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Christians: Concerning the 2 most important commands

Discussion in 'Same Faith Debates' started by i've got questions, Dec 20, 2017.

  1. i've got questions

    i've got questions New Member

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    According to Matthew's gospel when Jesus is asked which is the most important command one should follow , jesus replies that it is to love go with all your heart , soul and mind , and that's the first and most important order. Would it be rational for someone to find a contrast between a god preaching abour fighting egoism but on the same time demanding to be loved ? If so , what's the counterargument against that ?
     
  2. socharlie

    socharlie Active Member

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    If you do not love-respect your teacher what would be value of his teaching to you? Would you be making Golden calves?
     
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  3. URAVIP2ME

    URAVIP2ME Veteran Member

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    Being humble and meek of course is the opposite of egoism.
    I find at Philippians 2:2-3 we should have lowliness of mind.

    Before Jesus died, I find at John 13:34-35 that Jesus gave us a NEW commandment.
    We are to have the same self-sacrificing love for others as Jesus has.
    In other words, we are Now to love others 'more' than self.
     
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  4. Brickjectivity

    Brickjectivity Veteran Member
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    The two commands are really the same one in a practical sense. You love God by loving other people. God isn't a person, per se. There's no ego, so its different. God is not anthropomorphic. You cannot shake hands with God or have God over for lunch.
     
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  5. Whitestone

    Whitestone Member

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    I love Jesus. He didn't make me love Him. I would bring about my own death in carnal self destruction without Him, lost without hope. But I see such Love for me He gave His Life for me... To save me from dying, to Live Forever with Him even Now To Day, in Joy and Righteousness and Peace in His Holy Spirit, alive forever, days without end... oh and to be able to tell others about this Great God of Israel, so they can be saved too... what was the question?
     
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  6. Shiranui117

    Shiranui117 Pronounced Shee-ra-noo-ee
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    God wants us to draw near to Him because He is the source of our life. Without Him, we have only death and darkness. God doesn't have a need to be loved, He wants us to choose life over death, good over evil. You don't call a doctor egotistical when he says that you should make appointments to keep your prescriptions up to date and filled.
     
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  7. lewisnotmiller

    lewisnotmiller Grand Hat
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    I might if he decided to rank me keeping my appointments with him first amongst all other things, including not killing my neighbour to get to his wife I am coveting.
    (just mashing up a few commandments there)

    But it's an interesting point you make. I suppose the assumption is that embracing life would lead you to take proactive/positive life choices anyway, right?
     
  8. Deeje

    Deeje Avid Bible Student
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    It is. But there is no way that you can force someone to love you. Love comes from respect, which must be earned. God is no different....he earns our respect because of what he has already done for us. Without him, we would not have life.....we would have no food, no air...no water....no family. Those of us who have those things often take them for granted, whining about what we don't have rather than appreciating what we do have. Its a matter of perspective. Humans messed up the world, not God, so while we wait for God to fix it, there is much we can do in helping others to see the glass half full. [​IMG] It will be overflowing one day.

    Egotism is a human trait. God has no ego because there is no one equal or higher than himself to impress. He makes no demands on us at all. He gives us the rules he has made for this life and we will be blessed if we follow them. The blessings in turn make us appreciate the one who gave them, and this motivates us to love him. Whiners do not love anyone...not even their miserable selves. [​IMG]

    They are too busy doing this... [​IMG] instead of doing this...[​IMG]
     
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  9. i've got questions

    i've got questions New Member

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    I can't accept the two differnt options as identical for the following resons :
    1. One loves god by participating in rituals etc , which have nothing to do with helping or loving others .
    2. Saying that those two are the same is like claiming every atheist , or member of other religion is unable to show love to other people.
    I dont say that the command itself is egoistic . It would be perfect fine with me if it was t oserve the purpose of helping and loving others . But the hierarchy jesus states , it seems like the opposite happens . And if humans are just a means to praise god , then how could he not be characterised as that when creating a world that works like this ?
    He seems like he tries to do so though ....


