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General Discussion => General Discussion Forum => Devotionals => Topic started by: NyawehNyoh on Sun Jul 28, 2019 - 20:00:21

Title: What Is Love?
Post by: NyawehNyoh 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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Title: Re: What Is Love?
Post by: NyawehNyoh 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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Title: Re: What Is Love?
Post by: NyawehNyoh 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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Title: Re: What Is Love?
Post by: NyawehNyoh 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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Title: Re: What Is Love?
Post by: NyawehNyoh 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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Title: Re: What Is Love?
Post by: Wycliffes_Shillelagh on Thu Aug 01, 2019 - 13:59:50
What is Love?

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

::peeking::
Title: Re: What Is Love?
Post by: NyawehNyoh 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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Title: Re: What Is Love?
Post by: NyawehNyoh 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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Title: Re: What Is Love?
Post by: NyawehNyoh 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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Title: Re: What Is Love?
Post by: NyawehNyoh 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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Title: Re: What Is Love?
Post by: NyawehNyoh 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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Title: Re: What Is Love?
Post by: NyawehNyoh 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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Title: Re: What Is Love?
Post by: NyawehNyoh 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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Title: Re: What Is Love?
Post by: NyawehNyoh 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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Title: Re: What Is Love?
Post by: NyawehNyoh 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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Title: Re: What Is Love?
Post by: NyawehNyoh 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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Title: Re: What Is Love?
Post by: NyawehNyoh 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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Title: Re: What Is Love?
Post by: NyawehNyoh 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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Title: Re: What Is Love?
Post by: NyawehNyoh 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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Title: Re: What Is Love?
Post by: NyawehNyoh 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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Title: Re: What Is Love?
Post by: NyawehNyoh 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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Title: Re: What Is Love?
Post by: NyawehNyoh 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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Title: Re: What Is Love?
Post by: NyawehNyoh 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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Title: Re: What Is Love?
Post by: NyawehNyoh 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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Title: Re: What Is Love?
Post by: NyawehNyoh 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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Title: Re: What Is Love?
Post by: NyawehNyoh 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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Title: Re: What Is Love?
Post by: NyawehNyoh 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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Title: Re: What Is Love?
Post by: NyawehNyoh 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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Title: Re: What Is Love?
Post by: GB 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".






Title: Re: What Is Love?
Post by: NyawehNyoh 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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Title: Re: What Is Love?
Post by: NyawehNyoh 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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Title: Re: What Is Love?
Post by: GB 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.
Title: Re: What Is Love?
Post by: NyawehNyoh 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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Title: Re: What Is Love?
Post by: NyawehNyoh 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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Title: Re: What Is Love?
Post by: NyawehNyoh 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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Title: Re: What Is Love?
Post by: NyawehNyoh 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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Title: Re: What Is Love?
Post by: NyawehNyoh 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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Title: Re: What Is Love?
Post by: NyawehNyoh 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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Title: Re: What Is Love?
Post by: NyawehNyoh 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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Title: Re: What Is Love?
Post by: NyawehNyoh 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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Title: Re: What Is Love?
Post by: NyawehNyoh 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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Title: Re: What Is Love?
Post by: NyawehNyoh 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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Title: Re: What Is Love?
Post by: NyawehNyoh 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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Title: Re: What Is Love?
Post by: NyawehNyoh 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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Title: Re: What Is Love?
Post by: NyawehNyoh 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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Title: Re: What Is Love?
Post by: NyawehNyoh 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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Title: Re: What Is Love?
Post by: NyawehNyoh 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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Title: Re: What Is Love?
Post by: NyawehNyoh 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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Title: Re: What Is Love?
Post by: NyawehNyoh 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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Title: Re: What Is Love?
Post by: NyawehNyoh 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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Title: Re: What Is Love?
Post by: NyawehNyoh 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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Title: Re: What Is Love?
Post by: NyawehNyoh 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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Title: Re: What Is Love?
Post by: NyawehNyoh 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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Title: Re: What Is Love?
Post by: NyawehNyoh 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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Title: Re: What Is Love?
Post by: NyawehNyoh 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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Title: Re: What Is Love?
Post by: NyawehNyoh 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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Title: Re: What Is Love?
Post by: NyawehNyoh 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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Title: Re: What Is Love?
Post by: NyawehNyoh 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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Title: Re: What Is Love?
Post by: NyawehNyoh 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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Title: Re: What Is Love?
Post by: NyawehNyoh 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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Title: Re: What Is Love?
Post by: NyawehNyoh 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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Title: Re: What Is Love?
Post by: NyawehNyoh 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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Title: Re: What Is Love?
Post by: NyawehNyoh 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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Title: Re: What Is Love?
Post by: NyawehNyoh 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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Title: Re: What Is Love?
Post by: NyawehNyoh 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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Title: Re: What Is Love?
Post by: NyawehNyoh 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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Title: Re: What Is Love?
Post by: NyawehNyoh 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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Title: Re: What Is Love?
Post by: NyawehNyoh 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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Title: Re: What Is Love?
Post by: NyawehNyoh 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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Title: Re: What Is Love?
Post by: NyawehNyoh 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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Title: Re: What Is Love?
Post by: NyawehNyoh on Sun Oct 13, 2019 - 11:01:36
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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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Title: Re: What Is Love?
Post by: NyawehNyoh on Tue Oct 15, 2019 - 16:35:57
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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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Title: Re: What Is Love?
Post by: NyawehNyoh on Wed Oct 16, 2019 - 22:58:31
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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, et al.

