God is love

Christians believe that God is love. Only, there may be something about this love that the church fathers found to be so troubling that they didn’t want us to know about it. If you know what it is, Christianity suddenly makes a lot more sense, and you may be able to guess what the future religion will look like. Love is such a central theme in Christianity that this religion came to be known as ‘the religion of love’. According to the Gospel, Jesus said we should love God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength:

Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”1

Paul is believed to be the author of the First Epistle to the Corinthians. It probably was written around 54 AD. There is little doubt that Paul wrote this letter himself, except for a passage claiming that the man is the head of the familiy, which several scholars believe to be a later addition. This letter may therefore be one of the earliest written sources of Christianity. It contains a remarkable poem:

If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.
If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.
If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.
It does not dishonour others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.
Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.
It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.
For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears.
When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child.
When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me.
For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face.
Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.2

According to Paul, love is more important than faith and good works. But why? Christians believe the answer is:

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.3

Christians believe in eternal life. The question is why? Jesus may have died on the cross but Christians believe he still lives because God loves the world. The author of the Gospel of John, who probably was not the Apostle John according to several scholars, may also have written the First Epistle of John, but scholars don’t agree on that either. In this epistle the author shares his views on the love of God:

Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.4

If you’re not a Christian, you might wonder why this was necessary? The idea that God loves us, and the proof being that God sent his one and only son into the world as an sacrifice for our sins, doesn’t make a lot of sense. The Christian claim is that Adam sinned and that we are all cursed for that, but then came Jesus who allowed himself to be crucified, so that we can all be saved. It seems that God could easily have chosen another path. And what about the peculiar phrase ‘born of God’? Could God be a woman?

Jews and Muslims don’t believe that God has a son. They also don’t believe that Adam’s transgression requires such a sacrifice. When God allegedly ordered Abraham to sacrifice his son and Abraham was about to comply, God allegedly called it off. So what might justify this? There may be something about the relationship between God and Jesus that is removed from the scriptures. The odds are that it has something to do with love because that is what Christianity is all about. Ephesians gives a possible clue:

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.5

Christians believe that Jesus was married to the church because of this verse. There is a an issue with this view. The church didn’t exist when Jesus lived. A historian might call this an anachronism. It is inconsistent in time. The verse suggests that this was a love like in a marriage. The Gospels imply that Jesus was married6 but the identity of the bride is never mentioned. And the verse claims that husbands have to love their wives just like Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, a peculiar thought.

There is a possible explanation that makes sense. God could be a woman. This universe could be a virtual reality created by an advanced civilisation to entertain someone we call God. And God could could use avatars in Her own story and appear like an ordinary human to us. The love the Gospels expound on is the love of God. Hence, the bride may have been God. God appearing in a human form may have been another issue the early church fathers had to deal with. And so they may have deified Jesus.

The most likely candidate for being the avatar of God is Mary Magdalene. She may have convinced Jesus that she was the reincarnation of Eve and that he was the reincarnation of Adam and that Eve was not made out of a rib of Adam but that Adam was a son of Eve. And so Jesus may have believed he had eternal life and would not die.

Perhaps this view can shed some light on Jesus’ views on marriage. It appears that Jesus believed marriage to be a bond forged by God:

Have you not read that He Who made them in the first place made them man and woman? It says, “For this reason a man will leave his father and his mother and will live with his wife. The two will become one.” So they are no longer two but one. Let no man divide what God has put together.7

At this point Jesus deviated from Moses’ law:

Because of your hard hearts Moses allowed you to divorce your wives. It was not like that from the beginning.8

Jesus’ followers then argued that it would be hard for men to love their wives in this way. Jesus replied:

Not all men are able to do this, but only those to whom it has been given.9

Jesus appeared to have had a high standard on marriage. Surviving records of Jesus’ words and teachings suggest that Jesus believed women to be equal to men. The equality of the sexes appears peculiar within the context of a patriarchal society. Paul saw women as equal partners in the Christian movement. The Didache, an early Christian text dating from the first century, implies equality of the sexes.

At some point patriarchy has been re-established. The letters of the early church father may have been rewritten for that reason. For instance, 1 Corinthians 11:2-16 has been added later.10 It claims that the man is the head of the family. A similar claim is made in the First Epistle to Timothy.11 Scholars believe this letter was written later on and not by Paul like the letter claims.

A woman might like to see a man sacrifice himself to prove his love for her. And you may never love God enough. Christians see Jesus as a sacrificial lamb.12 It might appear that God didn’t even care for Jesus. So if someone ever finds himself in the same position as Jesus may have found himself in, he might at first not be enticed by the proposition, until he realises that he may have no choice. Perhaps he should look at the bright side of life. After all, we may all just exist to entertain God.

