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Author Topic: What Is Love?  (Read 1427 times)

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Offline NyawehNyoh

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Re: What Is Love?
« Reply #35 on: Sat Aug 31, 2019 - 10:31:00 »
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1Cor 10:24 . . Nobody should seek only his own good, but also the good of others.

That's not saying it's wrong to seek your own good; just wrong to seek it at the expense of another's good; viz: selfish ambition might be an acceptable modus operandi in professional sports, politics, and big business; but it's totally unacceptable in one's association with fellow believers.

And there is nothing new in that; I mean after all; it's just another way of expressing the so-called golden rule; which states: "All things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them." (Matt 7:12)

It's interesting to note that if people weren't so thoughtless and cold; there would be no need for laws that force them to do right by their fellow man.
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Re: What Is Love?
« Reply #35 on: Sat Aug 31, 2019 - 10:31:00 »

Offline NyawehNyoh

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Re: What Is Love?
« Reply #36 on: Sun Sep 01, 2019 - 20:47:30 »
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1Cor 10:27-29 . . If an unbeliever invites you to a meal and you want to go, eat whatever is put before you without raising questions of conscience. But if anyone says to you "This has been offered in sacrifice" then do not eat it, both for the sake of the man who told you and for conscience' sake-- the other man's conscience, I mean, not yours.

If you go ahead and dine in someone's home where you know in advance the food is either dedicated to, or blessed by, a pagan deity, or that when they say grace around the table it will be to a god other than your own, or to a sacred personage that you do not accept; then your host is quite possibly going to come to the conclusion that his religion is just as valid as yours if you don't decline.

This is not saying that Catholics and Protestants can't eat together and/or pray together around the table; nor is it saying that Christians and Jews can't eat together and pray together around the table: not when Catholics, Protestants, and Jews are all praying to the same God: just from a different perspective.

I will say this though: if you are a Catholic host, and your guests are either Protestants or Jews; then for heaven's sake
DO NOT pray around the table to Christ's mom and/or to one of Catholicism's many patron saints. That is extremely offensive to Protestants and Jews, and totally unnecessary anyway when you can just as easily say grace to the one supreme being common to you all.
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Re: What Is Love?
« Reply #36 on: Sun Sep 01, 2019 - 20:47:30 »

Offline NyawehNyoh

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Re: What Is Love?
« Reply #37 on: Mon Sep 02, 2019 - 10:14:15 »
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1Cor 10:32-33 . . Give none offence, neither to the Jews, nor to the Gentiles, nor to the church of God: even as I please all men in all things, not seeking mine own profit, but the profit of many, that they may be saved.

The main idea here is courtesy and with respect to cultural differences, viz: tolerance; defined by Webster's as sympathy or indulgence for beliefs or practices differing from, or conflicting with, one's own-- which is just the opposite of bigotry.
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Offline NyawehNyoh

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Re: What Is Love?
« Reply #38 on: Tue Sep 03, 2019 - 10:11:32 »
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1Cor 11:33-34 . . My brethren, when you come together to eat, wait for each other. If anyone is hungry, he should eat at home, so that when you meet together it may not result in judgment.

The command doesn't frown upon things like church banquets, men's' breakfasts, ladies' luncheons, and/or potlucks per se. What it's criticizing is a lack of congregational unity. Here's comments leading up to that verse.

1Cor 11:17-22 . . Now in giving these instructions I do not praise you, since you come together not for the better but for the worse. For first of all, when you come together as a church, I hear that there are divisions among you, and in part I believe it. For there must also be factions among you, that those who are approved may be recognized among you.

. . .Therefore when you come together in one place, it is not to eat The Lord's Supper. For in eating, each one takes his own supper ahead of others; and one is hungry and another is drunk. What! Do you not have houses to eat and drink in? Or do you despise the church of God and shame those who have nothing? What shall I say to you? Shall I praise you in this? I do not praise you.

