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Who Can Tell Me What Love Is?
Truly, I would like to know.
Would you reply that love is the act of having intimate relations, nothing more? Heavy, sensual kissing and caressing, purely carnal, consummate the sexual act, and that is what real, pleasurable love is?
“Yes, that is love; that’s what it is!” Many young people of today, as well as not a few older ones, respond in that very way. And no small number adds: “It matters little with whom you make love or how many different partners you have. The thing is not to obligate yourself in any way. Avoid pregnancies, and if there is one, get an abortion. Babies are a real drag, a nuisance. Drink up, use some narcotics, and have frequent sex. Man, enjoy life to the fullest! You too, women!”
But that is not an acceptable, satisfying answer for thoughtful people who know from experience and common sense that true love involves so much more, offers so much more, on superior levels of pleasure and fulfillment, all across the different stages of human adult life.
Can Roman Catholic priests and nuns tell us what love is? From the Pope in The
Vatican to the lowly monk or nun with a vote of celibacy and poverty, the prelates
of the Roman Catholic Church claim exclusive authority to define love and
impose rules on expressing it. But they do not marry! Not a one of them has
a legitimate partner, although a significant number have illegitimate ones.
They do not have legitimate children, though illegitimate, not a few. They
have taken the vote of celibacy, but a vast number of them violate it
frequently, their most horrendous sexual sin being the rampant abuse of
Any person knowledgeable in the New Testament knows that the Holy
Spirit classifies obligatory celibacy as a doctrine of devils and a sure sign
of heretics. 1 Timothy 4:1-5. He legislates that bishops be married men with
believing children (1 Timothy 3:1-7; Titus 1:3-10) and that both men and women
marry to avoid fornication. 1 Corinthians 7:1
So it is that, apart from not experiencing the natural love of marriage, children, and family, the Roman Catholic clergy boldly flaunts divine directives for the good of humanity in general, and of the “family of God” in particular. Consequently, they absolutely do not possess the necessary credentials to pontificate on love and insist, on pain of ex-communication, that their dogmas be implemented. Really, what sense is there in paying any attention whatsoever to them, or fear their pronouncements totally lacking in divine authority?
These observations about Roman Catholic priests are equally applicable to the priests and shamans of other religions whose “sacred writings” require them to be celibate.
Massive brotherhood of Pentecostals, can you tell us what love is? Of a certainty, the word is on your lips so often and in so many circumstances that you give the impression of having a monopoly on it. You are always saying to sinners and saints alike: “Jesus loves you! God loves you! The Holy Spirit loves you!” And that is very true, for they assure us they love everybody, without exception, desiring the salvation of every soul. John 3:16; 1 Timothy 2:4
But it appears that you also greatly appreciate sensual, sexual love, even to dangerous extremes for the soul-spirit, seeing that fornication and adultery are often discovered among you, being
guilty of these abominable types of love an alarming percentage of your pastors, prophets, prophetesses, reverends, well-known musicians, etc., as well as no small percentage of lay members. You know it is true.
No doubt many of you sincerely love God, holiness, and salvation, but other bad types of love are also commonly observed among your masses. For example, love of money, tithes, riches, and worldly comforts. Love of titles, power, and fame. Love of an exaggerated, even wild, crazed enthusiasm. Love of noisy commotions, showiness, ecstasy, sensuality, and Jewish rites of ancient, Mosaic times in your praise services.
So much so that you have invented different kinds of worldly gospels to justify and promote these evil types of love opposed to Christ and his only true gospel. For example, the "Prosperity Gospel," the "Health and Motivational Gospels," the "Gospel of Existentialism" (emotions above truth), the "Gospel of Dominionism" (take charge of commercial and political organizations), and the "Gospel of Deborah’s to the Front and in Command" (women in leadership roles in congregations, councils, movements, calling themselves “pastor, apostle, prophetess, reverend, and taking authority over men,” positions, titles and powers not approved for them by the Holy Spirit.) 1 Timothy 2:9-15; 1 Corinthians 14:33-40
All of this places in serious doubt your qualifications to discourse on the many important aspects of healthy, right, and pure love. The following Bible texts condemn your evil types of love and your unbiblical practices: 1 Timothy 6:3-16; 2 Peter 2:1-3; John 2:13-17; Matthew 23:1-7; 1 Corinthians 14:33-40; Hebrews 7:12; 8:6-13; 9:1-17; Galatians 1:6-10; John 13:36; 1 Corinthians 14:6-33, and a host of others.
