Friday, 29 December 2017

God is Love and Love is God

Have you noticed that with every year that goes by what were regarded as perfectly normal, indeed healthy, attitudes are becoming tarred with the brush of extremism, and possessing them is seen as the sign of a bad person? I am speaking of such things as love of country, upholding the truth of the natural, proper recognition of the difference between men and women, maintaining of spiritual values and appreciation that some cultures really are better, in an objective sense, than others. All these things would have been believed by every civilized, educated person until relatively recently. Now, none of them are, or none of them are supposed to be. They belong to the old, unenlightened, prejudiced age and must be swept away in the light of the 'higher truth' that humanity is one, and every single unit of it (except presumably the ones that don't believe this) is fully equal to every other one.

In saying this I am obviously not denying that, spiritually speaking, we are all valuable in the eyes of God, and, as growing souls, all equally valuable. In the Christian understanding, a king has no more spiritual worth than the lowest of his servants. He may have but that is not on account of his crown. By the same token, the servant may be spiritually greater than the king, and higher in the kingdom of heaven. In spiritual terms, we are all one in Christ but only when we have all accepted Christ. Only when we have, in full understanding and real contrition, repented of our worldly transgressions and turned to God.

But the spiritual fact that we are all one in Christ does not negate the fact that as souls we are all different (that's the whole point of individuality which is the purpose of creation), and where there is difference there is inequality. That is why the ancients depicted life as a chain of being or a ladder. There is one ladder but it has many rungs stretching from Earth to Heaven, and there are creatures on every rung, those at higher levels being closer to God. Would you say the average sincere believer is spiritually equivalent to a saint? Is a saint equivalent to Christ? Of course not (though the potential to grow is always there), and yet they are all one in God.

The modern view is that it is wrong to love the local and the particular unless, that is, the local and the particular is regarded as having been oppressed in recent times. We are enjoined to love humanity rather than particular expressions of it. But the reality of our nature is that we cannot love the general without first loving the particular. Only he who loves individual human beings, particular men and women, can really love humanity. But if you love particular people then you value some more than others. You cannot love everyone equally. Even Jesus had his favourite disciple.

Similarly with nations. The man who doesn't love his own country cannot love anything. If you are a citizen of the world, you don't love anything. You have an ideology, and ideologies are not built on love. They are built on theory. Indeed, when you scratch beneath the surface you often find that many modern ideologies are actually built on hatred. Hatred of truth and the good. Resentment of the reality of God and the fact of Christ. I know that they are not depicted like this and, quite probably, adherents of these ideologies would not even recognize themselves in that description, but it becoming ever clearer to me that those who reject spiritual truth do so because of an unacknowledged hatred within themselves. Ultimately there are but two forces in the universe, love and hate. Of course, ultimately there is only one which is love, but in our fallen corner of it there is love and rejection of love, and love means first and foremost love of God. If there is no love of God then there is rejection of love even if the rejecter proclaims himself to be acting from love, love of humanity being a prime candidate to justify the rejection of God. But you cannot love humanity if you do not love God because the only source of love is in God and if you have love within you then you must acknowledge the higher power that is its source. If you don't acknowledge, as in recognize, the source of love that means that what you are calling love is not the real thing but some interpretation you have conjured up of it. I repeat. If you have love within you then you must see the truth of God. If you don't see the truth of God then you do not have proper love within you. God is love.

There is no general theme to this post. It's one of my occasional efforts in which I just start writing with no clear idea of what I want to say and see where I go. But if I were to extract a theme, it would be this. We live in a world without love that pretends it acts from love. We are utter fakes and will remain so until we rediscover the truth and reality of God. There is no truth without God, no truth and no love. As long as we deny him, we live a lie and we have no love. God is love and love is God. You cannot have one without the other.


6 comments:

Eric - said...

If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you. -- Jesus Christ

William Wildblood said...

Good quote Eric. it's sayings like that that keep one going in times like this.

Bruce Charlton said...

@William - That's very clarifying.

One way of understanding this point:

" love means first and foremost love of God. If there is no love of God then there is rejection of love even if the rejecter proclaims himself to be acting from love, love of humanity being a prime candidate to justify the rejection of God. But you cannot love humanity if you do not love God because the only source of love is in God and if you have love within you then you must acknowledge the higher power that is its source."

...is that without God, love is just an emotion (and often a very temporary and fragile emotion) ... An emotion presuambly either randomly-triggered or else left-over from our evolutionary history.

Only if there is God, is Love significant.

William Wildblood said...

Bruce, yes, exactly so. Without God love is just an emotion and therefore ephemeral and largely self-centred. Love only has meaning in the context of a divine person as its source.

Anonymous said...

"If you don't acknowledge, as in recognize, the source of love that means that what you are calling love is not the real thing but some interpretation you have conjured up of it. I repeat. If you have love within you then you must see the truth of God. If you don't see the truth of God then you do not have proper love within you. God is love."

I don't think this is true. Failure to recognise the source does not automatically mean that a human being cannot love another human being. My Father and Mother love each other very much, but they are prey to the materialistic messages coming from the evil modern controllers, as are so many people, and although they don't reject God, they are unsure of His Reality. But they each contain the divine spark that God put there, the spark that is His love, and it gives them the capacity to love. I know that God wants them to make the connection between their capacity to love, and the source of that capacity, Himself, but Evil is threaded through their lives - it is thrown at them every day, and it confuses and blocks their capacity to make that connection - it is effective in shouting out the still, small voice - the primary thinking of Dr Charlton, or 'soulthink' as I name it. BUT, the divine spark remains within every human being, and so, therefore, does the capacity to love, and also the possibility of recognising that God Himself is the source of that capacity.

The real question for any human being is "why do I have the capacity to love?". And second, "does my capacity to love come from somewhere?" "Does it come from within or without?" For me, the correct answer is that my capacity to love comes from within because someone put it there - God. But, for so many people, the answer is that their capacity to love comes from within only, because that is what they have been taught and told by the materialist view of life. Love reduced to bio-chemical reactions and so forth in the human brain. Matter before mind, instead of mind before matter.

Any human being who has not realised that his or her capacity to love comes from God, and who believes the materialistic lie, is either going to be terribly unhappy, because he believes love ends in death and separation from those he loves, or he will bury his head in the sand of materialistic short term pleasures, and 'forget' about death and the end. The latter is what so many people do. But he retains the (unacknowledged) God-given capacity to love, which is why it is crucial that he join in the whirl of consumption and greed in order to forget his doom as he perceives it. The "Screwtapes" know all about it, and they churn out 'wealth' and 'goods' for the narcotizing function that they bring to human beings, lest they ask themselves the crucial question, "why do I have the capacity to love?", and then Really Think About It".

William Wildblood said...

I was talking more about spiritual love than human love which is an emotion rather than a state of being. Otherwise I would agree with all you say here and I like the way you say it!