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Chapter 3 - What is love?
The bible uses three words translated 'love'. Eros for physical intimacy, Phileo for brotherly love, and Agape for self-sacrificial love. The modern idea associated with the word love includes affections, desires, lusts, expectations, attractions, and romance. The bundle of emotional sensations commonly called 'love' today makes it difficult to understand what the bible means when the word is used.
Satanís media resources (particularly music, for its emotional appeal) had a major emphasis on promoting this distorted view of love in the 1920s and then again in the 1950s-1970s. The first time was a general assault on marriage. The second time was a full court press contributing to the baby boom generation becoming the most selfish and self-centered generation in centuries.
To help untangle the distortion of the meaning of 'love', we can examine what the bible says about it.
Love suffereth long, and is kind; love envieth not; love vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. - 1 Corinthians 13:4-7
The word translated 'love' here is agape (self-sacrificial love). The understanding of love both deepens and expands as we come to understand that it is the very nature of God and is expressed towards us.
And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him. - 1 John 4:16
But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. - Romans 5:8
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. - John 3:16
It has been said that the cure for the 'disease' of adolescence (selfishness) is parenthood. The implication being that the natural inclination towards the selfishness of a child fades with the responsibility for his own children. It is natural for children to see in their parents those that love and care for them. This is why God is called our 'father'.
When we substitute emotional feelings for 'love', we become more a consumer than a giver. Our attempt to stimulate our own emotions can become like a drug addict craving that which never truly satisfies. A child can become a parent when he has grown to be complete (mature) and no longer has need to be taken care of himself, but can care for others. The Christian also becomes complete when he is no longer driven by deficiencies within himself.
There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.- 1 John 4:18
The word 'perfect' (teleios) is better translated 'complete'. Complete love (perfect love) is love with no self seeking. With little investment in self, there is little to fear. The idea of the emptying of self can sound like some sort of spiritual suicide and be seen as repugnant. It might be if self was not being replaced with Christ-likeness.
And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God. - Ephesians 3:19
Radical Christianity is setting out to accomplish what the bible tells us is desired for us, the replacement of selfishness with love which is to become Christ-like.
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