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Offline NyawehNyoh

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What Is Love?
« on: Sun Jul 28, 2019 - 20:00:21 »
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John 13:35 . . By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.

For many of us who grew up in dysfunctional families, broken homes, foster systems, gangs, and/or orphanages et al; the concept of love doesn't resonate in our thinking; viz: it just goes in one ear and right out the other because we quite literally have no points of reference in our minds to aid comprehending what Christ means by love. We know what Hollywood and contemporary music mean by love, but we haven't a clue what Christ means.

This is why the epistles are so valuable-- many of them not only show Christ's followers how to recognize love when they encounter it; but also how to exemplify it in their own lives so that those of us who were deprived of love growing up are not left to figure it out on our own. For example:

Col 4:6 . . Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt

Grace can be defined as kind, courteous, inclined to good will, generous, charitable, altruistic, compassionate, sympathetic, thoughtful, cordial, affable, genial, sociable, cheerful, warm, sensitive, hospitable, considerate, and tactful.

One of salt's purposes is to enhance flavor and make otherwise naturally insipid and/or bad-tasting things palatable, viz: diplomacy; which can be roughly defined as conversation that makes an effort to maintain peace rather than provoke conflict and/or annoy people and make them uncomfortable.
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What Is Love?
« on: Sun Jul 28, 2019 - 20:00:21 »

Offline NyawehNyoh

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Re: What Is Love?
« Reply #1 on: Mon Jul 29, 2019 - 23:09:45 »
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Col 3:15b . . Be thankful.

You know "thank you" is not a dirty word. Christ's people should never take the attitude that just because somebody is doing their job that they don't deserve recognition.

One of my favorite romantic comedies is "No Reservations" starring Catherine Zeta-Jones and Aaron Eckhart. Prior to filming, Catherine took a job waiting tables to get a feel for working in a restaurant.

On several occasions, patrons didn't even look up at her nor speak in a cordial, courteous tone when they ordered. It struck her as remarkable that some of the people whom she was serving totally took her for granted and displayed not the slightest inclination to even so much as acknowledge her as a fellow human being, let alone express their gratitude for her taking care of them.
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Offline NyawehNyoh

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Re: What Is Love?
« Reply #2 on: Tue Jul 30, 2019 - 10:35:03 »
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Matt 5:7 . . Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.

Christ wasn't talking about forgiveness in that beatitude. The word for "merciful" is eleemon (el-eh-ay'-mone) which means: compassionate (as an adjective). And the word for "mercy" is eleeo (el-eh-eh'-o) which means: to pity (as a verb).

So then, what Christ says is: if somebody is by nature cruel, hard hearted, thoughtless, and insensitive; then they will get no sympathy from God.

Webster's defines "cruel" as: (1) disposed to inflict pain or suffering, (2) devoid of humane feelings, (3) causing or conducive to injury, grief, or pain, and (4) unrelieved by leniency.

A well-known example of cruelty is North Korea's Kim Jong-Un, a dictator who squanders billions of dollars on national defense while the growth of something like than 30 to 40 percent of North Korea's children is stunted by malnutrition; and adequate health care is available only to a relatively privileged few. There are actually hospitals in North Korea without electricity, medications, and anesthetics. Potable water is another scarcity in North Korea.

But Kim is a red herring because there are cruelties far more common than his; for example: demeaning comments, thoughtless remarks, carping criticism, relentless ridicule, bullying, sniping, denigrating labels, hounding, stalking, grudging, needling, perpetual fault-finding, gossip, slander, social sabotage, obnoxious behavior, computer hacking, rejoinders, et al.

There are actually kids growing up in homes where their parents never give them even one atta-boy. As a result, they grow up feeling ugly, unwanted, stupid, useless, and unnecessary. There are also kids growing up in homes where mothers never hug them nor bother to take the time to forge a bond between mother and child. Thus they grow up with reactive attachment disorder; feeling convinced that no one could possibly ever love them or be their best friend forever. RAD kids grow up to become adults with some serious trust issues.
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Offline NyawehNyoh

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Re: What Is Love?
« Reply #3 on: Wed Jul 31, 2019 - 18:16:59 »
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Eph 4:32 . . Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.

(chuckle) that resembles a line from one of Bill And Ted's adventure movies: "Be excellent to each other"

Within the context of the letter Paul wrote and sent to the Christians residing in the ancient city of Ephesus; the objects "one another" and "each other" are exclusive; viz: the comments refer only to one's fellow Bible-believing Christians rather than the world at large. So if you're unwilling to be kind and compassionate to outsiders; at least be so with people at church so as to help prevent church from becoming a hostile worship environment.

The koiné Greek word for "kind" is chrestos (khrase-tos') which means: employed; viz: useful.

Chrestos is found in only seven places in the New Testament, and without exception implies being beneficial to others for their own good rather than using people to benefit your own self.

The word for "compassionate" is eusplagchnos (yoo'-splangkh-nos) which means: sympathetic.

Webster's defines sympathy as: 1) an affinity, association, or relationship between persons or things wherein whatever affects one similarly affects the other, 2) inclination to think or feel alike: emotional or intellectual accord, 3) feeling of loyalty: tendency to favor or support, 4) the act, or capacity, of entering into or sharing the feelings or interests of another, 5) sensitivity, and 6) heart; as in "have a heart".

The word "forgiving" is charizomai (khar-id'-zom-ahee) which essentially means: to grant as a favor; viz: gratuitously, i.e. courtesy.

