hubs on that subject.

      Faith is a opaque solid wall, which most people find themselves on one side or the other. You and I are an example of that analogy. We can see outlines of each other but nothing is really clear, sharp or distinct.

      We basically live in different worlds on that subject. Fortunately, there are pragmatic subjects that you and I agree on where there is little to no walls.

      On God, we are at an impasse, you want to keep your faith and I don't want to accept faith instead of having concrete answers.

      So I will leave my comment as the impasse.

    • James A Watkins profile imageAUTHOR

      James A Watkins 

      11 years ago from Chicago

      Kim Garcia— Why, thank you! We need to be transformed into the likeness of Jesus to be able to truly love as He did. I'm working on it. :)

      I appreciate the accolades.

    • profile image

      Kim Garcia 

      11 years ago

      Wow James!!! Another incredible Hub! Well said. And I am sure many who grew up without the love of their earthly fathers are the very ones who have difficulty understand and accepting the concept of unconditional love. Jesus demonstrated that love while on earth, and exemplified unconditional love as He worked miracles, as well as accepted and loved all types of people without judgment, doing the works of His father in heaven. Peace and Blessings!! ~ K

    • James A Watkins profile imageAUTHOR

      James A Watkins 

      11 years ago from Chicago

      Wealthymadehealthy— You can say that again!

      Just Kidding. Thank you for the compliment and you are most welcome, too. :D

    • Wealthmadehealthy profile image

      Wealthmadehealthy 

      11 years ago from Somewhere in the Lone Star State

      This is a totally beautiful hub! Thank you for your eloquence! God Bless

    • Wealthmadehealthy profile image

      Wealthmadehealthy 

      11 years ago from Somewhere in the Lone Star State

      This is a totally beautiful hub! Thank you for your eloquence! God Bless

    • James A Watkins profile imageAUTHOR

      James A Watkins 

      11 years ago from Chicago

      fivehorns— Thank you and welcome to the Hub Pages Community!

    • James A Watkins profile imageAUTHOR

      James A Watkins 

      11 years ago from Chicago

      SirDent— Our little minds can't wrap around who He is, that's for sure. Thank you for adding to our understanding of our lack of understanding. :D

    • fivehorns profile image

      fivehorns 

      11 years ago

      Great Hub! Comments were most interesting too.

    • profile image

      SirDent 

      11 years ago

      I know James. What I wrote in the last comment was because of what I read in the comments. We seek to understand God when it is simply not possible.

    • James A Watkins profile imageAUTHOR

      James A Watkins 

      11 years ago from Chicago

      SirDent— We can only see through the glass darkly, Brother. This is the message God revealed to me. I was told to share it. And so I did.

    • James A Watkins profile imageAUTHOR

      James A Watkins 

      11 years ago from Chicago

      Tina Irene— I loved that book. I learned a lot from it, back then. Thank you for your kind comments.

    • profile image

      SirDent 

      11 years ago

      Read over this once again and some of the comments also. God cannot be understood by man. Many think they understand but they don't really have a clue. Eye has not seen nor ear heard what God has in store for those that love Him. What we know is revealed to us by His spirit. If He doesn't remveal it, then we don't know it.

    • profile image

      Tina Irene 

      11 years ago

      Very good reflections inspired by the book "The Art of Loving". Both the book and this hub are worthwhile "reads".

    • James A Watkins profile imageAUTHOR

      James A Watkins 

      11 years ago from Chicago

      SirDent— I appreciate that. I am thankful for your support, Brother.

    • profile image

      SirDent 

      11 years ago

      Just so you know, I still gave you a thumbs up. :P I like your writing style.

    • James A Watkins profile imageAUTHOR

      James A Watkins 

      11 years ago from Chicago

      SirDent— Well, sir, you make a good point. I meant on the condition that we accept Grace. It isn't a perfect theory. But it does seem that God loved David, Moses, and Abraham more than He loved say, Pharaoh or King Saul?

    • profile image

      SirDent 

      11 years ago

      A thought that came to me when i was reading the first part about unconditional love is that God loves us unconditionally. While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. It means that God loves us even though we choose not to love Him. He loves us enough to allow us to decide which road we want to take.

      As far as God loving us conditionally, I am trying to wrap my head around it. God gives us blessings, (rewards) for doing His will. I see it as God giving gifts when we are good. When we are bad He will not reward us with these gifts. Of course I will not argue the point. It just isn't worth it.

