The meaning of Christian love

The Christian message of love has been misinterpreted. Today, it is defined as Christian charity, according to which the poor people of the world must be sustained at all costs. For example, I found this interpretation on the net: “Christian love is giving to others those things that you would want them to give you if you were in their situation - and it’s doing so even if they can’t pay you back.” Obviously, then, it revolves around money and material assets. The message has developed into an ideology centering on materialism and global welfare, thus turning the spiritual content of the message into its very opposite.

But what does Christian love really mean? Around the first century a new psychic economy of the individual began to surface, a modern way of sustaining the ego and psychological wholeness. A new source for psychological energy (libido) appeared in the earthly realm, symbolized by the Christ. The ancient economy of scapegoatism was challenged by a modern relation, termed ‘agape’, defined as the self-sacrificing love of God for humanity. Prior to this, in pre-Christian cultures, scapegoating was the ruling principle. It became institutionalized in different forms, often involving sacrifice, when “sin” was transferred to the sacrificial victim. Sin is what causes devitalization, loss of ego wholeness and health. To get rid of this malignant metaphysical substance was regarded as wholesome, and it had an immediate therapeutical effect. Among the Maya, an old woman was selected. People whispered their sins to stones, whereupon they threw the stones on the woman until she died. Still today, the principle of sin transference is what underlies mobbing and many forms of victimization.

Following the Christian paradigm shift, the sins of humanity are carried by the Christ (“Jesus gave his life for our sins” - Galatians 1:4)). A modern psychic economy took over that draws on a different energy source (“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” - Philippians 4:13)). It is the inner life-flame, the spiritual principle of love, which Paul identifies with the Christ (“Christ liveth in me” - Galatians 2). However, the archaic psychic economy of maintaining “ego wholeness” still persists in the modern world. It obtains in morally inferior individuals, immature individuals, and in ethnic groups that lack a Christian phase in their history, corresponding to the European Middle Ages. Mass-immigration of ethnic groups belonging to the ‘phallic-narcissistic’ cultural sphere, together with the ongoing secularization process, contribute to the resurgence of pre-Christian scapegoatism. A phallic-narcissistic economy implies that the ego territory must ever be expanded, its borders always defended, and personal shortcomings must be blamed on others, by way of transfer of sin.

The Christian message of love refers to a psychic capacity of living in sympathy with the surrounding, drawing on an inner spiritual flame, a sense of wholeness that goes beyond the ego. Therefore the naive and vulgar notion of Christian love as “helping the poor” fails its purpose, as it merely contributes to materialism and welfarism. Helping the poor people of the world is worthwhile when it originates in the heart, but if it derives from an abstract moral principle, then it will in the end have destructive and evil consequences. Has good living circumstances ever helped people to find God? No, it’s the other way round, and that’s why poverty and a frugal lifestyle has always been an ideal in Christianity.

When modern Christians forget about the real meaning of Christian love, the spiritual flame in the soul of the individual will eventually die down, resulting in a regress. Christian love was originally defined as the love of God, a spiritual awareness that keeps the inner flame burning. Thus, an energy source is maintained which makes the individual wholly independent of the narcissistic strategy of ego wholeness and scapegoatism. This, in itself, has a salutary effect on the surrounding, while the individual has lost the impetus of egotism, and instead radiates grace, albeit wholly unconsciously. This is the proper Christian way of “doing good”, namely to avoid being destructive and unknowingly to radiate grace. It must not be replaced with the simplistic and vulgar notion of giving material assets to people in need, thus transforming a living spirit into a dead automatic principle of welfarism. If material charity is not rooted in the heart, then it is false and hypocritical. In that case there is no essential difference between the Christian person and the Socialist or Communist politician.

Mats Winther

Mats Winther, I was intrigued by your posting about Christian Love; I agree with the parts that I believe I understood. Let me explain a couple of examples.

To burden Christians with the task of constantly providing material goods to those who thrive on a stable source of security without having to work for their food doesn’t make sense and isn’t Biblical. “For even when we were with you, we used to give you this order: if anyone is not willing to work, then he is not to eat, either.” 2 Thess. 3:10.

As far as your definition of love, let me add: love is humility, an emptying of a desire to have power over others. This type of love that Christ was perfect in, is what totally amazes me about Christ. He “emptied” himself and was able to truly love each and every person from any walk of life. So Christian love–or charity—is in giving of one self in honor of being able to identify or communicate with another without fear of losing a sense of self-worth. "HE emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men.Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.Phil. 2:7,8

Clarissa, USA receives approximately 1 million immigrants per year from the Third World for the “Christian” purpose of reducing poverty in the world.

“Immigration, World Poverty and Gumballs”,
presented by Roy Beck:

“Immigration by the numbers”, part 1,
presented by Roy Beck:

“Immigration By the Numbers - Part 2 of 2”,
presented by Roy Beck:

In my country the biggest immigration group is the Somalis. Their unemployment rate is 82%. They live on welfare, beget many children, and build a whole life upon the shoulders of others. The unemployment rate among the Iraqi is 75%. The Protestant Christians in Sweden support this system wholeheartedly. They hide economical refugees who have had their applications turned down.

Facts are that the Christians in the world are strongly affected by Mother Teresa’s calling to “help the poor”. Christian help organizations invade Haiti and compete in helping the poor. It is like a collective neurosis. Haiti was once called “The pearl of the Caribbean.” It was a wonderful island, but now the rain forest is almost gone, less than 2% of it remains. The rains erode the earth and leave the bedrock bare, on which the African descendants raise their ramshackles. These hapless people are supported by Western taxpayers so that they can multiply and continue to cause devastation.

Against this, a central tenet in esoteric Christianity is that the mystic does good inadvertently and unconsciously by following the path of contemplation. Divine sanction emits from him where he walks. I believe it is true. Introspective Christians do much more good than the “Communist” welfare workers. The worldly allure is today stronger than ever. In the middle of this widespread profaneness the “welfare Christians” appear and, as if it wasn’t enough, they add yet another worldly allure, namely to devote your life to the increase of material welfare among the needy. This modern innovation is the worst of all because it is harder to see through than a lifestyle of opulence. It is a clever trick of the devil.

Mats Winther

It is true that the personality that has transcended the stage of ego-wholeness, pertaining to the narcissistic economy, has no longer any need to control his/her environment in defense of the frail ego. Central to this notion is that Christ resides within us. This generates a completely different psychological dynamic, and the transfer of sin to the environment is closed out. The following excerpt is fetched from

"One can discuss this phenomenon drawing on the following dream, recounted by a smallholder’s wife who lived a strenuous life. In the dream, she was on her way to her usual burdensome work in the field when she suddenly became aware that Jesus walked by her side in ankle-length garment. She was not able to turn her head and look at Him, but Jesus worked with her all day in the field, and she felt quite happy and at peace. The woman recounted that this dream had helped her many times during all days of hard toil under the hot sun (Cf. Hillerdal, 1983, p. 74).

The strenuous life of this small farmer was taking its toll and she began having feelings of discontent. This is the sin that is poisoning the wholeness of her life, and gradually causes psychological death (“The sting of death is sin”). Had it been a typical modern marriage she would have transferred this quota of sin to her spouse, ultimately leading to the “expulsion” of her husband. Of course, if her training, or her cultural context, had sustained some form of institutionalised scapegoating principle, she could have transferred sin to ‘the Jews,’ or ‘the Patriarchate,’ or whatever. But here appears a different unconscious motif, which cancels out the traditional ‘transfer of sin’ motif. Jesus appears and takes the yoke upon himself…"

Mats Winther

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