Does God Like Me?
In the March 2017 Review I enjoyed the article “Does God Like Me?” I have one disagreement with the writer, David Asscherick. I’m quoting the article here: “Let’s go now to Luke 1. A woman named Mary is pregnant, and she’s confused about her pregnancy. An angel appears to Mary and says, ‘You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus [Yeshua, Deliverer]’ (verse 31).”
“Is” pregnant as opposed to “will conceive” doesn’t fit. Mary was not pregnant when the angel came to her. This is not the way my God of love works! If you read on, she did not get pregnant until after verse 38, where she, Mary, agreed to it.
Keep up the good work. I enjoy all of the Review, especially Dixil Rodriguez. I read her first.
The Dalles, Oregon
Regarding “Does God Like Me?” by David Asscherick, my question is: Is God’s love unconditional? Most Christians would say “yes.” In order to save us, did Jesus have to live a life of obedience to God’s law? Most Christians would say “yes.”
Therein lies the problem. If God’s love is unconditional, then there is no reason for Christ’s sacrifice, because under the umbrella of “unconditional love” it doesn’t matter what we do, whether we sin or not, for God’s love is without conditions.
Ellen White employed many words to describe God’s love, but not once did she write that His love was unconditional. It would be better not to use the expression “unconditional love” when describing God’s love. There are plenty of other good words that do not skew His love or character with psychological distortion.
The fact of God’s unconditional love doesn’t mean that He will not allow us to experience the result of our bad choices—including the loss of salvation. God’s unconditional love doesn’t guarantee our salvation, but only makes it available through Christ to all who choose Him.
I’m sorry to have to disagree with the article “Does God Like Me?” (March 2017).
God likes things the way He created them, not the way they’ve been perverted by sin. There can be a big difference between “love” and “like.” Love can be extended, not only to friends, but even to enemies who hate us and curse us, who despitefully use and persecute us. But we generally like people who are like us.
Jesus told His disciples, “You are My friends if you do whatever I command you” (John 15:14, NKJV).1 If we do everything the way God wants us to, it is because we agree with Him; we like to do things His way. Jesus calls Abraham “my friend” because he commanded his family in such a way that they would keep the way of the Lord. Jesus spoke with Moses face to face as a friend, because Moses, like Jesus Himself, was the meekest man on earth in his day. He called David “a man after my own heart,” because He sees the end from the beginning.
God did not like it when Moses disobeyed an important command and consequences were demanded. He did not like it when David was embroiled in sin; He sent the prophet to confront him. God loves the world, even though it hates Him. He really likes His friends, whom He has chosen out of the world, because they are so much like Him that they can show Him to the world, just as Jesus did when He was here.
When the time is right, He will endow them with eternal life, so they can be with Him forever and reflect Him to His whole creation for all time.
Legally Imposed Law?
I am having a difficult time reconciling Clifford Goldstein’s legally imposed law construct of God (March 2017) with the following statement from Ellen White: “A legal religion can never lead souls to Christ; for it is a loveless, Christless religion.”2 I cannot see the character of God in this article.
We welcome your letters, noting, as always, that inclusion of a letter in this section does not imply that the ideas expressed are endorsed by either the editors of the Adventist Review or the General Conference. Short, specific, timely letters have the best chance at being published (please include your complete address and phone number—even with e-mail messages). Letters will be edited for space and clarity only. Send correspondence to Letters to the Editor, Adventist Review, 12501 Old Columbia Pike, Silver Spring, MD 20904-6600; Internet: firstname.lastname@example.org.