    • James A Watkins profile imageAUTHOR

      James A Watkins 

      11 years ago from Chicago

      drpastorcarlotta— It is always a pleasure to hear from a woman of the cloth. Thank you for your gracious words. It is nice to hear from you again, doctor. :-)

    • drpastorcarlotta profile image

      Pastor Dr Carlotta Boles 

      11 years ago from BREAKOUT MINISTRIES, INC. KC

      Thank you James for being YOU!!!! God Bless you always!!! GREAT HUB!!!!

    • James A Watkins profile imageAUTHOR

      James A Watkins 

      12 years ago from Chicago

      ReuVera— Great! That is the message after all. Thanks for reading this Hub and leaving word that you did.

    • ReuVera profile image

      ReuVera 

      12 years ago from USA

      I had only one association wit the picture of scull and it was "Poor Yorick"....

      Sorry..... :( :)

    • James A Watkins profile imageAUTHOR

      James A Watkins 

      12 years ago from Chicago

      Royal Diadem— Love the name, by the way. Thank you for adding so much to our understanding of the skull.  There must have been a subconscious reason I chose it and you have revealed it.  Very discerning!  Thanks.

      I appreciate you for reading and leaving your incisive comments.

    • profile image

      Royal Diadem 

      12 years ago

      Calvary or Golgotha is the place where the Roman soldiers crucified Jesus the Christ. It was called, the place of the skull, because from a distance, the mount looked like a man’s skull. In addition, the truth is this, the battle of life, is in the skull. It is the marrow, the mind between the bones, of the head, that the Word of God divides, joint from the marrow. It is in this area that we all will make a decision whether we will allowed the Lord to love us unconditionally, like a mother loves her child, by accepting Jesus or will we tried to earn it. I agree totally, with what you have written, and the skull was a reminder for me, of what Jesus did for us. The skull was a nice touch.

      Hebrews 4:12 King James Version

      12. For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

    • James A Watkins profile imageAUTHOR

      James A Watkins 

      12 years ago from Chicago

      Alexander Mark— LOL! The Skull is used in a lot of Midieval Art to remind the viewer what fate awaits us all. Just having a bit of fun there. Pretty good skull methinks, too. Since woman came out of Adam's rib, I always thought it was to be a side-by-side relationship. Don't feel bad. I had an abnormal relationship with both of my parents. But my grandma and aunties saved me. Thank God for that.

      I appreciate your visit and comments.

    • Alexander Mark profile image

      Alexander Silvius 

      12 years ago from Portland, Oregon

      I find the concept of paternal and maternal love equating two different aspects of God's love very fascinating. This only underscores the fact that women are not lesser human beings but define another great and important aspect of God as represented in Godly marriage between a man and a woman. Evil men have defined women as children or not worthy of an opinion just because they have a spiritually subservient role. Your explanation of conditional and unconditional equalizes the roles and lifts up the importance of both.

      Since I had an abnormal relationship with my own father, this shed some light on God's love and how we should naturally learn about it. I don't understand the picture of the skull, but great job!

    • James A Watkins profile imageAUTHOR

      James A Watkins 

      12 years ago from Chicago

      braudboy— You are welcome! I was only doing as I was told, brother. God Bless You, too!

    • braudboy profile image

      braudboy 

      12 years ago from Long Beach, MS

      THanks for the hub honoring Jesus! We need more of this. GOd bless you!

    • James A Watkins profile imageAUTHOR

      James A Watkins 

      12 years ago from Chicago

      hsofyan— Thank you and you are welcome.

    • hsofyan profile image

      hsofyan 

      12 years ago from Indonesia

      Great hub.

      Thanks for sharing...

      Many things in life that can only be done by God.

    • James A Watkins profile imageAUTHOR

      James A Watkins 

      12 years ago from Chicago

      Titan559— Thank you! I agree with you wholeheartedly. I'm going to speak of the Savior in more detail in later Hubs. This was my "icebreaker." :-)

      I appreciate you reading and your remarks, which are on the mark.

    • Titan559 profile image

      Titan559 

      12 years ago from Florida

      I like your article James! I might add, Gods love is also conditional when it comes to His Son Jesus. We can experience the fullness of Gods love, mercy and blessings when we accept His Son as our savior. Once washed by the Blood, God sees us as He sees His son. A greater love there is not!

    • James A Watkins profile imageAUTHOR

      James A Watkins 

      12 years ago from Chicago

      cristina327— Thank you. I am humbled by your discerning comments.