Their lack of love and unity during church functions was nothing short of hypocrisy seeing as how The Lord's supper speaks of sacrifice rather than selfishness, elitism, and hoarding. In other words; seeing as how Christians all share in Christ's blood equally-- and deserve hell equally --then everyone should be given equal treatment at church regardless of age, gender, skin color, intelligence, income level, nationality, what side of the tracks they live on, or social status.

None of Christ's body parts are untouchable; nor are any of them expendable. God forbid that there should be some sort of caste system in a gathering of people for whom Christ suffered and died equally for each one. That just wouldn't be right: it would be an insult to the principles underlying The Lord's supper.

Matt 26:27 . . Then he took the cup, gave thanks and offered it to them, saying: Drink from it, all of you.

If Christians are all drinking from the same cup, then they should all be, at the very least, eating the same food and not be overly concerned about where they sit and/or who they sit next to and/or who they're seen with. And they should also make double sure that everyone gets enough to eat and that no one gets left out and nobody gets more than his fair share. And they should all sit down together at the same time.

I just hate it when people don't wait for each other. Some get back to the table and start in gulping, slurping, clattering, and clanking while others from their table are still in line.

And they should also take into consideration the possibility that a number of their congregation are in assistance programs like TANF and SNAP. In other words; don't just bring enough food from home for yourself; but, if you're able, bring enough for those among you who can't bring anything at all. And for heaven's sake, don't bring a side dish of gourmet food along just for yourself. Leave your special gourmet stuff at home. There's just no excuse for flaunting your "sophistication" around church thus giving everyone the impression that everyone else's tastes are below yours.

You know; why am I even saying these things? In point of fact, why even did Paul? I mean: shouldn't Christians be eo ipso sources of the milk of human kindness without somebody shaming them and lecturing them into being humane with their fellow believers and taking thought for their feelings? Why must so many Christians be practically strong-armed into being courteous with one another?
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Re: What Is Love?
« Reply #38 on: Tue Sep 03, 2019 - 10:11:32 »

Offline NyawehNyoh

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Re: What Is Love?
« Reply #39 on: Wed Sep 04, 2019 - 11:22:51 »
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1Cor 16:20 . . Greet one another with a holy kiss.

Kissing was a common form of greeting in the old world; and still is in the Middle East and certain parts of Europe; but here in America-- a super-sized racial/cultural/ethnic amalgam of customs from all over the globe --it's wise to dispense your kisses with discretion. Some of us don't even like to be hugged, let alone bussed; and if you should perchance try to make physical contact with an autistic Christian, you're liable to cause them a panic attack; so go easy on the touchy-feely stuff.

The people to whom Paul referred as "one another" are one's fellow born again Christians. We're not required to be cozy with unbelievers. You can be courteous to them, yes (cf. Matt 5:47) but reserve especially warm greetings for your siblings; viz: those who've undergone a second birth as per John 1:12-13 and John 3:3-8, and thus share your adoption into God's home as per Rom 8:15-17.
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Re: What Is Love?
« Reply #39 on: Wed Sep 04, 2019 - 11:22:51 »



Offline NyawehNyoh

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Re: What Is Love?
« Reply #40 on: Thu Sep 05, 2019 - 10:59:02 »
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1Cor 16:22 . . If anyone love not The Lord, let him be accursed.

One's love of The Lord is evidenced by loyalty.

John 14:15 . . If you love me, you will comply with what I command.

John 14:21 . .Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me.

John 14:23-24 . . If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching . . He who does not love me will not obey my teaching.

Does a Muslim have to be a terrorist to be accursed? No; they only have to be a loyal follower of Muhammad ibn `Abdullāh instead of a loyal follower of Jesus Christ; same goes for Atheists, Nonreligious, Baha'i, Buddhists, Chinese Universalists, Confucianists, Jains, Kabbalah mystics, Shintoists, Spiritists, Taoists, Zoroastrians, Jews, Sikhs, and Hindus-- they're all accursed and there is nothing to be gained in arguing about it.

