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What Is Love?

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  • #31
    Re: What Is Love?

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    Rom 14:19 . . Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification.

    The koiné Greek word for "edification" is oikodome (oy-kod-om-ay') which is a word related to the building trades; and in this instance would be related to structural improvements like a new wing, or a bedroom, or another floor; and in many instances adds square footage to an already-existing structure and/or improves its appearance, its value, and it's utility. Edification then, builds up instead of tearing down.

    Webster's defines "peace" as a state in which there is no war or fighting; viz: harmony and mutual concord.

    2Cor 12:19-20 . . For I am afraid that when I come I may not find you as I want you to be, and you may not find me as you want me to be. I fear that there may be quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, factions, slander, gossip, arrogance and disorder.
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    • #32
      Re: What Is Love?

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      Rom 14:20-21 . . Do not destroy the work of God for the sake of food. All food is clean, but it is wrong for a man to eat anything that causes someone else to stumble.

      The critters that God lists in the Jews' covenanted law as unsuitable for food aren't intrinsically unsuitable. They're only unsuitable for the Jews because that's how God wants it for His people. But outside the covenant; and for everybody else: whatever you'd like to eat can be eaten; all flora and all fauna.

      Gen 9:3 . . Everything that lives and moves will be food for you. Just as I gave you the green plants, I now give you everything.

      Acts 10:15 . .The voice spoke to him a second time; "Do not call anything impure that God has made clean."

      But still; you wouldn't want to invite someone over for dinner serving foods that they sincerely believe are wrong for them to eat. Prepare something else that you both can eat. That's the Christian way to go about it; it's also the sympathetic way to go about it. There are times when it's appropriate to accommodate people's feelings about certain things.
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      • #33
        Re: What Is Love?

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        Rom 14:22a . . So whatever you personally believe in debatable areas keep between yourself and God.
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        • #34
          Re: What Is Love?

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          Rom 14:22b-23 . . Blessed is the man who does not condemn himself by what he approves. But the man who has doubts is condemned if he eats, because his eating is not from faith; and everything that does not come from faith is sin.

          In other words, it's possible to be wrong even when you're right because it's a sin to forge ahead when one's conscience is not sure it's okay to do so.

          I once knew a Christian who felt guilty just setting foot inside a BlockBuster video store. Was he silly for feeling that way? Not in his mind; and it's your own personal moral compass that counts in gray areas. Some Christians can't permit themselves to dine in a restaurant that serves alcohol; while others see nothing wrong with it. If those two kinds of Christians should perchance dine out together, it's the more sensitive conscience that determines where to eat.

          In other words; it makes good spiritual sense to avoid insisting upon your freedoms and rights sometimes in order to prevent dragging your fellow Christians into something that makes them feel guilty and/or uncomfortable.
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          • #35
            Re: What Is Love?

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            Rom 15:1-2 . . We may know that certain things make no difference, but we cannot just go ahead and do them to please ourselves. We must be considerate of the doubts and fears of those who believe certain things are wrong.

            Webster's defines "considerate" as thoughtful of the rights and feelings of others, i.e. sympathetic regard; which is no doubt near impossible for Christians afflicted with narcissistic personality disorder: a toxic psychological condition characterized by a grandiose sense of self importance, a need for excessive admiration, exploitive behavior in relationships, and a lack of empathy.
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            • #36
              Re: What Is Love?

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              Rom 15:7 . . Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God.

              That's a bit tricky but I think it just means all Christians should acknowledge each other as Christians regardless of age, race, gender, or economic status; and treat one another as Christians though they may differ in opinion about what constitutes a true Christian.

              For example: it's not unusual to hear a Christian pontificate that real Christians would never watch R-rated movies, gamble, wear a speedo or a string bikini, use cosmetics, smoke marijuana, expose cleavage or wear skin tight yoga pants in public, stop for a beer on the way home from work, have a glass of wine before bedtime, listen to RAP music, ditch church and Sunday school for years at a time, or go in a bar or a nightclub where there's topless female dancers up on a stage twining themselves around a pole while leering men stuff currency into the hems of their skimpy little costumes.

              Too many Christians have the opinion that unless others believe and practice the very same way they believe and practice, then those others are not Christians. Well; the easiest way to settle this is to follow Webster's definition that a Christian is simply someone who professes a belief in the teachings of Jesus Christ. That's it: no more, no less, and no qualifiers. They don't even have to practice The Lord's teachings; they only have to profess to believe in them.

              An internet forum I was on in the past made it even easier. In order to qualify as a Christian on that forum; one only had to believe they were a Christian; viz: they didn't have to prove they were a Christian; no, they only had to be convinced in their own minds that they were a Christian. If we all followed that rule it would put a stop to a lot of unnecessary quarreling, name calling, and bad feelings.

              NOTE: Heresy is subjective. In other words: what's heresy to a Catholic may not be heresy to a Methodist, and vice versa. And what's heresy to a Mormon may not be heresy to a Jehovah's Witness, and vice versa. And what's heresy to a Baptist may not be heresy to the Church Of God, and vice versa. So my advice is: never, ever call another Christian a heretic.