    • cristina327 profile image

      Cristina Santander 

      12 years ago from Manila

      Praise God for this hub. I am so much blessed to know that there is a great God of the universe who loves me. It is such a great privilege to be loved by God. Truly the great and awesome God of the universe is a loving God.

    • James A Watkins profile imageAUTHOR

      James A Watkins 

      12 years ago from Chicago

      Joy At Home— Thank you for your profound commentary. You are absolutely right. And you said it beautifully. I appreciate you doing so very much.

    • Joy At Home profile image

      Joilene Rasmussen 

      12 years ago from United States

      James, you joined my fan club, and I chased you over here to see what you were all about. I like what I see.

      However...

      To whom it may concern:

      I've read many times in the above comments that God cannot be explained...the implication seeming to be that it is vain to try to say anything about Him. However, I haven't yet seen anyone mention that Man is made in the image of God, and ever since God breathed the breath of life into Adam, we share His nature. So everything we are at our core make-up (minus the choice to sin), traces back to God's nature. Therefore, in a very real sense it is true that we see God in our best actions...His love can be explained, in a limited way, by parental love. God created humans male and female...woman came from man (Eve from Adam's rib), so, though God is stated in the Scriptures to be male, all aspects of both men and women at their Christ-like best have their origins in Him. Our love clearly is one of these aspects.

    • James A Watkins profile imageAUTHOR

      James A Watkins 

      12 years ago from Chicago

      drpastorcarlotta— Why, thank you! Coming from a doctor pastor that is high praise indeed. I am humbly thankful that you visited and blessed me.

    • drpastorcarlotta profile image

      Pastor Dr Carlotta Boles 

      12 years ago from BREAKOUT MINISTRIES, INC. KC

      What I like about you James is that you know how to answer those who reply to your hubs. That right there is a talent of it's own!!! lol, and I love it!!!!! Praise God!!!! Keep up the work of the LORD my friend, your BLESSED!!!!!!!

    • James A Watkins profile imageAUTHOR

      James A Watkins 

      12 years ago from Chicago

      I will try to do the best I can.

    • anglnwu profile image

      anglnwu 

      12 years ago

      You're welcomed. Keep up the good work!

    • James A Watkins profile imageAUTHOR

      James A Watkins 

      12 years ago from Chicago

      angInwu— You are so right.  Impossible to explain God in words, nonetheless in a Hub.  :-)

      Your comments show great wisdom.  Thank you for them and for the kudos!

    • anglnwu profile image

      anglnwu 

      12 years ago

      If God can be explained in a hub, then He wouldn't/couldn't be God. But you're attempting to describe God's love in tangible ways, so the love of parents is a clear illustration. It's true that God loves unconditionally, but the conditonal part comes in when He seeks to discipline or teach us. If God just loves no matter what, we'll never learn. To me the equation of conditional/unconditonal is a balance that only God can maintain.

      That said, your faith shines, so I say Kudos!

    • James A Watkins profile imageAUTHOR

      James A Watkins 

      12 years ago from Chicago

      You are most welcome.

    • marinealways24 profile image

      marinealways24 

      12 years ago

      Hello James, no prob. Thanks for writing hubs to excercise thought.

    • James A Watkins profile imageAUTHOR

      James A Watkins 

      12 years ago from Chicago

      marinealways24— I agree with you. Thanks for speaking from the soul.

    • marinealways24 profile image

      marinealways24 

      12 years ago

      " C.S. Lewis said, "There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal."

      I agree, if our creator wanted us to live as animals, he would have given us the mind of animals. I believe there is a reason we are superior to other life known. A reason that can only be found by an individual logic.

    • James A Watkins profile imageAUTHOR

      James A Watkins 

      12 years ago from Chicago

      Benjimester— I appreciate your thoughtful commentary.  This is a deep subject and I am glad to have spurred some reflection and conversation.  I have heard people say, "God Loves Everybody."  And I have heard people say, "God Loves those who Love Him."  So, I tried to find a way in which they are both right.

