Junior Ganymede
We endeavor to give satisfaction

First love God – only then can you love neighbour.

January 18th, 2014 by Bookslinger

From the blog of a JrG commenter:

“First Love God – because without God you cannot Love your neighbour.

Without Love of God, then love of neighbour becomes just ‘altruism’ – policies, laws, regulations; taxes; doles, welfare, subsidies, allowances, benefits… statecraft and suppression of those who oppose it.

Which is anti-Love.

We see this all around us. The experiment has been done – look at the results.


Modern ‘altruism’ (‘love thy neighbour’) by those who do not first Love God is not just un-Loving but anti-Love: Hatred in the name of Love – which is much, much worse.


(It takes a while for the cut-off of Love of God to work through a person and a culture – childhood beliefs and experiences have a lasting effect – but there has now been enough time that we can observe the consequences.)”

“….. the subversion of the understanding-of and respect-for the family is among the greatest evils of modernity – because it prevents (or inhibits) people from understanding God.”

Thus, Bruce Charlton.

Comments (7)
Filed under: Brilliantly Lit,Deseret Review | Tags: , , ,
January 18th, 2014 19:59:16

Bruce Charlton
January 19, 2014

@BookS – Thanks for pulling that phrase out of the comments – I have expanded it into a mini blog post. I think I accidentally stumbled onto something important.

T. Greer
January 23, 2014

I am afraid that I do not understand this. What about loving thy neighbor, absent love of God, makes it simply ‘altruistic?’ Patriotism is a common form of loving one’s neighbor – is it dependent on loving God first? What about the way family members naturally feel about each other? It does not seem so artificial as ‘altruism’, yet plenty who do not love God, those ‘under the bondage of sin… who do not know [His] voice” do this.

Please explain what you mean.

Adam G.
January 23, 2014

Bruce C. can speak for himself, but I believe the assertion is that if ‘love of neighbor’ is an ideology, a consciously adopted aim, in the modern world the result seems to be the suffocating state which actually reduces real love.

January 23, 2014

TG: 35 years ago I wouldn’t have understood it either. But after a lifetime of observing the actions and fruits of “godless love” I’ve concluded that in essence, or in effect, it turns out to be merely self-interest or vain (egotistical) fashion. The former can otherwise be termed “need-love” (which merits an essay of its own) and the latter is “I care more than you do.”

Adam G.
January 23, 2014

It’s an old debate whether other kinds of love can survive in the absence of the love of God. My view is that Mormonism’s belief in the three kingdom’s of glory require that we do believe they can, though perhaps not that they are likely to:


T. Greer
January 24, 2014

I suppose my thoughts are colored by my own experience, which has been extensive exposure to and friendships with people from various Asian countries. Japanese and Chinese society is atheist (the first generally much more uncompromising than the latter, though this is a different discussion), while Southeast Asians have no notion of loving God, and many do not believe in him.

For most Westerners set on loving their neighbor a conscious rejection of God is part of the program. Godless love is chosen. But for he Asians this is not the case–the idea that God must be loved (or indeed, that he exists and exerts a powerful influence over human souls) is a novel and sometimes unheard concept.

But many of these men and women love, and love deeply.

They were who I had in mind when I asked the question.

Bruce Charlton
January 24, 2014

I think you are not following my point, and are putting a wholly different frame on this matter as indicated by: “But many of these men and women love, and love deeply.” – which is either irrelevant or a platitude.

You have to re-think this from a Christian perspective, and consider what it would mean to follow the commandment of Love Thy Neighbour.

What I am talking about is how the Christian commandment is implemented at a social level.

I am talking about how nowadays the post-Christian West is (supposedly) attempting to implement the second commandment, while denying the first – trying to create a Love Thy Neighbour society (i.e. liberalism/ leftism) in the absence of belief in God – indeed in the context of increasingly strong anti-Christian policy.

What non-Christian/ never-Christian societies do, or societies which are not even trying to implement Love Thy Neighbour – is completely irrelevant.

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