How many people am I talking about? Well, as of mid 2014, worldwide there were:

550,000 Scientologists
1,500,000 Mormons
8,200,000 Jehovah's Witnesses
7,794,000 Baha'i
515,951,000 Buddhists
451,292,000 Chinese Folk Religionists
8,424,000 Confucianists
974,597,000 Hindus
5,567,000 Jains
14,142,000 Jews
1,673,590 Muslims
2,819,000 Shintoists
24,918,000 Sikhs
14,183,000 Spiritists
8,660,000 Taoists
196,000 Zoroastrians
828,594,000 Nonreligious
692,111,000 Agnostics
136,483,000 Atheists.

The grand total of just those categories alone is 5,369,071,000

If those figures are in the ball park, and if classical Christianity is the reality; then a minimum of at least 75% of the earth's 2014 population of 7.2 billion people didn't love The Lord.


NOTE: Jehovah's Witnesses and Mormons are Christians, yes, but not in the classical sense.

Joseph Smith's movement is a spin-off; in other words: there's some classical Christianity in Mormonism, but comprises only a portion of Mormonism. The rest of it is extreme, to say the least.

Neither do Jehovah's Witnesses qualify as Christians in the classical sense. Charles Taze Russell's movement is a spin-off too. There's some classical Christianity in the Watchtower Society's doctrines, but comprises only a portion of Russell's doctrines; and his slant on it is very peculiar.


BTW: An informative book that I personally consider an essential volume in every Christian's library is called: "Kingdom Of The Cults" by Walter Martin.
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Offline NyawehNyoh

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Re: What Is Love?
« Reply #41 on: Sun Sep 08, 2019 - 10:09:49 »
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2Cor 2:5-10 . . The punishment inflicted on him by the majority is sufficient for him. Now instead, you ought to forgive and comfort him, so that he will not be overwhelmed by excessive sorrow. I urge you, therefore, to reaffirm your love for him.

The cause for which Paul wrote that section was a guy in the Corinthian church sleeping with his stepmother (1Cor 5:1). Paul had commanded the congregation to not only hold the man's feet to the fire, but also to ostracize him.

Some time had passed since then, and the man was apparently regretting his actions, and broken off the illicit relationship with his kin, so it was time to let him back into the group. No doubt the humiliation of it all had a tremendous impact upon his attitude— probably upon the congregation's too because at first their attitude wasn't all that good about it either. (cf. 1Cor 5:2)

Here in America scolding and ostracizing a church member would probably just make them indignant rather than repentant.
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Re: What Is Love?
« Reply #42 on: Mon Sep 09, 2019 - 10:28:07 »
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2Cor 2:9-11 . . If you forgive anyone, I also forgive him. And what I have forgiven-- if there was anything to forgive --I have forgiven in the sight of Christ for your sake, in order that Satan might not outwit us. For we are not unaware of his schemes.

One of the opposition's tactics is to create disunity in a church. Sure enough when that happens-- as when one portion of the congregation believes in judging and ostracizing while the other doesn't --people start taking sides and the church will end up divided into cliques and factions. According to the lord and master of New Testament Christianity, a house divided against itself cannot stand.

Paul mentioned that his extension of forgiveness was "in the sight of Christ". There exists some controversy as to the exact meaning but I think it's just saying that Paul's forgiveness of that man was done in accordance with Christ's approval; to the end that the Corinthians all go along with it, i.e. stand together as one.
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Re: What Is Love?
« Reply #43 on: Tue Sep 10, 2019 - 11:46:20 »
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Gal 5:26 . . Let us not be conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.

Webster's defines "conceit" as: excessive self-appreciation of one's own worth or virtue.

There's nothing intrinsically wrong with having strong core values and/or believing in yourself, but if you should find yourself somewhat indignant and/or resentful when others don't believe in you, or when they think very little of your core values; then watch out because that's a symptom of conceit, and it will hinder you from obeying The Lord's orders in regard to getting along with fellow believers.