Webster's defines gratuitous as: 1) given unearned or without recompense, 2) not involving a return benefit or compensation or consideration, 3) costing nothing: free, 4) not called for by the circumstances: unwarranted, 5) complimentary, 6) gratis, and 7) voluntary. In other words; charizomai seeks no reciprocation; it never says "you owe me one"

Sailors are oft heard to say that the sea is very unforgiving: meaning it allows no room for error or weakness. Christians ought not be like the sea. We ought to be the most forgiving people on the planet; and not because we expect others to reciprocate; but just because we enjoy being gratuitous. For some Christians though, courtesy is an effort.

Eph 4:31-32 isn't easy. What we're looking at there is not just good citizenship; no, what we're looking at is something divine in both its nature and its behavior.

Phil 2:1-2 . . If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies, fulfill ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.

The koiné Greek word for "bowels" is splagchnon (splangkh'-non) which means: an intestine. Your gut is the very place where you "feel" pity and/or sympathy for others-- that is; if you're capable of those kinds of feelings; not everyone is.
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Offline NyawehNyoh

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Re: What Is Love?
« Reply #4 on: Thu Aug 01, 2019 - 11:19:11 »
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Matt 12:9-12 . . And departing from there, he went into their synagogue. And behold, there was a man with a withered hand. And they questioned him, saying: Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?-- in order that they might accuse him.

. . . And he said to them: What man shall there be among you, who shall have one sheep, and if it falls into a pit on the Sabbath, will he not take hold of it, and lift it out? Of how much more value then is a man than a sheep!

I didn't select that passage in order to start a discussion about Sabbath law. My interest is in the importance that people place upon beasts in comparison to the importance that Christ places upon human life.

One of the salient characteristics of psychopathy is that people afflicted with it can form bonds and attachments to animals much easier than bonds and attachments with people; viz: they're usually capable of feeling affection for animals, while curiously incapable of feeling an equal amount for humans. It's not all that unusual to find psychopaths taking better care of their pets than the families under their own roofs.
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Re: What Is Love?
« Reply #4 on: Thu Aug 01, 2019 - 11:19:11 »



Offline Wycliffes_Shillelagh

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Re: What Is Love?
« Reply #5 on: Thu Aug 01, 2019 - 13:59:50 »
What is Love?

Baby, don't hurt me... don't hurt me, no more...

::peeking::

Offline NyawehNyoh

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Re: What Is Love?
« Reply #6 on: Fri Aug 02, 2019 - 11:34:09 »
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Rom 12:7a . . If your gift is that of serving others, serve them well.

"serving well" implies serving conscientiously and whole-heartedly rather than half-baked, grudging, and/or hit and miss.

One of my brothers has been a construction foreman for decades and one of his perpetual complaints is that he never knows from one day to the next whether some of the men he hires on jobs will show up. In other words: they aren't reliable-- he can't count on them.

What I'm saying is: if you're thinking about becoming helpful in some way, don't do it unless you're willing to commit to the long haul because people need to know that they can depend on you to stay the course.
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Offline NyawehNyoh

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Re: What Is Love?
« Reply #7 on: Sat Aug 03, 2019 - 11:42:54 »
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Rom 12:8a . . If your gift is to encourage others, then do so.

You know who really benefits from encouragement in a big way? Little kids. Thoughtless grown-ups can break a growing child's fragile spirit by criticizing them all the time and never once giving them an "atta boy" or a single vote of confidence.

A fitting word spoken at just the right moment can really beef up somebody's resolve to meet life head on. If you're good at that sort of thing, then watch for opportunities among your fellow Christians to do so. It has to be honest though because flattery is all the same as treachery.

Prov 29:5 . .Whoever flatters his neighbor is spreading a net for his feet.
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Offline NyawehNyoh

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Re: What Is Love?
« Reply #8 on: Sun Aug 04, 2019 - 16:21:28 »
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Rom 12:8b . . If you have money, share it generously.

Generously is quite the opposite of sparingly.

Jesus once compared a widow's contributions to those of the wealthy. The small amount she gave counted more than the larger amounts contributed by the wealthy because her donation pretty much cleaned her out; while the wealthy's contributions scarcely made a dent in their prosperity. (Mark 12:41-44)

I don't think Rom 12:8b is commanding Christ's followers to ruin themselves, rather, to avoid being miserly.

“Christmas is a poor excuse every 25th of December to pick a man's pockets.”

Scrooge / A Christmas Carol / Charles Dickens

Ol' Scrooge is known the world over as the king of tightwads. He's an extreme example, to be sure; most people aren't that grasping, but I think quite a few are maybe a bit too frugal.
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Offline NyawehNyoh

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Re: What Is Love?
« Reply #9 on: Mon Aug 05, 2019 - 10:36:08 »
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Rom 12:8 . . If you have a gift for showing kindness to others, do it gladly.

That would probably correspond to incidents like the one depicted in the parable of the man attacked by road agents in Luke 10:30-36. In that instance, a passerby had the skills and the wherewithal to provide care for a total stranger in need.

Personally, I'm not much at first aid and/or emergency medical services. But what we're getting at here is that should you find yourself in circumstances where you can be of genuine, effective assistance; don't lend a hand grudging. It ought to make Christians happy to be of assistance instead of getting irritated and grumpy about an unexpected inconvenience.

