God is love

Christians believe that God is love. There may be something about this love that the church fathers found to be so troubling that they did not want us to know about it. If you know what it could be, Christianity suddenly makes 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 (Mark 12:30-31).

To understand the following paragraphs, you may read the following:

The identity of God

The Gospels state that Jesus had a personal and intimate relationship with God. Scholars agree that the Gospels have been edited.

Paul is the author of the First Epistle to the Corinthians. It probably was written around 54 AD. There is little doubt that Paul wrote most of this letter himself. This letter is one of the earliest written sources of Christianity. It contains a remarkable poem (1 Corinthians 13):

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 that God so loved the world so much that He gave his one and only son so that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life (John 3:16). Jesus may have died on the cross but Christians believe he still lives. 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 do not agree on that either. In this epistle the author shares his views on the love of God (1 John 4:7-10):

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.

You might wonder why people believe this? The idea that God loves us, and the proof being that God sent His one and only son into the world to die as a sacrifice for our sins, does not make sense. Christians claim that Adam sinned and that we are all cursed for that, but then came Jesus, who allowed himself to be crucified to save us. Humans have a religious nature, so we easily believe things that do not make sense.

Jews and Muslims do not believe that God has a son. They also do not think that Adam’s transgression justifies this sacrifice. When God allegedly ordered Abraham to offer his son, and Abraham was about to comply, God called it off. So what happened? There may be something about the relationship between God and Jesus that is not in the scriptures. The odds are that it has something to do with love because that is what Christianity is about. Ephesians gives a possible clue: ‘Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her’ (Ephesians 5:25).

Christians believe that Jesus was married to the Church. Only, the Church did not exist when Jesus lived. It is inconsistent in time, so a historian would call it an anachronism. It points at inaccurate recounting or fraud. Fraud seems more likely in this case. If it were true, the bride would still be in the Gospels. The verse suggests that it was love like in a marriage. And it asks husbands to love their wives just like Christ loved the Church and gave himself up for her. That is as close as it gets. Jesus was married, and he gave himself up for his bride.

It may shed some light on Jesus’ views on marriage. Jesus may have believed that marriage is a bond forged by God. He said, “Haven’t you read that at the beginning the Creator made them male and female, and said: ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’ So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.” (Matthew 19:4-6)

Here, he departed from Moses’ law: ‘Because of your hard hearts, Moses allowed you to divorce your wives. It was not like that from the beginning.’ (Matthew 19:11) That is remarkable because Jesus also said that he was not going to abolish Moses’ law. Jesus’ followers argued that it would be hard for men to love their wives in this way. Jesus then replied: ‘Not all men are able to do this, but only those to whom it has been given.’ Jesus appeared to have had a high standard on marriage that men cannot adhere to unless they are overwhelmed by love. It would be better to live in celibacy than not to meet this standard, Jesus added.

Surviving records of Jesus’ words and teachings suggest that Jesus believed women to be equal to men. The equality of the sexes is at odds with the patriarchal society Jesus lived in. Paul also 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 was re-established. Scholarly analysis of the letters of the early church fathers supports this assumption. For instance, scholars think that 1 Corinthians 11:2-16 is a later addition.1 It claims that the man is the head of the family. The same applies to 1 Corinthians 14:34–35. It orders women to be silent in the churches. A reason for suspecting that the latter passage is an interpolation is that several manuscripts have it at the end of the chapter instead of its canonical location. Textual critics see this as a sign that a note has been copied into the body of the text by a scribe.2

The First Epistle to Timothy argues not to permit a woman to teach or assume authority over a man and that women must be quiet (1 Timothy 2:12). Paul most likely never wrote this letter, even though the letter claims he is the author. It probably is written after Paul’s death by an unknown author. The nature of these frauds suggests equality of the sexes in early Christianity.

A woman may want to see a man sacrifice himself for her love. God did not seem to care for Jesus, so why should God care about you? That is a troubling tiding, but history proves it, so you should not be surprised. If another man finds himself in the same position as Jesus, he might not be enticed by the proposition at first until he realises that he has no choice. And it is easy to fall in love with someone who has taken you hostage and has control over you. It is a natural reaction known as Stockholm Syndrome. And how can he resist the Lady who controls his mind and has created him to love Her? And so, love can conquer all in the end times. In a fairy tale, a princess kisses a toad and turns him into a prince, and together they will rule the kingdom. At least, that may be what he secretly hopes for, even though he does not care about ruling the kingdom.