The koiné word for "envy" is phthoneo (fthon-eh'-o) which means: hostile toward a rival, or towards someone believed to enjoy an advantage. In other words; we're talking about a competitive spirit— not the good-natured, friendly kind but a malicious kind of competitive spirit that resents others doing better than itself, or more popular than itself, or more recognized than itself, or more admired than itself; viz; it's all about self.

Rivalry is a very destructive passion. It got Abel slain by his own brother, and it got Christ slain by his own people. Rivalry makes otherwise sensible people behave contrary to their own better judgment, and gets them embroiled in oftentimes unnecessary vendettas; e.g. gender rivalry and racial rivalry. Now those two there are very destructive social influences.

If none of the above describes you; consider yourself fortunate.

The koiné word for "provoke" is prokaleomai (prok-al-eh'-om-ahee) which means to challenge; viz: to get in somebody's face in an obnoxious, assertive, confrontational manner; which is a kind of behavior that prevents people from deserving identification with God's kin.

Matt 5:9 . . Blessed are the peaceable: for they shall be called the children of God.
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Offline NyawehNyoh

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Re: What Is Love?
« Reply #44 on: Wed Sep 11, 2019 - 17:55:07 »
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Gal 6:1a . . Brethren, even if someone is caught in the very act of any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness;

The koiné Greek word for "trespass" is interesting. It can refer to willful misconduct and/or to unintentional misconduct. Seeing as how willful misconduct is dealt with harshly and summarily as per 1Cor 5:1-13 while in this situation gently, then I'd say Gal 6:1 is referring to unintentional misconduct; which doesn't merit a public flogging; but rather a quiet talk; and the more private the better in order to avoid embarrassing the unintentional offender.

Restoration does not apply to visitors; only to members on a church's roles; i.e. the congregation. The visitors' business is none of our business so don't go sticking your nose in it.

The Greek word for "restore" basically means to repair or adjust, viz: restoration applies to maladjusted Christians, i.e. the ones whose misconduct is habitual, and quite possibly detrimental to a church's overall health.

A spirit of gentleness precludes the use of bullying, intimidation, rage. yelling, demeaning comments, biting sarcasm, ugly remarks, carping criticism, brow beating, and such. Those kinds of behaviors aren't gentle, no, they're cruel and abusive.


NOTE: The instructions given in Gal 6:1 pertain only to spiritual Christians; garden variety, rank and file pew warmers-- viz: marginal Christians --need not concern themselves with it.

In churches where people are conceited, assertive, confrontational, embroiled in petty rivalries, debating, quarrelling, and maybe even jostling for notoriety; the spiritual ones are obviously going to be as scarce as California Condors.
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Re: What Is Love?
« Reply #45 on: Thu Sep 12, 2019 - 11:28:31 »
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Gal 6:1-2 . . Bear one another's burdens, and thus fulfill the law of Christ.

It's human nature to shun people with problems so they don't drag us into a world of inconvenience and/or negativity. But that is not what I call fulfilling the law of Christ; which reads thusly:

John 13:34-35 . . A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.

The love that is defined by "As I have loved you" is a kind of love willing to suffer inconvenience, shame, humiliation, embarrassment, and disgrace for the sake of another. Christ's love isn't a fault-finding attitude; it's a supportive virtue: it doesn't only feel your pain, it gets involved in your pain.

Church can be the loneliest place on earth when nobody cares enough about you to get involved in your pain; but instead would just as soon not know about it. Sadly, there is about as much love for one another in modern churches as there is amongst an audience of strangers at the movies. I sincerely believe that a lot of that indifference has to do with modern churches just simply being too big and too busy.
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Re: What Is Love?
« Reply #46 on: Fri Sep 13, 2019 - 18:03:10 »
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Gal 6:10 . . So then, while we have opportunity, let us do good to all men, and especially to those who are of the household of the faith.

Good can take any number of forms but I think a useful description we could apply here is "beneficial".