    Okay , talking with human terms might not be correct . But no matter how we choose to name that , how could a god that creates a world that grands good life to its creatures only via praising him be not egoism , when he is omnipotent and he would have acquired that with other ways too .
     
  10. Brickjectivity

    Brickjectivity Veteran Member
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    It depends on what you believe worship is, yes; and if you believe it means waving your hands and thinking nice thoughts about a far away being or speak nice things about someone who can't fart then I agree with you there. I presume that orthodoxy is designed to gradually bring children into a situation of spiritual maturity over time, so I don't think that its immediate outward teachings are an end to themselves. I would cut the church a little slack unless you are sure that the end and the beginning are the same. Children are very difficult to teach. They say what they think you want them to hear, but then getting them to process lessons and incorporate them is not that easy. So you start them out with stories, memorization, so and so; and then as they experience life and have something to attach all the words to then they can grow into them. Then you test them to see if they are progressing. You don't just presume that they are progressing. That's how I presume that it works. Otherwise I totally agree, because rituals are indeed shadowy and seem like a dance.

    In my church growing up they used to say "Praise the Lord" all the time, and I used to wonder why nobody ever stopped to think about how empty the sentence was. They literally seemed to think that saying "Praise the Lord" was praising the Lord. It never made sense to me. I really hope this isn't the situation with the orthodox, but I also really doubt it.
     
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  11. Deeje

    Deeje Avid Bible Student
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    What is the "hierarchy Jesus states"?....And how does one "praise God" according to your understanding?

    In the scriptures, God likens himself to a Father and we as his children. With this human understanding of our relationship, what are children supposed to do when their father issues a directive? Doesn't the father want his children to obey him? Is it an ego trip to expect them to? Or is it more a case of the father having his children's best interests at heart, being able to see pitfalls that his children may not be aware of? The directive is made out of love, not ego.

    If the children disobey and suffer unwanted consequences, then a valuable (and often painful) lesson is learned about the value of obedience to one older and wiser. We will never be older or wiser than our Heavenly Father, so obeying him is always in our best interests.

    He wants us to love him, it is true, but he cannot force free willed being to obey or to love him. Obedience out of fear is not what he desires, and feigned love in order to reap benefits, isn't either. There is a deceiver loose in the world who wants to discredit everything God has done and turn it into reason to doubt God's motives and his methods. Isn't this what he did with Eve? If perfect humans can fall for his deception, then imperfect one are easy to fool. Are we easy to fool? God can make us foolproof if we trust and obey him.

    God uses human terms in the scriptures, because to use anything else would not facilitate our purely human understanding. Jesus used parables with familiar settings to get many of his teaching points across.

    If you understand what God created in the beginning and how we lost it, you will see that he has been in the process of getting it back for us all this time.

    Because the first rebel was not human, he had to tackle the issues in universal time, not earth years. The whole scenario in Eden was as much about the obedience of God's angelic children as it was his human creation. Precedents are being set in both realms so that this situation can never happen again. No rebel will ever be able to challenge God's rightful Sovereignty in the infinite future.

    Only then can the Creator get on with whatever plans he has for this vast universe....and he has forever to do it.:)
     
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  12. Shiranui117

    Shiranui117 Pronounced Shee-ra-noo-ee
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    One can do both simultaneously. If you've paid close attention during the Divine Liturgy (or if your priest prays this part out loud), the Eucharist is offered for the sick and the suffering, living and the dead. As an altar server, I can tell you when the priest is cutting pieces of bread for the Eucharist during the Proskomedia before the Liturgy, every piece of the Eucharistic bread which is cut is cut for a person or people. The priest will name the sick of the parish, the clergy of the Church, the parish community, his family (Orthodox or otherwise), leaders of our government, the armed forces, the sick and the suffering, the needy poor... Whoever he has been asked to commemorate, or whoever he wishes to commemorate. In this way, all the living and all the dead are lifted up to God in the Eucharist, and are in some way made participants in it. You are also probably aware that during the Liturgy, at least a solid third of it is spent praying for others. There is no love of God without love of neighbor (1 John 4:20).