              Just to be on the safe side; edit that label from your remarks because it just might be that you yourself are the one infected with heresy and don't know it; viz: be circumspect with your choice of words because the hapless day just may arrive when you are forced to eat them.

              It ain't what you know that gets you into trouble.
              It's what you know for sure that just ain't so.
              (Mark Twain)
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              • #37
                Re: What Is Love?

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                1Cor 10:24 . . Nobody should seek only his own good, but also the good of others.

                That's not saying it's wrong to seek your own good; just wrong to seek it at the expense of another's good; viz: selfish ambition might be an acceptable modus operandi in professional sports, politics, and big business; but it's totally unacceptable in one's association with fellow believers.

                And there is nothing new in that; I mean after all; it's just another way of expressing the so-called golden rule; which states: "All things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them." (Matt 7:12)

                It's interesting to note that if people weren't so thoughtless and cold; there would be no need for laws that force them to do right by their fellow man.
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                • #38
                  "What is love?"

                  Which type of love are you inquiring about?
                  I know Him, correctly, as Messiah whom you call Christ. Yah Shua whom you call Jesus. Messianists who you call Christians.

                  "Touch not mine anointed, and do my prophets no harm".

                  I refuse, point blank, to speak peace to the unregenerate, hypocrites, religious dogma lovers and those that oppose the following statement:
                  A regenerate man trusts in the evangelism of salvation conditioned on the atoning blood and imputed justness of Messiah alone.
                  If you are fully persuaded, by experience, of this delightful, beautiful and life giving doctrine then I love you as a brother.

                  Anyone who thinks that salvation is conditioned on anything a man thinks, does or says is atheist. I cannot and will not speak peace to him or her.

                  I don't make statements online that I wouldn't repeat in front of my Maker, my grandmother or a judge.

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                  • #39
                    Re: What Is Love?

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                    1Cor 10:27-29 . . If an unbeliever invites you to a meal and you want to go, eat whatever is put before you without raising questions of conscience. But if anyone says to you "This has been offered in sacrifice" then do not eat it, both for the sake of the man who told you and for conscience' sake-- the other man's conscience, I mean, not yours.

                    If you go ahead and dine in someone's home where you know in advance the food is either dedicated to, or blessed by, a pagan deity, or that when they say grace around the table it will be to a god other than your own, or to a sacred personage that you do not accept; then your host is quite possibly going to come to the conclusion that his religion is just as valid as yours if you don't decline.

                    This is not saying that Catholics and Protestants can't eat together and/or pray together around the table; nor is it saying that Christians and Jews can't eat together and pray together around the table: not when Catholics, Protestants, and Jews are all praying to the same God: just from a different perspective.

                    I will say this though: if you are a Catholic host, and your guests are either Protestants or Jews; then for heaven's sake DO NOT pray around the table to Christ's mom and/or to one of Catholicism's many patron saints. That is extremely offensive to Protestants and Jews, and totally unnecessary anyway when you can just as easily say grace to the one supreme being common to you all.
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                    • #40
                      Re: What Is Love?

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                      1Cor 10:32-33 . . Give none offence, neither to the Jews, nor to the Gentiles, nor to the church of God: even as I please all men in all things, not seeking mine own profit, but the profit of many, that they may be saved.

                      The main idea here is courtesy with respect to cultural differences, viz: tolerance; defined by Webster's as sympathy or indulgence for beliefs or practices differing from, or conflicting with, one's own-- which is just the opposite of bigotry.
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                      • #41
                        Re: What Is Love?

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                        1Cor 11:33-34 . . My brethren, when you come together to eat, wait for each other. If anyone is hungry, he should eat at home, so that when you meet together it may not result in judgment.

                        The command doesn't frown upon things like church banquets, men's' breakfasts, ladies' luncheons, and/or potlucks per se. What it's criticizing is a lack of congregational unity. Here's comments leading up to that verse.

                        1Cor 11:17-22 . . Now in giving these instructions I do not praise you, since you come together not for the better but for the worse. For first of all, when you come together as a church, I hear that there are divisions among you, and in part I believe it. For there must also be factions among you, that those who are approved may be recognized among you.

                        . . .Therefore when you come together in one place, it is not to eat The Lord's Supper. For in eating, each one takes his own supper ahead of others; and one is hungry and another is drunk. What! Do you not have houses to eat and drink in? Or do you despise the church of God and shame those who have nothing? What shall I say to you? Shall I praise you in this? I do not praise you.

                        Their lack of love and unity during church functions was nothing short of hypocrisy seeing as how The Lord's supper speaks of sacrifice rather than selfishness, elitism, and hoarding. In other words; seeing as how Christians all share in Christ's blood equally-- and deserve hell equally --then everyone should be given equal treatment at church regardless of age, gender, skin color, intelligence, income level, nationality, what side of the tracks they live on, or social status.

