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The Love Of Jesus


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Typically Christian. Since this is the Colosseum, I will only say that this is a very narrow, ignorant and prejudiced view. I am happy I have freed myself of such a nonsensical view of life, which you admit is really indefensible.

 

Hi DevaLight,

 

For what it's worth, I find it helpful to remember what the mindset was like, because really, "they know not what they do." I completely understand your frustration, though.

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I got into this issue on a Christian forum and told stories of 'heathen' laying down their lives for others and stories of loving non-Christian families.

 

In response I was told that EVERY SINGLE THING a non Christian does or feels is not motivated by love but by selfishness. No matter how compassionate it appears to be - it's always to glorify 'self' instead of God.

 

I then quoted "greater love has no man than this - than a man lay down his life for his friends" to which someone replied "only if you do it for the right reasons". I replied "You're adding to the word of God" :eek::grin::grin::grin:

 

I presume that many Christians do personally experience something greater than ever after a 'rebirth' experience, but the mistake is thinking that no one else has had such an awakening outside of Christianity.

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DevaLight, you are right I don't know you, but you are a non-Christian and therefore cannot love in the fullest sense of the word according to a Christian. Harsh, yes; but truth nonetheless.

 

 

You may want to read this debate between AM and a Christian about what is it that Christianity offers humanity that no other religion or philosophy offers us: http://www.ex-christ...s-life-that-no/

Thanks for remembering that Neon. I haven't the time to ponder everything tonight, but I do appreciate Larry's sincerity. That much I certainly recognize and respect, even if we don't see eye to eye, or heart to heart, quite at this point. I do see the potential for that however...

 

 

Yes, we finally got Larry to admit it, that non-Christians do not know how to love "correctly". This is just another "us and them" distinction by which they divide the world into artificial categories in order to feel more comfortable with themselves.

 

I think it is good to have a Christian come on here and try to get them to actually honestly say what their position is, in all its repulsiveness instead of letting them constantly try to make it sound better or covering it up. So I try to get Christians to expose their true position for scrutiny and further debate by others here who may not have heard these things so baldly stated.

 

To "love correctly" - there is no meaning to that. Love is not correct or incorrect, it is just love. When you use a measuring standard or apply a judgment to it, then it is no longer love.

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This is a test:

 

What is your reaction to this photo?

 

mNyWv9qNneb617pu2xDTKetYo1_500.jpg

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DevaLight, you are right I don't know you, but you are a non-Christian and therefore cannot love in the fullest sense of the word according to a Christian. Harsh, yes; but truth nonetheless.

 

 

You may want to read this debate between AM and a Christian about what is it that Christianity offers humanity that no other religion or philosophy offers us: http://www.ex-christian.net/index.php?/topic/20121-what-does-christianity-offer-humanity-in-this-life-that-no/

Thanks for remembering that Neon. I haven't the time to ponder everything tonight, but I do appreciate Larry's sincerity. That much I certainly recognize and respect, even if we don't see eye to eye, or heart to heart, quite at this point. I do see the potential for that however...

 

To this debate you reference Neon. Very good. Kat22 was very much as Larry sees things, but after some discussion she conceded the point with the following statement which I hold in much respect. It's something to put out there for the time until I can get to my fuller reply:

 

Life makes unexpected twists when you least expect it to. When one is willing to learn, it is surprising what can be found. The question was "What does Christianity offer humanity in this life that no other religion does?" and I was ready to fight tooth and nail to prove how much I knew. But, really, my experience is limited in this area and I didn't want to admit it. I haven't spoken to enough people from other faiths... I've just
studied
their faiths and have one particular person that I talk to from a
few
of these faiths. That's not enough to make a determination about what fruits they bare. I can say this, however; each person, I have met, shows an amazing desire to be good and kind and loving to others; to be a blessing and not judge. No matter what excuse I might try to make to see them as an "exception to the rule", the fact is that it shows fruits sprung from people who belong in other systems of belief.

 

I still do not see humanity as good; but, I
do
see humanity as
wanting
to be good. I still see Christ as the One written about in the bible and I do see Him as important and necessary for many reasons. Until facts tell me the bible cannot be trusted, this will not change. However, in this life, Christianity offers Christ; and, though I have experienced, seen and heard of many blessings, in this life, from faith in Him, Christ's main purpose is to prepare us for eternity. He has admonished us to not waste time. To love and serve and minister now, because this life is a brief moment in time before real life begins.

