While it is good to keep up with discoveries and make whatever changes might be necessary, it is not good to constantly be twisting the meaning of Scripture to fit with some new trend.
One passage that has been twisted to an ugliness that makes Quasimodo appear handsome is found in Matthew 22:39: "Love your neighbor as yourself."
The common interpretation is that you cannot love your neighbor unless and until you can love yourself. Consequently, we have spent the last 30+ years trying to learn how to love ourselves.
Do we really believe that Jesus, the master teacher, was using some form of hidden psychology with this statement? If so, would He not have taken time here--or at least somewhere--to explain the necessity of self love, and what it might look like? By following this line of thinking, we have only added insult to our ignorance.
A cursory glance at life, or a simple reading of the Bible should reveal that our main problem is a love of self, not a lack thereof. From the moment we come into this life, we are a self-centered being, crying when our needs are not met by others.
Now, look at were we are today. Multitudes crying when their needs are not being met by others. Couples thinking that the other is there to "meet my needs", and if he/she doesn't, then I quit. People demonstrating because the government won't "meet my needs." Rampant crime and drug addiction. These are symptoms of a focus on self that has left us as an immature people seeking only our own personal gratification.
And the Church is as much to blame as society.
What did Jesus mean, then?
He said, "You love yourself. You care for yourself. You are concerned about yourself. You think about yourself. Do this, instead, to and for your neighbor."
Much of Jesus' teaching was in the form of "paradoxical principles." Give in order to get. Serve in order to be exalted. Die in order to live. This statement of His directing us to love our neighbor has the same earmarks.
A true, healthy, life-affirming love of self will only come as we take the focus off the self.
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