Jesus did good (Acts 10:30) i.e. he was very definitely beneficial; not just on the cross or by his teachings, but in non spiritual ways too.

Those who are of the "household of the faith" are actually kin; viz: siblings; and like they say: charity begins at home.

Some churches have what they call a deacon's fund; to assist members who are down and out and/or in dire straits.

And don't overlook your church's senior citizens. Some may be getting up in years and finding it difficult to even maintain their own homes and yards anymore. Chores may not seem all that spiritual; but pitch in anyway if for no other reason than your assistance is beneficial.
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Re: What Is Love?
« Reply #47 on: Sat Sep 14, 2019 - 10:11:11 »
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Eph 4:2 . . Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, putting up with another in love.


NOTE: That's an interesting command because no doubt it's not asking us to do something that Christ doesn't do every day: endure his sheep's stupidity, their lack of civility, and their natural preference for impiety.

Humility is one of those virtues that people love to talk about; but rarely ever seem to exemplify.

The  koiné Greek word is a tongue twister. It's tapeinophrosune (tap-i-nof-ros-oo'-nay) which means: humiliation of mind, viz: modesty; defined by Webster's as: free from conceit and/or vanity.

Conceit is defined as: excessive appreciation of one's own worth or virtue; viz: a too-high opinion of one's self; i.e. a master-race mentality.

Vanity is defined as: inflated pride in oneself or in one's appearance; viz: narcissism and/or self adoration.

Cosmetics and figure-shaping undergarments don't really qualify as the kind of vanity that Paul is talking about; which is a kind of vanity that goes way beyond just trying to look your best.

Sinful vanity is an ugly creature. It's self aggrandizing. Vanity isn't gentle either, on the contrary, vanity can be quite cruel, thoughtless, competitive, given to rivalry, indifferent, and insensitive; and vanity abhors associating with people whose station in life is decidedly below its own; and God forbid someone below themselves should have the nerve to correct either their conduct or their knowledge.

Patience is a jewel. It's defined as: the power, or capacity, to endure without complaint something difficult or disagreeable. Patient people seem to have a predilection for retaining their composure while under stress. These make the best leaders because they don't get flustered when everything around them is disintegrating into chaos.

Patience is very useful when it comes to "putting up" with certain kinds of chafing Christians who seem to have a knack for getting on people's nerves.

During my forty years working as a professional welder, I encountered numerous fellow employees whose skills and performance were excellent; but nobody could work with them. They were just too difficult.

Heaven forbid that Christ's followers should ever be "difficult". It is rather to be desired that they be civil, courteous, thoughtful, sociable, agreeable, helpful, approachable, accommodating, affable, rational, reasonable, temperate, and self-controlled. Christians around whom everybody has to walk on egg shells all the time, are in sore need of a personality make-over if they're to ever have any realistic expectation of associating with God as His kin.
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Re: What Is Love?
« Reply #48 on: Sun Sep 15, 2019 - 22:47:06 »
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Eph 4:3 . . Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.

Peace is what everybody wants but seem thoroughly unable to attain-- either by force or by diplomacy --even in Christian churches; where you'd think that at least there you'd find peace seeing as how it's related to one of Christ's beatitudes (Matt 5:9). It's also a fruit of the Spirit. (Gal 5:22)
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Re: What Is Love?
« Reply #49 on: Mon Sep 16, 2019 - 20:40:39 »
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Eph 4:25 . .Each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to his neighbor, for we are all members of one body.

Honesty is demanded by the covenant that Moses' people agreed upon with God in the Old Testament (Lev 19:11). Although a Christian's association with God is not based upon compliance with that covenant, it's still required that they be people of integrity who can be relied upon to tell the truth; especially to each other.
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Re: What Is Love?
« Reply #50 on: Tue Sep 17, 2019 - 18:48:51 »
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Eph 4:26a . . In your anger do not sin.