 

Romans 2:14&15 has really come to life for me in this discussion. Yes, there are people who are merely putting on an act of charity or kindness; this is apparent even within the body of Christ. But the good deeds we see from people, Christian or non, are often
fruits
and not acts. Fruits are from the heart, and the heart is where God's law resides; this is possible even if that person has not been made aware of it yet or accepted Christ as Savior.

 

With this new realization, I cannot, in good conscience, continue to argue this point. AM, I concede this debate to you.

 

Larry, I've brought up the distinction between the Heart and the conflict trying to tie it to a theological understanding. It is my contention that your theology is at odds with the scope, the breadth, the height, the power, and the limitlessness of the Divine in all. I know this experientially, which I place with far greater, deeper and more grounded truth in Spirit than some theological interpretation.

 

Until my reply....

 

In Peace,

 

Keith

 

With respect to Kat22's response, does it not say in Romans 2:14-15 that gentiles who have not heard the law are a law unto themselves, and that God is the judge. Do you not feel that in a judgement, there will be a distinct difference in the group that has heard, yet rejects vs. a group that hasn't heard?

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Right, Christians feel like they are not glorifying the self, but they are.

Being loved for helping others see and find Love feels good. It is very easy to let the Root Cause become yourself rather than God.

 

Their "God" concept is a perfect abstract concept of themselves.

I feel Jesus to be pretty well defined. God the Father seems abstract in my mind.

 

That's why when people contemplate God, brain scans show activity in the same area of the brain used to identify the "self". God doesn't have a separate area of the brain, or even one separate from the self. This concept of doing good for God is a dissociation for, as you and Deva say, an artificial sense of superiority or specialness (in selflessness), which is, ironically, very much about pleasing the self, first in that "God" is really the Christian who has performed an abstract dissociation in their neocortex analysis of the same old process happening in the "self" area of the brain, and second in that "specialness" is a selfish reward.

 

I am sure that people seek God for different reasons....good and bad. I think it in error to suggest that all are motivated by finding specialness and selfish reward.

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First, I have heard it claimed that, and I would agree, Love is something that we all contain but is also something that transcends us as humans. You believe, as I also do, that anyone has the ability to search for this Love, and can grasp the fulfillment of it in their own lives. Yet, where I do not and cannot agree is that their is more than one way to achieve this Love outside of Jesus Christ.

Is it possible that others are accessing the exact same thing you are calling Jesus Christ, and therefore they are not violating your understanding of where it comes from, even if they are not coming to "Jesus" through the Christian religion? Or does Jesus withhold access to Love from those that don't get baptized, read the Bible, and call themselves Christian? Is it possible they are coming to "Christ" even if they recognize him as Krishna, or Spirit, or Nature, or...?

 

On that note, some of you have suggested that Jesus Christ never claimed He was God; that cannot be further from the truth. Jesus Christ, in many instances, gave referred to Himself as "I AM", and did things that only God could do. You see, you'd have to actually study the Bible and those references to actually see the metaphors and symbolism that Jesus used in reference to Himself to truly understand His claims (I know, most of you have studied the Bible, obviously not well enough if you have missed this obvious point found throughout the Gospels). Not only did Jesus claim it, but so did His disciples (see John 1). Jesus most certainly claimed He was God.

As a side note to this whole "Jesus claims to be God" issue in the Bible, it is hardly so clear as to say that those who don't read it that way have "never read the Bible". You do realize they had to call that huge church council in Nicaea to settle the dispute it was so wide spread by in the 2nd Century, correct? It seems curious that they would do so over some fools clearly misreading the Bible, don't you think? I would hardly consider it careful scholarship to dismiss those who don't read it exactly the same as someone else that they are "not reading the Bible". Do you have any idea how subjective interpretations are? Any idea how anything but 'rock solid fact' they are? What all goes into how we interpret things?

