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Where Is The Superhuman Love?


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Hi, this is my first thread here at the forum.

 

My understanding was that Christians have God living in them, and he imparts a kind of superhuman lovingkindness in people so that others will see this love and thereby be drawn to God. I saw love in certain Christians, but never anything superhuman, even though Jesus promised the Holy Spirit and miracles, etc. I can't see any miracles or superhuman love, so I have to conclude that the bible is false because it didn't deliver what it promised.

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Hi, this is my first thread here at the forum.

 

My understanding was that Christians have God living in them, and he imparts a kind of superhuman lovingkindness in people so that others will see this love and thereby be drawn to God. I saw love in certain Christians, but never anything superhuman, even though Jesus promised the Holy Spirit and miracles, etc. I can't see any miracles or superhuman love, so I have to conclude that the bible is false because it didn't deliver what it promised.

 

Hi!

 

I don't see anything loving about condemning everyone who doesn't have the same religious beliefs than you do. That's more along the lines of hate and bigotry. Also, blowing the world off, saying it's all evil and believing a deity is going to destroy everything is apathetic, the opposite of love. Laziness and apathy, intolerance and hate, imposing your religious beliefs on others, teaching that everyone is an evil sinner, and not seeing any point in trying to make the world a better place isn't love. I'd say the fundamentalists know very little about love.

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Guest wester

Dude, according to my acquaintances, miracles happen, like, all the time.

 

My pimple went away - miracle.

The goof at McDonalds gave me large fries instead of the small ones I ordered - miracle.

I unexpectedly ran into my friend at the mall - miracle. The American army crushed the Iraqis - miracle.

I found a great parking space so I don't have to waddle across the parking lot - miracle.

The cute chick at the bingo parlor winked at me - miracle.

 

All of these are totally equal to all those cool magic tricks from the Bible. See, yee of little faith, miracles happen all the time and the more we loudly proclaim that these minor idiocies are miracles, the better our chances of making the cut with St. Peter, don't you think?

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Thanks for your responses.

 

I think most Christians will admit to not being superhuman. But this proves the bible false. The bible says Christians are essentially superhuman - a royal priesthood, a new creation, etc. the bible says that humans will have the spirit of God and do even greater things than Jesus. However, even the nicest Christians I know are nowhere near being superhuman. I never expected ALL Christians to be superhuman, but I DID expect to meet one or two.

 

Previously when pointing out the shortcomings of Christianity, I would usually get rebuked and told to keep my eyes on Jesus and not to judge others. But I feel that it is totally legitimate to judge a religion on the example set by its followers. Christianity says God lives in his followers, so that's really all I need to go by.

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The bible says Christians are essentially superhuman - a royal priesthood, a new creation, etc. the bible says that humans will have the spirit of God and do even greater things than Jesus. However, even the nicest Christians I know are nowhere near being superhuman.

The Bible actually says a lot of conflicting things about Christians -- royal priesthood, but also unworthy worms. They have the spirit of god but are also subject to influence by the spirit of this age, the cares of this world, and so on. More than conquerors, yet Paul cries out, "who shall deliver me from the body of this death?! in response to his inability to rise above his besetting sins. Essentially it is a smorgasbord of stuff you can cherry pick to fit the moment and your mood, which is one of the primary reasons I no longer bother with that extra layer of BS, preferring to deal with life directly.

 

The Bible is basically a bronze age attempt to make sense of life. The scariest thing about it is that it's really no better or worse than modern attempts, really. You inherently can't make sense of something that just IS, that's essentially random and chaotic and impersonal. Trying to impose meaning on something that has no inherent meaning is a fool's errand as well as potentially dangerous.

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I have always been full of a weird kind of love for people that most other people don't have. I always thought it came from god but these days I believe it is just the way my brain is wired. It made me very angry at christians because I thought what I had came from god, and I thought they just withheld that from other people because they were self centred and ego driven. A part of me still believes that second part.

 

A couple of years out of christianity and I am not at all sure what I think any more. It would seem that we are either assholes or not, and it seems to be an accident of birth from what I can work out. I know people who have been christians for over thirty years who are some of the most arrogant, greedy, power hungry, egotistical assholes you could ever meet. I also know some athiests who are the kindest.

 

What I do know is that no matter how we are born, our culture makes us harden our hearts just to deal with the everyday shit around us. For some reason, maybe all the trauma I sufferd as a child, I don't have either the capacity to harden my heart, or the usual psychological defences that most people develop. It has given me a very interesting insight into what it is like to be a naturally loving person with no defences against the inherent hardness and self centredness of our culture. What a fucking rollercoaster ride. Kind of like a fifty year fucking over.

 

What makes the difference seems to be humility, which is a forgotten art. I like humble people but strongly dislike those who are arrogant and believe they have all the answers for everything. Even in church this holds true. The humble ones are decent human beings and the arrogant ones are a pain in the ass.