Darwinian Evolutionists arrogate to themselves the authority to define love for all homo sapiens. They tell us: “Love is neural, physical, sensual. Love is cerebral.” That’s it! Nothing beyond the physical brain, physical neurons, and synapses, the purely sensual and animal. Because, as they explain, the only nature is a material-physical nature. There is no god, soul, spirit, spiritual nature, or spiritual place. Just matter, some of it alive.
Beware, dear friend, of BAD, PERVERTED TYPES of LOVE! They will consume you -body, mind, soul, and spirit- in flames. Then, they will die out forever! Leaving you covered in ashes, grey all over! Surrounded by eternal darkness.
Not having received thus far satisfactory answers to the question “Who can tell me what love is?” consider, respected reader, my own personal credentials to present a reasonable, consistent answer, hoping you will find it to be just that.
Regarding “different classes of love,” I have made an infinite number of observations across the years, analyzing, and comparing them. In my own self -body, psyche, and spirit- I have experienced different types of love, all sane and healthy according to my criteria. Additionally, I have read a whole lot of material about love as it is manifested in innumerable situations.
Now, I present my most important credential: I have not excluded from my considerable reading a book whose name aggravates many of our contemporaries. Hope you are not one of them. I refer to the Bible. A book that, may we note, covers all kinds of love, from the most depraved to the purist and most noble. In some instances, with astonishing frankness and startling detail.
Multitudes often speak the name of the author of this book, but without any respect whatsoever, having distorted concepts of him because they do not know him. I am talking about God the Creator who “is the GOD of PEACE and of LOVE.” 2 Corinthians 13:11. To be sure, “…love is OF God.” 1 Juan 4:7. Furthermore, “God IS LOVE.” 1 John 4:8 and 16. That is, he is the source of all right kinds of love, being its perfect manifestation. As such, he is absolutely the only one with an innate right to define pure and blameless love in its different applications in both the physical-material realm and the moral-spiritual one. My definition of love is based almost exclusively on his exposition and example.
Rephrasing a little the question before us, I ask: “What are the healthy, good, and pure types of love?” Plural: Types. For there is not just one kind of love but many in each of two major categories: on the one hand, the bad ones, and on the other, the good ones.
The God of love identifies and defines the HEALTHY, GOOD, and PURE TYPES of LOVE.
You can, and should, love your own physical body. Ephesians 5:29. The husband, his wife’s body; the wife, her husband’s body. This physical love between a man and a woman legitimately united in marriage according to God’s ordinances means that sexual love between couples thus joined together is wholesome, acceptable, pure. “Marriage is honorable among all, and the bed undefiled.” Hebrews 13:4. “…a man shall… be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” Matthew 19:4-9
You can “love life and see good days” (1 Peter 3:10), enjoying the material blessings of the Creator.
You can, and should, love your parents, your wife or husband, and your children, respecting and honoring them in all your relationships and interactions, striving for their material, as well as moral and spiritual good. Matthew 15:4-6; Ephesians 6:2-4; 1 Peter 3:1-7
You can and should love your neighbor as yourself. Galatians 5:14
You can, and should, love the God of love with all your heart, mind, and soul. (Mark 12:30), understanding that he first loved you (1 John 4:19), desiring to have you near him and making it possible through the sacrifice of his only Begotten Son. “Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” John 15:13
You can, and should, love the light (John 3:21), synonymous with loving God’s Truth. 2 Thessalonians 2:12
Additionally, you can and should come to know and love the church built by Christ (Matthew 16:18), for he loves it so much that he gave himself for it. Ephesians 5:25-27. Clarifying: love the one he built, not the ones built by men.
Also, love the Second Coming of Christ (2 Timothy 4:8), for it means the eternal glorification of the good, just, and obedient, their being crowned with immortality in the Paradise of the God of Love.
