~Note to the Reader~
The following examination is based on the biblical (and rational) idea that LOVE can only reside within a moral framework.Christians And The Bible
It is being done within the foundational premise of the Biblical documents that there is a God and He always tells the Truth because there is NO LIE that can reside within Him.
Every God-given human-right (instituted under Law by Mankind or standing outside of instituted Law) is founded on the concept that love must be moral. Love, to be love, inherently has moral limits and moral standards.
The Bible presents the foundational moral premise for human-beings to live by, "Do unto others as you would have others do unto you." Matthew 7:12
To Love ["Do unto others as you would have them do unto you..."] your fellow-man, morally obligates you, to provide your fellow-man social and legal respect for his/her (God defined) human-rights.
What Does It Mean To BE Loved ~
To be LOVED by others means your inherent (God-defined) human rights will be respected by those who claim they love you!
Jesus was not talking about moral "license" to do anything you want to do at any given moment. He was talking about living in a morally-fallen world within the morality of God, not outside His morality.
Click here to go to - The Teaching That Love Is Unconditional Denies That Which is True," where the logical destructive consequences of unconditional love is explored within specific situations.
One need not be a Christian to understand that love cannot be unconditional. The idea that love could and should be unconditional is not rational (it cannot logically hold consistent reasoning).
The definition of love inherently implies love always resides within a moral framework. The biblical documents support this logic.
THE BIBLE AND TRUTH
The Bible declares that its writings are grounded in truth. Inside its pages are the mind-gripping affirmations that the two most important commandments in all of life are:
"Thou shalt LOVE the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets" Matthew 22:36-40.
What Is Love?
The Christian source for the definition of love is scripture (The Hebrew and Greek documents that make up the Bible). The scriptures claim that God is Love.
ROMANS - CHAPTER 5
Where We Find Ourselves in A Real World
"Therefore, just as through one man (Adam's choice against God) sin entered into the world, and death through sin , and so death spread to all men, because all sinned... for until the Law sin was in the world; but sin is not imputed when there is no law. Nevertheless death reigned from Adam until Moses, even over those who had not sinned in the likeness of the offense of Adam, who is a type of Him who was to come. (Verses 12-14) The World is Condemned Already
All human beings are born into a world already judged. All are under the penalty of death. Satan rules this world (see John 12:31) Jesus said: "These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage;
"But the free gift is not like the transgression. For if by the transgression of the one the many died, much more did the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abound to the many." Romans 5:15-16
I have overcome the world."
The Motivation of The Christian God
"For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world should be saved through Him. He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. John 3:17-18
"The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love." I John 4:8
"We have come to know and have believed the love which God has for US. God is love, and the one who abides in love ("agape") ABIDES IN GOD, and God abides in him."
I John 4:16
"Agape" is the Greek word for designating a specific type of love. This love is relational (it is love that is returned).
Agape love defines loving relationships. Agape love is that love founded on moral loyalties forging the deepest most profound human emotions found in relationships. It describes a love that holds affection, a benevolence, a love feast.
The Bible tells us that love is grounded in the moral nature of God, Himself. It affirms we know love by its moral behavior:
"By THIS the LOVE (agape) of God was MANIFESTED IN US, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world SO THAT WE (those who return His love) might live through Him." I John 4:9
The Bible maintains that Love is behavior grounded in morality. God, because he is LOVE and because He is Just, is willing to rescue the person who repents of his sins from the consequences of living in a cursed and dying world.
Paul teaches in Romans that God's love and justice has the same source, God's nature.
"... for the demonstration, I say, of HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS at the present time, that He might be JUST and the JUSTIFIER OF THE ONE who has faith in Jesus." Romans 3:26
Jesus teaches that what is evil and what is right are opposing forces.
"For everyone who does evil hates the light, and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. John 3:20
"But he who practices the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be manifested as having been wrought in God." John 3:21
The Bible definition of Love, is that love, to be LOVE, must be grounded in perfect morality (it comes forth from within a perfect moral standard). It follows then that it is impossible for God to love outside His moral Nature. Thus, God cannot love without conditions.