Life’s a piece of shit
When you look at it
Life’s a laugh and death’s a joke, it’s true
You’ll see it’s all a show
Keep ’em laughin’ as you go
Just remember that the last laugh is on you
And

Always look on the bright side of life
Always look on the right side of life

– Monthy Python, Always Look on the Bright Side of Life

Monty Python perhaps tried to mock Jesus but a short and happy life may be preferred to a long and miserable one. It may be easy to love someone who has taken you hostage and has total control over you. It is called the Stockholm Syndrome. It seems that no other man ever experienced a love like that and life may not have much of a purpose once that love is gone. But it doesn’t have to end badly for him. Many things can happen. In fairy tales a toad can be kissed into a prince by a princess charming and they may marry and live happily ever after. Only, counting on that would be a bit premature to say the least.

Featured image: SpongeBob SquarePants. Nickelodeon. [copyright info]

1. Mark 12:30-31 [link]
2. 1 Corinthians 13 [link]
3. John 3:16 [link]
4. 1 John 4:7-10 [link]
5. Ephesians 5:25 [link]
6. John 3:29 [link], Matthew 9:15 [link], Mark 2:19 [link], Luke 5:34 [link]
7. Matthew 19:4-6 [link]
8. Matthew 19:8 [link]
9. Matthew 19:12 [link]
10. Forgery and Counter-forgery: The Use of Literary Deceit in Early Christian Polemics. Bart D. Ehrman (2013).
11. 1 Timothy 2:12 [link]
12. 1 Peter 1:18-19 [link]

When Jesus returns

Never again

After 2,000 years a lot of people still expect Jesus to return. But what do they expect to happen when he does? Will Jesus make things right? Will there be a showdown between the forces of good and evil? And will evil people burn in hell forever and will there be no mercy? And how may this work out in practice?

Who are the good people and who are the evil people anyway? What about Buddhists and atheists? They don’t believe in a god. And Hindus? They believe in many gods. Or Jews, Christians and Muslims? Who of them are right? Perhaps Jesus already returned, sort of, at least. And perhaps you don’t want it to happen again.

The personification of evil

Jesus is considered to be the personification of good while Adolf Hitler is seen as the most evil person that ever existed. Closer inspection reveals some intriguing parallels between them. Many Germans considered Adolf Hitler as their saviour and he was worshipped like one. Some Christians believe there will be a rapture when Jesus returns.1 Rapture is a combination of ecstasy, enchantment, enthusiasm and admiration. Few persons ever caused as much rapture as Adolf Hitler did.

Adolf Hitler told the Germans they were the chosen people because of their superior race. Many Jews believe they are the chosen people too because of a special relationship between God and the Jewish people. Like Moses, Hitler promised that he would end the unjust oppression, in this case caused by the Treaty of Versailles. He claimed that the Third Reich would last a thousand years while the Bible tells us that the reign of Christ will last a thousand years too.2 It may not be surprising that a British intelligence report noted that Hitler had a messiah complex.3

The Bible states that the bond between the people and the land that cannot be broken and that the land cannot be sold.4 This is similar to the Nazi ideology of Blood and Soil that focuses on ethnicity and homeland. Blood and Soil stresses the importance of the land people live on and it celebrates rural living. Selected lands were made hereditary, to pass from father to eldest son. Those lands could not be mortgaged or sold.5

You think that Hitler was naturally born evil but that is not correct. The Adolf Hitler from the history books emerged out of circumstances as the following short animation picture demonstrates:

Eva Braun

Eva Braun was the mistress and later wife of Adolf Hitler. Most historians consider her to be an insignificant figure who didn’t take part in political decisions.6 But opinions differ. There is a letter demonstrating she knew of the concentration camps and the gas chambers. Some Nazi-officials close to Hitler have stated that Braun was at the centre of Hitler’s life for most of his twelve years in power. She was committed to Hitler, won his affection, enjoyed a healthy sex life with him, and gave him moral support.7 After learning about a failed plot to kill Hitler in 1944, she wrote to him:

From our first meeting I swore to follow you anywhere even unto death. I live only for your love.

As the end of the Third Reich neared Braun appeared to become merrier. Her ambitions may finally have been realised when she married Hitler and committed suicide together with him. More than twenty assassination attempts on Hitler had failed,8 some of them sponsored by the Pope, so it may always have been the plan that he would end up being her husband. Hitler was born in Braunau am Inn. Braun is the German word for brown while brown is the colour associated with the Nazi ideology. These things may not be mere coincidences. Braun may have been the mastermind behind it all. She may have been an avatar of God.

Hitler’s political views

Like many Germans Hitler considered the Peace Treaty of Versailles to be unjust. The treaty stipulated that Germany accepted responsibility for causing World War I and had to pay massive reparations. The economist Keynes already warned for the harsh peace terms imposed upon Germany shortly after World War I as it might provoke a reaction.

Hitler opposed interest. He had attended a lecture of Gottfried Feder, named The Abolition of the Interest Servitude. It was the reason for Hitler to join the National Socialist Party. Hitler’s views on interest were similar to those expressed in the Bible and the Quran. The ideas of Feder became central in his views on international finance.