HOW TO LOVE?
To love a being truly and sincerely, whether human or spiritual, is to love “with all your strength.” Mark 12:30. Within the norms established for any specific relationship. Not with a fanaticism and obsession that borders on craziness, or is crazy, but neither with an insipid, weak love, lacking normal passion.
Go beyond mere friendship, empathy, fascination, infatuation, or fondness. Come to feel intense affection. Fervently want, yearn, desire, hunger to be near, in the presence of. Make yourself a part of the person, and that person a part of you, without violating the dignity, integrity, or privacy of the one
loved so much. Enjoy the relationship, mentally and sentimentally. Even physically in the case of those legitimately married according to the directives of the God of Love. Be ONE. Attaining a fusion of heart and mind, even of spirit.
Feel happy, complete, safe, and at ease in the company of the one loved. Sad, unsure, and incomplete when no. Hold the life of the one loved to be more important than your own life, being willing to give your life, if necessary, for the one loved. Feel frustrated, solitary, and somewhat desperate when separated for whatever reason, offense, or error, lamenting, and crying. Not be at peace, unable to sleep, even have no appetite until reconciliation is accomplished.
All that and much more is what it means to love “with all your strength.” Be that one so loved a human
being, the Father of our spirits (Hebrews 12:9), or Christ, who, loving us with supreme love, sacrificed his life in the cruelest way to bridge all chasms and unite us again with the “family of God.”
[Suggestion: Go back and read the preceding paragraph, from the beginning to “POSITIVE ACTIONS,” applying each sentence (with the exception of the one which begins “Even physically in…”) solely to God and his Son Jesus Christ, with the purpose of appreciating even to a higher degree the significance of loving them “with all your strength.”]
define wholesome and pure love.
Jesus Christ said: “If you love me, you will keep my commandments… He who has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me… If a man loves me, he will keep my word… He who does not love me does not keep my words…” John 14:15, 21, 23, and 24
Now then, every human being has the commandments from Christ to believe truly in God, repent sincerely, and be baptized “for the forgiveness of your sins,” that is, to be baptized in water for the washing away of sin. Mark 16:15-16;
Acts 2:37-47; 22:16. Are you willing? What a relief if you should say “Yes!” Such a great salvation! What a wonderful hope of a better life here, and there!
If you have not yet been baptized biblically, that is, by immersion in water (Acts 8:26-40; Romans 6:3-7), “in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” (Matthew 28:18-20), and “for the forgiveness of your sins,” the purpose assigned baptism by Deity, but you keep saying “I love God; I really love Jesus,” friend, please don’t deceive yourself any longer. In that case, you definitely would not possess or display the definitive proof of loving them until you dutifully keep their commandments on baptism. So then, to the water as soon as possible, and be baptized, that you may, indeed, show good faith of the love you profess, just as the Philippian jailor and his family did. Acts 16:25-40
define wholesome and pure love.
The healthy, good, and pure love taught and exemplified by the God of Love is also defined by the attributes he assigns it in 1 Corinthians 13:4-7.
“Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.” 1 Corinthians 13:4-7
In this text alone, two positive attributes of true love; eight things it does not have or does not do; five things it does do. At this time in your life journey, what are the attributes of your love?
I conclude, citing the following powerful words: “Love never ends…” What love? Yours or the one God teaches? “So faith, hope, love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.” 1 Corinthians 13:8 and 13
Faith, hope, and love. Do you have the three, or none of them? Until when do your present beliefs, hopes, and different kinds of love abide?
If your mind is functioning normally and your soul is beginning to be filled with light, you will understand that only spiritual faith, hope, and love sustain beyond the death of the physical body and that SPIRITUAL LOVE is the greatest of the three. That is so because when faith and hope are made realities, they cease to be. On the other hand, true spiritual love abides time without end.
Dear reader, it is within your reach! Why not lay hold of it NOW?
Written with a sincere love for each and every soul-spirit alive on planet Earth.
Homer Dewayne Shappley
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Category. Light for the Mind and Spirit.
Category. Healing, Comfort, and Strength for Mind, Spirit, and Body