Reducing Christianity To a (non) Christian Maxim.
We have heard the same maxim a zillion times from Americans who say they Christian as well as those who say they not.
Love God and love your neighbour; and that is it in a nutshell.
In this scenario they reduce Christianity to six pithy words. Who needs theology, right? Yet people still balk at the claim so many are scripturally illiterate and like it that way.
Fairly recently another Christian writer joined in the not much of a story but what a cast chorus line. If only all Christians would just do that, everything would fall into place and a lot of our problems would go away.
It did not end there either.
To the author this particular love dictum should oppose the sort of “Bible Knowledge” that many Evangelicals grew up expecting was going to be their salvation.
The gist of all this is the author asserts ‘that their gospel’ needs to give way to this new one of “love.”
The writer gets it wrong on so many levels; it’s hard to know where to begin.
Love God and love your neighbour is not gospel by any means, but a command that cannot be thrown out in a vacuum, it has context. Jesus Christ broke it down saying; if you observe these two commands you will keep the entire requirements of the law, that is, the 10 Commandments. Further, one can split the 10 down to one’s duty to God and one’s duty to neighbour.
And while this is good to know this is not the gospel message, in fact it is not a Christian message either but one geared to a Jewish audience.
J.C.’s mission on earth was to minister to Jews and to expand their understanding of both the letter and the spirit of the law. And hope they would believe He was the Messiah.
This contemporary ‘faux gospel’ is not a gospel at all but a lens through which to interpret weighty laws which makes one wonder if these people understand the implications of what they say.
No they don’t, because it is reduced to superficial words they can’t get a handle on.
They define love as some vague concept of going along. That is conformity; not love.
Many also miss that Christianity is a covenant religion. One either accepts the terms of the agreement or not.
Prophecy tells of a time when people will reject the New Covenant but still borrow the name of Jesus Christ to support whatever idea they hope to promote. We are here if you do not already know.
One prominent American poet has a different take on all this love your neighbour stuff; and thinks there are political limits to that rule. Or at least there should be. Well she is being honest, no?
In an interview the poet admits her students are reticent to talk about race, and thinks that they shouldn’t be, because none of them own slaves now or anything.
But she also thinks that an end to abortion will amount to the enslavement of all American women. Women, she says; will be the new Blacks.
But the part that was really surprising was her answer to the question of whether there could be any redemption for Kyle Rittenhouse. No. I don’t think there’s any hope of redemption for him. One of the reasons is as a Christian; I know that Jesus didn’t love everybody.
In support of her argument she refers to the two thieves who were crucified along with Jesus. You can’t assume every fool is going to be saved. That is because they are not.
She does make a point. But this isn’t the modern trope now is it; the one that says Jesus accepts everybody and so on.
But what about empathy; asked the interviewer.
I don’t think empathy is a burden, and I’m not trying to say who deserves it. I’m saying that I can’t. If God says, “Nikki, I have got to write this check on you because you hate,” I would say, “I understand, because I do hate.” I hate Donald Trump. I hate what he’s done to our nation. So I will pay for my hatred. I don’t mind.
And there’s that political thing again.