    • James A Watkins profile imageAUTHOR

      James A Watkins 

      12 years ago from Chicago

      marinealways24— You are absolutely right!  And I should have said so.  C.S. Lewis said, "There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal. Nations, cultures, arts, civilizations--these are mortal, and their life is to ours as the life of a gnat. But it is immortals whom we joke with, work with, marry, snub, and exploit--immortal horrors or everlasting splendours. . . "

    • Benjimester profile image

      Benji Mester 

      12 years ago from San Diego, California

      Excellent theology you have here. I never thought of God's love being both conditional and unconditional at the same time. That's very interesting. I'll have to think about the implications a little bit. In a certain sense, God gives what you call his "conditional love" to everyone. I'm thinking of the verse in Romans 5 that says :"God demonstrates his own love for us in this; that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." In that way, God gave his conditional love to us before we had yet accepted it. Not to say that I don't agree with what you said, you've just got me thinking out loud, or in text rather :) Thanks for the thought provoking hub! I'm going to keep considering the notion.

    • marinealways24 profile image

      marinealways24 

      12 years ago

      If the theory is that we are created in image of God, maybe we are to treat our neighbors as God's replicas. Instead, a lot of us treat our neighbors with hate, judgement, greed, lies. A lot of us don't even "wave" to our neighbors.

    • James A Watkins profile imageAUTHOR

      James A Watkins 

      12 years ago from Chicago

      Madame X— Of course, I agree with you. I appreciate your wise words. Let us proceed to one-pointedness.

    • profile image

      Madame X 

      12 years ago

      James- I enjoy your depth of understanding. I would say, however, that God is beyond any form of love we practice on our plane of existence. He is beyond the duality with which we see the world. I also believe, that through the practice of intense focus on God, we can become "one-pointed" (when one's mind is focused on one thing) and thus experience God directly. From having read various scriptures, I have come to believe this possible.

      One-pointedness - God, is the joining of all dualities - our human state as we now know and experience it.

      I could go on forever, but that's my little speech for now.

      Cheers!

    • James A Watkins profile imageAUTHOR

      James A Watkins 

      12 years ago from Chicago

      Praise God!

    • Carrie Bradshaw profile image

      Carrie Bradshaw 

      12 years ago from Manhattan

      Living Water to my soul ~ it's so good to fellowship in truth rather than be in the middle of Legions of swine, as in some cases....so glad to be here! God is GOOD.

    • James A Watkins profile imageAUTHOR

      James A Watkins 

      12 years ago from Chicago

      Ms. Bradshaw— You analysis of Scripture is sound. I appreciate you for reading and mostly for leaving these Godly comments on my Hub.

    • Carrie Bradshaw profile image

      Carrie Bradshaw 

      12 years ago from Manhattan

      Confirmed! "God provides sunshine and sustenance on the wicked as well as the righteous" ~ shown in the parable of the wheat and the tares in Matthew 13:24-30 ~

      "He presented another parable to them, saying, "The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field.  But while men were sleeping, his enemy came and sowed tares also among the wheat, and went away.  But when the wheat sprang up and bore grain, then the tares became evident also.

      And the slaves of the landowner came and said to him, 'Sir, did you not sow good seed in in your field?  How then does it have tares?  And he said to them, 'An enemy has done this!'  And the slaves said to him, 'Do you want us, then, to go and gather them up?'

      But he said, 'No; lest while you are gathering up the tares, you may root up the wheat with them.  Allow both to grow together until the harvest; and in the time of the harvest I will say to the reapers, 'First gather up the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them up; but gather the wheat into my barn."

      In this parable, the wheat are the believers, the children of God.  The tares are the weeds (those who are against God and His children) which rise up to choke and kill the wheat, if it were possible.

      The landowner (God) does indeed nurture and water both the wheat and the tares until the great day of the Harvest (when Christ returns).  But, the GOOD NEWS IS, He can CHANGE that tare into wheat!  It's a miracle accomplished through the forgiveness of Jesus Christ when we accept Him as our Lord and Savior.  AMEN.

    • James A Watkins profile imageAUTHOR

      James A Watkins 

      12 years ago from Chicago

      RVilleneuve— Why, I'm glad you do! Thank you for reading and leaving your kind comment. I noticed you were from Michigan. That is my home state.

    • RVilleneuve profile image

      RVilleneuve 

      12 years ago from Michigan

      I agree with your ideas regarding God'd fatherly and motherly love. Very interesting ideas.

    • James A Watkins profile imageAUTHOR

      James A Watkins 

      12 years ago from Chicago

      muley84— I am sincere, surely. I appreciate you for checking out this Hub and for your insightful commentary. Thanks!

    • muley84 profile image

      Michael A Muehleisen 

      12 years ago from Miami,FL

      James, a very well written piece. Your slant on a God giving conditional love is different, but does kind of explain karma, and reincarnation. God's love in the true spiritual worlds is unconditional, however in the spiritual-material worlds it does seem to manifest as conditional, but that is due to the duality found in this world. You seem thoughtful and sincere.

