Feeling free to love
(I.e. Things I do not miss about "idol" culture)
Has anyone else learned at some point that loving others is dangerous? Loving others is some kind of threat to loving God. Maybe, like me, you were spiritually raised in the land of idols. The “idol” culture made every desire an idol. You want people to like you? Approval idol. Do you want to be treated with respect? Power idol. (Unless you’re a man, and then it’s just ‘God’s design’).
Do you love your kids? Be careful, they could be an idol. Love your spouse? Your friends? Be careful you don’t love them too much.
Fear and absolutes - making enemies out of things that are not enemies - making you pick between things that are precious to you - these are the primary tools of cultures that seek to control. Intentional or not, these are the sort of ‘tests’ for your brain that lure you further and further out on the ledge of abandoning anyone or anything that might distract you from their mission.
That seek to create you in the image of their god. And these cultures aren’t satisfied with behavior modification. They want you to conform - from the inside out - to their way of viewing God.
They want you to believe what they believe. They call it evangelism. They call it love.
I call it coercive control.