There can be no truth to the idea that a Morally-Perfect God can love a person unconditionally.
This truth about love is the foundation for asserting all human rights and personal freedoms. There must always be conditions to love in order to provide liberty and freedom from wrong (evil).
If one loves justice; then one hates injustice. If one loves liberty; then one abhors the evils of unjust enslavement.
The Truth Shall Set You Free
Jesus told the Jews who had believed Him, "You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." John 8:32
This declaration, "You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free...", tells us something primary about Jesus, but it also tells us something primary about truth. It tells us that truth is liberating.
This foundational statement regarding truth, spoken by Jesus, claims that true freedom comes only when there is truth. It tells us that not only is our spiritual freedom and eternal destiny dependent on what is TRUE, but that our personal freedom on earth depends upon our understanding of that which is true, against that which is false.
When Jesus responded to some of the Jews (those who were unbelieving) at the Mount of Olives, He underscored the truth about lies and who and what they serve:
"You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, [Satan murdered Adam and Eve and all of us who came after them. See Genesis 2:17 and Genesis 3:4] --and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature; for he is a liar, and the father of lies." John 8:44
Jesus couldn't have made it more clear. The nature of a lie is to destroy the liberating power of truth.
The Bible shows that God does not accept accountability for Satan's evil nature. Satan made the choice to be a liar and a murderer.
Each time a person is told that God loves unconditionally, it implies (and is taught) that all Christians are required to love unconditionally.
This modern myth denies the moral nature of God by stating that God loves those who do evil. A significant number of Christian preachers, teachers have allowed this myth and others to develop within organized Christendom without challenge or public censure.
This present-day myth about the unconditional nature of God's love has evil consequences to truth. It is damaging to the corporate body of Christ. Myths do injury to individual persons, families and to children. Myths deny that truth can set you free.
Myths imprison people in a world of untruths. Myths distort the real world, mangling the spirit and confusing the heart and mind.
This false idea that God loves people unconditionally, is a dangerous and destructive misunderstanding of the Nature of God. It has serious consequences to the human condition.
It challenges the justice of the nature of covenants (thus, the nature of justice, itself). It challenges the moral nature of family relationships and the moral nature of our individual responsibility toward God and each other.
It makes the PROFANE statement that God loves Satan.
By declaring there are NO conditions to God's love, it spreads the lie that God is willing to make accommodation with evil. Scripture denies God is willing to make accommodation with evil. The Holy Spirit, through the Apostle Paul, warned believers:
"Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness?" -- 2 Corinthians 6:14
"Or what harmony has Christ with Belial, or what has a believer in common with an unbeliever?" 2 Corinthians 6:15
Could God have stated it any more clearly?
GOD DOES NOT LOVE SATAN!
"Then He will also say to those on His left, 'Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels; " Matthew 25:41
God cannot love unconditionally
Because God is moral As, 2 Corinthians 6:14 states, "... what fellowship has light with darkness? ... Or what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we [believers] are the temple of the living God; " This is a myth without truth, pity or justice.
'I WILL DWELL IN THEM AND WALK AMONG THEM; AND I WILL BE THEIR GOD, AND THEY SHALL BE MY PEOPLE.' 2 Corinthians 6:16
"Therefore, COME OUT FROM THEIR MIDST AND BE SEPARATE," says the Lord. "AND DO NOT TOUCH WHAT IS UNCLEAN; And I will welcome you." 2 Corinthians 6:17
The conditions of His love require a human heart that is washed free of sinful practices and evil motivations. This modern myth (and lie) psychologically punishes (is abusive to) victims of crime (and their families) for desiring justice for the crimes done against them.
This false idea, that love can be, and should be, unconditional, labels those who seek justice for the crimes done against them as unmerciful and "vengeful."
It implies that they cannot be genuinely walking the Christian walk if they will not "forgive" the criminal unconditionally
Without the murderer/criminal showing public or private remorse, people who wear the name, Christian, impelled by this modern Christian myth, have publicly "forgiven" murderers of family members.
Unconditional Love -
A Moral Contradiction
The word, "unconditional" means, "not limited", i.e., not subject to any conditions.
