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What Is Love?

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  • #91
    Would "Christian love" say that a horrific version of "hell" is still too good for its occupants?
    Well this is fun isn't it?

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    • #92
      Re: What Is Love?

      .
      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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      • #93
        Re: What Is Love?

        .
        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.

        How many people am I talking about? Well, as of mid 2014, worldwide there were:

        550,000 Scientologists
        1,500,000 Mormons
        8,200,000 Jehovah's Witnesses
        7,794,000 Baha'i
        515,951,000 Buddhists
        451,292,000 Chinese Folk Religionists
        8,424,000 Confucianists
        974,597,000 Hindus
        5,567,000 Jains
        14,142,000 Jews
        1,673,590 Muslims
        2,819,000 Shintoists
        24,918,000 Sikhs
        14,183,000 Spiritists
        8,660,000 Taoists
        196,000 Zoroastrians
        828,594,000 Nonreligious
        692,111,000 Agnostics
        136,483,000 Atheists.

        The grand total of just those categories alone is 5,369,071,000

        If those figures are in the ball park, and if classical Christianity is the reality; then a minimum of at least 75% of the earth's 2014 population of 7.2 billion people didn't love The Lord.

        NOTE: Jehovah's Witnesses and Mormons are Christians, yes, but not in the classical sense.

        Joseph Smith's movement is a spin-off; in other words: there's some classical Christianity in Mormonism, but comprises only a portion of Mormonism. The rest of it is extreme, to say the least.

        Neither do Jehovah's Witnesses qualify as Christians in the classical sense. Charles Taze Russell's movement is a spin-off too. There's some classical Christianity in the Watchtower Society's doctrines, but comprises only a portion of Russell's doctrines; and his slant on it is very peculiar.

        BTW: An informative book that I personally consider an essential volume in every Christian's library is called: "Kingdom Of The Cults" by Walter Martin.
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        • #94
          Re: What Is Love?

          .
          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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          • #95
            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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            • #96
              Re: What Is Love?

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              Gal 5:26 . . Let us not be conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.

              Webster's defines "conceit" as: excessive self-appreciation of one's own worth or virtue.

              There's nothing intrinsically wrong with having strong core values and/or believing in yourself, but if you should find yourself somewhat indignant and/or resentful when others don't believe in you, or when they think very little of your core values; then watch out because that's a symptom of conceit, and it will hinder you from obeying The Lord's orders in regard to getting along with fellow believers.

              The Greek word for "envy" is phthoneo (fthon-eh'-o) which means: hostile toward a rival, or towards someone believed to enjoy an advantage. In other words; we're talking about a competitive spirit-- not the good-natured, friendly kind but a malicious kind of competitive spirit that resents others doing better than itself, or more popular than itself, or more recognized than itself, or more admired than itself; viz; it's all about self.

              Rivalry is a very destructive passion. It got Abel slain by his own brother, and it got Christ slain by his own people. Rivalry makes otherwise sensible people behave contrary to their own better judgment, and gets them embroiled in oftentimes unnecessary vendettas; e.g. gender rivalry and racial rivalry. Now those two there are very destructive social influences.

              If none of the above describes you; consider yourself fortunate.

              The Greek word for "provoke" is prokaleomai (prok-al-eh'-om-ahee) which means to challenge; viz: to get in somebody's face in an obnoxious, assertive, confrontational manner; which is a kind of behavior that prevents people from deserving identification with God's kin.

              Matt 5:9 . . Blessed are the peaceable: for they shall be called the children of God.
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              Last edited by WeberHome; November 5th, 2019, 12:07 PM.

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              • #97

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                • #98
                  Originally posted by Arthur Brain View Post
                  Would "Christian love" say that a horrific version of "hell" is still too good for its occupants?
                  "still too good"?

                  nope


                  try just right

                  Comment


                  • #99
                    Re: What Is Love?

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                    Gal 6:1a . . Brethren, even if someone is caught in the very act of any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness;

                    The Greek word for "trespass" is interesting. It can refer to willful misconduct and/or to unintentional misconduct. Seeing as how willful misconduct is dealt with harshly and summarily as per 1Cor 5:1-13 while in this situation gently, then I'd say Gal 6:1 is referring to unintentional misconduct; which doesn't merit a public flogging; but rather a quiet talk; and the more private the better in order to avoid embarrassing the unintentional offender.

                    Restoration does not apply to visitors; only to members on a church's roles; i.e. the congregation. The visitors' business is none of our business so don't go sticking your nose in it.

                    The Greek word for "restore" basically means to repair or adjust, viz: restoration applies to maladjusted Christians, i.e. the ones whose misconduct is habitual, and quite possibly detrimental to a church's overall health.

                    A spirit of gentleness precludes the use of bullying, intimidation, rage. yelling, demeaning comments, lecturing, scolding, biting sarcasm, ugly remarks, carping criticism, brow beating, and such. Those kinds of behaviors aren't gentle, no, they're cruel and abusive. They're also unwarranted when the accused has committed an unintentional trespass.

                    NOTE: The instructions given in Gal 6:1 pertain only to spiritual Christians; viz: garden variety rank and file pew warmers-- i.e. marginal Christians --need not concern themselves with it.

                    In churches where people are conceited, assertive, confrontational, embroiled in petty rivalries, debating, quarrelling, and maybe even jostling for notoriety; the spiritual ones are obviously going to be as scarce as California Condors.
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                    • Re: What Is Love?

