HOME   People do good because they are human, not because they are religious! 

Do not give God any credit for the good they do, they did it!

 

THE EXTREMIST: JESUS SAID WE MUST LOVE GOD ALONE
 
For Christians Jesus is God's infallible unerring son.
 
Jesus when he was asked by a Jewish scholar, a scribe, what the greatest commandment of morality was replied as follows.
 
“The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; the Lord our God is one Lord: And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these” (Mark 12:29-31, King James Bible).
 
Jesus said that we are to love God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength (which is commanded by the depraved prophet Moses in Deuteronomy 6). That is, God is to be loved wholly. We do not love him most and give the rest of our love to others. We must love him alone and love others for his sake.
 
Jesus is saying we must love God not with some of our energy, most of our energy but ALL our energy. In other words, everything we do must be solely motivated by what pleases God. Its all about pleasing him. When you help the sick, it is not done to help the sick but to honour God. It is done for God.
 
God is to be loved totally and ultimately and absolutely for he is the only being that matters and everything comes from him and he is infinite love unlike his creatures. So love is all sacrifice. Also, love is action. You cannot know if you are loving enough to undergo torture forever to spare somebody else and when God wants you to be other-centred not self-centred he wants you to embrace that destiny if possible. You have to be willing to embrace it if possible. And if it is not possible the nearest you can get to it is by doing nothing for yourself and avoiding happiness in order that you may serve God in others. This is another way that the love of God cannot be exactly pleasant. Also, we do not like absolute morality. Absolute morality means something is bad no matter how much good will result from it. God is a concept that creates more absolute rules than we would have if we were atheists. The devotion asked for God is not justified by the evidence - the evidence for God is not good enough. God is an action word not a noun meaning that it gives you a demanding and fearsome "morality". Religion is to blame for sin for it does not have a high enough standard and ends up wallowing in hypocrisy. It fails to help people keep God's terrible demands. It cherry-picks from his rules.
 
Jesus said that we must love our neighbour as ourselves. If we serve the needs of our neighbour for the sake of God and to please him then just as when you do good for others to benefit yourselves it is not loving them at all so it is when you do it for the Lord God. It is deceiving them, it is manipulating them.
 
Jesus embraced little children saying, "Whosoever shall receive one of such children in my name, receiveth me: and whosoever shall receive me, receiveth not me, but him that sent me" (Mark 9:37). He is showing that he means welcoming a person in the loose sense. Strictly speaking it is only God that is to be welcomed. That is how the seeming contradiction between loving God alone and loving neighbour is reconciled. He is clear that he does not mean, "Whoever receives a child does not just receive the child but receives me too". "Receiveth not me", makes that plain.
 
But how do we explain Jesus telling us that we must love our neighbour? Is there a contradiction? No. Love your neighbour may mean treat your neighbour as God wills which is the good way as God sees it for the sake of God. Jesus made it clear that he did not mean love in the sense of valuing the person in themselves and for themselves when he said the commandment to love only God was the principal one and he said the command about loving neighbour was a secondary one that was like it meaning that it was just a way of carrying out and practicing the first. He observed that the first great commandment is the key to the interpretation of the second great commandment. Only God is to be valued in and for himself when he said God alone matters for the believer. To value others just because God values them is to value God not them. They are not really valued for they are not valued for themselves.
 
When the Bible command to love God with all our hearts and powers is the prime commandment it follows that the trendy idea that you have to love yourself first before you can love God or anybody else is being rejected. The trend is telling you to love God - if you so choose - because you love yourself. To love God and your neighbour because you love yourself means that you only love yourself in the strict sense of the word. The command is that we love God because we do not love ourselves except in the sense that we do with ourselves what God wants us to do and God is right and good. It will be objected that you can hardly love God if you offer yourself to him and think you are worthless for that is meaning to offer him something worthless. But that is something we have learned in recent centuries and we cannot pretend the Bible is as wise as us. However, the biblical answer would be, “Grace is the power of God with which God helps us to do what we cannot do ourselves. God can make us love him despite our hatred for ourselves by a miracle for grace is a miracle”. The Bible teaches that sin is a form of self-hatred and we are all sinners so any good we do or improvement we make is an unnatural miracle for nature decrees that we sin all the time.
 