 

Personally, I don't believe Jesus ever claimed that himself. I believe Gospel John, where you see all the Transcendent Divine Son talk, is where they saw him in the more Divine light. But when you treat all the Gospels as equal testimony, you wind up with a rather confusing portrait of Jesus, certainly not something that an individual person and various people's interpretations of him could account for. As the Christian Scholar Burton Mack puts it (who by the way has done a lot more than "just read the Bible"):

 

A second criticism is that none of the profiles proposed for the historical Jesus can account for all of the movements, ideologies, and mythic figures of Jesus that dot the early Christian social-scape. We now have the Jesuses of Q1 (a Cynic-like sage), Q2 (a prophet of apocalyptic judgment), Thomas (a gnostic spirit), the parables (a spinner of tales), the pre-Markan sets of pronouncement stories (an exorcist and healer), Paul (a martyred messiah and cosmic lord), Mark (the son of God who appeared as messiah, was crucified, and will return as the son of man), John (the reflection of God in creation and history), Matthew (a legislator of divine law), Hebrews (a cosmic high priest presiding over his own death as a sacrifice for sins), Luke (a perfect example of the righteous man), and many more. Not only are these ways of imagining Jesus incompatible with one another, they cannot be accounted for as the embellishments of the memories of a single historical person no matter how influential.

 

(the Christian Myth, pgs 35, 36)

 

So, to put a point on it, I hardly see differences in points of view in looking a scripture a matter of "not reading it". Wouldn't you say?

 

Which then leads to my point in this whole thread. How can you take one reading of it, the one you learned and see for yourself in so-called "plain words", to dismiss the experiential reality of LOVE in others because it somehow doesn't fit your theological interpretation? Who are you then hearing? Spirit or theologians? And if theologians, could you possibly be doing violence to Spirit in rejecting its reality in the lives of others not of your religion?

 

The reason that God allows people to go to Hell is because He is so loving (I know, follow me here).

I hate getting into debates about Hell, but I'll just put this out there for your consideration. How can hell exist if God is ALL? Does it exist outside God? If so, then God has things outside Himself and is more "a god" then God. Moreover, did he create it? And so on.

 

You do realize there are many Christians who read the same Bible as you and do not believe in hell? Do you wish to claim the superior interpretation to them? Could it be that there is more then one way to read and believe something? And to the more important point, if you have genuinely been immersed in "God's Love", how could that experience ever leave you with the impression that such a thing would exists in that God's UNIVERSE? It is wholly incompatible with Love. Love could never create such a place, nor allow anyone or anything to end up there.

 

Now, could I question your experience of Love because you hold a belief so wholly incompatible with it? Would this be better or worse of me to use this as a measuring stick of your 'knowing God's Love', then you saying we don't because we don't accept the doctrines of the Christian religion as you have been taught and now interpret within the Bible?

 

What exactly should be your guide in reading scripture? John Calvin? Dwight L. Moody? The Spirit of Love? Maybe?

 

Most of you here have made the choice to not follow the one-true God and to not be in communion (or fellowship or relationship) with Him in this lifetime. Because you have made that choice, God is going to allow you to live out that choice for the rest of eternity. It's called consequences: for every choice we make, there is an eternal consequence.

It's called judging others by your religious beliefs, actually. How do you know that this isn't exactly what God wants for humanity because it cannot find its way in the Christian religion due to the poor condition it is in? How do you know that to say "No" to myth, is not the path to finding deeper, truer truth of "God", and that the accomplishments that have happened for the whole planet of human beings are not bringing us to a greater truth than the one that myth offered for the time it was used to "find God"?

 

Here's a quote from the Philosopher Sri Arobundio

In emerging, therefore, out of the materialistic period of human Knowledge we must be careful that we do not rashly condemn what we are leaving or throw away even one tittle of its gains, before we can summon perceptions and powers that are well grasped and secure, to occupy their place. Rather we shall observe with respect and wonder the work that Atheism had done for the Divine and admire the services that Agnosticism has rendered in preparing the illimitable increase of knowledge. In our world error is continually the handmaid and pathfinder of Truth; for error is really a half-truth that stumbles because of its limitations;
often it is Truth that wears a disguise in order to arrive unobserved near to its goal
. Well, if it could always be, as it has been in the great period we are leaving, the faithful handmaid, severe, conscientious, clean-handed, luminous within its limits, a half-truth and not a reckless and presumptuous aberration.