Latest revision: 9 July 2022

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

1. Forgery and Counter forgery: The Use of Literary Deceit in Early Christian Polemics. Bart D. Ehrman (2013).
2. The Oxford Bible Commentary. John Barton; John Muddiman, eds. (2001). New York: Oxford University Press. p. 1130. ISBN 978-0-19-875500-5.

When Jesus returns

After 2000 years, a lot of people still hope that Jesus will 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? Will evil people burn in hell forever, and will there be no mercy? And how may this work out in practice?

And, who are the good people and who are the evil people? What about Buddhists and atheists? They do not believe in a god. And Hindus? They believe in many gods. Or Jews, Christians and Muslims? Who is right? Perhaps Jesus already returned, sort of at least, as a warning to us all.

The personification of evil

Jesus is the personification of goodness, while Adolf Hitler is the impersonation of evil. A closer inspection reveals some intriguing parallels between them. Many Germans considered Adolf Hitler their saviour and worshipped him like one. Some Christians believe there will be a rapture when Jesus returns (1 Thessalonians 4:17). Rapture means ecstasy, enchantment, enthusiasm and admiration. Few persons in history caused as much enchantment as Hitler. And the motto of the Third German German Empire was, ‘One people, one empire, one leader.’ And this is what Christians and Muslims expect when Jesus returns.

Hitler told the Germans that they were the chosen people because of their superior race. Many Jews believe they are the chosen people because of the 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 his Third German Empire would last a thousand years, while the Bible tells us that the reign of Christ will last a thousand years (Revelation 20:1-6). Perhaps not surprisingly, a British intelligence report noted that Hitler had a messiah complex.3

In traditional agricultural societies, lands remained within the family. The Bible states that the bond between the people and the land cannot be broken and that the land cannot be sold (Leviticus 25:23). That is similar to the Nazi ideology of Blood and Soil, which focuses on ethnicity and homeland. It stresses the importance of the land people live on and celebrates rural living. Selected lands were made hereditary. Those lands could not be mortgaged or sold.

The Hitler we know from the history books emerged out of circumstances. He could have been a painter if the Vienna Art School had not declined his application. And Hitler would not have sought revenge if Germany had not lost Word War I. And if there had been no widespread antisemitism already, he probably would not have hated the Jews. The following short animation picture tells more:

Hitler’s political views

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

Hitler opposed interest. He had attended a lecture by Gottfried Feder named The Abolition of the Interest Servitude. It was the reason why Hitler joined 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 for him to start World War II. Hitler also thought that the Jews were secretly conspiring to gain world leadership.

A look in the mirror

Hitler was good at giving speeches, which were angry rants that fired up his following. Some of Hitler’s sponsors saw his messianic potential long before he became famous. During the Great Depression, Hitler gained popularity and grabbed power in Germany as the following short animation picture shows:

He started a war that killed fifty million people. Ten million people died in the Holocaust, of which six million were Jews. When American troops entered Germany in 1945, they were appalled by what they found in the concentration camps. Few people imagined it could be that bad, even though reports about the camps came in as early as 1943.

View on Auschwitz concentration camp
View on Auschwitz concentration camp

Words can never describe the horrors of the Nazi regime. In times of peace, it is hard to imagine that people can be that cruel. In times of war, it becomes easier to understand. The Nazis thought that they did the right thing. They believed that the human race needs improvement and that 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 outdid them all. The Nazis may be the closest thing to pure evil that ever existed. If there ever has been an Antichrist, Hitler would be the most suitable candidate.

In several ways, Hitler is like Christ in the way many expect him to be. They expect a final reckoning amounting to an atrocity one hundred times worse than World War II. Billions of people might lose their life or could face eternal torture in hell for not having the correct beliefs. If you think of it, being tortured eternally in hell is worse than starving in a concentration camp because there is no end to it. And Hitler killed and tortured only a fraction of the people that some expect Jesus to murder and torment on Judgement Day. If that is your expectation, I hope that Hitler has shown you what your beliefs mean in practice.