The word, "unconditionally" is defined as not subject to conditions and implies an "absolute" sense whereby NO conditions are required or expected for the thing stated to take place, i.e., the thing stated, stands by itself; without conditions -- unconditional.
In order to examine the question regarding God's love and how the biblical God defines Love, His nature must be examined within the framework of biblical descriptions of Who God Is.
God Cannot Lie
The Bible defines God's moral Nature, " ...in the hope of eternal life, which GOD WHO CANNOT LIE promised long ages ago," Titus 1:2
The Prophet David, in Psalm 106:42, reminded the Hebrew people that when God gives His word regarding the thing that He promises to do, it is a done deal.
In other words, God always keeps His promises about what HE will DO.
This is a - ~"It's got MY NAME on it " ~ promise from a morally Perfect God.
David declared, "For He remembered His Holy Word With Abraham His servant;"
The Hebrew word used in the verse above, within the term, "His holy word", the 'word' in this verse is designating that God gave a promise to Abraham regarding His (God's) personal conduct.
This Hebrew word, is "dabar (daw-bawr) meaning, "to speak". In other words, God had given His Word to Abraham regarding His actions (separate from the actions of others).
David was reminding the Hebrew people that, in actuality, ALL that God had given His Word regarding, had taken place. The actions being spoken of were God's actions, dependent on God's choices, alone.
This type of action by God is not contractual (a covenant - between parties) but singular and without reference to any other person's actions or responses.
The word, "covenant," is briyth (ber-eeth), in Hebrew, defined as, "a compact," an agreement between parties. A Covenant is Always Conditional
It carries legal authority whereby both parties are constrained (obligated) by conditions within the covenant. It is always conditional on each of the parties fulfilling his/her part of the covenant/compact.
The word, briyth (ber-eeth), in Hebrew meaning, "a compact" (covenant), is the word used in Genesis 17:19:
"But God said, 'No, but Sarah, your wife shall bear you a son, and you shall call his name Isaac; and I will establish My covenant with him for an everlasting covenant for his descendants after him.'
The covenant to Isaac was, "everlasting" only so long as the parties fulfilled their part of the covenant.
Because a covenant depends on each party fulfilling his/her part of the covenant, it carries the legal authority that conditions must be met by both parties or the covenant is broken. When a Covenant is broken, the Covenant obligation has stopped as though there had never been a covenant.
This legal use of the term, "covenant" was a common way of doing business:
"And Abraham took sheep and oxen, and gave them to Abimelech; and the two of them made a covenant. Genesis 21:27
The word for "covenant" in Genesis 21:27, is the Hebrew word,"briyth (ber-eeth)," and is the same word used regarding God's covenant with Isaac.
" Now then, IF you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, THEN you shall be My own possession among all the peoples..." Exodus 19:5
A Covenant is Always Conditional
The covenant with God could be broken - Genesis 17:14
"But an uncircumcised male who is not circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin, that person shall be cut off from his people; he has broken My covenant."
A Covenant is Conditional
A covenant with God means that only the other party to the covenant can break it - God is morally perfect, He would never break His Word.
Leviticus 26:15 - reveals that a covenant can be broken, "If, instead, you reject My statutes, and if your soul abhors My ordinances so as not to carry out all My commandments, and so break My covenant,.."
Levitcus 26:16 - "I, in turn, will do this to you: I will appoint over you a sudden terror, consumption and fever that shall waste away the eyes and cause the soul to pine away; also, you shall sow your seed uselessly, for your enemies shall eat it up."
Levitcus 26:17 - "And I will set My face against you so that you shall be struck down before your enemies; and those who hate you shall rule over you, and you shall flee when no one is pursuing you."
A Covenant is Conditional
Why Did God Make Covenants Conditional?
God is without spot or moral blemish and is perfect in every aspect of Being. He is Just. He is Judge. He is never wrong.
Covenants are legal documents, legal oaths of faithfulness between parties.
When God makes a covenant, every covenant is founded on and written within His Perfect moral nature.