A solo Pacific Crest Trail hiker named Cheryl Strayed, in her book "WILD", recounts an evening wherein she was very low on funds and having no luck locating a suitable place in the woods to set up her tent before it got really dark. Cheryl found her way into a fee campground and set up at the extreme end of the facility where she thought no one would mind; but later that night the caretakers came by and, in a not-so-friendly tone, insisted that she either pay the $12 fee or break camp and leave.

The "Christian" thing to do would have been to take Cheryl's I.O.U. and loan her the fee instead of forcing a woman to wander out into the pitch black forest all alone at night. The PCT is dangerous enough in daytime, but night is much worse, even with a strong camper's headlamp.


NOTE: The law is the law and rules are rules, that's true but according to Jesus' teachings; there are instances when human need-- e.g. health, safety, and welfare --come first. His hard-hearted, strictly by-the-book religious opponents just couldn't get that through their thick skulls. (cf. Ex 1:15-21)
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Offline NyawehNyoh

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Re: What Is Love?
« Reply #10 on: Tue Aug 06, 2019 - 10:02:28 »
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Rom 12:9a . . Don't just pretend that you love others.

Webster's defines "pretense" as fiction, make-believe, and/or simulation. Ironically, pretense is foundational to ordinary civility and common courtesy. But when it comes to love; Christians should never put on a front. In other words: don't lead someone on to believe you care about them when in reality you don't. That's not only dishonest; it's cruel.

I once asked a rather incompetent Sunday school teacher, in so many words, whether feelings play a role in Christianity. He said that feelings are emotions and therefore insignificant. Well; I have to disagree.

Col 3:12 . . Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies

The koiné Greek word for "bowels" in that passage is splagchnon (splangkh'-non) which basically refers to one's intestines; i.e. the tummy; which says to me that bowels of mercies are emotions rather than just good manners.

In other words: real love isn't a non emotional academic concept; it contains things like pity, sympathy, empathy, compassion, thoughtfulness, and sensitivity. Real love is easily mimicked, but not all that easy to feel; especially by people who, by nature, are more monster than human.
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Offline NyawehNyoh

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Re: What Is Love?
« Reply #11 on: Wed Aug 07, 2019 - 12:31:07 »
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Rom 12:10a . . Love each other with genuine affection

Real affection is easy to imitate, but not so easy to duplicate. Going through the motions is just not the same as feeling the feelings.

There are people in this world who, by nature, are affection-challenged. They can't even feel anything for their own children, let alone other people. For them, parenting is a nightmare rather than a dream come true. Their children are a burden rather than a blessing. Children ruin those parents' lives instead of brightening them up and making their lives more worth the living.

However, affection-challenged people aren't entirely hopeless because Christianity isn't a do-it-yourself religion; it's a supernatural religion.

Rom 8:11 . . If the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His spirit, who lives in you.

Some might argue that verse is talking about the future. Well; their argument is okay as far as it goes, but doesn't go far enough. It's futile to resurrect a mortal body because it would be still be mortal; i.e. vulnerable to disease, aging, and death. No, the "life" that Rom 8:11 is talking about is a benefit package defined as the fruit of the Spirit; spoken of in Gal 5:19-25. One of the benefits in that package is love.

A heads up to affection-challenged people: The fruit of the Spirit is inconvenient. It will make you a better human being, but it will also make you pretty uncomfortable at times too because love gets into your heart and makes you sensitive, compassionate, and empathetic . . . for real.

People who've never felt those kinds of feelings before would be overwhelmed were love to come upon them in full power. Fortunately the fruit of the Spirit doesn't come on people all at once; instead, the fruit sort of grows on people a little at a time; sort of like gradually bringing a frog up to the boiling point by starting him out in cold water.

Of course the process is lethal to the frog; but I'm only using the doomed amphibian as an analogy rather than a reality. The fruit of the Spirit is life rather than death. So the fruit gradually brings people up from a cold dead heart to a warm living heart.


NOTE: The fruit of the Spirit isn't a particularly Christian thing. It was predicted for the Jews many, many years prior to the New Testament in Ezekiel 36:24-27.
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Offline NyawehNyoh

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Re: What Is Love?
« Reply #12 on: Thu Aug 08, 2019 - 09:52:25 »
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Rom 12:10b . . Honor others over yourselves.

Christians infected with narcissistic personality disorder will find that rule difficult, if not impossible, to obey. It's a mental condition characterized by a grandiose sense of self-importance, a need for excessive admiration, exploitive behavior in relationships, and a lack of empathy.

Narcissistic people are by nature insufferably arrogant, self-absorbed, indifferent, and insensitive. They see nothing wrong with their behavior, nor are they attuned to its impact on others. Were you to confront narcissistic folk with your concerns about their attitude; be prepared for a counterattack because they'll no doubt become indignant and defensive; possibly accusing you of selfishness, jealousy, overreaction, hysteria, and unloving behavior. You see; they're never the problem: you are.

As I was watching a recent series on the National Geographic channel about geniuses; it became readily apparent to me that people in the genius category crave recognition. Albert Einstein and Pablo Picasso are two very good examples. Their contributions to art and science were secondary to their ambitions for greatness. I wouldn't say that all geniuses are like that of course, but apparently the desire for greatness is not uncommon among them.

I should think that most alpha achievers would have trouble complying Rom 12:10b too. I mean. why be a winner if not to feel superior to everyone else? The alpha achiever's motto is: It's not enough to succeed: everyone else must fail.

