As you may have noticed I think a lot about failure, especially as it relates to God and His Will concerning our spiritual welfare. In that regard, I consider I Corinthians 13: 8 which says that Love never fails. As is the case for every part of the Bible, there is room to debate what this verse means. Does failure in this passage imply that Love never ceases to exist or that it never is ineffective in achieving its purpose? In my mind these two renderings amount to the same thing. A never ending love surely is ultimately successful, especially if it is divine.
Going further, we read I John 4:16 which says God is Love. Again, we are left to interpret this passage. Does the statement- "God is Love" mean that Love is our God? That may seem a little too abstract and impersonal for most people. Perhaps a more comfortable understanding would be that God is the author and perfect practitioner of true Love. However one might take this verse, I find it difficult to escape the conclusion that whatever applies to God, applies to Love also. The failure of one is the failure of both.
In traditional theology, Love must fail. Eternal torment is not an act of Love by any of the measures we read about in I Corinthians 13. Since that same traditional theology claims that the escape from eternal torment and whether Love fails, depends on me, then that failure is mine to administer. To the extent I am involved in aiding the escape of others from eternal torment, I can actually contribute to Love's distribution within humanity. I am free to pick and choose the specific individuals I want to help escape His wrath.
More and more as I consider all these ramifications, I realize that this whole salvation process makes me a god, one who can subvert the Will of the Creator and become the ultimate arbiter of success or failure. It is easy to imagine that the idea of having such power over the fate of others can be very intoxicating. That is especially so when this personal power has been sold as God ordained and driven by Love, even if it is a Love that must fail.