 

I finally worked out after 36 years as a christian, that there is nothing supernatural going on at all, and that is one of the major reasons I left the church.

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More than conquerors, yet Paul cries out, "who shall deliver me from the body of this death?!

 

lol good point. It's actually pretty sad when you think about it. We're more than conquerors and have victory in Jesus, yet Paul laments "Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was pelted with stones, three times I was shipwrecked, I spent a night and a day in the open sea...". It's like a wife endlessly abused by her husband and saying "But he loves me..".

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This issue is one of the biggest reason I deconverted.

 

Christians were no better or worse than any other group of people in the realm of showing love. Christians generally love those in their in group and are generally apathetic towards all others with occasional ventures into condescending, arrogant or even spiteful toward the out group.

 

They will count their mission efforts or evangelistic efforts as showing love. The "missionary" efforts always struck me as insincere where love is concerned. Missionaries will bring food and technology to poor areas and preach their message. If you were a deprived community and someone will bring stuff to your community, wouldn't you be tempted to accept the message (the stick) as long as they don't take the stuff away (the carrot)?

 

And evangelism is just a sales job. There may be some Christians who are really good at listening to others' viewpoints, engaging in dialog and presenting their particular viewpoint only after the other person feels heard. But for most it is a sales job. They are going for the close. That's all that matters - getting an evangelistic notch on their belt by winning a soul for Jesus. That's not love. Salesmen don't do what they do out of love. Everything is geared toward getting what you want out of the other person.

 

I have maintained for a long time that people's involvement in religion is accounted for by psychology, sociology and economics with a smattering of genetics. The expressions of actual love people have can best be described in that context. I concluded that no Holy Spirit was guiding people's lives, teaching them or giving them actual strength to overcome those properties that make them "unloving."

 

Nothing I have seen or read about since demonstrates otherwise.

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It would seem that we are either assholes or not, and it seems to be an accident of birth from what I can work out.

Coincidentally, just yesterday I read an article in the magazine Scientific American Mind that speaks to the more specific issue of socipathy. In essence it says that sociopaths lack the wiring for empathy, don't feel much of anything in particular, and cannot shift focus once their attention is on something. Put together with your cogent observations, it would seem that assholopathy, if I may coin a term, simply broadens this from the 5 percent or so of the population which is sociopathic or nearly so, to some larger percent who are basically just assholes. The article actually makes the point that socipathy is not a binary thing; there's a test for it on which you need to score at or above a certain level to get a diagnosis. But everyone registers a score. We are all self-absorbed at times and often more so in certain situations. Maybe the spectrum from asshole to douchebag to sociopath is just a reflection of how much empathy and ability to connect we have, and maybe humanity only recently evolved that capacity -- which enabled less tribal forms of civilization -- and which we are still improving on. Perhaps those of us with empathy and caring were just born a couple of millennia too soon.

What I do know is that no matter how we are born, our culture makes us harden our hearts just to deal with the everyday shit around us. For some reason, maybe all the trauma I sufferd as a child, I don't have either the capacity to harden my heart, or the usual psychological defences that most people develop. It has given me a very interesting insight into what it is like to be a naturally loving person with no defences against the inherent hardness and self centredness of our culture.

For lack of a better term I would term you an "innocent". Seriously. I can relate both ways as I regard myself as only partially hardened / hardenable. If I don't miss my guess, you simply can't get your arms around a lot of the bullshit in the world and it just confuses you, while the more savvy and street wise chuckle at your naivete -- or have an ability you find incomprehensible to just take it in stride. Yet, I feel the world needs people like you who just don't "do" the worldly-wise thing. The world needs a repository of what is best and noblest in the human spirit. It provides the collective consciousness of the species with something better to reach for. I hope you never have more than an abstract, intellectual understanding of how the world works that you can't quite credit within yourself, because how the world works is seriously whacked out and sick and pathetic.

What makes the difference seems to be humility, which is a forgotten art. I like humble people but strongly dislike those who are arrogant and believe they have all the answers for everything. Even in church this holds true. The humble ones are decent human beings and the arrogant ones are a pain in the ass.

Humility, yes ... and empathy. You need both, I think. Empathy makes you aware of another's needs, allows you to feel it as well as you feel your own; humility allows you to then consider another's needs as just as important as yours in their own right. The canonical example for me is whether you drive your car to share the road with others or approach it with the need to elbow your way to best advantage. Sadly if you share your toys or the road or whatever, some see it as weakness, think they smell blood in the water, and then go in for the kill.

I finally worked out after 36 years as a christian, that there is nothing supernatural going on at all, and that is one of the major reasons I left the church.

Superstition dies hard. It took me about as long myself ...