Feelings of value are important to everyone's sense of well being, but the alpha achiever feels only himself to be of any real value; in his mind's eye, those "below" him are of little worth, i.e. expendable and/or a dime a dozen. (cf. Est 6:6, Matt 27:26, Mark 12:38 39, and 3John 1:9)
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Offline NyawehNyoh

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Re: What Is Love?
« Reply #13 on: Fri Aug 09, 2019 - 11:30:30 »
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Rom 12:13a . . Share with God's people who are in need.

The Jews are God's people in accordance with an unconditional covenant that He made with Abraham. (Gen 17:7-8)


NOTE: Nazi Germany was very nearly 99% Christian. Had they all complied with Rom 12:13a, the effects of the Holocaust would've no doubt been greatly reduced.
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Offline NyawehNyoh

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Re: What Is Love?
« Reply #14 on: Sun Aug 11, 2019 - 16:23:50 »
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Rom 12:13b . . Practice hospitality.

Webster's defines hospitable as: (1) given to generous and cordial reception of guests, (2) promising or suggesting generous and cordial welcome, (3) offering a pleasant or sustaining environment.

In other words; a hospitable person is civil, courteous, thoughtful, easy on one's nerves, helpful, approachable, accommodating, and relaxing to be with.
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Offline NyawehNyoh

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Re: What Is Love?
« Reply #15 on: Mon Aug 12, 2019 - 16:09:46 »
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Rom 12:14 . . Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse.

The koiné Greek word for "persecute" is dioko (dee-o'-ko) which means to pursue; i.e. to hound. In other words; a persecuting personality is one whose mission in life is to ruin somebody's day at every opportunity; and they are pretty good at finding ways to do it.

Christians are under orders to remain civil with people deliberately out to get them; and not let snipers discourage the practice of hospitality. If they want to behave like predators, that's their choice; just be careful you don't choose to react in kind.
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Offline NyawehNyoh

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Re: What Is Love?
« Reply #16 on: Tue Aug 13, 2019 - 12:26:41 »
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Rom 12:15 . .When others are happy, be happy with them. If they are sad, share their sorrow.

A number of factors play a role in the making of an insensitive clod; one of which is defective areas of the brain called amygdalae. In brief, the amygdalae control, to a large extent, our emotions; i.e. our feelings, especially relative to empathy.

Normal amygdalae make it possible to commiserate; which can be roughly defined as feeling sympathy and/or compassion as opposed to just going thru the motions. For example: I heard somewhere that half of us go to funerals to honor folk we couldn't be bothered with when they were alive and then lie through out teeth when we tell the family "I'm sorry for your loss."

Defective amygdalae are usually a genetic problem; i.e. people with them were born that way. So, they are going to have a pretty difficult time of it when it comes to sharing in the happiness and/or the sorrow of others.

"Can the Ethiopian change his skin or the leopard its spots?" (Jer 13:23)

The answer to both those questions is of course NO; like they say: you can't get blood out of a turnip. So then, how is it reasonable to expect empathy-challenged Christians to share the happiness of happy people and/or the sorrows of sad people?

Well; it isn't reasonable, but neither is it hopeless seeing as how a portion of the fruit of the Spirit is love (Gal 5:22). In other words: there's a supernatural remedy for personality disorders. (cf. Ezek 36:26)


BTW: It's surprising the number of Christians that I've encountered, even Sunday school teachers, who honestly believe that feelings have no role whatsoever in the practice of Christianity. As a result, they go about the business of their Christian life as insensitive mannequins: heartless, cold, and metallic; sort of like the Tin Woodsman of the Wizard of Oz— without a heart, he couldn't feel the passionate emotions he once felt for the love of his life. Without a heart; the poor, pitiful man was barely a sentient being
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Offline NyawehNyoh

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Re: What Is Love?
« Reply #17 on: Wed Aug 14, 2019 - 12:27:46 »
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Rom 12:16b . . Don't be elitist, but willing to associate with people below you.

I'd have to say that those instructions apply only in church where it's understood by Spirit-led Christians that no one in attendance is somehow better than another. (cf. Jas 2:1-4)

Church managers should be given a higher degree of respect than pew warmers because they're in positions of authority; but all in all, church is a congregation of redeemed sinners, and that includes the managers; so we're all equals on that basis. Christ had to undergo just as much suffering, indignity, and death to redeem church managers as he did for everyone else so God forbid that the hierarchy should exhibit a holier-than-thou attitude; viz: a superiority complex. (cf. Matt 23:2-7)
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Offline NyawehNyoh

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Re: What Is Love?
« Reply #18 on: Thu Aug 15, 2019 - 11:12:22 »
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Rom 12:18 . . If possible, so far as it in your power, be at peace with all men.

Assertive, defensive, demanding, fault-finding, imperious, judgmental, confrontational, argumentative, bossy, spirited, hard-nosed, implacable, moody, thin skinned, vindictive, abrasive, spiteful people are not allowed in heaven. Why? Because heaven is a place of peace (Matt 5:9, Rom 14:17).

Disagreeable people who fight at the drop of a hat simply don't fit in heaven and besides, not only would they be a fish out of water; but it wouldn't be fair to the others to let difficult people in to heaven where they would surely turn it into the same kind of hellish world to live in that they've made the Earth.

Christians should not be difficult. Of all people, they should be the easiest to get along with.
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Offline NyawehNyoh

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Re: What Is Love?
« Reply #19 on: Fri Aug 16, 2019 - 10:55:15 »
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Rom 12:19 . . Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written: Vengeance is mine, I will repay; testifies The Lord.