    God doesn't need humans to praise Him. All of creation does that already anyway--the sun, moon and stars, earth and sea, fire and wind, plants and animals, snow and hail, rain and frost. Psalm 148 and Luke 19:37-40 are proof of this. So let's nip that idea in the bud.

    To praise the God Who gives us all good things is only natural. If my doctor has really helped me come a long way, you'll bet that I'll give him a hearty thanks and recommend him to others. If I am invited over to his house for dinner, I'll be bringing gifts. God is our doctor (Mark 2:17).

    The almighty God wouldn't need to "try" to force us to love Him. It would just happen. Indeed, it is the Calvinist view that God changes our will to make us want to love Him. This is not the teaching of Orthodoxy. The fact that not every single person loves Him is proof that He doesn't force us to love Him. He lets us freely choose.

    Humans are social creatures. We need to be in communion with each other and with God. One of many sins that Adam committed in the Garden was cutting Himself off from everyone else by refusing to acknowledge the wrong he had done before God, and by throwing Eve under the bus.
     
  13. 74x12

    74x12 Well-Known Member

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    God is the embodiment of all the highest virtues. Just for a few examples; according to 1 John 4:16, God is love. In John 14:6, we see that He is the truth, and in Luke 18:19, it is made clear that God is good. In James 1:17, He is the Father of lights and the author of every good and perfect gift. Gal. 5:22-23 tells us some of the traits God's Spirit nurtures in others.

    The selfless motivation of God: True love is selfless. As it says in 1 Cor. 13:4-7 Charity(love) vaunteth not itself, and seeketh not her own. So, why would God seem to seek to glorify Himself, if He is selfless? The answer is simple. When love is exalted, it benefits the ones who exalt it. Whatever we love, we naturally become more and more like. So, when we worship love we become more loving. And love loves to see love reflected in us. So to love and hold in the highest esteem those things that God truly is; is very good for us.
     
  14. i've got questions

    i've got questions New Member

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    Ok , i see the educational purpose it can have and that's completely rational . Although all the scripts that are read in orthodox churches here in greece are in ancient greek so i doubt that so young ages can understand them . Despite that with the ideal dialogue between them and poarents this can truly be acquired, you are right . Although , and I don't know if that applies to other churches too ,"good" christians are expected to go to church on every sunday and major celebrations . I believe that there are people that might never visit church but still have a soul purer than everyone that does so ... Also the praying ,is concidered another form of praising the lord and showing its affection.

    By hierarchy i mean putting the love to God as the most important command and not the loving others. In my opinion , and according to all the preaching and teachings i happen to know , praising god includes really frequent participation in rituals and much praying in addition to every other actions of kindness towards others.

    Okay , i see your point here . But still , some parts of obeying him seem really egoistical. Why would we need to participate in rituals ,which aim at praising him ?
    Okay , i get that most of them include praying for others etc . but why would we need to asked for such things from a father that perfectly knows our needs before we do so ?



    Okay , that leads us to a huge other conversation . An omniscient god with endless power could have avoided puting the world in such state at the first place . We were created to be weak against sin , and he knew in advance about what was going to happen with his angelic children.Isn't it kind of irrational for a god to try to solve a problem he could have avoided at first ?



    I completyely agree he doesn't need that . And that's what makes it seem quite egoistical to me . I mean , if it comes natural why then not joining the rituals mean you are not showing him enough love ? I think its common in all christian branches that particiipation in the church is essential for salvation . If it doesn't come natuaral so , but you live a life full of love for the others why should you get punished ?

    Thanks for sharing your opinion . Okay , really nice point and i can agree that love towards him can make us better people . But the question is still the same ... Good people which just show their love to others and not to the god ? why would they then be punished ? And if its just a friendly advice for our improvement , why would one get pounished for not following it ?
     
