Re: Feed my Lambs (moral standards)
Comment: One must study the Greek manuscripts of the Bible to understand what Jesus is "really" meaning and saying here.
When Jesus asks Peter the first time if he loved him, Jesus used the word "agape"
He said, Peter do you "agape" me? Peter replied, sure, lord, I "phileo" you... Peter did not say I agape you lord. He used the word phileo instead.
Phileo love is human love. Human love is not infused (within) by the holy spirit. You are either plugged into God's electric supply or you are not.
Greek words agape and phileo
Agape is Gods love and Christ's love within us in action.
Phileo is human love (you scratch my back and I'll scratch yours.)
I disagree with your interpretation, not least because you are using a different definition of agape from what the Greeks used.
Firstly, I think you mean φιλία (philia
), not phileo
. Secondly, philia
means the sort of love between friends. It is not human love. It is a kind of human love, the other, of course, being eros.
), however, was used by the Greeks to denote love of a spouse or family, or affection for a particular activity.
However, I will concede that early Christians defined it in a different way from what Greek philosophers such as Plato would have normally used. But surely, their definition was not that different, especially if you consider God to be father.
If you consider God to be father, then it is only natural for God to show agape
is love of a spouse or family. He is the Father. Fathers do charitable things for their family. It is what fathers do. Family members show kindness to other family members. They show each other agape
Jesus therefore was asking Simon, "do you love me as you would a brother" or even as a father? Either the intricacies of Aramaic meant that his question was not as explicit as that, and therefore that Simon misunderstood Jesus... or that Simon was reluctant to go that far with his love of Jesus.
The interpretation of the passage therefore, would be that Jesus was attempting to instill the notion of brotherhood amongst men.
by definition, does not only come from God. It can come from fathers, brothers, sisters, cousins, aunts, uncles, grandfathers, nieces, nephews and so on. To say that agape
can only come from God is preposterous, not least because atheists (e.g. Buddhists and your common garden variety atheist) and people of other religions that do not worship your God can show a kind of agape
that is equal to Christian charity.
I would say that agape
does not come solely from God but that God can only show agape
, because he would not love us sexually (ἔρως; eros
) and he cannot show us philia
because that would imply we are equals.
You can ignore the second part that follows this sentence, if you wish, because it is the comments about agape
that I have the most issue with.
I have a rule
anything that insults God is simply wrong or errant. So if it is something that I read out of the Bible and it seems to insult God then I figure my perception of the whole story must be wrong in some way.
This of course is based on a primary assumption, which may be wrong. God may not be perfect.
This statement is also based on another assumption, the Bible is perfect, which is clearly wrong.
Lots of archaeological and anthropological evidence shows that the Bible is clearly not perfect. There are plenty of examples e.g. the number of the Beast used to be 616, the city of Jericho didn't have walls when the Israelites were known to be around that region, the existence of Moses and the wandering tribe is highly dubious, the existence of Noah's Ark is not only highly dubious but logistically impossible etc.
God may be perfect, but the Bible is clearly not, so it may not be just your interpretation that is at fault. Conversely, God may not be perfect, but the Bible will not be able to prove that, because the evidence clearly shows that it is imperfect.
Therefore the assumption that your God is perfect is merely a statement of faith.
If something logical from the Bible or any other consideration comes to mind that seems to cast "my God" into a bad light then I take the issue and I pray to God
I say, God I know you are showing me something here now and I am willing and able to understand. Then I begin to think bout things very hard.
Covered this in the previous paragraphs. You may not need to pray to God at all about this.