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Thread: What Is Love?

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    Post Re: What Is Love?

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    Rom 12:14 . . Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse.

    The koiné Greek word for "persecute" is dioko (dee-o'-ko) which means to pursue; i.e. to hound. In other words; a persecuting personality is one whose mission in life is to ruin somebody's day at every opportunity; and they are pretty good at finding ways to do it.

    Christians are under orders to remain civil with people deliberately out to get them; and not let snipers discourage the practice of hospitality. If they want to behave like predators, that's their choice; just be careful you don't choose to react in kind.
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    Post Re: What Is Love?

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    Rom 12:15 . .When others are happy, be happy with them. If they are sad, share their sorrow.

    A number of factors play a role in the making of an insensitive clod; one of which is defective areas of the brain called amygdalae. In brief, the amygdalae control, to a large extent, our emotions; i.e. our feelings, especially relative to empathy.

    Normal amygdalae make it possible to commiserate; which can be roughly defined as feeling sympathy and/or compassion as opposed to just going thru the motions. For example: I heard somewhere that half of us go to funerals to honor folk we couldn't be bothered with when they were alive and then lie through out teeth when we tell the family "I'm sorry for your loss."

    Defective amygdalae are usually a genetic problem; i.e. people with them were born that way. So, they are going to have a pretty difficult time of it when it comes to sharing in the happiness and/or the sorrow of others.

    "Can the Ethiopian change his skin or the leopard its spots?" (Jer 13:23)

    The answer to both those questions is of course NO; like they say: you can't get blood out of a turnip. So then, how is it reasonable to expect empathy-challenged Christians to share the happiness of happy people and/or the sorrows of sad people?

    Well; it isn't reasonable, but neither is it hopeless seeing as how a portion of the fruit of the Spirit is love (Gal 5:22). In other words: there's a supernatural remedy for personality disorders. (cf. Ezek 36:26)

    BTW: It's surprising the number of Christians that I've encountered, even Sunday school teachers, who honestly believe that feelings have no role whatsoever in the practice of Christianity. As a result, they go about the business of their Christian life as insensitive mannequins: heartless, cold, and metallic; sort of like the Tin Woodsman of the Wizard of Oz— without a heart, he couldn't feel the passionate emotions he once felt for the love of his life. Without a heart; the poor, pitiful man was barely a sentient being
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    Post Re: What Is Love?

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    Rom 12:16b . . Don't be elitist, but willing to associate with people below you.

    I'd have to say that those instructions apply only in church where it's understood by Spirit-led Christians that no one in attendance is somehow better than another. (cf. Jas 2:1-4)

    Church managers should be given a higher degree of respect than pew warmers because they're in positions of authority; but all in all, church is a congregation of redeemed sinners, and that includes the managers; so we're all equals on that basis. Christ had to undergo just as much suffering, indignity, and death to redeem church managers as he did for everyone else so God forbid that the hierarchy should exhibit a holier-than-thou attitude; viz: a superiority complex. (cf. Matt 23:2-7)
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    Post Re: What Is Love?

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    Rom 12:18 . . If possible, so far as it in your power, be at peace with all men.

    Assertive, defensive, demanding, fault-finding, imperious, judgmental, confrontational, argumentative, bossy, spirited, hard-nosed, implacable, moody, thin skinned, vindictive, abrasive, spiteful people are not allowed in heaven. Why? Because heaven is a place of peace (Matt 5:9, Rom 14:17).

    Disagreeable people who fight at the drop of a hat simply don't fit in heaven and besides, not only would they be a fish out of water; but it wouldn't be fair to the others to let difficult people in to heaven where they would surely turn it into the same kind of hellish world to live in that they've made the Earth.

    Christians should not be difficult. Of all people, they should be the easiest to get along with.
    _

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    Post Re: What Is Love?

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    Rom 12:19 . . Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written: Vengeance is mine, I will repay; testifies The Lord.

    The focus is upon one's "own" revenge; in other words: if the matter can't be settled legally; let it go rather than take it upon yourself to be prosecutor, judge, jury, and executioner, i.e. a vigilante. Those who seek justice outside the justice system are no less criminals than the people they seek to punish.
    _

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    Post Re: What Is Love?

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    Rom 12:20 . . If your personal enemy is hungry, feed him, and if he is thirsty, give him a drink; for in so doing you will heap burning coals upon his head.

    Way back when the television show "SURVIVOR" was in its second or third season, two of the women fell out of sorts and one vowed that even if the other were lying in the street near death from thirst, she'd walk right past and not give her so much as a drop of water.

    Bad form. Christians have to remain civil and not permit detestable people to dictate the way we treat our fellow men. It is far better for Christ's followers to exemplify humanitarian principles than satisfy a grudge. I'll admit it's galling to have to be courteous with people that mistreat us; but what can I say? It's Christ's wishes.

    Matt 5:46-47 . . If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that?
    _

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    Post Re: What Is Love?

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    Rom 14:1 . . Accept him whose faith is weak, without passing judgment on disputable matters.

    A strong faith consists of the elements of knowledge, confidence, assurance, and conviction. A weak faith can be defined as vacillating; viz: one that's not all that sure whether something is wrong for a Christian; or even that something is right; in other words, a weak faith lacks the elements of knowledge, confidence, assurance, and conviction.

