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Christianity and "Love"

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posted on Nov, 9 2013 @ 09:24 PM
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Hi,

This is a white elephant in the room that should be discussed.
Now I know a lot of 'haters' will use this thread to spread hate.
Some of those 'haters' will no doubt be Christians, some Atheists;
a large variety of perspectives no doubt. Others will just want
to discuss an important issue carefully.

Now a lot of people are initially attracted to Christianity by
love.. they want to be loved.. they want to be loved by God
and they want to be loved by other Christians. When I was
about 14 this described me. I was being abused and molested.
I was very open to being loved by a human being and/or by
God.

What I soon learned, is that all that 'love' in fact comes with
a mountain range of strings attached. There is nothing agape
(divine) about the love..in fact it's so laced with strings
attached, I cannot in good conscience call it love at all.

Let's change the subject for a minute, to dopey old human
love, without anything Christian about it, to examine the
issue.

If you have a friend who says that they love you, but oh
by the way --- here's a book with 250,000 words in it;
now memorize that book and follow what it says,
or you are 'straying away' (from the love), why then
your friend will think you are loveless and insane too.

That's just one example.

But any child knows, that if you load down 'love' with
all these 'strings' then it isn't love at all.

Now back to Christianity.

Jesus never said to any of the prostitutes, tax collectors
and other dregs of society that he hung out with,
"I'll love you, if you do what I say. Do what I say, or I
will cast you into a burning pit!"

Now, a lot of Christians will strongly state that Jesus
would have gotten around to 'business'. In fact
I hear a lot of Christians say that Christianity
is not about love.. not primarily.. its about
reciting that little magic spell "I believe in Jesus
the one and only Son of God; there is no other
way to the Father but by him. etc.".

Well whether Christianity IS or ISN'T about love..
I really think it's fair to say, that one of the major
reasons that Christians get so much disrespect,
is when some of them attach all those strings
to 'their love'.

No living human, even Christians, respect people
who put strings on their love.

Yet if anyone calls a Christian on this bad behavior,
then suddenly "Christians are being persecuted".

So many Christians think that their religion gives
them unlimited "cover" (if God is on your side
who can be against you?) and by "God" they
mean their fractional, partial knowledge of
a book written a hundred years after very
debatable facts.. but more than that.. most
Christians I've known quote stuff off the
internet, stuff written by Christian authors
and all sorts of stuff... nearly NONE of which
is something Jesus ever said at all.

The fact of the matter is, the most loving
people I've ever met have been atheists,
agnostics and humanists. Also have met
some very loving witches and a few loving
Satanists even.

But Christians? I've yet to meet a loving
Christian (loves without any strings
attached).

Now are there some loving Christians?
No doubt. Probably millions of them.

I wish Christians understood how much
I love them.. I wish Christians wouldn't
assume that I'm some horrible person,
because I have the audacity to love,
without forcing others to follow my
philosophy of life.

I'd say that this "Christian Love" phenomenon
is a conspiracy alright.. a conspiracy to
defraud genuine love.. to wheel in another
convert.

I'd say that's what it looks like to a lot of
people.

Love.... genuine no strings attached love,
no agenda, nothing to sell, no head trip..
actual love..

KPB




posted on Nov, 9 2013 @ 09:38 PM
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reply to post by KellyPrettyBear
 


As a believer in The Way, I do wish all people (Christians included) would stop and think "What would Jesus do?" before they open their mouths or take action.

You're absolutely right, words attributed to Jesus NEVER strayed away from pure, unconditional Love.



posted on Nov, 9 2013 @ 10:01 PM
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reply to post by KellyPrettyBear
 


I know what you mean. All those strings are terrible. Just take these for instance:

Galatians 5

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.