    • ReuVera profile image

      ReuVera 

      12 years ago from USA

      Thanks again, James. I'm you fan too!

    • James A Watkins profile imageAUTHOR

      James A Watkins 

      12 years ago from Chicago

      ReuVera— The impression you made was impressive. That is why I quickly became your fan. I am very pleased you enjoy my writings. The acceptance of them is beyond my control.

    • ReuVera profile image

      ReuVera 

      12 years ago from USA

      James, sorry I made such an impression. As a matter of facts, I am a very peaceful and open minded person. I just rush to someone's defence too hurriedly sometimes.

      I love your writings, especially that you say very interesting things not so much easily accepted by some others.

    • James A Watkins profile imageAUTHOR

      James A Watkins 

      12 years ago from Chicago

      RueVera— I appreciate you saying so especially since I know you are not easy to please.

    • ReuVera profile image

      ReuVera 

      12 years ago from USA

      The hub is very interesting and thoughts provoking. Discussion in comments is no less interesting.

    • James A Watkins profile imageAUTHOR

      James A Watkins 

      12 years ago from Chicago

      einron- I appreciate that. You are welcome. I enjoyed your pages, too.

    • einron profile image

      einron 

      12 years ago from Toronto, Ontario, CANADA

      Your writing is very clear and precise. Thank you.

    • James A Watkins profile imageAUTHOR

      James A Watkins 

      12 years ago from Chicago

      shreekrishna- You are too kind, friend.

    • profile image

      shreekrishna 

      12 years ago

      another best.

    • James A Watkins profile imageAUTHOR

      James A Watkins 

      12 years ago from Chicago

      Mister G- Thank you for stimulating my thinking process further.

      All people who hit on a nugget of real truth are, at the end of the day, only people who are flawed like the rest of us. I cannot buy into Mr. Fromm's entire body of work but the part about maternal/paternal love seems easily observable from families of most cultures on earth through all time to me.

      And yes—same-sex partners raising children is another discussion entirely and I had not heard that argument, at least in this particular nuance, used against it before.

      I really enjoyed your hub post BTW.

    • profile image

      Mister G 

      12 years ago

      Well, James, that was a very thoughtful reply, so thanks for taking the time and trouble to post it.

      It's interesting that you should have chosen Erich Fromm as your authority to support the mother/father dichotomy, in relation to what you perceive or interpret as the dual nature of God's love.

      As it happens, I also read "The Art of Loving," but I guess it didn't make as much of an impression on me as it did on you, because I don't remember much of it.  That's not to say that I remember everything I read that interests me; I don't -- my memory is sorely limited, alas.  I'm just confessing that I had to do a little brushing up on Mr. Fromm after you cited him.  And what easier reference than the same article you referenced in Wikipedia?

      As I say, it's interesting that you chose Fromm to support your theory; because he was profoundly influenced by the Torah and the Talmud, with a grandfather and two great grandfathers who were Orthodox rabbis.  It's not hard to imagine, then, where Erich's sense of conditional paternalistic love came from, given that background. 

      Indeed, the Father God of the Torah can be seen to develop, over time, from a fiercely demanding, jealous God whose love is deeply authoritarian and conditional, to a God who's actually described with feminine traits; a God who says through the prophet Isaiah:

      "But Zion said, ‘The Lord has forsaken men, my Lord has forgotten me.” Can a woman forget her nursing child, or show no compassion for the child of her womb? Even these may forget, yet I will not forget you."

      And again:

      "As a mother comforts her child, so I will comfort you; you shall be comforted in Jerusalem."

      And Jesus himself used a mother hen image to describe God's maternal care for Israel.

      In a recent show, Jewish comedian Lewis Black gave a very funny description of the vast difference between the God of the Old Testament and the God of the New Testament, but in language I won't repeat here.  Suffice it to say, the concept of God within Judaism developed radically over time.

      What I find particularly interesting, to the point of irony, about your choice of Fromm is that, after studying Orthodox Judaism himself under a succession of rabbis, he ultimately rejected their faith, opting for a humanistic interpretation of scripture.  And, most significantly, a major strain of thought in his developing philosophy was a rejection of uncritical subjection to religious authority, which he saw as a compromise of personal freedom that stunted growth.  In fact, he went on to become one of the founders of the socialist humanism movement, promoting the early writings of Karl Marx. 

