Jesus said that total love is to be given to God and within that you love your neighbour as you do yourself.  The as yourself is regarded as setting a bar.  You treat the neighbour as another self.  It is not a command to love yourself.  It is a detail.

Christianity defines love as a free choice - an act in which you give yourself in heart and soul and action completely to another. Real love has NO regard for yourself. The Church tells husbands and wives to have no regard for themselves. The love of God means caring about pleasing God and what he wants without regard for yourself. The Church is clear that if anybody deserves that kind of love it is God. Love is giving and is about what is right and good for the other. Notice that this kind of love only lets you look after yourself for the sake of the other person. It is about the other person only. If your looking after yourself does not help the other person or hurt them then it does not matter about you. Who would be able to love you and care for you if they asked that of you? Nobody. The doctrine is one of degrading yourself in the name of love.

How does the command to value only God absolutely tie in with the bloodshed endorsed by God in the Bible he wrote. The violence commanded in the Old Testament scriptures against some sinners such as adulteresses and fortune-tellers indicates that the love of God must be chosen if there is a choice between protecting a life and loving God. God is so lovable that those who insult that love grievously must be destroyed. The laws go as far as to make no provision for lessening the penalty and no provisions are made to open the door to forgive those "criminals" should they repent. Whether you execute sinners or not, you are in principle saying that if need be they should be killed for the love of God.  The commands are clear that even if the sinner is your own brother or mother you have to get them stoned.

Love neighbour as yourself contradicts the idea of marriage. Marriage implies you love one person as yourself and everybody else in second place. Catholic marriage isn't impressive in the love stakes! The vows really say, "I take you as my spouse until death us do part. If we part you will still have to be faithful to me for the marriage still exists though it doesn't. A marriage where people live separate lives is not a marriage at all." That sounds more geared towards control than love!

If you love your neighbour as yourself then what if you are in a dangerous park with your children and a young child you have never seen before falls into a pool and is about to drown? If you love your neighbour as yourself you will put your own children at risk by abandoning them to jump into the pool to save the child who is at greater risk. Suppose you love your neighbour as yourself. If your child and another child are in danger of death and you can only save one you will find it a struggle to decide which one you will save. You will love the child equally to your own child. Do you see how hypocritical, dangerous, unnatural and warped love your neighbour as yourself is?

Jesus himself condemned people who love those who love them and said that those who love their enemies as well are better. He urged that family ties come second to serving people in general. He left his mother to go and preach to the people. If you love your neighbour as yourself then surely your love should be devoted to the people you know best and the people who have helped you and brought you up in preference to loving everybody else. In this view, going to the mission fields and leaving your family would be condemnatory.


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