Wow! Can you believe God expects this? What is He thinking?



posted on Nov, 9 2013 @ 10:16 PM
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it can also get pretty old to be loving and long suffering and so forth, when it becomes an one-sided proposal. turn the other cheek has an expiri date. expecting human beings to be human door mats, forever, is like asking them in less then friendly terms, to go to hell, willingly, for the rest of their lives.

edit on 9-11-2013 by undo because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 9 2013 @ 10:24 PM
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EnochWasRight
reply to post by KellyPrettyBear
 


I know what you mean. All those strings are terrible. Just take these for instance:

Galatians 5

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.

Wow! Can you believe God expects this? What is He thinking?



I've always loved that verse.

KPB



posted on Nov, 9 2013 @ 10:25 PM
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p.s. surely jesus didn't mean that you should willingly let people abuse you. if so, how are you ever going to raise children effectively. they would just walk all over you and go respect someone else who didn't resemble the place you wipe your feet on before you enter the house



posted on Nov, 9 2013 @ 10:26 PM
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new_here
reply to post by KellyPrettyBear
 


As a believer in The Way, I do wish all people (Christians included) would stop and think "What would Jesus do?" before they open their mouths or take action.

You're absolutely right, words attributed to Jesus NEVER strayed away from pure, unconditional Love.


Who cares what jesus would do. What would YOU as a good person do.

What if jesus was a fraud? would you stop being good? Or become a fraud also?

Stop relying on an external guide, use your own self...

religion is such a foolish crutch... a mental sling. wwjd... he'd say "GET UP AND WALK." and not carry you everywhere.....



posted on Nov, 9 2013 @ 10:29 PM
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new_here
reply to post by KellyPrettyBear
 


As a believer in The Way, I do wish all people (Christians included) would stop and think "What would Jesus do?" before they open their mouths or take action.

You're absolutely right, words attributed to Jesus NEVER strayed away from pure, unconditional Love.


I wish more Christians lived the equation Jesus = unconditional love; complete honesty and self-less courage.

That's an equation I greatly admire.

KPB



posted on Nov, 9 2013 @ 10:35 PM
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kelly kelly kelly

if i said i believe reptilians from alpha centauri populated the earth, you would go into dismissive proxisms. people have their limits. if you can have them, why not extend the same basic human dignity to others without thinking they are hateful for not wanting to have their kindnesses stomped on.
i seem to recall that whole thing about not casting pearls before swine. not that people are swine but the idea is that common sense should tell you when you're becoming someone's scape goat and if you let that go on too long, you lose respect and love for yourself, which in turn makes it harder to love others, exponentially.
there's gotta be a limit and everybody has one.



posted on Nov, 9 2013 @ 10:37 PM
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reply to post by KellyPrettyBear
 


All I can really say about this is that the idea of grace is a very poorly understood concept even among Christians. I don't think I really even started to grasp what grace meant from a biblical perspective until a couple years ago (I am 33 now, and grew up in a Christian home). Even now, my own ideas about what grace is and how it applies to us is changing as I grow older and wiser.

I don't think I started to really understand grace until I had a child, and I understood what true love really is. It was that experience which further opened my eyes to how grace operates in our relationship with God, and I think I will still be learning about it 20 or 30 or 40 years from now (provided I live that long).

Anyone who tells you that it is simple, is lying. It's a process, and it takes time and life experience to understand. There are "strings" attached to any relationship where we claim to love someone. It would be better to consider them "expectations". But in the truest sense of the term "love", we do not stop loving someone when they fail to meet our hopes for them or our expectations of them. If we do, then we never really loved them to begin with. Love of the purest kind still has expectations and hopes, but it does not cease or falter (regardless of the outcome).

It is difficult to process (especially at a young age, or at least it was for me) but becomes clearer the more you seek. I don't have all the answers (and would suggest you avoid anyone who claims they do), but I can tell you that God's grace is free. He loves you unconditionally, just the way you are. When you fail or you struggle, that love does not diminish one iota.

If you have ever disappointed someone you love and respect, you know that it can be a painful experience. But in cases where that love is of the highest magnitude, that person will continue to lift you up and care for you even in spite of your failures. How much more than, does the author of truth love you and continue to care for you?

