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Guest r3alchild

Since I have left christianity I have questioned everything but one thing, love. But in the last few weeks I have been thinking about love, because in the end this is the message that christians hold to the highest of highs. God is love says the bible, but what I question is, why is god love? Why does god have to be love and only love? Then I asked myself like a christian would (what else could god be?) anything! I said with force.

 

Its no supprise that love is held high in our society, its apart of so much of our humanity. But is this high idea of love wrong, is love only a small part of a bigger picture.

 

However in the end when I question god I have to question the core attribute of god,

 

Love

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Any honest reading of the Old Testament shows that "God" to be a petty, jealous, vindictive, egotistical, blood-thirsty, murdering, evil monster that has no concept of love. The New Testament is a fantastic PR piece.

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Guest r3alchild

Yes it is but this idea of god = love is not only something christians teach, its something core to most religions and this is what I question.

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I also bought the whole god is love thing, and made love my life's quest. Shame most people don't care abut anyone but themselves. It is nice in theory but I found christians generally unloving, and in a lot of cases worse than non christians. I just keep my love to myself these days.

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A religion who teaches that god=hate simply won't last. Who would give all their time and money for a petty god who doesn't offer SOME benefit. The fact that people can relish in a supreme being who loves THEM (it's a selfish thing) is enough to keep dedicating their entire life to him. The great irony is that even people who are suffering will buy the notion of a loving god because it gives them a sense of purpose - like god didn't WANT them to suffer and that he will reward them later with more love than they can handle...

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Any honest reading of the Old Testament shows that "God" to be a petty, jealous, vindictive, egotistical, blood-thirsty, murdering, evil monster that has no concept of love. The New Testament is a fantastic PR piece.

 

I respectfully disagree. For all his pettiness, jealously, vindictiveness, egoism, blood-lust, murderous, monstrous barbarism, Crazy Old Testament God™ never expressed a desire to torture anyone for all of eternity (the somewhat unclear reference to "eternal contempt" in Daniel 12:2 being the lone exception). No, it turns out it's Loving New Testament God™ who wishes to remain in a state of everlasting sadism.

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Guest r3alchild

 

 

Any honest reading of the Old Testament shows that "God" to be a petty, jealous, vindictive, egotistical, blood-thirsty, murdering, evil monster that has no concept of love. The New Testament is a fantastic PR piece.

I respectfully disagree. For all his pettiness, jealously, vindictiveness, egoism, blood-lust, murderous, monstrous barbarism, Crazy Old Testament God™ never expressed a desire to torture anyone for all of eternity (the somewhat unclear reference to "eternal contempt" in Daniel 12:2 being the lone exception). No, it turns out it's Loving New Testament God™ who wishes to remain in a state of everlasting sadism.

Well I better get down on my knees and start pleasing jesus.
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However in the end when I question god I have to question the core attribute of god,

 

Love

 

God has only the attributes that people make up for him. It is a total fiction.

 

Question God, not love; love has nothing to do with imaginary, invisible, supernatural beings invented to control the societies.

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Matthew 22:39

39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’

 

or the golden rule: One should treat others as one would like others to treat oneself.

 

I think those concepts pretty much sum up the idea of loving others. How much religion contributes to those ideas is probably open to a great deal of debate. I doubt the homosexual community would think religion does a very good job of loving others. The religious community seems to interpret loving others to mean loving others that agree with us and follow our rules.

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Since I have left christianity I have questioned everything but one thing, love. But in the last few weeks I have been thinking about love, because in the end this is the message that christians hold to the highest of highs. God is love says the bible, but what I question is, why is god love? Why does god have to be love and only love? Then I asked myself like a christian would (what else could god be?) anything! I said with force.

 

Its no supprise that love is held high in our society, its apart of so much of our humanity. But is this high idea of love wrong, is love only a small part of a bigger picture.

 

However in the end when I question god I have to question the core attribute of god,

 

Love

 

For God so loved the world that he intentionally flooded it, drowning 99.999% of the world population. :-)

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Love's just really, really important to humans. And, um, prairie voles, apparently. We can't communicate with them, so I have no idea what a God of the Prairie Voles might be like. If it's important enough, there's probably a god for it somewhere. There are plenty of Gods and Goddesses of (at least one kind of) Love. Aphrodite, to name an easy example - in that case, the "you're hawt and I want to scrump you" kind of love. Zeus, of course, got into everyone's chitons, anyway, but I don't think that's the kind of love you're looking for. Not to mention a lot of cultures having very different vocabulary for different kinds, and often different gods in charge of each. Whether love shows up in religion... is highly dependant on the Gods in question, and, therefore, not a vital component of being a deity. There are plenty of Gods worshipped against. Apep, for example, the Egyptian sun-devouring chaos serpent.

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However in the end when I question god I have to question the core attribute of god,

 

Love

 

I don't think that questioning God has any correlation with many of the attributes ascribed to him.  Sure, if you conclude that god does not exist, then certainly, for example, you would also conclude that the non-existent being did not create the universe.  But something like love need not be questioned solely because one concludes that god does not exist.  Love is how people feel towards one another on an emotional level.  It's just like concluding that a non-existent deity did not create the universe does not mean there is no universe.  It's only understanding the source that has changed.

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Guest r3alchild

 

 

However in the end when I question god I have to question the core attribute of god,

 

Love

I don't think that questioning God has any correlation with many of the attributes ascribed to him. Sure, if you conclude that god does not exist, then certainly, for example, you would also conclude that the non-existent being did not create the universe. But something like love need not be questioned solely because one concludes that god does not exist. Love is how people feel towards one another on an emotional level. It's just like concluding that a non-existent deity did not create the universe does not mean there is no universe. It's only understanding the source that has changed.