  15. 74x12

    74x12 Well-Known Member

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    Well, I didn't say it was just friendly advice. It is commandments. However, I'm just trying to explain the reason for the commandment as best as I can.

    As for people who love others but don't love God. Why are they punished? Good question.

    First of all, according to Jesus; God judges people based on what knowledge they have. So God is very merciful to those who did wrong without knowing they did wrong. The problem is that everyone has a conscious and everyone at least sins against their conscious ... But, my point here is that the commandment to love God is mostly falling upon those of us who know of God and the gospel. How could you expect someone who has never heard of God to love God? So, let's get that out of the way first.

    Here are the reasons in my view why God commands this love to those of us who have heard. On top of the reasons I gave in my previous post.
    1. The Truth cannot lie: If God ever denied that He deserved our worship and veneration it would be an act of falsehood on His part. As was pointed out before; God's nature is also truth. Therefore, He cannot lie. And because of this, it is impossible for Him to deny that He really does deserve our worship. He cannot deny what He really is. (2 Tim. 2:13)
    2. Thankfulness: It is also important to be thankful for the things He has done for us. Again, thankfulness is a good virtue to have. God would not want us to be lacking in this particular virtue. If we were lacking in thankfulness, it would not be His loss, but our own loss. All these virtues that God would like to see in us, including thankfulness.

    So, God is the embodiment of all the highest virtues; and it is for our benefit, that He requires our worship, and God cannot deny that He truly deserves our praise. When everything else is said; God wants to restore us to what He intended us to be in the beginning. And those who are called by God and given knowledge of the gospel are meant to take places with the holy angels and all the saints who've gone before. They all love God so it's not too much to ask for us also.
     
  16. Deeje

    Deeje Avid Bible Student
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    What rituals are you speaking about? I m not really aware of any "rituals" that Christ imposed on his disciples...though I see quite a few in the churches, depending on the denomination.

    Again, I am unaware of these rituals......please specify them.

    Praising God is an expression of genuine gratitude....a grateful heart does not need to be prompted to offer it....it just comes naturally. If it needs to be prompted, it is a sign that we aren't genuinely grateful.

    When we rely on God and not others or ourselves, this is demonstrated by our prayers, It isn't that God needs us to ask for him to comply, but it shows that we trust him as a person who keeps his word for his worshipers. Prayer is a heart talking to God, not just a mind.

    This wasn't my quote but I will respond anyway....you seem to be laboring under the misapprehension that we must earn salvation by "participation in the church". I am not quite sure I understand what you mean by "participation in the church"? Can you elaborate?

    I attended the Anglican church for the first 20 odd years of my life. The services were boring and made little sense to me as the teachings were not relevant to me as a person. I wanted answers to my many questions which were never forthcoming. I was made to feel like I was doing something wrong if I questioned any of their doctrines. The fact is, they had no answers and didn't want to be seen as inept, so they put the blame on me to cover themselves.

    I left the church completely disillusioned by their superficial veneer of righteousness....and inability to answer what I considered to be the important questions.
    But the need to know never went away. I never left God, even though I left the church. He found me a while later. :) Now I have had all my questions answered and I know what I have always wanted to know....but none of it came from the "church". It came from the Bible.
     
  17. Deeje

    Deeje Avid Bible Student
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    Since this is an interesting subject but is outside of the thread's topic, would you like to explore this issue in a new thread?
    I would be happy to participate. :)
     
  18. i've got questions

    i've got questions New Member

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    To begin with , I wish merry christmas to all of you and hope you will spend this day with people you love having fun ! :)
    Thanks for your answer . I understand what you mean but i have 2 points i kind of oppose with what you said . 1st) Recognising he deserves our worshiping is different than commanding us to offer it . For example , a brilliant mind could undesrand its superiority against others but , its owner could ve severely critised of he demanded others to recognise it and actively show their inferiority , no ? Also , Jesus preached about modesty . Isn't it kind of contradicting for him then to demand worshiping ?
    2nd) I dont think this way , inculcation of thankfulness is achieved . The point of thankfulnes , is to feel grateful and want to return the favour not because the one who helped you asks for it but because it is just what your conscious desires.
    Again , as I answered to deejee , creating a word that improves us only via His worshiping can seem as a somehow egotical act by his side .