    Disputable matters are matters of opinion rather than matters of fact. Opinions are often subjective, biased, and arbitrary, rather than objective, unbiased, and by-the book. Opinions inevitably invite perpetual debating that never really gets to the bottom of anything; which, in matters of spiritual significance is strictly forbidden within the context of the 14th chapter of Romans; because debatable matters are not matters of doctrine; but rather; matters of conscience.

    We're not talking about black and white doctrines and principles here. Those are not open to debate. We're talking about gray areas.

    "Thou shalt not commit adultery" is black and white; while issues like video games, music, fashions, foods, cosmetics, movies, self defense, gambling, swim suits, alcohol, tobacco, firearms, fasting, religious art, crucifixes, couture, and holy days of obligation are debatable. In regards to those areas; let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind rather than somebody else's mind.

    Those are things about which each has to decide for themselves according to the dictates of their own conscience; and God forbid they should impose their personal dictates upon others and thus become dictatorial because that's playing God and usurping Christ's sovereign prerogative to make the rules for his own church.
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    God is love.

    1 John 4:8 New Living Translation (NLT)
    8 But anyone who does not love does not know God, for God is love.
    He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.

    Jim Elliot

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bright Raven View Post
    God is love.

    1 John 4:8 New Living Translation (NLT)
    8 But anyone who does not love does not know God, for God is love.
    Every time I see this thread's title...

    What is love!?
    Baby don't hurt me,
    Don't hurt me,
    No mo'...


  10. The Following User Says Thank You to JudgeRightly For Your Post:

    ok doser (August 19th, 2019)

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    Quote Originally Posted by JudgeRightly View Post
    Every time I see this thread's title...

    What is love!?
    Baby don't hurt me,
    Don't hurt me,
    No mo'...

    Thanks - thought I was the only one

    Just played the Pepsi ad this afternoon:


  12. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to ok doser For Your Post:

    JudgeRightly (August 19th, 2019),Right Divider (August 22nd, 2019)

  13. #26
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    Post Re: What Is Love?

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    Rom 14:2-4 . . One man's faith allows him to eat everything, but another man, whose faith is weak, eats only vegetables. The man who eats everything must not look down on him who does not, and the man who does not eat everything must not condemn the man who does, for God has accepted him.

    If somebody sincerely believes that fast food, GMO, high fructose corn syrup, non organic produce, processed foods, grain-fed beef, raw oysters, sushi, and/or anything fried in lard is sinful; well; more power to them; but God forbid they should condemn others who disagree.

    So then; whether or not to eat grass-fed beef or grain-fed beef is your call; although in my judicious estimation; you run a much higher risk of contracting E.coli 0157-H7 by eating grain-fed beef. But the choice to run that risk is yours alone; not mine. The important point to note is that either way, God will accept one's diet just so long as they are convinced in their own mind it's not a sinful diet. And God forbid that we should undertake to pressure someone via debating and sophistry to violate their conscience.
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    Post Re: What Is Love?

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    Rom 14:5 . . One man considers one day more sacred than another; another man considers every day alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind.

    Common Christian holy days are The Lord's Day (Sunday), Solemnity of Mary the Mother of God, the Epiphany, Solemnity of Saint Joseph Husband of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Ascension Trinity Sunday, Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul, Good Friday, the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, All Saints, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Nativity of our Lord Jesus Christ (Christmas), and the Sabbath. Some would probably include Easter and Ash Wednesday.

    If your denomination, or your church of choice, rules that days like the above are sacred, then for you they are. Whether God himself really and truly rules them as sacred is irrelevant. What matters is whether you are convinced He does.
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    Post Re: What Is Love?

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    Rom 14:13a . .Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another.

    Within the context of the 14th of Romans, "passing judgment" pertains to criticizing others for refusal to accept and/or comply with your own gray-area beliefs and practices.
    _

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    Post Re: What Is Love?

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    Rom 14:13b . . Make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in your brother's way.

    The koiné Greek word translated "stumbling block" means a stub. For example: one year I cut down a troublesome bush in my front yard and left a bit of a stump sticking up out of the ground that later damaged my lawn mower when I accidentally ran over it while cutting the grass; which had grown tall enough to conceal the stump. In that respect, stumbling blocks are hazards not easily detected.

    Within the context of the 14th of Romans, I would equate stumbling blocks to the clever sophistry that silver-tongued orators employ to persuade people to do things contrary to their convictions and their conscience. In other words; there are people out there with the skills to make a lie sound like the God's truth (cf. Eph 4:11-14) and if you get pulled into a debate with those people you'll probably lose.

    NOTE: The Star Wars era spawned a pertinent colloquialism that goes like this: "Let the Wookie win one." When it comes to gray-area disputes, that colloquialism is pretty good advice.
    _

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    Post Re: What Is Love?

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    Rom 14:14-16 . . I know and am perfectly sure on the authority of The Lord Jesus that no food, in and of itself, is wrong to eat. But if someone believes it is wrong, then for that person it is wrong. And if another Christian is distressed by what you eat, you are not acting in love if you eat it. Don't let your eating ruin someone for whom Christ died. Then you will not be condemned for doing something you know is alright.

    For example: We may believe that there is nothing wrong with eating non Kosher foods; but our Christian dinner companion might feel very strongly about it. Well; sure, we can get by with eating non-Kosher foods; but Rom 14:14-16 is saying don't. In other words; it is Christ's wishes that we restrain ourselves from eating non-Kosher foods in front of our Christian companions out of respect for their feelings about it.
    _

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