Love of neighbour, in the Christian view, means making a person good in the eyes of God but not being warm to or valuing that person. It would be evil to put being nice and charming to another person before urging them to do heroic good. So, if selflessness is love then love means making others selfless, making them sacrifice and die daily for God. So love of neighbour is not feeding the hungry or clothing the naked for their own sake who are dying of cold or anything like that. Such acts are only a means of luring people into the trap. It is converting them to slavery to God. We can’t say that we have to look after their needs so that they might be more open to the need for serving God without interest in anything other than his will for that is like helping people to sin in order to put them off sin.
 
We know that if God exists then he is the perfect or the most perfect being and so other people must be loved only for his sake while all our love is given to him. But it is a disgrace to do this though Christianity and Jesus accept and command it.
 We are aware that that is not loving your neighbour at all. If we repress our good feelings towards others what kind of existence will we have? We need to be cared about and appreciated, not used to score points with a thing that may not even exist!
 
Atheism is not only the only true philosophy but the best. Any advantage theism has can still be enjoyed in Atheism. Let us go and proclaim Atheism to every creature because we don’t truly come as near to caring about others as we can if we don’t.
 
For Christians, Jesus Christ is the infallible voice of God and the Son of God. If his major doctrine is untrue then we must dismiss him as yet another religious fraud. The doctrine even if true is off-putting and would destroy Christianity if it had the honesty to promote it as it thinks it should.
 
A PRAYER

In the Saint Martin de Porres Prayer Book, page 98, we find a Roman Catholic prayer to God the Father. "O Holy Lord, Father Almighty, everlasting God, for the sake of Your bounty and that of Your Son, who for me endured suffering and death: for the sake of the most excellent holiness of His Mother and the merits of all the Saints, grant unto me a sinner, unworthy of all Your blessings, that I may love You only, may ever thirst for Your love, may have continually in my heart the benefits of Your passion, may acknowledge my own wretchedness and may desire to be trampled upon and be despised by all men; let nothing grieve me save guilt. Amen."
 
The prayer teaches the doctrine properly. The person asks God for the power to love God alone. The person wishes to suffer ultimate degradation to prove this love. The person wishes to suffer for the love of God by thirsting for it. All this is asked not for the person's sake but God's. The prayer attacks modern psychology which urges one to love oneself unconditionally.
 
CONCLUSION
 
Jesus said that we must love God with all our heart - the heart being the symbol of the affections and emotions. We must be passionately and insanely in love with God. He means that if God wants us to suffer to the extreme for love we must do it. And if we find an opportunity to make that possible we must take it. We must be more concerned about finding the opportunity than about anything else. This tells us that such a sacrifice is to be praised and not only praised but encouraged! Loving God the way the God belief suggests you should implies that you are suffering from some addiction. You turn away from loving others and yourself to love a concept. What you don’t see is put before the people you do see. To serve others while valuing God and not them is to manipulate and fool and trick them.
 