    I am talking about the liturgy and other religious services like the vesper etc .
    And , I dont know if it is part of other christianity's branches but here in orthodox church , its really important for our salvation to participate in these services , and that's what I mean so . I share your opinion about church not being identical with the God, but at least here it seems somehow essential and that seems really , hum, pointless sometimes .
    About the prayers now , i find logic in what they represent , but for me the value of prayers hide in the fact that the person feels the need for that communication with God , and again doesn't do that just because God wants too.

    I think my other thread : How could an omniscient , omnipotent god of love create sin ? covers that topic . You have already participated .


    Also sorry if my words are kind of inaccurate sometimes or if misinterpretation is easy , but my mother tongue is not english . I am glad you show such understanding :)
     
  19. Deeje

    Deeje Avid Bible Student
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    You will have to forgive me, but not having been raised with Catholic teachings or practices, I am only coming from a Protestant upbringing. I had to look up the liturgy and vesper and many other Catholic terminologies that are unfamiliar to me as they are not Biblical.

    vespers | Definition, History, & Practice

    In my research, it has astounded me how very far removed the "Christian" church of today is from the one founded by Jesus Christ....in fact it is so far removed so as to be unrecognizable. There were no such things as liturgy or vesper in original Christianity. It was a simple religion with just two laws and no rituals. It was not attached to fine buildings with awe inspiring architecture and it had no priesthood in distinctive garb officiating at their gatherings....because they were not Jewish. They had totally separated from that old corrupted system of worship. For Christians, their priesthood was to be in a future heavenly kingdom. (Revelation 20:6) All met together for praise and worship and to learn about the teachings of Jesus Christ. (Hebrews 10:24-25) There was no ritual or repetitive prayers or repeated performances. True Christian worship is not about 'performance'. Its about how you live your life every day in imitation of Jesus.

    After Jesus' death, men tried to put their own spin on Jesus' teachings, but the presence of the apostles kept them from influencing the flock too much until the final part of the scriptures were written by the last surviving apostle, John. After his death, the foretold "weeds" of false Christianity began to take over, as Jesus had warned. Apparently as the years rolled on and men decided to jazz up their worship to suit their own tastes, they followed a more Jewish model without asking whether it was appropriate to do so. Jesus had kept it simple for a reason....look what the embellishments did to the Pharisees! They had their special title (Rabbi) and they had distinctive garments to identify them as separate from the flock. They liked to have the first place at meals and to be looked up to as superior to the uneducated masses. They curried the favor of the rich and basically ignored the poor......Jesus did exactly the opposite. He held no power over anyone even though he was the son of God. He made allowance for the imperfections of his apostles and patiently taught them to develop qualities that would make them more like their teacher, who was himself a reflection of their God.

    To blindly follow religious tradition without doing your own research is foolish. The majority of the Jews rejected Jesus for that very reason. They believed their religious leaders and saw Jesus as a fake messiah. What made the apostles reject the teachings of the Pharisees and follow this humble man of little means? (John 6:44)

    The Pharisees attributed Jesus miraculous powers to "beelzebub" (the leader of the demons) so even his miracles were not enough to impress those who were influenced by the religious leaders. (Luke 11:14-23)


    Yes I found it, thank you. :)

     
  20. Faithofchristian

    Faithofchristian Well-Known Member

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    As to where do you get, That God preaching about fighting in the New Testament. Can you give scriptural evidence of this in the New Testaments?

    If a person fights, They are not doing anything wrong in defending themselves or their family.
     
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