The focus is upon one's "own" revenge; in other words: if the matter can't be settled legally; let it go rather than take it upon yourself to be prosecutor, judge, jury, and executioner, i.e. a vigilante. Those who seek justice outside the justice system are no less criminals than the people they seek to punish.
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Offline NyawehNyoh

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Re: What Is Love?
« Reply #20 on: Sat Aug 17, 2019 - 09:58:28 »
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Rom 12:20 . . If your personal enemy is hungry, feed him, and if he is thirsty, give him a drink; for in so doing you will heap burning coals upon his head.

Way back when the television show "
SURVIVOR" was in its second or third season, two of the women fell out of sorts and one vowed that even if the other were lying in the street near death from thirst, she'd walk right past and not give her so much as a drop of water.

Bad form. Christians have to remain civil and not permit detestable people to dictate the way we treat our fellow men. It is far better for Christ's followers to exemplify humanitarian principles than satisfy a grudge. I'll admit it's galling to have to be courteous with people that mistreat us; but what can I say? It's Christ's wishes.

Matt 5:46-47 . . If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that?
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« Last Edit: Sat Aug 17, 2019 - 10:14:14 by NyawehNyoh »

Offline NyawehNyoh

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Re: What Is Love?
« Reply #21 on: Sun Aug 18, 2019 - 22:34:34 »
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Rom 14:1 . . Accept him whose faith is weak, without passing judgment on disputable matters.

A strong faith consists of the elements of knowledge, confidence, assurance, and conviction. A weak faith can be defined as vacillating; viz: one that's not all that sure whether something is wrong for a Christian; or even that something is right; in other words, a weak faith lacks the elements of knowledge, confidence, assurance, and conviction.

Disputable matters are matters of opinion rather than matters of fact. Opinions are often subjective, biased, and arbitrary, rather than objective, unbiased, and by-the book. Opinions inevitably invite perpetual debating that never really gets to the bottom of anything; which, in matters of spiritual significance is strictly forbidden within the context of the 14th chapter of Romans; because debatable matters are not matters of doctrine; but rather; matters of conscience.

We're not talking about black and white doctrines and principles here. Those are not open to debate. We're talking about gray areas.

"Thou shalt not commit adultery" is black and white; while issues like video games, music, fashions, foods, cosmetics, movies, self defense, gambling, swim suits, alcohol, tobacco, firearms, fasting, religious art, crucifixes, couture, and holy days of obligation are debatable. In regards to those areas; let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind rather than somebody else's mind.

Those are things about which each has to decide for themselves according to the dictates of their own conscience; and God forbid they should impose their personal dictates upon others and thus become dictatorial because that's playing God and usurping Christ's sovereign prerogative to make the rules for his own church.
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Offline NyawehNyoh

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Re: What Is Love?
« Reply #22 on: Mon Aug 19, 2019 - 15:24:34 »
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Rom 14:2-4 . . One man's faith allows him to eat everything, but another man, whose faith is weak, eats only vegetables. The man who eats everything must not look down on him who does not, and the man who does not eat everything must not condemn the man who does, for God has accepted him.

If somebody sincerely believes that fast food, GMO, high fructose corn syrup, non organic produce, processed foods, grain-fed beef, raw oysters, sushi, and/or anything fried in lard is sinful; well; more power to them; but God forbid they should condemn others who disagree.

So then; whether or not to eat grass-fed beef or grain-fed beef is your call; although in my judicious estimation; you run a much higher risk of contracting E.coli 0157-H7 by eating grain-fed beef. But the choice to run that risk is yours alone; not mine. The important point to note is that either way, God will accept one's diet just so long as they are convinced in their own mind it's not a sinful diet. And God forbid that we should undertake to pressure someone via debating and sophistry to violate their conscience.
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Offline NyawehNyoh

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Re: What Is Love?
« Reply #23 on: Tue Aug 20, 2019 - 11:03:40 »
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Rom 14:5 . . One man considers one day more sacred than another; another man considers every day alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind.

Common Christian holy days are The Lord's Day (Sunday), Solemnity of Mary the Mother of God, the Epiphany, Solemnity of Saint Joseph Husband of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Ascension Trinity Sunday, Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul, Good Friday, the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, All Saints, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Nativity of our Lord Jesus Christ (Christmas), and the Sabbath. Some would probably include Easter and Ash Wednesday.

If your denomination, or your church of choice, rules that days like the above are sacred, then for you they are. Whether God himself really and truly rules them as sacred is irrelevant. What matters is whether you are convinced He does.
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« Last Edit: Tue Aug 20, 2019 - 11:06:36 by NyawehNyoh »

Offline NyawehNyoh

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Re: What Is Love?
« Reply #24 on: Wed Aug 21, 2019 - 19:51:37 »
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Rom 14:13a . .Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another.

Within the context of the 14th of Romans, "passing judgment" pertains to criticizing
others for refusal to accept and/or comply with your own gray area beliefs and practices.
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Offline NyawehNyoh

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Re: What Is Love?
« Reply #25 on: Thu Aug 22, 2019 - 10:23:34 »
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Rom 14:13b . . Make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in your brother's way.

The koiné Greek word translated "stumbling block" means a stub. For example: one year I cut down a troublesome bush in my front yard and left a bit of a stump sticking up out of the ground that later damaged my lawn mower when I accidentally ran over it while cutting the grass; which had grown tall enough to conceal the stump. In that respect, stumbling blocks are hazards not easily detected.