BOOKS CONSULTED

A CATECHISM OF CHRISTIAN DOCTRINE, CTS, London, 1985
A HISTORY OF PHILOSOPHY, VOL 6, PART II, KANT, Frederick Copleston SJ, Doubleday/Image, New York 1964
AQUINAS, FC Copleston, Penguin Books, London, 1991
BEYOND GOOD AND EVIL, Friedrich Nietzsche, Penguin, London, 1990
BOOK OF COMMON PRAYER, Association for the Promotion of Christian Knowledge, Dublin, 1960
CATECHISM OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH, Veritas, London, 1995
CHARITY, MEDITATIONS FOR A MONTH, Richard F Clarke SJ, Catholic Truth Society, London, 1973
CHRISTIANITY FOR THE TOUGH-MINDED, Edited by John Warwick Montgomery, Bethany Fellowship, Minnesota, 1973
CRISIS OF MORAL AUTHORITY, Don Cupitt, SCM Press, London, 1995
EVIDENCE THAT DEMANDS A VERDICT, VOL 1, Josh McDowell, Alpha, Scripture Press Foundation, Bucks, 1995
ECUMENICAL JIHAD, Peter Kreeft, Ignatius Press, San Francisco, 1996
GOD IS NOT GREAT, THE CASE AGAINST RELIGION, Christopher Hitchens, Atlantic Books, London, 2007
THE GREAT MEANS OF SALVATION AND OF PERFECTION, St Alphonsus De Ligouri, Redemptorist Fathers, Brooklyn, 1988
HANDBOOK OF CHRISTIAN APOLOGETICS, Peter Kreeft and Ronald Tacelli, Monarch, East Sussex, 1995
HONEST TO GOD, John AT Robinson, SCM, London, 1963
HOW DOES GOD LOVE ME? Radio Bible Class, Grand Rapids, Michigan, 1986
IN DEFENCE OF THE FAITH, Dave Hunt, Harvest House, Eugene, Oregon, 1996
MADAME GUYON, MARTYR OF THE HOLY SPIRIT, Phyllis Thompson, Hodder & Stoughton, London, 1986
MORAL PHILOSOPHY, Joseph Rickaby SJ, Stonyhurst Philosophy Series, Longmans Green and Co, London, 1912
OXFORD DICTIONARY OF PHILOSOPHY, Simon Blackburn, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 1996
PRACTICAL ETHICS, Peter Singer, Cambridge University Press, England, 1994
PSYCHOLOGY, George A Miller, Penguin, London, 1991
RADIO REPLIES, 1, Frs Rumble & Carty, Radio Replies Press, St Paul, Minnesota, 1938
RADIO REPLIES, 2, Frs Rumble & Carty, Radio Replies Press, St Paul, Minnesota, 1940
RADIO REPLIES, 3, Frs Rumble & Carty, Radio Replies Press, St Paul, Minnesota, 1942
REASON AND BELIEF, Brand Blanschard, George Allen and Unwin Ltd, 1974
REASONS FOR HOPE, Ed Jeffrey A Mirus, Christendom College Press, Virginia, 1982
THE ATONEMENT: MYSTERY OF RECONCILIATION, Kevin McNamara, Archbishop of Dublin, Veritas, Dublin, 1987
SINNERS IN THE HANDS OF AN ANGRY GOD, Jonathan Edwards, Sword of the Lord, Murfreesboro, Tennessee, undated
THE BIBLE TELLS US SO, R B Kuiper, The Banner of Truth Trust, Edinburgh, 1978
THE BRIEF OF ST ANTHONY OF PADUA (Vol 44, No 4)
THE GOOD, THE BAD & THE MORAL DILEMMA, G R Evans, Lion Books, Oxford, 2007
THE GREAT MEANS OF SALVATION AND OF PERFECTION, St Alphonsus De Ligouri, Redemptorist Fathers, Brooklyn, 1988
THE IMITATION OF CHRIST, Thomas A Kempis, Translated by Ronald Knox and Michael Oakley, Universe, Burns & Oates, London, 1963
THE LIFE OF ALL LIVING, Fulton J Sheen, Image Books, New York, 1979
THE NEW WALK, Captain Reginald Wallis, The Christian Press, Pembridge Villas, England, undated
THE PRACTICE OF THE PRESENCE OF GOD, Brother Lawrence, Hodder & Stoughton, London, 1981
THE PROBLEM OF PAIN, CS Lewis, Fontana, London, 1972
THE PUZZLE OF GOD, Peter Vardy, Collins, London, 1990
THE SATANIC BIBLE, Anton Szandor LaVey, Avon Books, New York, 1969
THE SPIRITUAL GUIDE, Michael Molinos, Christian Books, Gardiner Maine, 1982
THE STUDENT’S CATHOLIC DOCTRINE, Rev Charles Hart BA, Burns & Oates, London, 1961
UNBLIND FAITH, Michael J Langford, SCM, London, 1982