                        None of Christ's body parts are untouchable; nor are any of them expendable. God forbid that there should be some sort of caste system in a gathering of people for whom Christ suffered and died equally for each one. That just wouldn't be right: it would be an insult to the principles underlying The Lord's supper.

                        Matt 26:27 . . Then he took the cup, gave thanks and offered it to them, saying: Drink from it, all of you.

                        If Christians are all drinking from the same cup, then they should all be, at the very least, eating the same food and not be overly concerned about where they sit and/or who they sit next to and/or who they're seen with. And they should also make double sure that everyone gets enough to eat and that no one gets left out and nobody gets more than his fair share. And they should all sit down together at the same time.

                        I just hate it when people don't wait for each other. Some get back to the table and start in gulping, slurping, clattering, and clanking while others from their table are still in line.

                        And they should also take into consideration the possibility that a number of their congregation are in assistance programs like TANF and SNAP. In other words; don't just bring enough food from home for yourself; but, if you're able, bring enough for those among you who can't bring anything at all. And for heaven's sake, don't bring a side dish of gourmet food along just for yourself. Leave your special gourmet stuff at home. There's just no excuse for flaunting your "sophistication" around church thus giving everyone the impression that everyone else's tastes are below yours.

                        You know; why am I even saying these things? In point of fact, why even did Paul? I mean: shouldn't Christians be eo ipso sources of the milk of human kindness without somebody shaming them and lecturing them into being humane with their fellow believers and taking thought for their feelings? Why must so many Christians be practically strong-armed into being courteous with one another?
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                        • #42
                          Re: What Is Love?

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                          1Cor 16:20 . . Greet one another with a holy kiss.

                          Kissing was a common form of greeting in the old world; and still is in the Middle East and certain parts of Europe; but here in America-- a super-sized racial/cultural/ethnic amalgam of customs from all over the globe --it's wise to dispense your kisses with discretion. Some of us don't even like to be hugged, let alone bussed; and if you should perchance try to make physical contact with an autistic Christian, you're liable to cause them a panic attack; so go easy on the touchy-feely stuff.

                          The people to whom Paul referred as "one another" are one's fellow born again Christians. We're not required to be cozy with unbelievers. You can be courteous to them, yes (cf. Matt 5:47) but reserve especially warm greetings for your siblings; viz: those who've undergone a second birth as per John 1:12-13 and John 3:3-8, and thus share your adoption into God's home as per Rom 8:15-17.
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                          • #43
                            Re: What Is Love?

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                            1Cor 16:22 . . If anyone love not The Lord, let him be accursed.

                            One's love of The Lord is evidenced by loyalty.

                            John 14:15 . . If you love me, you will comply with what I command.

                            John 14:21 . .Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me.

                            John 14:23-24 . . If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching . . He who does not love me will not obey my teaching.

                            Does a Muslim have to be a terrorist to be accursed? No; they only have to be a loyal follower of Muhammad ibn `Abdullāh instead of a loyal follower of Jesus Christ; same goes for Atheists, Nonreligious, Baha'i, Buddhists, Chinese Universalists, Confucianists, Jains, Kabbalah mystics, Shintoists, Spiritists, Taoists, Zoroastrians, Jews, Sikhs, and Hindus-- they're all accursed and there is nothing to be gained in arguing about it.
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                            • #44
                              Re: What Is Love?

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                              2Cor 2:5-10 . . The punishment inflicted on him by the majority is sufficient for him. Now instead, you ought to forgive and comfort him, so that he will not be overwhelmed by excessive sorrow. I urge you, therefore, to reaffirm your love for him.

                              The cause for which Paul wrote that section was a guy in the Corinthian church sleeping with his stepmother (1Cor 5:1). Paul had commanded the congregation to not only hold the man's feet to the fire, but also to ostracize him.

                              Some time had passed since then, and the man was apparently regretting his actions, and broken off the illicit relationship with his kin, so it was time to let him back into the group. No doubt the humiliation of it all had a tremendous impact upon his attitude-- probably upon the congregation's too because at first their attitude wasn't all that good about it either. (cf. 1Cor 5:2)

                              Here in America scolding and ostracizing a church member would probably just make them indignant rather than repentant.
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                              • #45
                                Re: What Is Love?

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                                2Cor 2:9-11 . . If you forgive anyone, I also forgive him. And what I have forgiven-- if there was anything to forgive --I have forgiven in the sight of Christ for your sake, in order that Satan might not outwit us. For we are not unaware of his schemes.

                                One of the opposition's tactics is to create disunity in a church. Sure enough when that happens-- as when one portion of the congregation believes in judging and ostracizing while the other doesn't --people start taking sides and the church will end up divided into cliques and factions. According to the lord and master of New Testament Christianity, a house divided against itself cannot stand.

                                Paul mentioned that his extension of forgiveness was "in the sight of Christ". There exists some controversy as to the exact meaning but I think it's just saying that Paul's forgiveness of that man was done in accordance with Christ's approval; to the end that the Corinthians all go along with it, i.e. stand together as one.
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