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Posts from the ‘Opinions’ Category

Loving Neighbor as Self

3 Aug 2018

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Loving Neighbor As Self wordcloud

Following up on a good men’s group meeting last night, I felt compelled to commit some thoughts to writing. In response to a question by the Pharisee’s regarding the greatest commandment – Jesus responded with

“Love The Lord God with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your mind… The second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the prophets depend on these two commandments.” (Matthew 22:37-39)

I have been increasingly drawn to the second part of this passage (as the first part is self-evident for Christians). However, I think it also gives credence to the fact that God still comes before neighbor. But most emphatically, I notice that Jesus uses an equivocating term in the second portion of Jesus quote: as. It is easy to adopt the model of self-denial as Paul is often quoted (Gal. 2:20; Eph. 4:22-23; Phil. 3:8), as well as Jesus Himself (Matt. 10:38; 16:24; Mk. 8:34 Lk. 9:23). After all, we may rightly acknowledge that we have been born into a new nature (Jn. 3:3; Rom. 12:2)! But this reasoning may potentially allow for a venturing into a realm of self-neglect. I don’t mean to suppose that we neglect ourselves physically here, but perhaps we may not always give ourselves the credit God has allowed us to dwell in. I was surprised to find scripture giving clear instructions for this:

“Anyone who does not provide for their relatives, and especially for their own household, has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever”! (1 Timothy 5:8)

Though the text is suggesting family relations, I think we can allow for greater interpretive dexterity since exponential individualism has crept into our way of life today. Now of course, this is only one reference, and sound doctrine should be built on more than that. I am then drawn to Paul’s discussion of the unity of the body in 1 Corinthians 12:12-27. In short, we need each other!

We are united together, yet we cannot effectively help others when our own sickness is severe and even contagious. Of course, that’s taking things to the extreme. But Jesus did indicate that ‘planks’ could be in our eyes, even as we dutifully respond to specks in the eyes of our brothers (Lk. 6:42). While this is my usual long-winded meanderings, I return to the significance of the two greatest commandments – Love God first, and than we love others as we are love ourselves. This “self-love” concept must be articulated. I don’t mean to suggest a selfish sort of love – but a healthy love of oneself, or more of a balanced self-worth. I am not sure that following the first commandment Jesus indicated above can rightly be followed by anything other than a careful love of oneself and his neighbors.

Local Fanboys

13 Mar 2018

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Nostalgic Nuances

6 Mar 2018

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I recently started listening to a podcast on Google Play called “Heavyweight”. While I had a hunch of what it would entail, I shouldn’t have been surprised by the amount of nostalgia, casually-informal clichés, and a more contemplative perspectives. However, I was surprised, despite

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God Focused or God’s Perspective

14 Feb 2018

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        God's Perspective_bannerOne of the most common things to hear among Christians are statements like “I want to get closer to God”, or “I want to serve God more” etc. These are wonderful statements undoubtedly said with admirable intentions (or hopefully they are).

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Intrinsic Value

10 Feb 2018

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     Intrinsic_value_banner         Value is an interestingly fluid concept today. Usually a thing is valued if it has admirable characteristics. For instance, Silver is valuable because it has monetary worth. However, raw silver may not be valued if not for that by many people. Many still see silver for it’s potential in a pure, polished form though

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Sacred Worth

8 Jan 2018

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Scarcity breeds value. Those things which are rare become that which is sought out so prominently. Value follows the be holder’s eye. Read more

Calibers of Nostalgia

25 Dec 2017

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Calibers of Nostalgia_banner.jpgDuring the holiday season, it is easy to slip in to some heavier reminiscing, and I have spent some time occupied in this way. As I surveyed some more cherished past memories, Read more

Cross without the Ministry?

17 Dec 2017

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Cross_without_the _ministry_bannerJesus Christ is world renown as the man who lived as a prophet, died without complaint, and supposedly came back to life to confirm His identity. He is the very bedrock of the Christian faith, and more specifically, His redemptive act there on Calvary.

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Good Tidings

14 Dec 2017

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Good Tidings_Banner

One of the most extraordinary historical moments for the Christian church is when Jesus enters the Temple to Yahweh in Jerusalem. This place, with it’s extravagantly long heritage of sacrificial worship songs, sobering Psalms and ceremonial celebrations would have been expected to receive it’s most anticipated visitor in much more extravagant terms.

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Father’s Will

12 Dec 2017

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Father's Will_BannerOne well-established theme in scripture is that of father and son. Perhaps the most well-known passages in the Bible is found in Luke 15:11-32, the reference of Jesus’ parable of the Prodigal son. This resonates so easily with Christians due to the very obvious depiction of compassion and grace by the father, also in contrast to the horrific arrogance and selfishness the younger son exhibits. Read more