      He dealt at length with the opposition between authoritarianism and psychological health in several works, including one of his most famous, "Escape From Freedom" (another one I read and forgot).  I noticed in the Wiki bibliography that he also wrote another book I never read, but which might be of some interest: "The Dogma of Christ and Other Essays on Religion, Psychology and Culture."

      Anyway, thanks again for your original post and your reply.  That's what this Hub business is (or can be) about, right?  Stimulating thought and discussion.  I appreciate your steering me back toward Mr. Fromm -- it might be time for me to get reacquainted with him.

      BTW, it might be of some interest to you to note that opponents of same-sex relationships commonly cite the alleged distinction between maternal and paternal love as an argument against same-sex partners raising children.

      But that's another discussion...isn't it?

    • James A Watkins profile imageAUTHOR

      James A Watkins 

      12 years ago from Chicago

      Mister G- While my thoughts are indeed merely my own invention, I first read about the stark differences between paternal and maternal love in the book "The Art of Loving" by Erich Fromm (1956) some 36 years ago. I am not one to believe everything I read and did not take it at face value. I contemplated this idea while comparing it to the people I knew including my own very large extended family and it was obvious to me that his ideas—regarding this issue—were largely on the mark. Since then I have observed this "theory" in action through countless interactions of children with their mothers and their fathers, which has confirmed to me that this is a "theory" I can believe in.

      Erich Fromm was indeed an "accredited authority" according to his entry in Wikipedia, which describes him—if I may quote this without getting into trouble with the HubPage authorities—"An internationally renowned social psychologist . . ."

      If I may quote Fromm, he says, "This experience of being loved by my mother is a passive one. There is nothing I have to do in order to be loved—mother's love is unconditional. All I have to do is to be her child . . . Fatherly love is conditional love. Its principle is "I love you because you fulfill my expectations, because you do your duty, because you are like me."

      I am a Protestant and never claimed to be a Theologian. I wrote this because as a highly social person who interacts regularly with people all ages, worldviews and socioeconomic levels, I find quite a number of folks who's concept of God is as deep and clear as a mud puddle ranging from "God is a forcefield maybe" to "God is whoever anybody thinks He is to them" to "Not worth thinking about since we can never know" to "There ain't no stinkin' God." So, I thought to myself, why not put forth the God you know and start some thinking and a conversation with the intent to illumine?

      ps Of course Grace is an "unmerited gift" but it can be, and more often than not is, refused. And to refuse it is to refuse God's "conditional" love in my humble opinion.

    • profile image

      Mister G 

      12 years ago

      No, offense, James, but maybe you should leave the psychology to the psychologists and the theology to the theologians.

      Your simplistic summation of maternal vs. paternal love sounds like an invention of your own, or something you got from someone who never studied the subject in any depth. I invite you to validate your theory with any support you can find from an accredited authority in the field of psychology.

      From your statement about Protestants, I suspect that you're a Roman Catholic. If you are, you should be familiar with the concept of "grace," which can only be received as "an unmerited gift." I imagine your bishop might tell you that the cause of ecumenism doesn't need any more obstacles to overcome, your good intentions notwithstanding. Me, I'm not a theologian myself -- but then, I'm not pretending to be one, either.

      I'm reminded of something George Washington Carver said:

      “When I was young, I said to God, 'God, tell me the mystery of the universe.' But God answered, 'That knowledge is for me alone.' So I said, 'God, tell me the mystery of the peanut.' Then God said, 'Well George, that's more nearly your size.' And he told me.”

    • James A Watkins profile imageAUTHOR

      James A Watkins 

      12 years ago from Chicago

      Recovery Guy- The things that are impossible for humans to do are entirely possible for God.

    • Recovery Guy profile image

      Recovery Guy 

      12 years ago

      Hmmm....I see what you are saying here but I am suspecting some sort of flaw in it. Can't put my finger on it exactly. Maybe it is this: do you consider unconditional love to be absolute? In other words, if God loves people unconditionally, then is that love full and pure and absolute in terms of how much he loves them? I think most people assume that it is.

      If you do assume that, then adding conditional love in to the equation does not make sense. He cannot love them more. The unconditional love is absolute and completely over rides it. Does this make any sense?

    • James A Watkins profile imageAUTHOR

      James A Watkins 

      12 years ago from Chicago

      someonewhoknows- someonehasbeenonthelysergicaciddiethylamide

    • James A Watkins profile imageAUTHOR

      James A Watkins 

      12 years ago from Chicago

      jacobt2- I am glad you read my hub and that you enjoyed. Thanks for your comment.

