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Tuesday, April 24, 2007

The question of love...

It's quite amazing how many times I have been asked by people if I really believe that we should love people just to be loving people. In other words, do I really think the Church in America should put all its emphasis on loving people without any strings attached?

YES!

I answer with a resounding yes. I think loving people for the purpose of converting them isn't loving people. I think loving people so they listen to your point by point spill on what "salvation" in Jesus is, isn't loving people. I think giving someone food or clothing if they come to an event at your church to hear a "gospel" presentation isn't loving people.

Why?

Love isn't conditional. There's no "I'll love people so I can..." or "I'll love people if they..." That's conditional. That's not love. And quite frankly, that's not the way of Jesus. I think that's what's all screwed up in American Christianity. Our purpose has become our passion. Rather than our passion taking on a purpose of its own. We think that Jesus said we should first and foremost convert people into "believers" or "Christians" so they can goto heaven. How far off we have gotten.

Jesus never said love people so... Jesus never said love people if... Jesus said we should love people. Besides, the salvation Jesus preached was a rescue from the hell they were already in. And on top of that, the restoring of Creation the Bible speaks of is ALL of Creation... not just humans. All of this universe. This earth is hurting because of our lack of concern. So if God's concerned about the whole of Creation, shouldn't be as well? Anywho, I think most of our understanding of "salvation" is way off too... but that's a whole other can of worms I am choosing to open at a later date. Nonetheless, no matter what you believe salvation is, I think we can all agree it is a rescue from hell--but shouldn't it be rescuing people from the hell so many are caught in here on earth? Shouldn't we be about that? Shouldn't we be concerned about that? Shouldn't that be a priority? Shouldn't it be real?

I need to stop writing... I tend to get on tangents and get way off subject and I don't want my point to be lost. So in response to so many who keep asking and to all those yet to ask: YES. We should love people just to love people.

If that's our focus... the rest should come naturally. I know not everyone is going to choose to be a Christ follower. I am well aware that the Gospel can be "offensive." I don't think its our position to make it so. I don't think its our position to change it from what it is. I think its our job to do what it says. And the rest--it will come naturally.

2 comments:

Richard Carwile said...

"7 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. 8 The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love. 9 By this the love of God was manifested in us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him. 10 In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12 No one has seen God at any time; if we love one another, God abides in us, and His love is perfected in us. 13 By this we know that we abide in Him and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit. 14 We have seen and testify that the Father has sent the Son to be the Savior of the world.
15 Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. 16 We have come to know and have believed the love which God has for us. God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. 17 By this, love is perfected with us, so that we may have confidence in the day of judgment; because as He is, so also are we in this world. 18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love. 19 We love, because He first loved us. 20 If someone says, "I love God," and hates his brother, he is a liar; for the one who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen. 21 And this commandment we have from Him, that the one who loves God should love his brother also."
1 John 4:7-21

The most loving thing we can do is share the gospel with someone.

Brittany said...

Hey. I completely agree with what you are saying, sweetie. This is my first comment on this, but I think people are going to misunderstand what you are trying to say. I know that you believe the most loving thing we can do is share Jesus with them (I am really going to try not to put a "duh" in here), but we are NOT called to love them to invite them to church or to shove the gospel down their throats. Sure, if you are just build up a relationship with someone, but never make it a point to share Christ...that would be not in love, but just loving someone to love someone is absolutely what we are called to do. We love which leads us to our ultimate calling...to share Christ. However, it is not the main reason to love someone. I completely agree with you and pretty much just reiterated what you were saying...but I wanted to get my point out there, too. What did Jesus say the greatest two commandments are? "Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength" and "Love your neighbor as yourself." No where in those two sentences does it say because, if, or so...Just, LOVE.