Because God is Moral, no covenant, God puts His Name on, could ever be unconditional in any of its requirements between the parties named in the covenant:
"Know therefore that the LORD your God, He is God, the faithful God, who keeps His covenant and His lovingkindness to a thousandth generation with those who love Him and keep His commandments; BUT REPAYS THOSE WHO HATE HIM, TO THEIR FACES, to destroy them; He will not delay with him who hates Him, He will repay him to his face." Deuteronomy 7:9-10
The Hebrew and Greek documents assure the reader - over and over - that the biblical God can no more love unconditionally than He can establish an unconditional covenant.
God is wholly and completely Holy. He hates evil and unrepentant evildoers:
"For Thou art not a God who takes pleasure in wickedness; No evil dwells with Thee. The boastful shall not stand before Thine eyes; Thou dost hate all who do iniquity. Thou dost destroy those who speak falsehood;..."
The LORD abhors the person of bloodshed and deceit." Psalm 5:4-6
The word, "abhors" is the Hebrew word, "ta'ab (taw-ab'), meaning, "to loathe, to detest, to make abominable - utterly."
The Bible documents under examination, teaches -- over and over again -- that God in His perfect moral nature can not love evil, unrepentant evil-doers, nor is He willing to make an acommodation to evil.
The Bible always deals with the real. The person who murders is defined by God a murderer and God cannot love an unrepentant murderer. God cannot love sin or the unrepentant sinner because God is perfectly Holy.
2 Corinthians 6:14 states, "... what fellowship has light with darkness?"
The answer to the question in, 2 Corinthians 6:14, is given in the Bible. The answer is that love cannot be unconditional. It is an answer that is rational, consistent and realistic with what is REAL in life.
Whether or not, this answer is recognized from Bible teachings or intellectual examination outside the Bible -- it is not rational to believe that there can be fellowship between truth and lies, i.e., fellowship between light and darkness.
People who have the ability to reason consistently (or in spite of his/her denialof the God of the Bible, His place in their lives), can know that there is an inherent contradiction in the idea that love can be without or outside moral conditions.
The Hebrew and Greek documents that make up the Bible are reliable backstops by which every idea can be bounced off.
The Bible teaches that Hell Is A Real Place for the Unrepentant and Eternally Rebellious
Within a moral universe, JUSTICE requires that sin (crimes) be paid for. Without a penalty for crime(s) all things would be allowed. If all could be allowed, "Justice", itself, would have no rational meaning.
God created a perfect moral universe and Man made a choice against God as rightful Lawgiver. God judged Man for his immoral choice and death has reigned since that time (see Genesis 3:22-24).
The penalty for sin is death (see 2 Thessalonians 1:9). If any person REFUSES to allow Jesus to pay for his/her sins then he or she will have to pay for them.
Parallel False Doctrines
- Unconditional Love
Hate the Sin, Love the Sinner -
~ IN OTHER WORDS ~
The present-day idea that a person can be seen as separate and distinct from his/her acts (behavior) is not biblical.
The Bible does not portray the idea that God separates the sin from the sinner. The murderer who did a murderous act remains connected to his/her crime in the Mind and Justice of God until he/she has repented of that act.
The false teaching, that the Bible teaches that Christians should, "hate the sin, and love the sinner," places a disconnect between what a person "does" and who he/she has "chosen" to be - and it is something that God does not do.
Biblically, a person who murders, is a murderer. A person who steals, is a thief. A person who lies, is a liar.
Until a person makes the moral choice to be who God longs for him/her to be, that person is defined by what he/she chooses to "do."
That Jesus told Christians to love their enemies and do goodto those who persecute them, does not change the reality of the nature of sin and sinners ( this verse has been suggested as a proof text for the idea that Christians are to hate the sin and unconditionally love the sinner).
The Bible definition of Love, is always connected to that which we "choose" to do, acted out within a moral framework.  It is this reality about love that determines its expression on many different levels and within many situations.
