A Case for Christian Love

by Hal West

I have been thinking about all the anger and bitterness put out by many Christians over the Ten Commandments being removed from certain public arenas. We say, “we are Americans and we have our 1st amendment rights.” True, but as I am now seeing it the only real rights we have as Christians are summed up by Jesus in Matt 22:34-40.

In whom do we put our trust, the legal system of the physical United States of America or the spiritual teachings of Jesus Christ. We think we must defend the Bible and Christianity but would not the best defense be the life we live? We ignore one of the most important commandments in order to defend the rest of them. Yes, I feel kind of hypocritical even writing this as I have been on the other side of this for so much of my life. I hope I am finally beginning to see the true light.

Regarding the Ten Commandments, Jesus said the second greatest commandment is to love your neighbor. On top of that He also told us to love our enemies.

But when the Pharisees heard that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered themselves together. One of them, a lawyer, asked Him a question, testing Him, “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” And He said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the great and foremost commandment. The second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets.” Matthew 22:34-40

“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. Matthew 5:43-45.

In case the above is a bit confusing, understand that, even though we often curse at the weather, to the Israelites, rain was a blessing not a curse.

Many years ago I heard a preacher teach that the Bible says to turn the other cheek. He then said okay, someone punches you, you turn the other cheek, he punches you again, and then you beat the h… out of him. Most of us will do anything to add a “but” to what the scriptures really teach us if it is too hard for us to handle.

Are we truly loving our neighbor (or enemy) when we silently slander and curse him under our breath or file law suits against him to stand up for our supposed God given rights or to defend our God.  Is our God so weak that He needs a legal defense? True, Christianity (perhaps because of our actions and lack of faith we have asked for this) seems to be crumbling in the U.S. and abroad but its truths and our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will never die regardless of the efforts of man.

I’m just trying to scripturally put 2 + 2 together. Is this understanding unrealistic? Yes this is a very hard teaching for me as it is often much easier for me to be mean and angry than to be kind.

Just some rambling thoughts that came to me out of our men’s Bible study last Tuesday morning (November 27, 2012).


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