Monday, September 19, 2005

Back To Basics Part II: Love is the Whole Enchilada

Back To Basics got so long that I left something very important out. I do not think the church of Jesus Christ in the United States is known by its love for one another and its neighbors (at least not nearly well enough):

John 13: 34 "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. 35 "By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another."
Is it our eloquence that matters or the sweetness of our words? No:
If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.
Is it foreseeing future events; having all the knowledge the world wants or needs; or faith enough to move mountains? No:
If I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.
Is it giving everything to the poor; or being willing to die rather than deny God? No:
And if I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I surrender my body to be burned, but do not have love, it profits me nothing.
The church of Jesus Christ in the United States needs a revival; and that revival can only start with, and flow from:
(Mark 12:28-31) Now58 one of the experts in the law59 came and heard them debating. When he saw that Jesus60 answered them well, he asked him, “Which commandment is the most important of all?” Jesus answered, “The most important is: ‘Listen, Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love61 the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’62 The second is: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’63 There is no other commandment greater than these.
To: Back the Basics: The Series

4 comments:

  1. Amen, brother.

    I think that this whole love thing is manifested most clearly in the way that we interact with those with whom we disagree. John, you can do this with more grace than anyone I've met online. I hope that your churchmates realize how lucky they are to have you around and take advantage of what you can show them.

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  2. I write a blog for those interested in straight-forward theology (theology for dummies. It might be helpful to define love. Aquinas gives a simple definition: "to do good toward another." This comports well with Jesus' second great commandment in Matt 22 when he tells his disciples to love your neighbor as you love yourself. I think the Biblical idea is that we naturally love and care for ourselves (Eph 5:28-29)and, therefore, do good toward ourselves. Consequently, Christians are called to extend to others the good they give to themselves. I like to actually define terms.

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  3. Visiting from Street prophets -- very impressive vision you have here. I'll visit again -- thanks for all of this.

    Mike F.

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How to debate charitably (rules are links to more description of rule):
1. The Golden Rule
2. You cannot read minds
3. People are not evil
4. Debates are not for winning
5. You make mistakes
6. Not everyone cares as much as you
7. Engaging is hard work
8. Differences can be subtle
9. Give up quietly