That was very helpful, thankyou.
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Any honest reading of the Old Testament shows that "God" to be a petty, jealous, vindictive, egotistical, blood-thirsty, murdering, evil monster that has no concept of love. The New Testament is a fantastic PR piece.

I respectfully disagree. For all his pettiness, jealously, vindictiveness, egoism, blood-lust, murderous, monstrous barbarism, Crazy Old Testament God™ never expressed a desire to torture anyone for all of eternity (the somewhat unclear reference to "eternal contempt" in Daniel 12:2 being the lone exception). No, it turns out it's Loving New Testament God™ who wishes to remain in a state of everlasting sadism.

Well I better get down on my knees and start pleasing jesus.

 

Will you be smote to everlasting Hell if you have a sensitive gag reflex? 

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My main reason of turning from Christianity was the whole concept of "God is Love" when Christianity and the Bible clearly shows this NOT to be true. 

 

I believed in a god of love. Pure, unconditional love. In which case, the story of Jesus, the idea of Hell, sin, and the rest of what makes up Christianity makes no sense and couldn't exist with such a being. 

 

Though I don't see holding a high idea of love is wrong in itself. Love is what enables choice, freedom, creation, and the strength to conquer fear. 

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Read Machiavelli, then re-read the New Testament. One gets a much better understanding of "God's" love as envisioned by Jesus that way. (It also helps to clarify just what is meant by the phrase "fear the Lord" that is used throughout the Bible.)

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Don't we need a definition of love before we discuss it?

 

I think it's the most loaded word in the English language.

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In the NT, the KJV says that among faith hope and charity, the greatest is charity. Why would it say charity instead of love, as most other translations say?  Charity is greater than faith? Is charity the same as love? Is love greater than faith?

 

I think Ravenstar is right, we should define the word, and beyond that I have to say that to me, love isn't always warm and fuzzy.

I never had children of my own, but I can easily use my niece and her children as an example. I love them. If anyone hurts them or even tries to hurt them, they would see what love can do, and it wouldn't be pretty.

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Consider the following verse, then read (or at least Google the basic tenets of) Machiavelli, and then take a more critical look at it:

 

I will make an everlasting covenant with them: I will never stop doing good to them, and I will inspire them to fear me, so that they will never turn away from me. I will rejoice in doing them good and will assuredly plant them in this land with all my heart and soul. - Jer 32:40-41

 

It gives one reason to give credence to the idea that Yahveh was just one of many regional/tribal gods and his "love" is little more than a bribe to acquire, retain or regain worshipers. More specifically, it is the bribe offered by the priests of Yahveh to do so. Without worshipers, the god, and more importantly, the priests would effectively cease to exist or have purpose.

 

Christianity has taken this one step further and turned the concept of "God's love" into the ultimate carrot-and-stick proposition (can there be any doubt where Machiavelli got his inspiration from?)

 

With regard to definitions, one must bear in mind that in the Greek language of the New Testament texts there are three kinds of love. And that which is usually referred to by Christians with respect to "God" is agape which has a far different meaning that the everyday understanding of love, which more is appropriately represented by eros or philia.

 

I will grant (as I have elsewhere) that Jesus was correct when he said that there is no greater love than that one would lay down their life for another. That said, I ask this: If one is not effectively laying down one's life, then is that love really present?

 

To take this even further, the concept of agape is a love that requires no repayment, love that is absolutely pure with no other consideration. If one grants that the basic premise for salvation is that if one does not accept the gift of "God's love" one will burn in hell for all eternity I find it hard to describe that as agape. In fact, the word mania might be more appropriate! (If you wish to infer that "God" might be a maniac, be my guest.)

 

Even if one does accept the existence of "God" as described in either the Old or New Testaments,  it is difficult to think that the concept that "God is love (agape)" has any validity whatsoever given the carrot-and-stick nature of "God's love" in Christianity.

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agape is most definitely not what most people mean when they use the word love.

 

Love, in common usage, seems to describe a feeling... most 'feelings' of love can be more ascribed to biochemical bonding (oxytocin) and such. But I suggest that love is not a feeling at all, but a choice. Loving suggests care... and one that places another (either person or thing) ahead (or t least on par with) of ourselves.

 

Agape is a 'love' that is not personal... brotherhood is one way to describe it... eros is personal. The love we have for our children is different than love for a partner, sibling or even, say, nature, or humanity as a whole.

 

Choosing to love after the biochemical bonding has faded is a choice, and hard work as anyone with a long term marriage can attest to... it is a sustained effort, a commitment, to place the needs of another in a position of priority... it's not a feeling - it's an action, a choice.

 

I'm bouncing around a bit, but wanted to put some of these ideas out there.

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But of course, not only is love demanded, but to love God more than others. If love is an emotional bond, loving some people you can actually see is more easy than those you can't. When I was a believer, I hated the fact that I loved women more than God. I bonded with several young ladies as friends and felt stronger feelings towards them. It's harder to love a god if you use the second definition of putting his needs above theirs when he has less needs than a human. By either definition, I was fucked.

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I did love god, well the idea of god, very much. Like pretty well every other relationship I have had, it turned out to be pretty one sided.

 

I think some of us just love naturally and some of us don't. Eventually though we realise what assholes people are and stop bothering.

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Guest r3alchild

I did love god, well the idea of god, very much. Like pretty well every other relationship I have had, it turned out to be pretty one sided.

 

I think some of us just love naturally and some of us don't. Eventually though we realise what assholes people are and stop bothering.

Its religion that gives you the idea that people are assholes, sinful, evil brutes, not to say there are no assholes, plenty of assholes out there but not as many as religion makes out there is.
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