Within the context of the 14th of Romans, I would equate stumbling blocks to the clever sophistry that silver-tongued orators employ to persuade people to do things contrary to their convictions and their conscience. In other words; there are people out there with the skills to make a lie sound like the God's truth (cf. Eph 4:11-14) and if you get pulled into a debate with those people you'll probably lose.


NOTE: The Star Wars era spawned a pertinent colloquialism that goes like this: "Let the Wookie win one." When it comes to gray-area disputes, that colloquialism is pretty good advice.
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Offline NyawehNyoh

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Re: What Is Love?
« Reply #26 on: Fri Aug 23, 2019 - 12:25:16 »
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Rom 14:14-16 . . I know and am perfectly sure on the authority of The Lord Jesus that no food, in and of itself, is wrong to eat. But if someone believes it is wrong, then for that person it is wrong. And if another Christian is distressed by what you eat, you are not acting in love if you eat it. Don't let your eating ruin someone for whom Christ died. Then you will not be condemned for doing something you know is alright.

For example: We may believe that there is nothing wrong with eating non Kosher foods; but our Christian dinner companion might feel very strongly about it. Well; sure, we can get by with eating non-Kosher foods; but Rom 14:14-16 is saying don't. In other words; it is Christ's wishes that we restrain ourselves from eating non-Kosher foods in front of our Christian companions out of respect for their feelings about it.
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Offline NyawehNyoh

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Re: What Is Love?
« Reply #27 on: Sat Aug 24, 2019 - 10:48:29 »
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Rom 14:19 . . Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification.

The koiné Greek word for "edification" is oikodome (oy-kod-om-ay') which is a word related to the building trades; and in this instance would be related to structural improvements like a new wing, or a bedroom, or another floor; and in many instances adds square footage to an already-existing structure and/or improves its appearance, its value, and it's utility. Edification then, builds up instead of tearing down.

Webster's defines "peace" as a state in which there is no war or fighting; viz: harmony and mutual concord.

  2Cor 12:19-20 . . For I am afraid that when I come I may not find you as I want you to be, and you may not find me as you want me to be. I fear that there may be quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, factions, slander, gossip, arrogance and disorder.
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Offline GB

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Re: What Is Love?
« Reply #28 on: Sat Aug 24, 2019 - 11:25:55 »
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Rom 14:14-16 . . I know and am perfectly sure on the authority of The Lord Jesus that no food, in and of itself, is wrong to eat. But if someone believes it is wrong, then for that person it is wrong. And if another Christian is distressed by what you eat, you are not acting in love if you eat it. Don't let your eating ruin someone for whom Christ died. Then you will not be condemned for doing something you know is alright.

For example: We may believe that there is nothing wrong with eating non Kosher foods; but our Christian dinner companion might feel very strongly about it. Well; sure, we can get by with eating non-Kosher foods; but Rom 14:14-16 is saying don't. In other words; it is Christ's wishes that we restrain ourselves from eating non-Kosher foods in front of our Christian companions out of respect for their feelings about it.
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Rom. 14:1 Him that is weak in the faith receive ye, but not to doubtful disputations.

14 I know, and am persuaded by the Lord Jesus, that there is nothing unclean of itself: but to him that esteemeth any thing to be unclean, to him it is unclean.

This is, of course true. An unclean animal didn't make itself unclean. Who made clean and unclean animals? It is Him the "weak in Faith" should seek after, and learn from.

 5 One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day alike.

What real relevance is it to us what one man esteems or another man esteems?

"Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind."

What are we to be persuaded of? Are we to listen to this man, or that man? Or are we to listen to and accept the Creator of days as to if HE deems one day to be regarded above another?

Eph. 2:10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

Therefore "Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind".







Offline NyawehNyoh

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Re: What Is Love?
« Reply #29 on: Sun Aug 25, 2019 - 09:49:12 »
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Rom 14:20-21 . . Do not destroy the work of God for the sake of food. All food is clean, but it is wrong for a man to eat anything that causes someone else to stumble.

The critters that God lists in the Jews' covenanted law as unsuitable for food aren't intrinsically unsuitable. They're only unsuitable for the Jews because that's how God wants it for His people. But outside the covenant; and for everybody else: whatever you'd like to eat can be eaten; all flora and all fauna.

Gen 9:3 . . Everything that lives and moves will be food for you. Just as I gave you the green plants, I now give you everything.

Acts 10:15 . .The voice spoke to him a second time; "Do not call anything impure that God has made clean."

But still; you wouldn't want to invite someone over for dinner serving foods that they sincerely believe are wrong for them to eat. Prepare something else that you both can eat. That's the Christian way to go about it; it's also the sympathetic way to go about it. There are times when it's appropriate to accommodate people's feelings about certain things.
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Offline NyawehNyoh

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Re: What Is Love?
« Reply #30 on: Mon Aug 26, 2019 - 10:55:17 »
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Rom 14:22a . . So whatever you personally believe in debatable areas keep between yourself and God.
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Offline GB

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Re: What Is Love?
« Reply #31 on: Mon Aug 26, 2019 - 16:07:43 »
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Rom 14:20-21 . . Do not destroy the work of God for the sake of food. All food is clean, but it is wrong for a man to eat anything that causes someone else to stumble.

