Posts Tagged ‘religion’

Pretty much everything that’s wrong with the world can be summed up in two words: misplaced love. You’ve got your obvious love of money, power, control, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. That’s the kind of love that causes thievery and wars and oppression and a variety of other unsavory topics. Everyone’s heard that the love of money is the root of all evil. Well, it is. But there’s also love poorly placed within humanity.

There are four kinds of love. In English, we just call it all “love”. But in ancient Greek, they had words that distinguished between the four. I’m no scholar in the ancient terms, but those are the words I’m going to use in this post just to tell them all apart.

Agape is the most pure of the four loves. It refers to a spiritual love, an unconditional love that does not require anything in return. This is the kind of love that happens between God and humans, and the kind of love that people show when they are doing something for someone who can never repay them.

Then there is storge. While the internet varies on the technical definition of this term, I’m going to use it here to signify the love felt between parents and their offspring. It is the closest thing to agape that usually falls under our definition of love.

Next is philos, which literally means brotherly love. Think of words like bibliophile, a lover of books, or Philadelphia, the city of brotherly love. It is between siblings, of course, but also between platonic friends and it refers to the love of all humankind when seen as a family.

Then we come to the one that causes all the trouble. Eros love. The word reminds me of “error” and “errant”, like this kind of love means you’re messing up. It can mean that, but it doesn’t have to. All types of romantic love fall under eros, from infatuation and lust right up to long-term marriage.

Eros love gets people in trouble with sin because it’s designed to be between a husband and wife. Under those circumstances and under control, it’s a beautiful thing! The problem is, people feel a little bit of attraction for someone, and they recognize that eros love and want to take it all the way. Eros taken to the extreme causes sex before marriage, teen pregnancy, rampant STDs, love affairs, and even rape. It’s when people get infatuated and don’t control themselves because, as they say, “It’s love!”

Another problem is that people mistake philos and other kinds of love for eros. Mistaking philos for eros is what makes it super awkward for a guy and a girl to be alone in a room together. It’s also what makes a girl say, “I’m really close to my best friend, we’re closer than sisters. I think I should ask her on a date.” She’s mistaking the philos love she feels for her friend for the eros love meant for her husband. Confusing agape, storge, and philos  with eros cause all sorts of messed up stuff like rape and child molestation.

Basically, society as a whole thinks that to love someone means to love them in an eros way. People who crave attention often get it in the form of eros love by being promiscuous. Two people who are best friends, no matter what gender, are deluded into thinking that their philos love for each other is eros, and they act on that. (Fan fiction writers, specifically slash shippers, I’m looking at you.) An adult who wishes to mentor children, even in a group setting, must have a background check done to make sure they will not turn their agape love for these kids into eros. It’s so messed up that we have to do that.

Look, I’m not proposing a solution to any of this state that the world is in right now. I’m just saying, here’s where I think the root of the problem lies. Maybe trying to work at the root will help fix the foliage.

Thanks for reading!
~AnotherJesusFreak

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You convince them
Their lifestyle is fine
When we can both see
They’re hurting themselves.
Of course you know,
This means war.

Cheap reflections,
Facets of you,
Twisted shadows of me,
Take hold of the world.
Of course you know,
This means war.

They say to me,
“Stay out of our schools.
Our kids should be free
To go their own way.”
Of course you know,
This means war.

Then you kill them,
Rip the little ones
From mothers’ wombs.
Their infant screams haunt me.
Of course you know,
This means war.

The fight between
Your soldiers and mine
Has cost many lives.
One life is too much.
Of course you know,
This is war.

You’re thrown from your throne
To the outer dark,
With weeping, wailing,
And gnashing of teeth.
I think you know,
That was the end of war.

Thanks for reading!
~AnotherJesusFreak

I just spent a month at a program called Shad Valley (which I hope to tell you about in another post soon), and I had some… interesting… conversations with a guy named Mohammad from Saudi Arabia. As you might be able to tell from the name, he’s a Muslim. If you know me or have read any of my posts before, you probably know I’m a Christian. So of course Mo and I discussed what it is we believe. He pointed out how odd it is that God only forgives someone after their sin has been paid for by blood. It’s even weirder that, since Jesus and God are the same guy, God had to harm himself to forgive us. And you know what, when explained like that, it is really weird. But you know what, Mo? This one’s for you.

Let’s take a look at human judicial systems, shall we? First of all, while we’re on the topic, I want to answer a question that many others have posed to me: if it’s a sin for humans to judge, why is it ok for God to judge? Well, in our justice system, the public does not issue fines to each other or sentence each other to jail. That’s for an authority figure, like a judge, to do in a courtroom. So, when it come to much bigger matters like where the soul is going to end up, it’s not a job for another human, but for the supreme authority, God.

What was I talking about? Oh yeah, justice. Well,  in human justice systems, if you do something wrong, there’s some sort of punishment  or retribution that the offender has to suffer because of what they’ve done. It only makes sense, right? If there was no consequences, what’s there to stop a person from doing wrong? Now imagine that somebody was allowed to voluntarily take the punishment for a criminal. Actually, I think that’s legal in some places (not that it’s often done). The “price” of the crime, if you will, would still be paid, but the offender himself or herself would be let off scott free.

Let’s translate this into a spiritual sense. According to the Bible, “The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life.” (Romans 6:23) So instead of a fine or jail time, the Supreme Judge says that all criminals – that is, sinners – deserve the death penalty. Harsh, I know, since “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23) But, luckily, there’s that thing that allows someone else to die instead. A couple thousand years ago, before the death and resurrection of Christ, people would sacrifice animals in their place. However, since animal lives are not equal to human lives, each animal that died only covered a couple of sins, and people had to kill a lot of lambs and goats and bulls and doves and stuff.

Then, along come these religious leaders called Pharisees. They took the God’s Law, which listed what was a sin and what wasn’t, as well as the proper punishment for each, and added their own ideas to it, so that people were being oppressed to the point of not seeing what God wanted through all the Pharisees’ traditions and opinions they sold as just as important as the Law. So, the Supreme Judge decided to fulfill the Law once and for all, by sending His own Son, Jesus, to be a final sacrifice, worth enough to cover the infinite sins of humanity throughout the ages.

God could have saved Jesus from death on the cross, but in doing so would have abandoned humanity to the Law, which was becoming more corrupt all the time, and it would have become nearly impossible for a person to remain righteous in the eyes of the Law. He still did save Jesus, though. When Jesus had been dead for three days, He came back to life! The implications of the resurrection are many, and a good topic for a post on another day, perhaps. But the point is, because of His death and then victory over death, all a person has to do now is believe, repent, and  accept forgiveness, and their sins are wiped clean off the record. Repentance doesn’t just mean saying sorry (although that’s a part of it), it has more to do with actually, truly, deep down, being sorry, which only God and you can know for sure. In that way, forgiveness is free, but it doesn’t excuse sin.

See Mo? Does it make a bit more sense now?
To Mo and everyone else, thanks for reading!
~Another Jesus Freak