This scripture, Mark 12:31, was a particularly strong teaching at CJ, but the leaders changed it. They taught that its’ true meaning was to Love Your Neighbor INSTEAD OF Yourself. They did many teachings on this, and reinforced it throughout the years. It became a flagship teaching for our life of self-sacrifice.
This is not what the scripture says, and it is not what it means.
I find it hard to express adequately the damage this twisting of scripture has wrought in my life, but I will try.
It produced a stream of thinking in me that goes like this;
I am not worthy of love
Anything I want is sin, I should always put others’ needs ahead of my own.
When I am desperate for something for myself (sleep, food, warmth) the strength of my want shows how much in sin I am, and how much harder I need to work to deny myself.
I will never get approval, because approval is self-serving. This was confirmed many times when I was told that the best I could do was the least I should do, the least I owed God.
One of the wondrous blessings of living outside of CJ is the realization that I can have and experience good things in life, that not only is it “OK”, but it is normal. Not only is it normal, but God actually WANTS me to have good things, material things, experiences, friends, good feelings.
Oh how I wish the Christian church outside of CJ would notice and bring them to accountability for preaching a distorted gospel. Why is it that Christendom turns a blind eye, an indifferent attitude, to “churches” that pervert the gospel and harm people. Not only is psychological harm done, but FAITH is twisted and eventually distroyed.
Man destroys, God renews.