Anger isn't eo ipso evil. It's how one handles their anger that matters. Anger can be a very useful tool when it's applied by somebody who knows what they're doing. For example:

Mark 3:5 . . And when Jesus had looked round about on them with anger, being grieved for the hardness of their hearts, he saith unto the man: Stretch forth thine hand. And he stretched it out: and his hand was restored whole as the other.

Everybody gets angry from time to time; just don't let it drive you to doing something contrary to your better judgment, e.g. violence, profanity, malice, cruelty, uncivil behavior, emotional outbursts, hysteria, etc.
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Re: What Is Love?
« Reply #51 on: Wed Sep 18, 2019 - 17:30:00 »
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Eph 4:26b-27 . . Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the Devil a foothold.

Some people treat their anger like a prized possession: they don't want to lose it. They actually prefer to stay angry rather than "get over it". Apparently the Devil is quick to take advantage of Christians like that, i.e. they become what's called in the spy business; an asset.
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Re: What Is Love?
« Reply #52 on: Fri Sep 20, 2019 - 11:44:28 »
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Eph 4:29 . . Don't use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them.

"helpful" is from the Greek word oikodome (oy-kod-om-ay') which means: to build up (as opposed to tearing down).

 "foul or abusive" is from the word sapros (sap-ros') which means: rotten, i.e. worthless (literally or morally) viz: inappropriate.

The foul and abusive category no doubt includes not only profanity, but also biting sarcasm, cruel remarks, thoughtless comments, chafing, relentless fault-finding, sneering, ridicule, mockery, and unnecessary criticism.

Language that's good, helpful, and encouraging is essential if one is to be serious about exemplifying the fifth beatitude.

Matt 5:7 . . Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.

Speaking of humanity as a corporate body, the Bible says:

Rom 3:13a . .Their throat is an open sepulcher

It's not advisable to open a sepulcher seeing as how the contents are no doubt going to be quite odious and in a state of decay; especially in locales where the remains weren't cremated or treated with formaldehyde.
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Re: What Is Love?
« Reply #53 on: Sat Sep 21, 2019 - 09:40:24 »
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Eph 4:31 . . Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of malicious behavior.

It wasn't The Lord's wish that Ephesian Christians avoid all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice; no; on the contrary, he wanted the Ephesians to "get rid" of them.

"bitterness" is from the Greek word pikria (pik-ree'-ah) which means: acrid, poisonous, and/or toxic (literally or figuratively)

Christians like that are nothing in the world but deadly reptiles.

"the poison of asps is under their lips" (Rom 3:13b)

"rage" is from thumos (thoo-mos') which means: passion (as if breathing hard). Passion is just the opposite of reason; and as everyone knows, emotions are incoherent; so it's to be expected an emotional person is not acting rationally. This is a kind of conduct that Paul says brings sorrow to God's Spirit.

"anger" is from orge (or-gay') which means: desire (as a reaching forth or excitement of the mind), i.e. (by analogy,) violent passion, ire, (by implication: punishment)

People overcome by orge typically want some satisfaction; even to the point of at least your ruin; if not your death.

"harsh words" is from krauge (krow-gay') which means: outcry.

Out-crying is what protestors do; in other words: assertive, in-your-face confrontational complaints and/or demands.

"slander" is from blasphemia (blas-fay-me'-ah) which means: to vilify. Webster's defines "vilify" as: (1) to lower in estimation or importance, and (2) to utter slanderous and abusive statements against; viz: defame, discredit, and/or denigrate.

A statement need not be false in order to qualify as slander; it need only to be unnecessary; viz: you'll often hear people say: Well, I was only telling the truth. Were they? No, that's a ruse. In reality, they're insensitive; and they don't care who gets hurt by their thoughtless remarks.

The Lord notices the words people say, and he also takes note of the spirit in which they say them.

