36“Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” 37Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38This is the first and greatest commandment. Matthew 22:36-38
After having left the faith, one of the things that I later found most disturbing was that the biblical deity demanded the love of his creation; namely, humans. This sentiment was expressed in both the Old and New Testament, and was later as seen in the above quote and several others as being supported by Jesus Christ. As in the N.T. there are numerous texts in the O.T. that refer to this commandment further emphasizing its importance.
“Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.” Deuteronomy 6:5
It is my opinion that love is something that like respect should be earned. The bible has a lot of good advice that actually implies to us how we should behave towards one another. Matthew 7:12 expresses this sentiment and is known more for its more modern interpretation of treating others as you expect to be treated. So if this is the case then why should God be exempt? Because he allegedly created us is not a sufficient enough reason to make him exempt from all the moral ideals that our society holds dear.
As in normal human affairs nothing says I love you more than open displays of affection towards the one you hold dear. We tend to treat the ones we love with compassion, affection, and understanding. We guard them from all things that we may deem harmful or by our own ideas of what we think is evil or in some way detrimental. It has been said many times that love is a two way street. When we give so much of ourselves to someone we appreciate reciprocity although at times this is not always the case.
With the biblical deity it seems that love takes on a meaning that is completely alien to our modern concept of love. With God love is like his law; in that it is what God says it is. God’s law is contingent on your unconditional obedience to him. This is brought out often in the O.T. and once again Jesus supports it.
"If you love me, you will obey what I command.” John 14:15
The more I think of this the more it irritates me to think that God demands your love. In appreciation for being created we are supposed to be completely submissive to what we believe is his will. This doesn’t sound like the attitude of a divine being or creator. It sounds more like something you would expect from a human dictator. This is truly one of those situations where life certainly does imitate art; although, I would hardly call the horrors contained in the bible art.
The New World Encyclopedia defines anthropomorphism as: “the attribution of human characteristics and qualities to non-human beings, objects, natural, or supernatural phenomena. God, animals, the forces of nature, and unseen or unknown authors of chance are frequent subjects of anthropomorphosis.” This sounds a lot like one of the many and most likely origins of religious beliefs. It also strengthens my theory that man created God due to his lack of understanding the world around him.
It is because of anthropomorphism that man is claimed to be created in the image of God. In God all of mans’ attributes both positive and negative are embodied. The biblical deity is an exact replica or reflection of man. When I read the bible I don’t see a divine being. Except for his so called divine attributes of omnipotence, omniscience, and omnipresence I don’t consider his attributes divine at all. I see this God in the dual description of anyone we can encounter right here in our friends, neighbors, enemies, etc.
I see God in Martin Luther King Jr. as I do in Adolf Hitler. The biblical deity in my eyes represents the duality of man as is also demonstrated in the story of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. God is an authority figure whose authority is as imaginary as his existence. He demands love and the demonstration of that love through absolute obedience. In the end it seems that religion is a very useful tool to instill fear and enforce laws and control over a society.
In closing I will summarize this article with a quote from one of the greatest and most evil propagandists that ever lived:
“If you tell a big enough lie and tell it frequently enough, it will be believed.” Adolf Hitler
Christianity is a lie as are all religions that require submission and faith in imaginary beings whose existence cannot be proved because they only exist in the hearts and minds of those that accept them as true. God demands your love, but reason demands your skepticism.
Note: All biblical quotations are taken from the New International Version of scripture.