AGAPE/LOVE USES NO COERCION
Quote:
I do not think that coercion produces true belief, it is just a power play.
Wise words Ellis.

This is precisely the temptation faced by all religions, including Christianity, especially when, in the fourth century, C.E. (our common era), like the cults of emperor worship already in vogue, it became Churchianity. Under Constantine the Great (lover of power and control) it became just another power-playing institution, another instrument of the state forcing people to bow to the rich and powerful regardless of their true merit.

THE MESSAGE OF JESUS WAS "LOVE (AGAPE) ONE ANOTHER"
The single message of New Testament Christianity--from the story of Christmas, the gospel (good news) actions of Jesus, to the story of Easter--was, and is, based on the idea that "God is love". God is not a celestial emperor, a king or lord, dispensing an arbitrary kind of justice and peace on his terms.

THE REASON WE NEED A NEW WORD--AGAPE
Similar to our term 'god', 'love' has lost any kind of precise meaning. Not only is it possible to love ones parents, spouse, family and God, whatever; it is possible to love killing one parents, spouse, family, God, even ones self. [BTW, This is why I like to use the acronym in my signature--or even just GOD--that which is good, orderly and desirably designed.]

For this reason, without coercing anyone else to do so, when I speak of, or write about, the highest good I prefer to use 'agape', or 'agapo', or even agape/love. By the way, the Greek NT uses this term 140 times. The 'o', or the omega, on the end of Greek words serves the same purpose as our 'I'.

'Philia'--the common term for brotherly love, or friendship, is used once; 'eros', the common term for sensual love is not used at all. It is my opinion that, under the wings of 'agape', 'eros' and 'philia' can also be beautiful and good for all using them.

Without agape/love--the kind Paul writes about in 1 Corinthians 13, the kind which humane and loving fathers and mothers ought to give to each other, their families, their community and to God--eros and philia tend to deteriorate into the kind of game and power-playing, which is the very basis of dysfunctional families and communities. In my opinion the absence of agape/love is the very root cause of all crime and evil, crimes of honour, jealousy, hate, the desire for revenge, and suicide.
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G~O~D--Now & ForeverIS:Nature, Nurture & PNEUMA-ture, Thanks to Warren Farr&ME AT www.unitheist.org