    • someonewhoknows profile image

      someonewhoknows 

      12 years ago from south and west of canada,north of ohio

       These are not my words,THEY ARE FROM SOMEONE CALLED EARTHANGEL444 at lightworkers,it is a heaven letter from God.

      God: "You Are Growing toward Self-Reliance"Posted November 27th, 2007 by EarthAngel444 in Love Spiritual development HEAVEN #2558==================================You Are Growing toward Self-RelianceNovember 26, 2007================================== God said: You say you want to be free of attachment, and yet you tend to view the loss of attachment as a loss when, of course, it is a gain. It is freedom you gain. It is bonds you lose. You tend to correlate bonds with love. As attachment recedes, you gain love. You lose neediness. Is that not a good thing to lose? Dependence is not to be desired. When you are dependent upon love from someone else, you are not free. You are tied, bound, subjugated to a perceived need, as if your life depended upon another's attention and affection on you. Despite what you may feel, others are not your lifeline.  I could be quick to say, "I am your lifeline." Certainly, you can rely on Me, yet now you are growing to the realization of how much I am you. You are growing toward Self-reliance. I am your Comrade. I am your Thought. Soon you will live the Oneness that now you only speak of. Soon you will know the Oneness that you are. You will not even feel so dependent upon My attention on you. You will always have it, yet any perceived distance between Us will fade. You will not hear echoes of My Voice from a mountain so much as you will hear Me booming from your own heart. Although I am everywhere, you will see that I do not exist outside of you. You and I will be One from every angle any way you slice it.  Yes, My Ones, you also fear Oneness as a loss, as if it would be lonely to be One. My dears, it is lonely to be away from Oneness. With Oneness, you do not lose, unless you call letting go of ignorance a loss. Yes, indeed, you will lose ignorance which is only a state of mind. You will gain Godhood which is a state of Truth.  Do you feel you lose a dime when you gain a dollar?  You have known enough of loneliness, beloveds. Loneliness has been your unfailing awareness that something is missing. What has really been missing is your full awareness and acceptance of Oneness. If you want Everything, Oneness is the way to go. Now, of course, it is understood that you cannot just go out and grab Oneness. You already have it and just need the realization to reach you. It will come to you of its own accord. You can desire it. You can be open-armed when it comes. This realization may come slowly, or it may come in a flash. The certainty is that it will come. You will merge into Oneness. Your realization will meet itself, and you will be complete in Oneness.  Do not feel that you have a spectacular need for Oneness that must be filled at any cost. You do not have to be desperate for Oneness. It is not something to be desperate for. Oneness is ready for you, and yet you cannot order your awareness to jump at your command. Awareness cannot be commanded. Well, of course, you can lean toward it. You can invite it. You can desire it. Desire full awareness as you desire the sun to rise every morning. Desire it with the full awareness that it is on its way and will come. It has no choice but to come. All has been set in motion. This full awareness of Oneness that you so crave is on its way. It follows the schedule set for it. Of course, at the same time, it can catch an earlier train. Be ready at any moment. Be ready for Oneness now

    • profile image

      jacobt2 

      12 years ago

      very good hub. great job of putting some things into words. god is great. we cannot completely define or understand him. but he is love!

    • James A Watkins profile imageAUTHOR

      James A Watkins 

      12 years ago from Chicago

      Jewels- You are a very interesting thinker with a kind and articulate way of expressing yourself. Thank you for your unique contribution to this conversation.

    • Jewels profile image

      Jewels 

      12 years ago from Australia

      We are all connected to the holy spirit, some see it, others don't. I don't call my connection 'holy spirit.' Giving an address and phone number to angelic presences is not kosher and we misinterpret flavors of connection, thinking there is one when there are many, yet they are similar, yet different. Not difficult to assume it is all the holy spirit, yet it perhaps is not. Paradoxes run amok in higher states.

      I don't see myself coming back as a frog either. But I can't dismiss what I've seen and experienced. I've definitely not seen myself as a cow either, so the so called 'true belief in reincarnation' is one standpoint and not the only one. Consciousness is an amazing wonder and understanding their are realms and realms of different presences and spaces is extraordinary. I've done far too many practices to dismiss past lives, for myself and others. Stay open to it at least. Be very careful what you read. Beliefs are limitations. (I apologize if that sounded like an order, I do not want to sound righteous).