The critters that God lists in the Jews' covenanted law as unsuitable for food aren't intrinsically unsuitable. They're only unsuitable for the Jews because that's how God wants it for His people. But outside the covenant; and for everybody else: whatever you'd like to eat can be eaten; all flora and all fauna.

Gen 9:3 . . Everything that lives and moves will be food for you. Just as I gave you the green plants, I now give you everything.

Acts 10:15 . .The voice spoke to him a second time; "Do not call anything impure that God has made clean."

But still; you wouldn't want to invite someone over for dinner serving foods that they sincerely believe are wrong for them to eat. Prepare something else that you both can eat. That's the Christian way to go about it; it's also the sympathetic way to go about it. There are times when it's appropriate to accommodate people's feelings about certain things.
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I understand the teaching and where it comes from. However, I don't believe the Scriptures as a whole support it. First, the Christ, who became Flesh in the person of Jesus, created animals that were clean for food, and some that were used for other purposes. Noah knew of this creation and understood perfectly when God/Christ told Him to load the Ark with clean and unclean animals.

Also, what comes out of a man defiles Him. disobedience, rebellion, selfishness, Stubbornness. Jesus points this out in Matt. 15 where He rebuked the Mainstream Preachers of His time for rejecting His Father's Laws and creating their own.

Matt. 15:7 Ye hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying, 8 This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. 9 But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. 10 And he called the multitude, and said unto them, Hear, and understand:

11 Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man.

Matt. 15:16 And Jesus said, Are ye also yet without understanding?

17 Do not ye yet understand, that whatsoever entereth in at the mouth goeth into the belly, and is cast out into the draught?

18 But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man. 19 For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies:

20 These are the things which defile a man: but to eat with unwashen hands defileth not a man.

So in these scriptures there is nothing which would indicate that He erased any of His Fathers commands. Actually just the opposite. So where does the tradition of rejecting God's Law regarding what He created for food and what He created for other things come from?

I found a fascinating bit of history which I think answers this question. It is a little long, but fascinating just the same.

"From the late account of Eutychius (Patrologia Graeca 111, 1012-13)"

20. The King Constantine gave orders that no Jew should live in Jerusalem or pass through it, and he also ordered to put to death all those who refused to become Christians (58). Many pagans and Jews then embraced the Christian faith and Christianity took root everywhere.  It was then told to king Constantine that the Jews had become Christians for fear of being killed but that they continued to follow their religion.  The king said: “How will we know?” Paul, the patriarch of Constantinople, said: “The Torah forbids [eating] pork and it is for this reason that the Jews do not eat meat. Order that the throats of pigs be cut, that the meat should be cooked, and fed to the members of this community.  In this way you will find that all those who refuse to eat are still tied to their religion.” King Constantine replied. “But if the Torah forbids the pig, why is lawful for us to eat its flesh and make others eat it?”. Patriarch Paul replied: “You must know that Christ our Lord, repealed all provisions of the Torah and gave us a new law which is the Gospel. He said in the Holy Gospel: “Not everything that enters the mouth defiles a man (and he meant any food). What defiles a man is just what comes out of his mouth” (59), i.e. folly and wickedness, and all that is similar to this. The apostle Paul said so in his first letter to the Corinthians: “Food is for the stomach and the stomach is for food, but God will destroy both” (60). And it is also written in the Acts: “Peter, chief of the Apostles, was in the city of Jaffa (61) in the house of a tanner named Simon. At the sixth hour of the day he went out on the terrace of the house to pray, but a deep sleep fell upon him and saw the sky open. From the sky he saw a mantle descend to earth in which there was every kind of quadruped, wild beasts, flying things and birds of the air, and he heard a voice saying: ‘O Peter, get up, kill and eat.’ Peter replied: ‘O Lord, I have never eaten anything unclean.’ But a second time the voice said: ‘Eat, what God has cleansed you must not consider unclean.’ The voice repeated it three times. Then the mantle was taken back into heaven.” (62) Peter was amazed and wondered what it meant. Because of that vision and because of what Christ our Lord said in the Holy Gospel, Peter and Paul ordered us to eat the flesh of every quadruped and therefore it is not wrong to eat pork or any other animal.”The king then ordered him to kill the pigs, cook the meat and put it at the doors of the churches in all his kingdom on Easter Sunday.  To everyone coming out of the church a bite of pork was given, and those who refused to eat it were killed.  Thus it was that many Jews were killed in that circumstance.  Constantine erected a wall around Byzantium and called Constantinople.  This was in his thirtieth year of the reign.  Helena, mother of Constantine, died at the age of eighty years. Constantine reigned for thirty-two years and died.  He lived in all for sixty-five years. He left three children.  The first was given his name, Constantine, he had called the second with the name of his father, Constantius, and the third was called Constans (63).  To Constantine he gave the city of Constantinople, to Constantius Antioch, Syria and Egypt, and Rome to Constans.

Notice how Constantine's prophets refused to follow Paul's instruction for the weak in Faith. Also notice that they omitted the part where Peter actually defines for us what the vision meant.

Acts 10:28 And he said unto them, Ye know how that it is an unlawful thing for a man that is a Jew to keep company, or come unto one of another nation (This was not God's Law, but the "Commandments of men" the Pharisees were teaching for doctrines.) but God hath shewed me that I should not call any man common or unclean.

The early Christian church murdered men for simply obeying the God of Paul's Fathers. Killed them because they didn't eat a certain animal.