 

 

Sri Aurobindo, The Life Divine, pg 15

[emphasis mine]

I would caution judging what "God" does or does not do. As I said, you may be doing violence to Spirit in that, and end up missing the full Realization of it yourself.

 

I have heard it said more times than I could begin to count on this site that people feel far freer to genuinely love, like they were supposed to as Christians, now that they are not Christians. I hear it again, and again, year after year. Anyone in this thread will no doubt agree with that for themselves as well. Why do you suppose that might be true Larry? And you should accept that as a true testimony. Love was able to more freely manifest itself through breaking with the religion. Why? If God is the Author of Love, then maybe this all is God, and you yourself are on the threshold of a greater recognition of that, a greater recognition of its Limitlessness?

 

Again, Back to my point: I'd like to finish by saying this: You may be able to love without a relationship with Jesus Christ, but you cannot possess all that Love contains without that relationship. That doesn't make me any better than you, I just have something you don't (something that we all need); that is, the Spirit of God living in me. For that reason, because I have God within me, I can love more fully than any other non-believer.

One thing I can say is that I am very much able to recognize that Spirit within others, insomuch as I am as I in tune with it in myself. I know when I hear it and see it through others words and actions. I can see it manifest in the religious and the atheist and in any human regardless of their culture or systems of beliefs. It transcends all doctrines. It it Existential.

 

I can also recognize those who seek for themselves in culture and societies, rules and customs, etc as what defines them. The look for truth outside to tell them what is true about themselves inside. I know when I hear the mind relying on its own reasoning trying to grasp "God" through holy books, theologians, religious doctrines. It is not grasped by being religious. It is not grasped by a set of beliefs. It is not grasped by being a Christian. It is not grasped by being a Humanist. It transcends all these systems of forms and is apprehended by the Heart.

 

So what do you 'hear' in me with your heart? Or must you open the Bible and seek an interpretation to tell you what to believe? Or is it supposed to be an internal, experiential knowledge, to 'know a love that surpasses all knowledge" (Eph 3:19)? If it surpasses knowledge, then why are you trying to limit it so much by defining it with a theological interpretation? Or is it that interpretation, that mental knowledge of definitions that defines the substance and experience of it, that serves to replace the Ground of Spirit with mind?

 

Have I obtained that Love, not yet. Will I, hopefully. I just know that as long as the Holy Spirit is within me then that opportunity is available to me, and it can be to you, if you are in relationship with the One-True God.

I have tasted of that Love and it is why I say what I do, why it contradicts theologies like hell and the exclusion of God from those who don't accept Christian religious doctrines. All that is sadly foreign to it, coming from the dark imaginations of the mind without the light of Spirit. That you say you have not obtained that Love, how then do you judge that others have not? With the mind reasoning what "God" does?

 

When I hear you say, "I just know that as long as the Holy Spirit is within me then that opportunity is available to me," it sounds like you reduce Spirit to a metaphysical equation, rather than an experiential, transcendent knowledge of the Heart. That is my major complaint about the religion. It's theoretical, not Real.

 

Sincerely again, I'll speak for the majority of people I know here on the site and say that leaving the religion is what gave the marvelous unexpected benefit of being able to truly experience genuine love from within ourselves that we were supposed to be able to manifest as Christians. I've put it with irony this way, "I feel much more a Christian now that I'm not one, than I ever was when I was one." Go figure. :)

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Right, Christians feel like they are not glorifying the self, but they are. Their "God" concept is a perfect abstract concept of themselves. That's why when people contemplate God, brain scans show activity in the same area of the brain used to identify the "self". God doesn't have a separate area of the brain, or even one separate from the self.

 

Interesting. Once the concept of 'otherness' is accepted then all the credit goes elsewhere - allowing for the illusion of humility is the face of such vast perceived superiority. In fact - I admit that I am more comfortable with that since I know I personally did not create these *seemingly* self-less tendencies although I was born with the potential to have them develope. Conversely - I am very comfortable (and trained) to blame my 'self' for the self centered egoic tendencies (as if I miraculously created them). Hypocrisy on my part, no?

 

This concept of doing good for God is a dissociation for, as you and Deva say, an artificial sense of superiority or specialness (in selflessness), which is, ironically, very much about pleasing the self, first in that "God" is really the Christian who has performed an abstract dissociation in their neocortex analysis of the same old process happening in the "self" area of the brain, and second in that "specialness" is a selfish reward.

