Friday, August 22, 2008

Chapter 5, Page 42 To love and like

We aren't allowed to hate people.

Christians are supposed to love everyone and not to hate them. That's not easy. In away, what Mom said made the concept easier to accept. But it's still difficult because the words 'love' and 'like' are so closely connected in people's minds. That and what usually goes along with 'love'.

I think the Greeks had it right in having different words for different kinds of love. So many people hear 'love' and think of romance and sex. But that isn't all there is to it. That idea of love falls mainly under eros. There's also philia, which is friendship. Storge is the affection usually felt among members of the same family. Agape is what we must feel toward everyone. It is general affection and has been used in ancient texts to describe anything from the feeling toward a good meal to the feeling toward a spouse.

It sounds like, well, 'like.' But it's also different, at least to me. I can be sad that a bad person has been killed because they've lost their chance at redemption, but I can also be glad that they can no longer do evil things.

5 comments:

Sora said...

You've got to love the person, not their deeds... Thats a hard thing to do, isn't it?

Brigid said...

It is very hard. I'm still not very good at it. I have managed to work away from hating a bad person and just feeling indifference. I'm not quite up to love yet.

'zilla said...

Actually, "agape" is godly love, like when the Bible talks about loving God ". . . with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength." It's absolute, unconditional love, like in John 3:16, "For God so loved the world . . ." or 1 Cor. 13, not what you'd feel toward a good meal. But yes, that kind of love is very difficult, especially toward someone who doesn't "deserve" it.

Robert said...

My father has a belief that everyone goes to Heaven... but only the good parts of them. All that is evil is removed from them upon death. If a person is good, then in Heaven they will be a mostly-complete person. However, in the case of people like Hitler or Stalin, what will go to Heaven is but a shell of a person, a ghost.

I'm not sure if I like that idea any better than the concept that any loving and caring God could damn a person for all eternity just because of a few bad decisions. Heck, some of the more strict forms of Christianity would have you burn forever for just not having heard about Jesus by being born in a land where Christianity either is persecuted or just hasn't been heard of.

One thing that horrifies me whenever I go to a funeral is listening to the minister state how it doesn't matter how decent and noble a person is; without Jesus Christ, they are damned for all eternity. Which suggests that a horrible evil person who has a last-minute-conversion can get into Heaven while someone truly noble but believes otherwise than the Christian faith will be forced to suffer for all eternity? (Wonderful thing to hear during a funeral, ya know.)

As for me... I believe in the Spiritual Recycling Program. You know, Reincarnation. =^-^= Waste not want not.... On the plus side, Brigid, that means your chipmunk has, whether dying while a young little squeaker or of old age in her own den, gone on to be reborn yet again... maybe as another chipmunk, perhaps as a bird or a cat... even as a person.

Who knows... maybe the whole point of that chipmunk's existence at that time was to give you the choice to protect it. And you did.

Rob H.

Brigid said...

@'zilla: It depends on the definition you find. Currently agape is the general word for love in Greek. It's also the word that's used in the Greek portions of the Bible, thus the Godly love connect.

@Robert: That's why I like Catholicism. We have this concept called 'the righteous pagan' or something like that. Anyway, the idea is that if you're a good person but have never heard of Jesus you can still get to Heaven. I think everyone gets a last moment chance on the moment of death. "Okay, bud, you got one last chance not to screw up royally," or something like that. I'm no theologian so I'm really not up on the details, but I do know that we aren't supposed to judge people and that it's only the people who completely and utterly reject God who end up in Hell.