Hitler believed that the Germans were racially superior to other peoples and that Germany had to conquer territory to create more living space for the German people. That may have been the reason to start World War II. Hitler hated the Jews. He believed that Jews form a cult that is secretly conspiring to gain world leadership.

View on Auschwitz concentration camp
View on Auschwitz concentration camp

How did it end?

Hitler was good at doing speeches, which were more or less angry rants that inspired his followers. Hitler was seen as a messianic figure by some of his sponsors long before he became famous. During the Great Depression he managed to gain popularity and to grab power in Germany as the following short animation picture shows:

Fifty million people were killed during World War II. Ten million were exterminated in the Holocaust. Six million of them were Jews. When American troops entered Germany in 1945 they were horrified by what they found in the concentration camps. Until then few people imagined that it could be that bad, even though reports about the concentration camps came in as early as 1943.

Words can never describe the horrors of the Nazi concentration camps. It is hard to imagine that people can be that cruel. Exterminating millions of innocent people is beyond anything that has ever been done before, but the Nazis believed they did the right thing. For humanity to survive, they believed, the human race must be improved, so there is no place for the weak and the unfit. It is ‘survival of the fittest’ taken to the extreme. History is full of tales of brutality and slaughter but the Nazis topped them all. They may have been the closest thing to pure evil that ever existed.

In several ways Hitler was like Christ as some of his followers expect him to be. These expectations amount to a final reckoning amounting to an atrocity one hundred times worse than World War II. Billions of people might lose their life or be tortured eternally in hell for not having the right beliefs. Only a few people will be saved. If you come to think of it, being tortured eternally in hell may be worse than Nazi concentration camps, because there is no end to it. And so Hitler was in some ways like the expected Messiah, but if anyone was the Antichrist, it must have been Adolf Hitler.

Was it all planned?

It is hard to imagine that God allowed it to happen, let alone that God planned it all. But if you presume there to be a script, such a conclusion is inescapable. The licence plate number of the car in which Franz Ferdinand was killed refers to the end date of World War I so World War I may be planned in every detail. The peculiar coincidences surrounding D-Day indicate that the same may apply to World War II. And World War II includes the Holocaust. A coincidence in history may support this suggestion.

There have been prophetic references to a number of six million Jews in danger of being exterminated or a coming Holocaust of Jews long before World War II. This is not as remarkable as it might seem. The six million figure emerged because there were six million Jews living in Russia before World War I. Jews in Russia suffered under a hostile government.

What is remarkable however, is that these claims appeared melodramatic at the time they were made, and that the six million figure remained circulating in Jewish media after the Russian Empire had collapsed, while it subsequently became the number of Jews killed in the Holocaust.9 A few prophetic statements are listed below:

  • In 1911 Max Nordau, co-founder of the World Zionist Organisation together with Theodore Herzl, pronounced at the tenth Zionist Congress in Basel, Switzerland, that 6,000,000 Jews would be annihilated.9
  • In 1919, shortly after World War I, Zionists feared that a Holocaust of six million Jews is imminent in Europe.9
  • In 1936 the New York Times reported that Zionists were lobbying for the creation of a Jewish nation in Palestine to save the Jews from a European Holocaust. This was three years before World War II and five years before the extermination camps came into existence.9
  • In 1939 The Jewish Criterion predicted that the coming world war would mean the annihilation of six million Jews in East and Central Europe.9
  • In 1940 the Jewish leader Nahum Goldmann predicted that if the Nazis achieved victory, 6,000,000 Jews were doomed to destruction.9

Conclusion

If the Holocaust was part of the script then this also applies to Hitler’s demise as well as the creation of the state of Israel. To God we may just be virtual reality characters that exist for entertainment. That doesn’t make God evil for this world might be a realistic simulation of a real world. Few people see a problem in killing virtual reality characters in a computer game. Killing animals is generally deemed more reprehensible.

All the good things that happen may also have been part of the script. Another conclusion that seems to present itself is that it may be impossible to oppose the plan of God. There may be a script and your thoughts may be controlled so you may still act according to the plan even when you try to oppose it. And you might find yourself on the losing side if you do. You have been warned.

Featured image: Eva Braun and Adolf Hitler

1. 1 Thessalonians 4:17 [link]
2. Revelation 20:1-6: [link]
3. WWII Adolf Hitler profile suggests ‘messiah complex’. BBC (2012). [link]
4. Leviticus 25:23 [link]
5. Blood and soil. Wikipedia. [link]
6. Eva Braun. Wikipedia [link]
7. Nazi loyalist and Adolf Hitler’s devoted aide: the true story of Eva Braun. The Guardian (2010). [link]
8. Assassination attempts on Adolf Hitler. Wikipedia. [link]
9. The Six Million Jews. [link]