 

Phanta

 

Yes - so interesting that the desire for specialness is among the egos strongest and most basic needs (and the one which the doctrine of 'election' caters to). Wish I wasn't sleep deprived right now - would like to pick up more on this later (reminder to self: discuss the concept of "Jesus did something externally which makes everything ok internally"

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Yeah. Another way this dissociation is helpful, if you can imagine, is someone who has really messed up their life by their own choices. They want to change, but have low, low, low self esteem. They cannot feel like they deserve forgiveness. They cannot forgive themselves, because self-forgiveness from such a bad person is worthless. So they project self-forgiveness onto a perfect "other", Jesus. Their mythical Jesus is perfect, without flaw, and so good enough to grant them forgiveness. They bipass their low feelings for themselves by forgiving themselves by projecting that onto him, and are thus freed to grow and change. This is a dissociation I suspect is really useful for folks who get stuck thinking they are the worst person in the world. I would bet (but don't know) that it's very popular version of Jesus with folks who received conditional love (or felt they did) from parents.

That's my idea, anyway. I don't know for sure. I know that if I could believe in Jesus, that's the version I'd believe in, for the reasons described above.

I was there too, for the reasons you describe above. I like that you said

with folks who received conditional love (or felt they did)

 

Unconditional love can be very difficult to communicate even when you try real hard.

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To all my fellow posters:

I'd thought I would reply to all those who have posted thus far as I have seen some commonalities amongst what you have to say:

 

First, I have heard it claimed that, and I would agree, Love is something that we all contain but is also something that transcends us as humans. You believe, as I also do, that anyone has the ability to search for this Love, and can grasp the fulfillment of it in their own lives. Yet, where I do not and cannot agree is that their is more than one way to achieve this Love outside of Jesus Christ.

I have to admit that this post of yours has my insides burning. Your cup overfloweth with arrogance and elitism. Honestly, this is why I reject your understanding of Christianity. You may not be able to agree that this love can happen outside of Christianity, but you are wrong. You can keep feeling your "chosen-ness" if it does you good, but it makes me sick to think of myself being better than anyone else. I can't do it. I'll try to keep my anger in check a little because I believe this conversation can still be productive.

 

On that note, some of you have suggested that Jesus Christ never claimed He was God; that cannot be further from the truth. Jesus Christ, in many instances, gave referred to Himself as "I AM", and did things that only God could do. You see, you'd have to actually study the Bible and those references to actually see the metaphors and symbolism that Jesus used in reference to Himself to truly understand His claims (I know, most of you have studied the Bible, obviously not well enough if you have missed this obvious point found throughout the Gospels). Not only did Jesus claim it, but so did His disciples (see John 1). Jesus most certainly claimed He was God.

You know, he never once said, "I am God." But, the point is is that he was seen to be of the nature of God. If you call someone a "Son of a b***h", are you saying they literally are one or of the nature of a b***h? We all can be of the nature of God. This is what I see Jesus saying when he references Psalms 82:6 when he says, "Say ye of him, whom the Father hath sanctified, and sent into the world, Thou blasphemest; because I said, I am the Son of God?" The greek here translated as the son is "huios" which means a son.

 

You know what, I'm God, you're God, we're all God. Wow, now that's some Good News.

 

 

Back to my point: I like the definition that was given earlier in this post that suggested this: that because of Jesus Christ love has meaning. That we as people, Christian and Non-Christian, can love because God first Loved us. Yet, as the Bible also mentions, it is only through God that we can truly Love in the correct manner. Now, not being God I could not give you objective measures that would definitively say that I love more correctly than any non-Christian. I just know that the Word of God, the Bible, has told me that Love, the fullness of Love, can only come when I put my faith and trust into one man: Jesus Christ, and anyone else who doesn't realize this will simply miss the boat.

You can believe with all your heart and all your soul that people will miss the boat for not idolizing Jesus, but again, you are wrong. I feel you are missing the boat because you idolize a man and can't see God past that.