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                      Gal 6:1-2 . . Bear one another's burdens, and thus fulfill the law of Christ.

                      It's human nature to shun people with problems so they don't drag us into a world of inconvenience and/or negativity. But that is not what I call fulfilling the law of Christ; which reads thusly:

                      John 13:34-35 . . A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.

                      The love that is defined by "As I have loved you" is a kind of love willing to suffer inconvenience, shame, humiliation, embarrassment, and disgrace for the sake of another. Christ's love isn't a fault-finding attitude; it's a supportive virtue: it doesn't only feel your pain, it gets involved in your pain.

                      Church can be the loneliest place on earth when nobody cares enough about you to get involved in your pain; but instead would just as soon not know about it. Sadly, there is about as much love for one another in modern churches as there is amongst an audience of strangers at the movies. I sincerely believe that a lot of that indifference has to do with modern churches just simply being too big and too busy.
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                      • Re: What Is Love?

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                        Gal 6:10 . . So then, while we have opportunity, let us do good to all men, and especially to those who are of the household of the faith.

                        Good can take any number of forms but I think a useful description we could apply here is "beneficial".

                        Jesus did good (Acts 10:30) i.e. he was very definitely beneficial; not just on the cross or by his teachings, but in non spiritual ways too.

                        Those who are of the "household of the faith" are actually kin; viz: siblings; and like they say: charity begins at home.

                        Some churches have what they call a deacon's fund; to assist members who are down and out and/or in dire straits.

                        And don't overlook your church's senior citizens. Some may be getting up in years and finding it difficult to even maintain their own homes and yards anymore. Chores may not seem all that spiritual; but pitch in anyway if for no other reason than your assistance is beneficial.
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                        • Re: What Is Love?

                          .
                          Eph 4:2 . . Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, putting up with another in love.

                          NOTE: That's an interesting command because no doubt it's not asking us to do something that Christ doesn't do every day: endure his sheep's stupidity, their lack of civility, and their natural preference for impiety.

                          Humility is one of those virtues that people love to talk about; but rarely ever seem to exemplify.

                          The Greek word is a tongue twister. It's tapeinophrosune (tap-i-nof-ros-oo'-nay) which means humiliation of mind, viz: modesty; defined by Webster's as free from conceit and/or vanity.

                          Conceit is defined as excessive appreciation of one's own worth or virtue; viz: a too-high opinion of one's self; i.e. a master-race mentality.

                          Vanity is defined as inflated pride in oneself or in one's appearance; viz: narcissism and/or self adoration.

                          Cosmetics and figure-shaping undergarments don't really qualify as the kind of vanity that Paul is talking about; which is a kind of vanity that goes way beyond just trying to look your best.

                          Sinful vanity is an ugly creature. It's self aggrandizing. Vanity isn't gentle either, on the contrary, vanity can be quite cruel, thoughtless, competitive, given to rivalry, indifferent, and insensitive; and vanity abhors associating with people whose station in life is decidedly below its own; and God forbid someone below themselves should have the nerve to correct either their conduct or their knowledge.

                          Patience is a jewel. It's defined as the power, or capacity, to endure without complaint something difficult or disagreeable. Patient people seem to have a predilection for retaining their composure while under stress. These make the best leaders because they don't get flustered when everything around them is disintegrating into chaos.

                          Patience is very useful when it comes to "putting up" with certain kinds of chafing Christians who seem to have a knack for getting on people's nerves.

                          During my forty years working as a professional welder, I encountered numerous fellow employees whose skills and performance were excellent; but nobody could work with them. They were just too difficult.

                          Heaven forbid that Christ's followers should ever be "difficult". It is rather to be desired that they be civil, courteous, thoughtful, sociable, agreeable, helpful, approachable, accommodating, affable, rational, reasonable, temperate, and self-controlled. Christians around whom everybody has to walk on egg shells all the time, are in sore need of a personality make-over if they're to ever have any realistic expectation of associating with God as His kin.

                          Matt 5:9 . . Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.
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                          • .
                            Eph 4:3 . . Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.

                            Peace is what everybody wants but seem thoroughly unable to attain-- either by force or by diplomacy --even in Christian churches where you'd think that at least there you'd find peace seeing as how it's related to one of Christ's beatitudes (Matt 5:9). It's also a fruit of the Spirit. (Gal 5:22)
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                            • .
                              Eph 4:25 . .Each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to his neighbor, for we are all members of one body.

                              Honesty is demanded by the covenant that Moses' people agreed upon with God in the Old Testament (Lev 19:11). Although a Christian's association with God is not based upon compliance with that covenant, it's still required that they be people of integrity who can be relied upon to tell the truth; especially to each other.
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                              • .
                                Eph 4:26a . . In your anger do not sin.

                                Anger isn't eo ipso evil. It's how one handles their anger that matters. Anger can be a very useful tool when it's applied by somebody who knows what they're doing. For example:

                                Mark 3:5 . . And when Jesus had looked round about on them with anger, being grieved for the hardness of their hearts, he saith unto the man: Stretch forth thine hand. And he stretched it out: and his hand was restored whole as the other.

                                Everybody gets angry from time to time; just don't let it drive you to doing something contrary to your better judgment, e.g. violence, profanity, malice, cruelty, uncivil behavior, emotional outbursts, hysteria, etc.
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