We all know the dangers of being in love. Such love is irrational to a bigger or lesser degree. It can lead to a rival in love being murdered. At least the loved one exists. It is extremism to expect somebody to love God like that. It is asking for trouble. If believers go mad with jealousy over a God who is a fiction, then people suffer and die because of a fiction.
Jesus said, “The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; the Lord our God is one Lord: And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these” (Mark 12:29-31, King James Bible).
We are talking about love in the sense of emotion and affection.
All our feelings of love are to be given to God and not to ourselves or others. The greatest commandment says we are to love God with all our heart and soul and strength and mind. The heart symbolise the emotions.
The Christian God is to be loved with our entire being. We are not to give him a lot of love and keep some for ourselves and others, we are called upon to love him with all our hearts literally. It is literal for a number of reasons.
Here are the reasons for taking this literally,
-Jesus gives no indication that he is using hyperbole.

-Jesus could ask us to love God not first of all but to make him our only love.

-Jesus is not giving the commandment but repeating it. Would God have used hyperbole when he gave the commands?

-If there is hyperbole then where is it or ho much hyperbole is there? Maybe the love of neighbour as ourselves is hyperbole and Jesus really means put yourself first but think of others second? No Church advocates such an interpretation.

-Hyperbole is unnecessary if all you mean is love God most and put him first!

-It is not hyperbole because you can't talk that way in giving commandments and laws.

-The god of the Bible is not lovable for he commanded genocide and punishes sin so when he asks us to love him at all it seems unreasonable. So why not ask us to love only him?

-There are people in religion who try to love God and nobody else and not even themselves! Would Jesus want to confuse?

-Also, if God is perfectly good and the source of all that we have it follows that all our love should be given to him. To give any love to another, even a little, is taking from him. He is entitled to all the love and honour in us. Simple!
How does having feelings only for God fit love your neighbour as yourself?
Love your neighbour as yourself says nothing about feelings. Christianity teaches that you can love your neighbour by doing good for them even if you have feelings of abhorrence to them. This applies if the feelings are there against your will.
The teaching that our affection must go to God contradicts the fact that we need to have sufficient good feelings about ourselves.
Any feelings of love you have for another person are sinful if deliberately cultivated.
The problem with such a doctrine is that you end up making people think you care about them when it is all about God. It is unnatural and can lead to severe psychological problems. It demands doing goodness for the sake of obedience and not for the sake of those in need. We all know believers with a callous righteousness.
Another problem is that it will result in a crippling guilt. Nobody can manage to love God with all their hearts - if you did you would choose to suffer the greatest torment forever because he needed you to do it.
It is only by offering yourself and even your entire happiness up as a sacrifice that can end up putting God first. You consent to God destroying you or your happiness if he needs to.
In religion, people often distort evil scripture and teachers to make them fit what we know about emotional wellbeing. That approach is dishonest and unacceptable. It is illogical to reason, "Christianity when it does harm is being misinterpreted." There is such a thing as bad religion you know!


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