8/15/2012 | Share this article: View CommentsBy Faithfool ~
After looking long and hard at the bible’s definition of love in 1 Cor 13, and seeing how far short God falls from it, I started to hunger for a more comprehensive definition of love beyond the bible.
I recently got my hands on a copy of “The Art of Loving” by Erich Fromm, and have been devouring it with many delighted ‘aha!’ moments. Fromm says there are four basic elements common to all forms of love: Care, responsibility, respect, and knowledge.
So let's take a quick look at the first three and see how Biblegod measures up.
1. Care. "The active concern for the life and the growth of that which we love."
Is God's love for us active? The Bible certainly pays a lot of lip service to this idea, but in daily life it's a struggle to see any evidence of his 'active concern' for our life and growth. Anything that could be held up as ‘active concern’ can often be explained away by reason, emotions, or coincidence.
2. Responsibility. "To be able and ready to respond to the needs (expressed or unexpressed) of another."
Again, it's hard to see how God is 'responsive' when so many of his children spend their entire lifetimes praying to him and faithfully awaiting his responses which never come (apart from the ones manufactured in their own heads.
3. Respect. "The ability to see a person as he is, to be aware of his unique individuality. The concern that the other person should grow and unfold as he is, for his own sake, and in his own ways, not for the purpose of serving another."
Biblegod certainly strikes out here. In fact, God's attitude towards humans appears to be the antithesis of this definition of respect. I would argue that God's apparent disregard of this vital element of love is to blame for the majority of wounds on the Christian psyche (I’d like to explore this idea further in a future article).
That's three strikes. God's out. He has been weighed and measured on the love scales and found seriously wanting.