"But I tell you that men will have to give account on the day of judgment for every careless word they have spoken." (Matt 12:36)

"malicious behavior" is from kakia (kak-ee'-ah) which means: badness, i.e. (subjectively) depravity, or (actively) malignity, or (passively) trouble:

Malice usually includes the element of "spite" which Webster's defines as: petty ill will, or hatred, with the disposition to irritate, annoy, or thwart. Compare that to the koiné word for "persecute" in the eighth Beatitude which means, literally: to pursue; viz: to stalk, to hound, to harass.

Webster's defines "thwart" as: (1) to run counter to so as to effectively oppose or baffle; viz: contravene, and (2) to oppose successfully; viz: to defeat the hopes or aspirations of; in other words: to deliberately get in someone's way; block, discourage.

Boy I'll tell you, that Ephesian church was as rough-hewn and crude as the old logging community of Stump Town (now Portland) out here in the Oregon of the 1800's. They cussed, they brawled, they bad-mouthed, they held grudges, they were thieves, they were arrogant, they somehow had the idea that Jews were below them, they were immodest, conceited, vain, and impatient, they walked unworthy of their calling, and they were splintered into cliques.
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Offline NyawehNyoh

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Re: What Is Love?
« Reply #54 on: Sun Sep 22, 2019 - 12:34:28 »
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Eph 4:32 . . Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.

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  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".

Eusplagchnos would make a good substitute for a word found in one of The Lord's beatitudes. 

Matt 5:7 . . Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.

"merciful" is from the word eleemon (el-eh-ay'-mone) which means pretty much the same thing as eusplagchnos: compassionate and sympathetic.

It used to be that Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts were trained to be useful to others as just simply a matter of good deeds and good citizenship. I don't know, maybe they still are; but I've known lots of churchians who were totally useless to others because they're infected with an ugly spirit of conceit, rivalry, and indifference. Far from being kind and compassionate; those Christians are actually sociopathic and don't even know it.

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 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 #55 on: Tue Sep 24, 2019 - 10:32:17 »
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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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Re: What Is Love?
« Reply #56 on: Wed Sep 25, 2019 - 11:29:33 »
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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 "attaboy" 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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Re: What Is Love?
« Reply #57 on: Thu Sep 26, 2019 - 12:51:52 »
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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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Re: What Is Love?
« Reply #58 on: Sat Sep 28, 2019 - 16:49:34 »
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Rom 12:8d . . 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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Re: What Is Love?
« Reply #59 on: Sun Sep 29, 2019 - 20:13:48 »
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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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Re: What Is Love?
« Reply #60 on: Tue Oct 01, 2019 - 13:59:50 »
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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.
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Re: What Is Love?
« Reply #61 on: Wed Oct 02, 2019 - 21:56:31 »
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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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Re: What Is Love?
« Reply #62 on: Thu Oct 03, 2019 - 22:14:19 »
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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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Re: What Is Love?
« Reply #63 on: Fri Oct 04, 2019 - 22:31:50 »
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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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Re: What Is Love?
« Reply #64 on: Sun Oct 06, 2019 - 16:50:10 »
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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 #65 on: Mon Oct 07, 2019 - 11:08:53 »
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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 #66 on: Tue Oct 08, 2019 - 19:11:55 »
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Rom 12:16a . . Live in harmony with each other.

It isn't necessary to be in 100% agreement with others on everything in order to comply with that command. But it is necessary to practice courtesy, tolerance, patience, and diplomacy, i.e. make every effort to avoid feuding, one-upmanship, and debating. The opposite of harmony is dissonance, which can be defined as a mingling of sounds that strike the ear harshly, e.g. sour notes.

For some people, every disagreement is an act of war to be won at any cost. That's not harmony, that's hostility. It's far and away better for Christians to be diplomatic than to be right all the time.

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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Re: What Is Love?
« Reply #67 on: Wed Oct 09, 2019 - 18:01:03 »
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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 #68 on: Thu Oct 10, 2019 - 18:46:51 »
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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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Re: What Is Love?
« Reply #69 on: Sat Oct 12, 2019 - 10:59:14 »
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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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