 

Another side point: There has been one or two that has brought up the old question: How can a loving God put people in Hell? Fair question; allow me to answer. It is not God's choice to send you to Hell, as a matter of fact the Old Testament (you know the one where God is supposed to be the evil bad guy) says that God desires for no one to perish (that is go to Hell). The reason that God allows people to go to Hell is because He is so loving (I know, follow me here). Most of you here have made the choice to not follow the one-true God and to not be in communion (or fellowship or relationship) with Him in this lifetime. Because you have made that choice, God is going to allow you to live out that choice for the rest of eternity. It's called consequences: for every choice we make, there is an eternal consequence.
It's called "man made God in his image". None of us have any choice but to follow God. There is nothing without God. God is not something that can stand outside of itself. All religions are stories about God. God has nothing to do with the stories. God is what it is regardless of what people say about it.

 

Again, Back to my point: I'd like to finish by saying this: You may be able to love without a relationship with Jesus Christ, but you cannot possess all that Love contains without that relationship. That doesn't make me any better than you, I just have something you don't (something that we all need); that is, the Spirit of God living in me. For that reason, because I have God within me, I can love more fully than any other non-believer.
Refrain....(talking to myself). Again, there is nothing outside of God. You have nothing more than anyone else has. You indeed do have the Spirit of God within you, and so do we. It's like you think you have found a great treasure, yet you exhibit it with pride. Can you lose it with pride? No, but pride trumps it for awhile.

 

Have I obtained that Love, not yet. Will I, hopefully. I just know that as long as the Holy Spirit is within me then that opportunity is available to me, and it can be to you, if you are in relationship with the One-True God.

You already have that love, but it's because of your arrogance and pride that you don't feel it. Christianity, as you understand it, has a way of making you feel special, but it's at a great cost.

 

That's it, I look forward to the flood-gates being opened in the form of responses. Until then...

 

Please don't take this as an attack, I just had to say what is on my heart as I'm sure you will be too.

It is an attack Larry. There is no peace, love and soul in what you said here.

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Larry, on what basis in reality can you make statements like these? It increasingly sounds as if "the Love of Jesus" is just another way to say "we're better than everybody else" without having to verify or support what you are saying in the real world.

Amen! Christianity will tear you down into nothing but lumps of sinful clay and then build you back up with false pride. Oh my God, no wonder we were messed up in the religion itself!

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I guess that is what faith is all about. You're right, there is no way I can 100% show you that I love more fully than anyone else. Yet, because I believe in what God tells me (both in His Word and in my experience)I trust in the fact that there is a qualitative difference between Christians and Non-Christians (that being that Christians have the very essence of Love within us; see 1 John 3 and 4). This isn't blind faith, nor is it me sticking my head in the sand, instead it is putting my trust in the truest thing I have ever known: Jesus Christ. Therefore, if I have the essence of Love within me, and Non-Christians do not, then it only makes sense that I have something y'all don't, which leads to a fuller knowledge of what "Love" actually is.

 

Again, this doesn't make me better than anybody, anyone can have what I have. As I have stated earlier, I am no better, I just realize the answer to the problem.

 

Peace, Love, and Soul

Larry

If what you exhibit here is Christian love, no wonder we wanted something more.

 

We don't want what you have Larry, we want Real Love and a lot of us had to get out of Christianity in order to experience it.

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And when the object of faith is the Absolute a.k.a. "That than which nothing greater can be conceived," or "Ultimate Reality," or "The Holy One," I don't see how anyone can even entertain the thought of loving more fully than non-believers. When I'm gripped by the sense of the Ultimate, I don't think about me vs. them, or "our love" is more full than "their love." I think in terms of unity. A oneness with the universe in which I participate. I experience Love in all things - in flowers, trees, and animals. This Love extends to all humans including Christians, Hindus, Muslims, etc.

 

The notion of a capacity to "love more fully" that a non-believer does not have seems like not only an unprovable, fantasy concept. It seems irrelevant to the higher aspirations of the spiritual life.

There is the meaning itself. Your post had me take in a long, refreshing breath of air.

 

Thank you OB for extinguishing the burning in my gut that Larry initiated.

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When I'm gripped by the sense of the Ultimate, I don't think about me vs. them, or "our love" is more full than "their love." I think in terms of unity. A oneness with the universe in which I participate. I experience Love in all things - in flowers, trees, and animals. This Love extends to all humans including Christians, Hindus, Muslims, etc.