Salvation is "free" yes, but it is a give and take relationship. Something that is an ongoing process throughout ones life, and it involves the same sense of conviction you might feel within earthly relationships that have gone sour. There is no quick and easy answer, or fix. After all, nothing worth doing is ever easy.
But it IS a worthwhile experience, and will help you to extend that same grace to others when they need it too.

Hope I didn't ramble too much, and that you have received the gist of what I am trying to communicate in reply to your OP.
edit on 9-11-2013 by DeadSeraph because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 9 2013 @ 10:51 PM
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dead seraph

i dunno about you, but i'm pretty fed up with the crap i get blamed for on a regular basis. stuff i wasn't even here for. not even born yet, but somehow, i'm guilty of it by some long distance, twisted up association. my skin color, my gender, my country, my religion, is used against me and the accusers go back as far as necessary in history, to make sure there's something to guilt and shame me with. THAT gets freakin old after a few decades of it.



posted on Nov, 9 2013 @ 10:54 PM
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reply to post by undo
 


I'm afraid that you don't know me, the contents of my
mind or character, my heart or anything that I am.

You could get to know me.. then you'd know..

I've spent my lifetime getting to know all the major
ways people believe..why they believe.. what's
actually involved.

I've never talked about it with anyone, before
coming to ATS. That's what I'm doing --- talking.
Feel free to contribute or to ignore anything
I post.

I wish you well friend.

KPB



posted on Nov, 9 2013 @ 10:57 PM
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undo
dead seraph

i dunno about you, but i'm pretty fed up with the crap i get blamed for on a regular basis. stuff i wasn't even here for. not even born yet, but somehow, i'm guilty of it by some long distance, twisted up association. my skin color, my gender, my country, my religion, is used against me and the accusers go back as far as necessary in history, to make sure there's something to guilt and shame me with. THAT gets freakin old after a few decades of it.


The white man genocaded my people and took all their land.
Then wrote the history books to say that it was the INDIAN
who was the savage.

I hear you.

I'm not harassing you in any way.. that's the last thing I'd
do. In this particular post I'm discussing love, and how
adding strings to it ruins it. If you don't do that, then
you have no reason to be sensitive.

Take care man.

KPB



posted on Nov, 9 2013 @ 11:00 PM
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reply to post by undo
 


That is Satan's job is it not? his name literally means "The Accuser".



posted on Nov, 9 2013 @ 11:00 PM
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KellyPrettyBear
reply to post by undo
 


I'm afraid that you don't know me, the contents of my
mind or character, my heart or anything that I am.

You could get to know me.. then you'd know..

I've spent my lifetime getting to know all the major
ways people believe..why they believe.. what's
actually involved.

I've never talked about it with anyone, before
coming to ATS. That's what I'm doing --- talking.
Feel free to contribute or to ignore anything
I post.

I wish you well friend.

KPB


you commented in my flood contraversy thread, in a very dismissive and insulting fashion, then came here wondering why there's not more love in the world. what the flip do people expect?

how many times can you smack a nice person across the face, before they reach up and stop your hand? not that you personally have insulted me countless times, but considering, as the world grows colder and colder, the effects are felt in varying degrees, to everyone. your op suggests only christians should bite the bullet and keep on taking it like good little soldiers of love.

but you aren't the only person they are interacting with. there's the guy at the bank, the person at the drive thru, the people at the traffic light, the folks in the grocery store. the people in the net. and so on and so on just look at how many negative posts about christianity are on ats. if you combined them all together, you would think christians are like the worst thing ever. how is that even statistically possible?

this is my rant.

edit on 9-11-2013 by undo because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 9 2013 @ 11:06 PM
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reply to post by DeadSeraph
 


Thank you for your thoughtful post. I can see that you
take the concept of love very seriously and that you
are learning more as a parent.

I myself don't worship a god who tosses his innocent
and sinless children into an eternal pit of fire.

The Greater Life I know, loves Christians and Atheists
and devil worshippers equally.. and as I'm filled with
this life, I do as well.