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God's greatest miracle is LOVE! The world shows this love all the time. The news is full of it too! Prostitutes should be nuns, they bring so much love to so many people. We are all just one big blob o' love because of Christianity. :HappyCry:

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I think most Christians will admit to not being superhuman. But this proves the bible false. The bible says Christians are essentially superhuman - a royal priesthood, a new creation, etc. the bible says that humans will have the spirit of God and do even greater things than Jesus.

They get the idea from the bible that they're special and aren't part of this world. The fact is that they are exactly like everyone else, there's no magic holy spirit in them that's different than anyone else. What a tempting thing it is to be one of god's special humans in the world, so special that they shit all over friends or loved ones who disagree with them. 'Special' is right, but not the kind they're thinking of.

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  • 2 months later...

But for most it is a sales job. They are going for the close.

 

 

 

Good point about the 'close.' I had a very smart atheist roommate who my college pastors avoided evangelizing to because they preferred to go after lower hanging fruit.

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Also, blowing the world off, saying it's all evil and believing a deity is going to destroy everything is apathetic, the opposite of love. Laziness and apathy,

 

Or the opposite issue, believing that it'll all be better "in the sweet by and by"... both attitudes can be part of a moral nihilism where we become blind to real injustice. The religious mindset is all about hope (when not about big doses of fear), but hope is often just an opiate to lull people into complacency.

 

And I won't even start about the kind of moral nihilism that's at the heart of the belief in the forgiveness of sins simply for having the correct religious beliefs. Through and through many "Christian" attitudes like this are just a kind of moral nihilism that says "we can't be perfect, so moral progress is not worth it/impossible- we need a savior" or my favorite "We are all sinners". This moral nihilism is responsible for political and social apathy against real injustices by denying that moral progress is possible, and makes the Christian claims of truth irrelevant.

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One of my favorite extra-biblical terms that you always hear preached and touted is "unconditional love." If I had a dollar for every time I heard this come out of the mouth of a believer...

 

There is certainly no such thing as unconditional love. Certainly not by judgmental christians, and certainly not by their god.

 

It's a stupid idea anyway. Not everyone deserves to be forgiven, and for sure not everyone deserves to be loved regardless of their actions. I just think it is interesting that most christians REALLY follow the dictates of nature all the while espousing the unconditional love of god (i.e. the response of american christians eager for and smugly satisfied by the killing of Osama Bin Laden).

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  • 1 month later...

From what i've observed, I have came to the conclusion unconditional love doesn't exist within the human race. At least long-term. Maybe moments, but never more.

I honestly think that my dog loved me unconditionally, my cat as well.. they have achieved an honor no human has experienced. Unconditional love, no matter the situation.

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The bible says Christians are essentially superhuman - a royal priesthood, a new creation, etc. the bible says that humans will have the spirit of God and do even greater things than Jesus. However, even the nicest Christians I know are nowhere near being superhuman. I never expected ALL Christians to be superhuman, but I DID expect to meet one or two.

 

Welcome, Chikrin!

 

This is the issue that eventually led me and my husband to leave, too. I think if you are a person who values being real and authentic, you must inevitably come to this conclusion as a Christian. You can't delude yourself forever. Once we decided we were "going all the way" with what we believed, it all fell apart. There was nothing there at the end of the magical rainbow.

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Christianity = a lot of extravagant promises that don't pan out.

 

I remember visiting a Presbyterian church and when I walked into the Sunday School class, not a single person said as much as "hello" to me. The had their noses in the Bible. Nothing different, just the same self-absorbed people you see everyday.

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not a single person said as much as "hello" to me.

 

 

This was the story of my life for a few years as I tried to find a church. I got more hellos and smiles walking into the bank or the deli.

 

The most off-putting thing was at the mega church, they had all these burly, unsmiling guys working security in the huge parking lot, they'd give me this cold glare whenever I arrived.

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Hi, this is my first thread here at the forum.

 

My understanding was that Christians have God living in them, and he imparts a kind of superhuman lovingkindness in people so that others will see this love and thereby be drawn to God. I saw love in certain Christians, but never anything superhuman, even though Jesus promised the Holy Spirit and miracles, etc. I can't see any miracles or superhuman love, so I have to conclude that the bible is false because it didn't deliver what it promised.

 

This is the reason I completly left christianity after 20 years. No love, fake promises. And I realize that nice and loving people

are not only christians. In fact during my christian life, I met few loving and compassionate christians. You will find loving

people outside christianity too.

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From what i've observed, I have came to the conclusion unconditional love doesn't exist within the human race. At least long-term. Maybe moments, but never more.

I honestly think that my dog loved me unconditionally, my cat as well.. they have achieved an honor no human has experienced. Unconditional love, no matter the situation.

aww I know. my dog too. so loving.

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