I go to a Presbyterian Church (to put this in religious context) and enjoy going to the adult education classes primarily because they make me think about things in a different way. I preface this because “you need to go to a different church, Mark” comments aren’t what I’m interested in. If going to church doesn’t cause you to question why you exist on this world, then what’s the point?
Besides, I’m the only Conservative in the group and I get to say “China Virus.”
This week’s discussion was on this video:
God loves everyone, so a Christian should, too. In fact, Jesus said that the most important thing in life is to love God with everything we’ve got and love others the same way. But it’s not always easy to love everyone around us, is it? Sometimes we strongly disagree with other people’s political views, religious beliefs, behaviors, or something else, and it makes it hard to love them when we feel like we’re right and they’re very wrong. But Jesus doesn’t separate loving God and loving others. So maybe the best way for us to show our love for God is actually by loving other people no matter how hard it sometimes is. Maybe it’s the only way.
Rather than try to summarize the video, please watch at least a couple minutes. It won’t kill you. Besides, what else do you have to do in quarantine?
Allow me to go way out on a theological limb here and give my opinion of love. My best definition is the Golden Rule — “do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” The most important word to me is “do.” In my view, you can’t love someone without also doing something that shows your love. Otherwise it’s just a meaningless platitude.
Loving also doesn’t have a thing to do with how I think or feel about someone. Romantic love is something else entirely and that’s not what we’re talking about here. I have virtually no positive feelings toward the Democrat leadership in Congress during this crisis but if they needed me to deliver them food while they were in quarantine, I would do it. If they needed some of my blood, I would give it. I might not give them toilet paper but I would give them food and blood. There are limits to my love!
Is bullhorn evangelism outdated? I would agree it is. However, I also believe that many, many people find fundamentalist belief to be comforting and one that provides a clear and unambiguous direction not only for them but for their family and their community.
What really struck me was Rob Bell sitting on the bench while people passed him by. It simply doesn’t do any good to say that you want to share Jesus’ love if you actually don’t talk with someone!
And that’s what I see the problem with traditional churches at the moment; they do not have a means to reach out and are afraid of reaching out lest they be criticized for trying to force religion down someone’s throat. Not too long ago this would have been referred to as “saving” the individual.
There’s a certain irony to the China virus where churches will be closed during a time when many people will come to the realization that there is something much bigger than themselves and that the earth was not put here for their personal enjoyment. Also, really bad stuff is going to happen to really good people for no particularly good reason and I find it sad that people are looking to our federal government for meaning; it’s just not there.
Today we have the opportunity as people in our community to both provide comfort as well as actual acts of kindness and love. I’m trying to decide how best to do my part and would be interested in what you are doing in your community?
There is another video that’s a response to this video that’s interesting should you be inclined: