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Featured Love your enemies. Really!?!

Discussion in 'Interfaith Discussion' started by Mark Dohle, Sep 5, 2018.

  1. Mark Dohle

    Mark Dohle Well-Known Member

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    [​IMG]

    Love your enemies. Really!?!

    When we get it, we lose it,
    gods can be messy beings,
    just us in bigger form,
    best to let it go and love the mystery.



    When I read the Scriptures, both the Old and the New Testament, I have more in common with what is going on in the time before Christ. When I read the words of Jesus, especially the Sermon on the Mount, and on the Plain, I will often feel lost. I read it, ponder it, pray about it, yet I know that I still don’t get it, or to put it in a better way, my heart is too small to absorb the living waters.

    Love your enemies. Really!?! Do good, to those who abuse me, steal from me! All righty then! Now when I read about David, Saul, Moses, who were men of God….I get them. I can see myself like Moses, killing someone and burying the body in the sand. Or David, in a fit of lust, getting rid of the husband, if I had the power, so I could ‘own’ the wife…….thank God I do not have that kind of power. Or Moses, doubting God’s Word. My heart is like theirs, and they were men of God, much more so than I am, or perhaps ever will be. Or Saul, knowing better than God, what is the best thing to do.

    I get Jonah, who became angry because God did not destroy thousands of men, women, and children, for his entertainment, as he watched from a safe distance, waiting for God to do what he (Jonah), would do, kill them, damn them, tortured them. Yet, God said, how can I desire the death of those who do not know their right hand, from their left? They are just like me, these people of Nineveh, I am often confused and in a fog, wandering through a life that often makes no sense to me. Reacting, not responding, and being asleep.

    To love my neighbor as myself. Not sure I love myself. Yet I am commanded to do so. How does that happen? The self-love that Jesus talks about, that leads to the love of others, is not something I have seen in many Christians, let alone in myself. I pray for this kind of love, and I believe that each day grace is bringing me closer to that reality…..until then, I stumble along, in hope, and the desire to be free of myself.

    Christians (well me) can be racist, abusers, adulterers, cheats, murderers, corrupt, blind to their own faults, and yet get prissy when they hear about the ‘sin’ of someone else, who does not sin in the way they do. I find it easy to get angry over people who are weak in areas that I am not, but easy on those who are like me……though one can always be a hypocrite, and pretend to be upset. Yes, we are a mess, but a mess, a chaotic mess, loved by God. Now that is the mystery.

    We are loved, no matter what, everyone, without exception. When talking about being ‘lost’, we each have our own ideas about that. The more lost, as long as it is someone else, the better, for that way I can be special! Well, what if every human being is special, and loved by God the way we are or hope to be. How do we process that? How do we get our hearts to expand, to become more human, and to not fear the pain that comes with being vulnerable, the way Christ Jesus was, and still is.

    I guess the answer is……we wait. We pray, we hope, and we love anyway, even if we don’t always feel it, we can at least begin to understand that the person before us, the messy, smelly, obnoxious, or the beautiful, rich intelligent, funny, human, shows us, Christ Jesus.


    Really! Yes really!!

    So where am I? Still trying to get it, pray about it, get up when I fall, and just live the day, and not worry about the morrow. I do believe that we are all in the palm of God’s hands, no matter what many in my faith try to tell me otherwise. Jesus is a true revelation of God’s Infinite love, and it will always be that, no matter how many walls we try to put up around this truth, or like Jonah, on some level, really want to be entertained by the death and destruction of those ‘hated’ by God. The problem is, no one is hated by God, but only loved……now what do we do with that? Still working on that, but grace works deeper and in secret, in that is our hope, the unrelenting love of God as shown us in Christ Jesus.

    Well, it gives me hope for myself and in that for everyone. Get through the day, or this moment, seeking to do the most loving thing to what is before me. If that is sought, well ones inner life will slowly fall into place, because the seeking after love, is a response to graces inviatation.—Br.MD
     
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  2. nPeace

    nPeace Well-Known Member

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    Very interesting post.
    I love the picture. It's very touching, although I am not sure the girl isn't more comfortable without shoes. Some persons tend to prefer going barefoot.

    However, I would sum up the way I see it, with this one text.
    John 14:6, 7
    6Jesus said to him: “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. 7If you men had known me, you would have known my Father also; from this moment on you know him and have seen him.”

    That one text reveals a fundamental truth.
    Jesus is the way - the way to the father, the truth - the truth of the father, and the life - the life from the father.


    This reveals that formally mankind was separated from these. The way of love was not known.

    Edited:
    I should have mentioned that this explains why it is / was easier for humans to do the things you mentioned - steal, rape, murder...
    Therefore, those who follow the way, do not practice those things. They become changed at heart. Ephesians 2:1, 2; 4:20-6:20

    Expanding on the text...

    The Jews understood the "Old Testament" was about the provision for salvation (the Messiah) from man's separation from God, and life - everlasting life.

    Matthew 22:16 . . .So they sent their disciples to him, together with party followers of Herod, saying: “Teacher, we know you are truthful and teach the way of God in truth, and you do not seek anyone’s favor, for you do not look at the outward appearance of people.

    Mark 1:3 . . .A voice of one crying out in the wilderness: ‘Prepare the way of Jehovah! Make his roads straight.’”

    Mark 10:42-45
    42 But Jesus called them to him and said to them: “You know that those who appear to be ruling the nations lord it over them and their great ones wield authority over them. 43This must not be the way among you; but whoever wants to become great among you must be your minister, 44 and whoever wants to be first among you must be the slave of all. 45 For even the Son of man came, not to be ministered to, but to minister and to give his life as a ransom in exchange for many.”

    This was the message of all the prophets. They all prophesied about the Messiah - the means of salvation... the way to God and life.

    Luke 1:67-79
    67 Then Zechariah his father was filled with holy spirit, and he prophesied, saying: 68“Let Jehovah be praised, the God of Israel, because he has turned his attention to his people and has brought them deliverance. 69And he has raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of David his servant, 70 just as he has spoken through the mouth of his holy prophets from of old, 71of a salvation from our enemies and from the hand of all those hating us; 72to show mercy in connection with our forefathers and to call to mind his holy covenant, 73the oath that he swore to Abraham our forefather, 74to grant us, after we have been rescued from the hands of enemies, the privilege of fearlessly rendering sacred service to him 75with loyalty and righteousness before him all our days. 76 But as for you, young child, you will be called a prophet of the Most High, for you will go ahead of Jehovah to prepare his ways, 77to give knowledge of salvation to his people by forgiveness of their sins, 78because of the tender compassion of our God. With this compassion a daybreak will visit us from on high, 79to give light to those sitting in darkness and death’s shadow and to guide our feet in the way of peace.”

    Concerning John the baptist, who prepared the way of the Messiah.
    Luke 3:3-6
    3 So he went into all the country around the Jordan, preaching baptism in symbol of repentance for forgiveness of sins, 4 just as it is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet: “A voice of one crying out in the wilderness: ‘Prepare the way of Jehovah! Make his roads straight. 5 Every valley must be filled up, and every mountain and hill leveled; the crooked ways must become straight, and the rough ways smooth; 6 and all flesh will see the salvation of God.’”

    This is the backbone of the Bible's message that started from Genesis, and ran right through to Revelation.
    This message cannot be learned in one sitting. It takes weeks, but once one get's the message, the pieces of the puzzle falls into place to form a beautiful picture.


    What Is the Bible's Message?
     
    #2 nPeace, Sep 5, 2018
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2018
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  3. JoshuaTree

    JoshuaTree Flowers are red?

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    Loving your enemy (Or loving your neighbor as yourself) makes no sense unless/until you come to the realization through the gift of faith that God is in absolute control of all that was, all that is, and all that ever shall be at which point we see the perfection of God's plan and realize sin death and the power of the devil never really were. :)
     
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  4. sun rise

    sun rise "This is the Hour of God"
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    I read that as a fundamental truth that we are not in reality separate beings at our core even though we experience that separateness. Add to that Matt 25:40's statement that what we do for the "least" we do for God and we have a statement that we are all "drops" in the Ocean which is God and the challenge that we should do our best to put that Truth into practice as much as we can given our shortcomings and limitations.
     
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  5. sayak83

    sayak83 Well-Known Member
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    I don't have enemies. :)
     
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  6. Twilight Hue

    Twilight Hue Twilight, not bright nor dark, good nor bad.

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    Loving your enemy will depend upon what exactly your enemy is doing to you at any given moment in time.
     
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  7. stvdv

    stvdv Veteran Member

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    Love Thy neighbor as Thy Self. This has the clue in it IMO. In Hinduism "Thy Self" is called Atma. The goal of life is to realize that we are Atma and not body
    We need not love the actions done by the body of the enemies, even Jesus kicked the bodies out of the temple

    But on the cross He said "Forgive them Father for they do not "Know" what they do". Again meaning "Self Knowledge"
    Finally Jesus said "My Father and I are one". That moment Jesus realized that He is Atma, Self Realized.

    We can not always oblige (their actions) but we can always speak obligingly (knowing they are different from their actions)

    But I agree, this is not easy when emotions run fast through us. At least in theory the above makes sense to me. Now just daily practice.

    May God Bless us All with Self Knowledge
     
    #7 stvdv, Sep 5, 2018
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2018
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  8. Twilight Hue

    Twilight Hue Twilight, not bright nor dark, good nor bad.

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    Wouldn't the devil be God's enemy? The premise of loving your enemy comes across as convoluted in terms of how loving your enemy should be approached.

    Loving your enemy comes across as a noble and virtuous thing , and it is. Yet it appears even nobility and virtue has its threshold even from within the Christian scriptures.
     
  9. metis

    metis aged ecumenical anthropologist

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    In regards to the OP, it's "Hate the sin, not the sinner".
     
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  10. BSM1

    BSM1 What? Me worry?

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    From the picture you can't tell if the old guy is giving her his shoes or taking her shoes. Most of our lives are lived in subjectivity.
     
  11. nPeace

    nPeace Well-Known Member

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    I can tell he is giving, by the size of the shoes, and the position of the shoes, and her feet.
    Isn't that how most of science is done?
    The only way we can know for sure, is if the video is rolling, and gives us the picture.
     
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  12. BSM1

    BSM1 What? Me worry?

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    Exactly.
     
  13. nPeace

    nPeace Well-Known Member

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    Great! So I am not necessarily right, even though I try to fill the gaps as best I can. Thank you.
     
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  14. stvdv

    stvdv Veteran Member

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    Oh yes you can tell very clearly from the picture that he is giving. Just watch the girl [don't feel bad; I have been in India 10 years so I have some experience with shoes exchange owners]
     
    #14 stvdv, Sep 5, 2018
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  15. Hockeycowboy

    Hockeycowboy Well-Known Member
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    Very informative! Very useful!

    Good job.
     
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  16. nPeace

    nPeace Well-Known Member

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    Thanks bro. :thumbsup:
     
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  17. BSM1

    BSM1 What? Me worry?

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    Assumption is not necessarily truth.
     
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  18. nPeace

    nPeace Well-Known Member

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    [​IMG]
     
  19. Mark Dohle

    Mark Dohle Well-Known Member

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    God loves all. For evil, the fire of God's love is painful. Love of enemies means not be dragged into violence, vengence, and the endless cycle of suffering. This can be achieved only be grace, allowing God's love to increase, while we decrease. Our heart becomes the Heart of Christ Jesus. A slow growth, over a lifetime.

    Peace
    Mark
     
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  20. Mark Dohle

    Mark Dohle Well-Known Member

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    Yes daily practice, often beginning over after a set back.
     
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