Jewish Christians, in other words, men who believed and walked the very same path Jesus walked, followed the very same path Jesus followed, were murdered by the founders of modern Christianity, in direct defiance and disobedience to what Jesus taught, Paul taught and certainly the entire Law and Prophets.

If Jesus were alive in Constantine's time, or Zechariahs, or Isaiah, or Peter, Constantine would have had them murdered because they regarded the Law and Prophets as "heresy". Just like the Pharisees, only these folks came in Christ's Name, teaching that Jesus was the Christ. (Matt. 24:4,5)

Lev. 11:44 For I am the LORD your God: ye shall therefore sanctify yourselves, and ye shall be holy; for I am holy: neither shall ye defile yourselves with any manner of creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.

45 For I am the LORD that bringeth you up out of the land of Egypt, to be your God: ye shall therefore be holy, for I am holy.

46 This is the law of the beasts, and of the fowl, and of every living creature that moveth in the waters, and of every creature that creepeth upon the earth:

47 To make a difference between the unclean and the clean, and between the beast that may be eaten and the beast that may not be eaten.

Jesus never forgot this as He casted evil spirits on unclean animals. Peter never complied with the vision, and learned that it was about men who were once unclean but repented, and God cleansed them despite their DNA.

Acts 24:14 But this I confess unto thee, that after the way which they call heresy, (Pharisees and Early "Christian" church) so worship I the God of my fathers, believing all things which are written in the law and in the prophets:

Why would a person who "loves" God reject such simple instructions, unless they were convinced by other voices, as was Eve, that His instructions blind and burden us.

Food for thought.

Offline NyawehNyoh

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Re: What Is Love?
« Reply #32 on: Tue Aug 27, 2019 - 12:08:10 »
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Rom 14:22b-23 . . Blessed is the man who does not condemn himself by what he approves. But the man who has doubts is condemned if he eats, because his eating is not from faith; and everything that does not come from faith is sin.

In other words, it's possible to be wrong even when you're right because it's a sin to forge ahead when one's conscience is not sure it's okay to do so.

I once knew a Christian who felt guilty just setting foot inside a BlockBuster video store. Was he silly for feeling that way? Not in his mind; and it's one's own personal moral compass that counts in gray areas. Some Christians can't permit themselves to dine in a restaurant that serves alcohol; while others see nothing wrong with it. If those two kinds of Christians should perchance dine out together, it's the more sensitive conscience that determines where to eat.

In other words; it makes good spiritual sense to avoid insisting upon your freedoms and rights sometimes in order to prevent dragging your fellow Christians into something that makes them feel guilty and/or uncomfortable.
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Offline NyawehNyoh

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Re: What Is Love?
« Reply #33 on: Thu Aug 29, 2019 - 09:03:05 »
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Rom 15:1-2 . . We may know that certain things make no difference, but we cannot just go ahead and do them to please ourselves. We must be considerate of the doubts and fears of those who believe certain things are wrong.

Webster's defines "considerate" as thoughtful of the rights and feelings of others, i.e. sympathetic regard; which is no doubt near impossible for Christians afflicted with narcissistic personality disorder: a toxic psychological condition characterized by a grandiose sense of self importance, a need for excessive admiration, exploitive behavior in relationships, and a lack of empathy.
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Offline NyawehNyoh

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Re: What Is Love?
« Reply #34 on: Fri Aug 30, 2019 - 08:46:38 »
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Rom 15:7 . . Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God.

That's a bit tricky but I think it just means all Christians should acknowledge each other as Christians regardless of age, race, gender, or economic status; and treat one another as Christians though they may differ in opinion about what constitutes a true Christian.

For example: it's not unusual to hear a Christian pontificate that real Christians would never watch R-rated movies, gamble, wear a speedo or a string bikini, use cosmetics, smoke marijuana, expose cleavage or wear skin tight yoga pants in public, stop for a beer on the way home from work, have a glass of wine before bedtime, listen to RAP music, ditch church and Sunday school for years at a time, or go in a bar or a nightclub where there's topless female dancers up on a stage twining themselves around a pole while leering men stuff currency into the hems of their skimpy little costumes.

Too many Christians have the opinion that unless others believe and practice the very same way they believe and practice, then those others are not Christians. Well; the easiest way to settle this is to follow Webster's definition that a Christian is simply someone who professes a belief in the teachings of Jesus Christ. That's it: no more, no less, and no qualifiers. They don't even have to practice The Lord's teachings; they only have to profess to believe in them.

An internet forum I was on in the past made it even easier. In order to qualify as a Christian on that forum; one only had to believe they were a Christian; viz: they didn't have to prove they were a Christian; no, they only had to be convinced in their own minds that they were a Christian. If we all followed that rule it would put a stop to a lot of unnecessary quarreling, name calling, and bad feelings.


NOTE: Heresy is subjective. In other words: what's heresy to a Catholic may not be heresy to a Methodist, and vice versa. And what's heresy to a Mormon may not be heresy to a Jehovah's Witness, and vice versa. And what's heresy to a Baptist may not be heresy to the Church Of God, and vice versa. So my advice is: never, ever call another Christian a heretic.

Just to be on the safe side; edit that label from your remarks because it just might be that you yourself are the one infected with heresy and don't know it; viz: be circumspect with your choice of words because the hapless day just may arrive when you are forced to eat them.

It ain't what you know that gets you into trouble.
It's what you know for sure that just ain't so.

(Mark Twain)
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