"Agape" love is expressed within relationship This is not the type of love Jesus was examining within Matthew 5:44. The love within the context of Matthew 5:44 is a moral option provided for the Christian because Love compels a moral response
The context of Matthew 5:44, is that Love can be expressed to an enemy in SPITE of mistreatment by them. The choice of the Christian -- Jesus was teaching -- should be to express mercy and kindness (which are moral aspects of love when human life is not being threatened.
If there were no inherent moral conditions regarding the love expressed or within the framework whereby it is to be experienced by human beings,
- that Christians were actually being called upon to love unconditionally (without or outside moral conditions)
Christians would invalidate (take away it's legal authority) their God-given right to self-defense within all human relationships, within every human institution and at every level of interaction when attempting to act out Christian love.
The command to love our enemies does not remove a fundamental RIGHT to self-defense given by God's commandment to all Mankind: "Thou shall not kill (murder).
The foundational premise of the Bible regarding our inherent personal value (directed at all humanity), is that each human being has a right to "love self." Because we have been given a RIGHT (and moral obligation) to love "self," we are able to feel empathy with others.
It is on this inherent moral ground of our personal value that God directs us to, "...love your neighbor as you love yourself." Matthew 22:39
If the nature of love were truly "unconditional, what would compel us toward repentance?
It is our recognition of moral failure (the inability to meet perfectly the conditions of a moral God) and the realization of the consequences of sin that is able to bring us to repentance before a Holy God
The truth is, that we have no more moral blueprint to love ourselves, WITHOUT CONDITIONS, than we have to love others, in this manner.
God has not given anyone a right to love himself/herself -- or anyone else, "unconditionally."
We must love God first, before all else, because all that is GOOD originates within Him.
In fulfilling that first (and greatest) commandment, we must be willing to take every self-serving impulse or desire and place it under the conditions of God's moral nature.
It is important to understand the context of Matthew 5:44.  It is a directive to Christians, that a Christian should love his/her enemy in a "specific" manner. It is teaching that each Christian should be willing to expose God's moral kindness to the enemy.
It is a command that the Christian is to react within a moral framework and do something good to the enemy, in spite of being persecuted by the enemy, in order to emulate the mercy and kindness (which is inherent in love) of God to His enemies.
The word, "love" in Matthew 5:44, is the Greek word, "agapao." It is love that emerges out of moral responsibility. This love is not the love of "relationship."
These moral acts of love a Christian is to act out do not change the moral status of the enemy who persecutes the Christian.
He is still the enemy, he is still evil (until he/she repents). Turning the other cheek or loving an enemy within the context of the command regarding HOW to love the enemy by doing good to the enemy, defines the type of love being required.
The context indicates that Jesus was teaching what our response to such a situation should be. It should be governed by a moral response (inherent in love) in spite of the reality there is no "agape" love being exchanged
Any other way of looking at the context, would have Jesus teaching Christians that they were commanded to be willing to provide cannon fodder (without resistance) to any enemy in a suicidal (self-murder) manner.
The scripture that teaches that we must love our enemy and do good to those who persecute us, is asking us to mirror the manner by which God acts out kindness (which emerges out of the nature of God, who is love) even to His enemies.
It is a commandment that we act out the moral nature of God in front of the unjust.
To teach that a perfect God separates the sin from the sinner, such as, an act of murder from the murderer, is to imply that God can overlook the murderer's heart of sin.
Because this is a true consequence of reasoning, this modern secular (and at this time) Christian myth, destroys truth and slanders the PERFECT moral nature of God.
This modern cultural myth (more and more being taught by Christians, now too often, flows uncontested [not challenged] through entire congregations. It moves destructively and insidiously into the lives of families, individual men, women and children.
As Myths gather momentum, the whirling debris of the false viewpoint, rush into the wider world at large, bringing devastating consequences to the people who accept these myths, (within Christianity they are false doctrines).
The Bible doesn't merely "suggest" that love must have conditions to be love, it teaches this idea over and over. Love Must Have Conditions for Love to Have Meaning.
Love must be grounded in moral imperatives. Just as Truth is exclusive because it excludes all that is NOT true, love is exclusive because it excludes all that is evil.
The truth that love must be exclusive of evil is the moral imperative (making it absolutely necessary) of Love.