 

The notion of a capacity to "love more fully" that a non-believer does not have seems like not only an unprovable, fantasy concept. It seems irrelevant to the higher aspirations of the spiritual life.

I completely agree with this. The deeper you go into Love, the more Inclusive you see it. In no way would I place any limits on the Christian to experience it because I know what it is and how Limitless in is, how indivisible everything becomes the closer you are to that Source. Yet, what I hear Larry say in this is that he does not realize that, does not apprehend that, because his experience in fact has not taken him to the place where Love is seen equally in ALL. I have seen that, it is like radiating Life in all, through all, from all, and to all. Larry's comment shows in fact a limited realization of that. I don't say he or anyone is less able to "know love that surpasses all knowledge" because of not believing this or that, but I will say that to replace Spirit with religion (i.e., defining the nature of the spiritual by an interpretation of a book), won't help. It's looking in the wrong place.

 

So back to the OP, do we or do we not know what "Transcendent Love" is (substituting the worlds 'love of Jesus' for the actual concept itself)? If you define God as the Absolute of Love, then I would think any and all exclusionary mentalities found in a church's particular theology would be a denial of that. Perhaps it itself is what is meant by "blasphemy against the Holy Spirit"? It denies Spirit through theology. I did say exclusivism does violence to Spirit.

 

Here's a link to a topic I started about four years ago: http://www.ex-christian.net/index.php?/topic/6401-spirituality-and-its-primary-enemy-fundamentalism/page__p__130731__fromsearch__1entry130731

 

It's where I first said this, "Having left Christianity, I now feel more of a Christian than when I was in it!" I continued:

"But I have found myself now feeling far freer to simply love because I choose to. I am free to choose all the courses of my actions and their consequences. I alone am responsible for my choices. I choose a path of peace, and a path of compassion and understanding."

 

BTW, I don't really identify as an atheist now, but in one sense I am and in another I'm not, depending how broadly you define things. I prefer trans-theist, or post-Christian, post-mythical. In no way do I "reject God", because I would have to accept the mythical definition of God. That definition, the great Accountant in the sky concept, I've moved past. "God" is not that mythological creature. I consider it liberating it from the priests. Now, doesn't that sound something like something someone once said Jesus did? :HaHa:

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Case in point re: "specialness".

 

 

Can't view th´post. It says:

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Since no one responded to my Jeebus Love Test, I will post my point minus the hoped-for thunder.

 

When I saw that photo a few days ago on a news aggregator/social site under the heading, "I hate spoiled little brats," my eye and attention were immediately drawn to the old woman. Empathy welled up, I wanted to help her. I wondered at a society where such existed. I wondered if anyone loved her, or if she loved someone. Was she hungry? Was she ill? Where did she live? How did she live?

 

And then I wanted to slap the arrogant, self-centered little bitch with the finger.

 

My point is, when I was a xtian, I attributed such reactions to "the love of Christ within me." Since I am now an ex-xtian, that clearly is not the source.

 

The human capacity for love, empathy, altruism, and all the other laudable qualities have nothing to do with gawd or its minions.

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Since no one responded to my Jeebus Love Test, I will post my point minus the hoped-for thunder.

 

When I saw that photo a few days ago on a news aggregator/social site under the heading, "I hate spoiled little brats," my eye and attention were immediately drawn to the old woman. Empathy welled up, I wanted to help her. I wondered at a society where such existed. I wondered if anyone loved her, or if she loved someone. Was she hungry? Was she ill? Where did she live? How did she live?

 

And then I wanted to slap the arrogant, self-centered little bitch with the finger.

 

My point is, when I was a xtian, I attributed such reactions to "the love of Christ within me." Since I am now an ex-xtian, that clearly is not the source.

 

The human capacity for love, empathy, altruism, and all the other laudable qualities have nothing to do with gawd or its minions.

Clearly you miss the point. Jesus would tell you to love the old woman AND the little girl.

 

Or little bitch, as the case may be.

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Since no one responded to my Jeebus Love Test, I will post my point minus the hoped-for thunder.