There is a lesson overlooked, which has become evident in modern multicultural societies. Some ethnic groups do not integrate well and cause more problems and harm than others. For centuries, the Jews did integrate into their host societies and clung to their identity. And they were engaged in harmful activities like charging interest on loans. There is a reason for that. Christians were not allowed to charge interest to their fellow Christians, while Jews were not allowed to do other professions. Money lending became an obvious choice. Blaming the Jews is pointless, but we must understand cause and effect. Minority groups are discriminated against and do not always integrate into their host societies. There are two sides to those situations. We need shared values and social cohesion to work together, so discrimination and identities must end. We are all one.

Eva Braun

Eva Braun was the mistress and later wife of Adolf Hitler. Most historians consider Her an insignificant figure who did not take part in political decisions. But opinions differ. A letter demonstrates that 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, gave him moral support, and enjoyed a healthy sex life with him.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.’ Over twenty plots to kill Hitler did not succeed, making Hitler believe that a supernatural force protected him. When the end of the Third Empire neared, Braun became merrier. She married Hitler and committed suicide together with him. That may have been the romantic ending She had in mind and why all the assassination attempts on Hitler failed.

For Eva, the story may not have ended here. She may have taken up another role to become Marilyn Monroe instead. While watching a Netflix documentary about Monroe’s life, I considered the idea. Immediately after the thought, the word goddess appeared on the screen. Monroe had an affair with President John F. Kennedy. He later dumped Her and was assassinated shortly afterwards. A set of peculiar coincidences surround the assassinations of President John F. Kennedy and his brother Robert. They appear to be part of an intricate plot involving the premature deaths of US Presidents, including James A. Garfield. Furthermore, the Kennedy family suffered a series of accidents and early deaths called the Kennedy Curse.

The prophecy of the Holocaust

Rumour has it that Nostradamus predicted the rise of Adolf Hitler, but that is not true. Far more ominous are the prophetic references to a number of six million Jews in danger of being exterminated or a coming Holocaust of Jews that appeared in Jewish magazines before World War II. It is not as remarkable as it might seem. The six million figure first emerged because six million Jews lived in the Russian Empire before World War I. The Jews in Russia suffered from a hostile government and pogroms. Pogroms were violent riots incited to massacre or expel the Jews.

The six million figure continued to circulate in Jewish media after the Russian Empire had collapsed. It subsequently became the number of Jews killed during the Holocaust.8 The prophetic statements are eerie, like the reference to the end date of World War I on the licence plate of Franz Ferdinand’s car. The most notable ones 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 six million Jews would be annihilated.
  • Shortly after World War I in 1919, Zionists feared that a Holocaust of six million Jews was imminent in Europe.
  • In 1936, the New York Times reported that Zionists were lobbying for a Jewish state in Palestine to save the Jews from a European Holocaust. That was three years before World War II and five years before the extermination camps came into existence.
  • In 1939, The Jewish Criterion predicted that the coming world war would annihilate six million Jews in East and Central Europe.
  • In 1940, the Jewish leader Nahum Goldmann predicted that if the Nazis achieved victory, six million Jews would be doomed to destruction.

Hitler led Europe to destruction. ‘Never again’ became the motto following the Holocaust. Nazism is an ideology of hate, and the Holocaust is the ultimate outcome of hatred. But there is a lesson overlooked. The issue has reasserted itself in modern multicultural societies. There is a limit to the diversity we can handle, and there is a lack of unity because of identity politics. Tribal conflict may only end once humanity has one people, one empire, and one leader. We need shared values and social cohesion to overcome our differences. And we need an ideology of love rather than hate to make it happen.

Another conclusion is that we merely exist to entertain God. We are nothing. God did not seem to care about Jesus, Hitler or the Jews. It is unlikely that God cares much about you or me. That does not make God evil. Few people care about virtual reality characters in a computer game, and those who do, are crazy. We are nearing a global collapse of human civilisation because the planet cannot bear the burden of humanity much longer. We may need a leader as determined and uncompromising as Adolf Hitler to save us from our stupidity. And so, we are advised not to end up on the wrong side of history once the end times arrive.

Latest revision: 23 July 2022

Featured image: Eva Braun and Adolf Hitler

1. 1 Thessalonians 4:17 [link]
2. Revelation 20:1-6 [link]
3. WWII Adolf Hitler’s profile suggests a 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. The Six Million Jews. [link]