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 because the 14th of Romans' focus is upon matters of conscience rather than matters of fact.
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Title: Re: What Is Love?
Post by: NyawehNyoh on Thu Oct 17, 2019 - 11:49:17
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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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Title: Re: What Is Love?
Post by: NyawehNyoh on Sun Oct 20, 2019 - 12:41:34
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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 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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Title: Re: What Is Love?
Post by: NyawehNyoh on Mon Oct 21, 2019 - 14:23:45
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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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Title: Re: What Is Love?
Post by: NyawehNyoh on Tue Oct 22, 2019 - 10:58:19
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● Rom 14:19 . . Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification.

The 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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Title: Re: What Is Love?
Post by: NyawehNyoh on Wed Oct 23, 2019 - 19:49:00
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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. The world has enough bigots as is; don't be one.
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Title: Re: What Is Love?
Post by: NyawehNyoh on Thu Oct 24, 2019 - 13:09:12
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● Rom 14:22a . . So whatever you personally believe in debatable areas, keep between yourself and God.
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Title: Re: What Is Love?
Post by: NyawehNyoh on Sat Oct 26, 2019 - 09:48:03
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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 your 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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Title: Re: What Is Love?
Post by: NyawehNyoh on Mon Oct 28, 2019 - 10:45:43
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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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Title: Re: What Is Love?
Post by: NyawehNyoh on Tue Oct 29, 2019 - 12:39:12
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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, 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.
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Title: Re: What Is Love?
Post by: NyawehNyoh on Fri Nov 01, 2019 - 12:28:26
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● 1Cor 8:4-13 . .We know that an idol is nothing at all in the world and that there is no God but one. For even if there are so-called gods, whether in heaven or on earth (as indeed there are many "gods" and many "lords"), yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom all things came and for whom we live; and there is but one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom all things came and through whom we live.

. . . But not everyone knows this. Some people are still so accustomed to idols that when they eat such food they think of it as having been sacrificed to an idol, and since their conscience is weak, it is defiled. But food does not bring us near to God; we are no worse if we do not eat, and no better if we do.

. . . Be careful, however, that the exercise of your freedom does not become a stumbling block to the weak. For if anyone with a weak conscience sees you who have this knowledge eating in an idol's temple, won't he be emboldened to eat what has been sacrificed to idols? So this weak brother, for whom Christ died, is destroyed by your knowledge. When you sin against your brothers in this way and wound their weak conscience, you sin against Christ. Therefore, if what I eat causes my brother to fall into sin, I will never eat meat again, so that I will not cause him to fall.

That passage can be said to be a codicil to the 14th chapter of Romans.

Putting this into a modern context is pretty simple; e.g. here in Oregon we have tavern-style restaurants; viz: a section of the tavern is a bar, and another section is dedicated to dining. The bar sections usually host State-sanctioned gambling machines too and typically off-limits to minors.

Suppose you have Christian friends who sincerely feel it's wrong to dine in a tavern-style restaurant because of the alcohol and the gambling. Though you yourself might be comfortable in your own mind that there is no sin in dining at taverns, your friends are not so sure. So if you were to take them to a tavern, they would be committing sin in compromising their conscience; and you would be committing sin by knowingly leading them in a situation that causes them to make that compromise.