As way of examination of this concept, it is morally and legally understood that for marriage to have meaning, it must have conditions of marriage or marriage, itself, cannot be defined.
In the same way, faithfulness, to have meaning, must have conditions of faithfulness. Truth, to be truth, must meet the conditions of Truth
Love, to be love, must have conditions to be met or love cannot be defined. In other words, LOVE, cannot embrace evil and remain love.
Close biblical examination confirms that it is impossible for God to love unconditionally because He cannot love evil or the unrepentant evildoer.
God being HOLY never acts outside His perfect Nature of Justice, Mercy and Love. God Loves Only Those Who Love Him in Return Because God Loves Man within "relationship."
God created Man in His image in order that Man could commune with his Creator (The words in capital letters in each verse that follows, references the conditions of His love).
"For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, THAT WHOEVER BELIEVES IN HIM, should not perish, but have eternal life." John 3:16
"For the Father Himself loves you, BECAUSE YOU HAVE LOVED ME, and HAVE BELIEVED that I came forth from the Father." John 16:27
"Now before the Feast of the Passover, Jesus knowing that His hour had come that He should depart out of this world to the Father, having LOVED HIS OWN WHO WERE IN THE WORLD, HE LOVED THEM to the end." John 13:1
Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for HER. Ephesians 5:25
"Now may our Lord Jesus Christ Himself and God our Father, WHO HAS LOVED US (obedient believers) and given US eternal comfort and good hope by grace," 2 Thessalonians 2:16
"For the Scripture says, 'WHOEVER BELIEVES IN HIM WILL NOT BE DISAPPOINTED.'" Romans 10:11
"For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, abounding in riches for ALL WHO CALL UPON HIM; " Romans 10:12
"And THIS IS LOVE, that WE WALK ACCORDING TO HIS COMMANDMENTS. This is the commandment, just as you have heard from the beginning, that you should walk in it." 2 John 1:6
Love, to be love, must be conditional.
The Positive Implications to Freedom
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Understanding that the love felt ( and expressed by the Creator toward His obedient creatures ) can only be present within the moral conditions of God's perfect nature, has implications beyond the fundamental nature of God.
Conditional love has liberating implications regarding the nature of Justice, itself -- within all its aspects; -- the nature of a just government, the nature of justice within the family and the nature of individual liberty.
The biblical definition of love is that it must be conditional. Christian love in its essence is grounded in and founded on a specific moral viewpoint - the nature of the biblical God.
The Teaching That Love is Unconditional Makes A Mockery of Human Liberty and Justice.
A woman or man attempting to live under the false teaching that he/she must love his/her spouse unconditionally, has no moral basis by which to request divorce for adultery or abandonment. A marriage with no conditions is not marriage.
A person attempting to live under the false concept that he/she must love unconditionally has no basis whereby he/she may leave a relationship because of physical and/or psychological abuse.
A child that has been taught that he/she must love unconditionally (teaches the child that he/she must obey his/her parents unconditionally) imprisons the child in evil.
The false idea that the child (or adult) must be taught to love unconditionally imprisions the child (or adult) into a non-challenge environment.
This teaching denies that a child (or adult) has any human right(s). This teaching ultimately calls God a liar when He states that we each have a right to act out a protective self-interest (a statement that makes the claim that we have no right to "self-defense" within any situation).
Parents taught that they must love their children unconditionally have no moral basis to refuse to tolerate anything the adult child decides to do or any lifestyle the adult child determines to express.
This is in direct conflict with the words of Jesus Christ in Matthew 10:32-39
Parents, sisters or brothers who are taught they must love unconditionally have lost the biblically-taught right to remove themselves from an abusive environment or reject any behavior that is not consistent with Bible teachings.
Any person who has accepted the false idea that he or she must love others unconditionally is "morally" (if they are rationally consistent) forced to endure all kinds of evil within his or her personal world, his/her work world or political world in the name of Christian "love."
To go back to: "What It Means To be loved..." click here
This false teaching that love CAN be and SHOULD be unconditional is endemic within the secular and Christian worlds.
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