      There are teachings on transformation of the soul and evolution of the soul. The wheat as you put it becomes the transformed and the chaff that to be transformed. In higher realms we do not take human form and consciousness is not the same as it is here. The subject is huge and difficult to place in a small hub.

      Rudolph Steiner, though I've not studied his work, speaks of levels of evolution, from human, to homoangelicus, angel, archangel. The states coincide with the holding of the Fire of the Divine which at the human level is extremely difficult. The human experience is only one along the cosmological ladder of consciousness.

      Having a solid feel for who you are in the universe is a desire for many on a spiritual path and standing solid in that is important to stay in ones truth.

      No guarantees in the world, no guarantees of making it to heaven, no refundable insurance policies on enlightenment or a reunion with God. Being fluid and open to knowledge and experience is a positive trait in any spiritual path.

    • James A Watkins profile imageAUTHOR

      James A Watkins 

      12 years ago from Chicago

      Jewels- For one Hebrews 9:27 tells me otherwise and I happen to believe in the Holy Scriptures. For another, true belief in Reincarnation includes us coming back as frogs, geese, cows . . . I am sorry but I just don't see it. I have a pretty solid feel for who I am in this universe and what life means.

      I am directly connected with the Holy Spirit and I prayed about this issue. The answer I received was: Reincarnation is not true; it is a fable created for Gnostics by the Prince of Darkness to deceive them into believing that if you live an evil life that's Ok because YOU will have another chance later as another being to get it right. A dangerous idea that, in the minds of a Hitler, Stalin or Mao—can have disastrous consequences for millions of human persons.

      I believe we live this one life in the school of the soul and then we are judged. The Wheat is separated from the Chaff. The Chaff is burned up by an unquenchable fire; the Wheat lives with God eternally—but not on this earthly plane.

    • Jewels profile image

      Jewels 

      12 years ago from Australia

      The evolution of souls would bode well with reincarnation. To think we have only one life to get it right! We're not doing a good job of it. What makes you think there is not a continuum of consciousness?

    • James A Watkins profile imageAUTHOR

      James A Watkins 

      12 years ago from Chicago

      someonewhoknows- Man! I haven't heard the name Edgar Cayce in quite some time, though I am familiar with and have favorable thoughts about the Akashic Records (and was enamored with what I considered esoteric knowledge as a young hippie back in the day).

      Since we will all appear at the Judgment Seat as individuals, I doubt reincarnation is a truthful perception of ultimate reality of human souls.

    • Jewels profile image

      Jewels 

      12 years ago from Australia

      It's a great word. The correct interpretation is: A 'turning inside' of consciousness.

      Moving inwards into more and more subtle realms of consciousness. Letting go of the senses and internalising itself, turning towards consciousness towards its source and cognising itself.

      The opposite of involution is exvolution.

    • James A Watkins profile imageAUTHOR

      James A Watkins 

      12 years ago from Chicago

      someonewhoknows- I love that movie! I agree with you that God is present in all matter and energy. And yes—I AM does say it all!

    • James A Watkins profile imageAUTHOR

      James A Watkins 

      12 years ago from Chicago

      Jewels- Very interesting comment, especially the use of the word "involute." I had to scramble for my dictionary for that one! I suppose if God wanted to appear to you or me with arms, legs and a head He could certainly do so. But I agree with you that is probably not His normal form of existence.

    • someonewhoknows profile image

      someonewhoknows 

      12 years ago from south and west of canada,north of ohio

      God is all knowing,and all seeing,it is,we his offspring that are not,maybe we should think of ourselves as students in Gods classroom of life. We must learn all,to know all and we all have a lot of learning to do!So re-incarnation is not out of the question. 

      People such as Jesus,budda,and other spiritual leaders,and even people the likes of Edger cayce,may be angel's who come here for our benefit to show us the way forward,like tutors for children  

    • someonewhoknows profile image

      someonewhoknows 

      12 years ago from south and west of canada,north of ohio

      I currently believe what we percieve as God,is a part of everything,male female,genderless,or multigendered beings,as well as every part of creation. If you think this is possible,then who is to say.

      Remember with God all things are possible !

      "I AM that I AM " "Go to them and say that "I AM" has sent you onto them. is a statement I remmember from the movie the "TEN COMMANDMENTS" where Chaliton Heston plays moses,there's a scene where he meets God in the form of a burning bush on a mountain side. Now I know this is just a movie,however,the truth is the truth,wherever you find it! 

      The statement "I AM" SAYS IT ALL!

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