 

When I saw that photo a few days ago on a news aggregator/social site under the heading, "I hate spoiled little brats," my eye and attention were immediately drawn to the old woman. Empathy welled up, I wanted to help her. I wondered at a society where such existed. I wondered if anyone loved her, or if she loved someone. Was she hungry? Was she ill? Where did she live? How did she live?

 

And then I wanted to slap the arrogant, self-centered little bitch with the finger.

 

My point is, when I was a xtian, I attributed such reactions to "the love of Christ within me." Since I am now an ex-xtian, that clearly is not the source.

 

The human capacity for love, empathy, altruism, and all the other laudable qualities have nothing to do with gawd or its minions.

Clearly you miss the point. Jesus would tell you to love the old woman AND the little girl.

 

Or little bitch, as the case may be.

 

Which is precisely why Jeebus can bite my shiny metal ass.

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This is a test:

 

What is your reaction to this photo?

 

mNyWv9qNneb617pu2xDTKetYo1_500.jpg

 

She's the future wife of the antichrist

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My first impression of that photo was that it was a fake. After looking at it again, I believe my first impression was right. Look at the shading on her forearm, for one thing.

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My first impression of that photo was that it was a fake. After looking at it again, I believe my first impression was right. Look at the shading on her forearm, for one thing.

Good point. There's something curious about their feet. The lack of shadows suggests that they are all floating.

 

Good observation.

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My first impression of that photo was that it was a fake. After looking at it again, I believe my first impression was right. Look at the shading on her forearm, for one thing.

 

I agree it looks Photoshopped; that was my third thought about it.

 

Nonetheless, I was and am still first drawn to the old woman and feel empathy for her.

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Wow, I didn't realize I could tick off so many people with one simple post. Let me just say this: you all have upped the ante so I have to take my discussion to the next level. I need a couple of days (at the most) to digest what I have just read, research some Theologians on the topic, and then get back to you. However, in the meantime allow me to be personable for the first time on this post:

 

I am not perfect (I know, I know a shocker). These last couple of weeks have been hard for me, I've been accused (not on this site) of being too harsh and too "militaristic" and not being compassionate enough. In no way do I perfectly reflect the love of Jesus Christ in anything that I do. Yet, at the same time I feel as if I do love and I always have been a "lover" of people. I would even argue with you, actually agree, that even before I was a Christian I still genuinely "loved" people. Perhaps you are right, perhaps it is because we are all created in God's image that we do have the ability to Love. But, what you have got to understand is that I have had a different experience with Christianity than everyone here on this site; that is only the case because I have grown stronger in "my religion" as you put it, instead of leaving. I don't believe that Jesus is real simply because the Bible or a person or a theologian tells me so, I believe Jesus is real because I have experienced Him and His Love for me. And it has been through this Love living inside of me that I have grown, matured, and experienced a higher form of Love than I ever have known. Christianity has never held me back, if anything, Christianity has transformed my love into what it is today.

 

Now you would, or should say, "great Larry! That works for you, but it doesn't work for me and that's okay too." Let me say two things to that:

Even if I did suggest that was an accurate statement, which I don't, that is the last thing that I have experienced while on this website. While I have been shown respect, I have not been shown Love (and yes I am guilty of the same thing and I know it's hard to do when you don't know me personally). If you are going to preach to me about what Love is truly about, then show it to me. The second thing I would say to the comment above is this: Because of my experience with Jesus Christ I believe that what He says is true. I have spent many years (probably not as many as most of you here) really studying this Jesus that I have put my trust in and I know for a fact that the Jesus I read of in the Bible matches up with the Jesus I have experienced. This is an Absolute truth that works for everyone.

 

 

Most of you have questioned my love on this website. You say it's because I am a Christian that I cannot truly love people, especially those who disagree with me. Isn't that what you are accusing me of saying? Allow me to answer your assumptions about me and my love by saying this: It is because I am a Christian, because I love everyone with every ounce of my being, that I even attempt to come on a website that completely disagrees with my viewpoint so that I can enter into a debate. It is because I love with every ounce of my being that I sit here now and say that I love because God first Loved me. So what now? I may not understand this love thing yet, but I am trying. Through it all, I still hold the point that it is only through God that I can fully love, and that only comes through Jesus Christ.

 

Some short post. I will be back on tomorrow with a theological response to AM and others. Until then...

 

Peace, Love, and Soul

 

Larry

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