●  Rom 15:1-2 . .We may know that these 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 think these things are wrong. We should please others. If we do what helps them, we will build them up in The Lord.

 A pertinent example is Hooters; where the waitresses are cute buxom girls filled out in all the right places clothed in short shorts, and clingy tops; so that the situation is a double whammy of babes and alcohol. Supposing your Christian buddy sincerely feels it's wrong for Christians to dine at Hooters? Then you would be wrong in taking him there for a burger even if you were convinced in your own mind there is nothing wrong with Hooters because you would be leading your Christian buddy into a situation that's below him and causes him to feel guilty and/or less of himself.

The Bible says that Christians should accommodate others to their edification (edification means to build someone up as opposed to tearing them down), Well, when we please ourselves to their detriment; that's being selfish. Some guys feel that cute buxom girls and yummy gams are a God-send, while other guys regard them as the Devil in disguise. The correct route here is to accommodate the more sensitive conscience.

This is one of those situations that requires that each individual to be convinced in their own mind whether Hooters is wrong for themselves or okay for themselves (Rom 14:5) and God forbid that Christians should criticize a fellow Christian who frequents Hooters because this is indeed one of those gray areas; and just who are you to legislate the rules for others in gray areas (Rom 14:3-4). It's unfortunate that there are some very imperious, domineering Christians out and about who see nothing wrong with bullying others to compromise their convictions just so long as they get their own way and everybody conforms to their way of thinking.
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Title: Re: What Is Love?
Post by: NyawehNyoh on Sat Nov 02, 2019 - 17:24:39
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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's 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)
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Title: Re: What Is Love?
Post by: NyawehNyoh on Sun Nov 03, 2019 - 10:52:51
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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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Title: Re: What Is Love?
Post by: Jean74 on Sun Nov 03, 2019 - 19:40:33
The real world only offers temporary love. God is eternal love. Loving us beyond so much despite being sinners. He sent Jesus to die and rise to pave the way for eternity for us.
Title: Re: What Is Love?
Post by: NyawehNyoh on Mon Nov 04, 2019 - 09:15:53
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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 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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Title: Re: What Is Love?
Post by: NyawehNyoh on Tue Nov 05, 2019 - 10:04:34
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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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Title: Re: What Is Love?
Post by: NyawehNyoh on Wed Nov 06, 2019 - 10:32:32
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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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Title: Re: What Is Love?
Post by: NyawehNyoh on Thu Nov 07, 2019 - 10:24:06
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● 1Cor 16:22 . . If anyone love not The Lord, let him be accursed.

One's love of The Lord is exemplified 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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Title: Re: What Is Love?
Post by: NyawehNyoh on Fri Nov 08, 2019 - 12:23:48
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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. (cf. Ps 51:17)
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Title: Re: What Is Love?
Post by: NyawehNyoh on Sat Nov 09, 2019 - 19:58:00
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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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Title: Re: What Is Love?
Post by: NyawehNyoh on Mon Nov 11, 2019 - 09:49:08
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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 Greek 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 Greek 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, militant 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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Title: Re: What Is Love?
Post by: NyawehNyoh on Tue Nov 12, 2019 - 10:58:25
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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 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, lecturing, scolding, biting sarcasm, ugly remarks, carping criticism, brow beating, and such. Those kinds of behaviors aren't gentle, no, they're cruel and abusive. They're also unwarranted when the accused has committed an unintentional trespass.


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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Title: Re: What Is Love?
Post by: NyawehNyoh on Thu Nov 14, 2019 - 18:10:39
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● Gal 6:10 . . 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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Title: Re: What Is Love?
Post by: NyawehNyoh on Sat Nov 16, 2019 - 11:59:27
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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  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.

● Matt 5:9 . . Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.
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Title: Re: What Is Love?
Post by: NyawehNyoh on Sun Nov 17, 2019 - 09:19:42
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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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Title: Re: What Is Love?
Post by: NyawehNyoh on Tue Nov 19, 2019 - 10:07:46
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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.

One's neighbor is not the same as one's brother; i.e. neighbors are not kin.