This is my choice. I don't force my choice on anyone.
In fact I barely talk about my path as it would upset
a lot of people, if they were to learn their actual
place in the universe, not the comforting delusions
they may or may not observe to 'get through the night'.

Don't think that I don't understand how fragile life is,
how difficult. If a person needs Christianity to make
his or her life work.. even if say it is 100% wrong
(I'm not saying it is.. but it could be.. there is no
way to prove otherwise).. that's fine with me.

Just don't claim to be loving, while you do hateful
things in the name of your god. Telling people
that god is a hateful monster who tortures his
innocent children, and that THAT is part of
the 'good news'.

That I personally don't care for.

The Jesus I'd love, would be the one much like
you read about in a red letter Bible.

But I don't need an excuse to love. I don't
need some god or goddess to love.. love
is a natural human function.. and in fact,
is a more universal function than that..
or can be.. with the advent of even a
drop of human maturity.

Thanks again for your post.

KPB



posted on Nov, 9 2013 @ 11:12 PM
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reply to post by KellyPrettyBear
 





The white man genocaded my people and took all their land.


no the white man did not genocide your people. what happened was, some guys with power did that. their skin color is irrelevant. this is the kind of thing that has driven me to be so adamant about the concept of limits.



posted on Nov, 9 2013 @ 11:14 PM
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reply to post by undo
 


Friend,

I rarely post directly to one group. The only reason that
I started this post, was because of that North Korea
bible dropping post, which frankly made me twitch
a little bit. Here we have some Christians dropping
a banned book into North Korea, and if one of the
North Koreans is even caught with the book, they
may well be tortured to death.

I don't see anything loving about that action.

That loveless insanity caused me to write this post,
that I've thought about for something like 40 years..
all those years 'giving a free pass, where none was
actually deserved.'

What was it about my response to your flood post
that you didn't like? I'd be happy to discuss that
with you. I don't want you to feel unloved or
not respected.

However unfortunately, sometimes there are
things which are actually verifiable facts..
to a high degree of precision and when that
happens (and it doesn't happen enough)
then something is just plain wrong -- sorry.

I myself would love this world to be filled
with "my little pony's friendship is magical"
friends to play with. I even have a stuffed
pony toy at work.

But my beloved friend --- it's just not true.

I'll talk to you for endless time.. if I'm
alive.. if that helps you.

Also I have some really passionate words
to share about other religions, nearly
all spiritual systems, and a lot to say
about the small-mindedness of science.

So trust me, I have a lot of love to
share.

KPB



posted on Nov, 9 2013 @ 11:16 PM
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undo
p.s. surely jesus didn't mean that you should willingly let people abuse you. if so, how are you ever going to raise children effectively. they would just walk all over you and go respect someone else who didn't resemble the place you wipe your feet on before you enter the house


No, I get you. Love isn't about being a door-mat.

I've let so many Christians and Atheists actually (I'm not in good with
either group) be very abusive to me.

I'm not going to let that happen any more.. in fact it's been a decade
since I've allowed that.

KPB



posted on Nov, 9 2013 @ 11:23 PM
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undo
reply to post by KellyPrettyBear
 





The white man genocaded my people and took all their land.


no the white man did not genocide your people. what happened was, some guys with power did that. their skin color is irrelevant. this is the kind of thing that has driven me to be so adamant about the concept of limits.


I understand your point.

I don't think that your point comforts the broken and alcoholic
remnant however.

I don't recall any non-white people raping and pillaging America
and killing off Native American's and rounding them up into
reservations.. not in any numbers... and that's historically
verifiable.

But again, I get your point. So let me phrase it like this..

European settlers came to America, and some of those settlers
genocided nearly all Native American Indians. The rest gave
their silent assent, or felt it was wrong, but that they were
powerless to do anything about it. A handful did say this
was wrong and were recorded as saying so.

So yes.. maybe something like 0.1% of the European settlers
actively fought this atrocity and were documented as doing
so.

Small comfort.

But you are correct, I should not have ignored that 0.1%;
that is using an overly broad brush.

My apologies for my error in that.

KPB






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