The command is directed at "each" of you-- i.e. individuals --because just one Christian's dishonesty reflects upon the integrity of all Christians; whether innocent or not makes no difference; that's the way propaganda machinery works and we just have to live with it.
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Title: Re: What Is Love?
Post by: NyawehNyoh on Wed Nov 20, 2019 - 12:12:24
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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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Title: Re: What Is Love?
Post by: NyawehNyoh on Thu Nov 21, 2019 - 19:47:09
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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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Title: Re: What Is Love?
Post by: NyawehNyoh on Fri Nov 22, 2019 - 09:05:52
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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, mean spirited rejoinders, 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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Title: Re: What Is Love?
Post by: NyawehNyoh on Sat Nov 23, 2019 - 10:52:29
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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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Title: Re: What Is Love?
Post by: NyawehNyoh on Mon Nov 25, 2019 - 11:30:45
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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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Title: Re: What Is Love?
Post by: NyawehNyoh on Tue Nov 26, 2019 - 12:41:35
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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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Title: Re: What Is Love?
Post by: NyawehNyoh on Wed Nov 27, 2019 - 11:36:44
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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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Title: Re: What Is Love?
Post by: NyawehNyoh on Fri Nov 29, 2019 - 09:07:38
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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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Title: Re: What Is Love?
Post by: NyawehNyoh on Sun Dec 01, 2019 - 08:57:44
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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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Title: Re: What Is Love?
Post by: NyawehNyoh on Mon Dec 02, 2019 - 10:09:50
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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.”
Ebenezer Scrooge
A Christmas Carol by 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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Title: Re: What Is Love?
Post by: NyawehNyoh on Thu Dec 05, 2019 - 07:34:14
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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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Title: Re: What Is Love?
Post by: NyawehNyoh on Fri Dec 06, 2019 - 18:26:20
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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.”

Ebenezer Scrooge
A Christmas Carol by 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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Title: Re: What Is Love?
Post by: NyawehNyoh on Mon Dec 09, 2019 - 19:12:33
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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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Title: Re: What Is Love?
Post by: NyawehNyoh on Wed Dec 11, 2019 - 19:34:47
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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.”

(Ebenezer Scrooge / A Christmas Carol by 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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Title: Re: What Is Love?
Post by: NyawehNyoh on Sat Dec 14, 2019 - 21:01:53
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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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Title: Re: What Is Love?
Post by: NyawehNyoh on Mon Dec 16, 2019 - 20:09:47
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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.”

Ebenezer Scrooge / A Christmas Carol by 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.
_
Title: Re: What Is Love?
Post by: NyawehNyoh on Wed Dec 18, 2019 - 19:53:18
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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 hazardous 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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Title: Re: What Is Love?
Post by: NyawehNyoh on Thu Dec 19, 2019 - 20:04:01
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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 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: love isn't a totally non emotional academic concept; it contains things like pity, sympathy, empathy, compassion, thoughtfulness, and sensitivity. Heart-felt 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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Title: Re: What Is Love?
Post by: NyawehNyoh on Sat Dec 21, 2019 - 16:48:54
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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.

A heads up to affection-challenged people: Love 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 gut and makes you emotional, sensitive, compassionate, and empathetic.
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Title: Re: What Is Love?
Post by: NyawehNyoh on Sun Dec 22, 2019 - 19:10:07
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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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Title: Re: What Is Love?
Post by: NyawehNyoh on Tue Dec 24, 2019 - 18:58:20
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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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Title: Re: What Is Love?
Post by: NyawehNyoh on Thu Dec 26, 2019 - 15:53:33
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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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Title: Re: What Is Love?
Post by: NyawehNyoh on Fri Dec 27, 2019 - 21:02:28
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● Rom 12:14 . . Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse.

The 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 predatory beasts, that's their choice; just be careful you don't choose to react in kind.
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Title: Re: What Is Love?
Post by: NyawehNyoh on Sat Dec 28, 2019 - 20:16:06
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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 our 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.

● Jer 13:23 . . . Can the Ethiopian change his skin or the leopard its spots?

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 there's a supernatural remedy for personality disorders. (cf. Ezek 36:26)
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Title: Re: What Is Love?
Post by: NyawehNyoh on Tue Dec 31, 2019 - 16:14:42
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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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Title: Re: What Is Love?
Post by: NyawehNyoh on Thu Jan 02, 2020 - 08:48:42
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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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Title: Re: What Is Love?
Post by: NyawehNyoh on Sun Jan 05, 2020 - 12:16:34
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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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Title: Re: What Is Love?
Post by: NyawehNyoh on Mon Jan 06, 2020 - 17:18:21
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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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Title: Re: What Is Love?
Post by: NyawehNyoh on Tue Jan 07, 2020 - 12:33:38
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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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Title: Re: What Is Love?
Post by: NyawehNyoh on Wed Jan 08, 2020 - 20:26:37
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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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Title: Re: What Is Love?
Post by: NyawehNyoh on Thu Jan 09, 2020 - 20:28:41
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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, et al.

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 because the focus of the 14th of Romans is upon matters of conscience rather than matters of fact.
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Title: Re: What Is Love?
Post by: NyawehNyoh on Fri Jan 10, 2020 - 20:28:39
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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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Title: Re: What Is Love?
Post by: NyawehNyoh on Sat Jan 11, 2020 - 20:11:25
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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 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.
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Title: Re: What Is Love?
Post by: NyawehNyoh on Sun Jan 12, 2020 - 20:32:43
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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 in consideration for their feelings about it.
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Title: Re: What Is Love?
Post by: NyawehNyoh on Mon Jan 13, 2020 - 21:05:27
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● Rom 14:19 . . Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification.

The 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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Title: Re: What Is Love?
Post by: NyawehNyoh on Tue Jan 14, 2020 - 20:27:28
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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. The world has enough intolerance as is; don't add to it.
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Title: Re: What Is Love?
Post by: NyawehNyoh on Wed Jan 15, 2020 - 19:16:35
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● Rom 14:22a . . So whatever you personally believe in debatable areas keep between yourself and God.
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Title: Re: What Is Love?
Post by: NyawehNyoh on Thu Jan 16, 2020 - 15:32:24
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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 your 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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Title: Re: What Is Love?
Post by: NyawehNyoh on Fri Jan 17, 2020 - 21:54:09
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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. deferent, gallant, chivalrous, sensitive, yielding, and diplomatic.
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Title: Re: What Is Love?
Post by: NyawehNyoh on Sun Jan 19, 2020 - 20:38:10
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● 1Cor 8:4-13 . .We know that an idol is nothing at all in the world and that there is no God but one. For even if there are so-called gods, whether in heaven or on earth (as indeed there are many "gods" and many "lords"), yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom all things came and for whom we live; and there is but one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom all things came and through whom we live.

. . . But not everyone knows this. Some people are still so accustomed to idols that when they eat such food they think of it as having been sacrificed to an idol, and since their conscience is weak, it is defiled. But food does not bring us near to God; we are no worse if we do not eat, and no better if we do.

. . . Be careful, however, that the exercise of your freedom does not become a stumbling block to the weak. For if anyone with a weak conscience sees you who have this knowledge eating in an idol's temple, won't he be emboldened to eat what has been sacrificed to idols? So this weak brother, for whom Christ died, is destroyed by your knowledge. When you sin against your brothers in this way and wound their weak conscience, you sin against Christ. Therefore, if what I eat causes my brother to fall into sin, I will never eat meat again, so that I will not cause him to fall.

That passage can be said to be a codicil to the 14th chapter of Romans.

Putting this into a modern context is pretty simple; e.g. here in Oregon we have tavern-style restaurants; viz: a section of the tavern is a bar, and another section is dedicated to dining. The bar sections usually host State-sanctioned gambling machines too and typically off-limits to minors.

Suppose you have Christian friends who sincerely feel it's wrong to dine in a tavern-style restaurant because of the alcohol and the gambling. Though you yourself might be comfortable in your own mind that there is no sin in dining at taverns, your friends are not so sure. So if you were to take them to a tavern, they would be committing sin in compromising their conscience; and you would be committing sin by knowingly leading them in a situation that causes them to make that compromise.

● Rom 15:1-2 . .We may know that these 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 think these things are wrong. We should please others. If we do what helps them, we will build them up in The Lord.

 A pertinent example is Hooters; where the waitresses are cute buxom girls filled out in all the right places clothed in short shorts, and clingy tops; so that the situation is a double whammy of babes and alcohol. Supposing your Christian buddy sincerely feels it's wrong for Christians to dine at Hooters? Then you would be wrong in taking him there for a burger even if you were convinced in your own mind there is nothing wrong with Hooters because you would be leading your Christian buddy into a situation that's below him and causes him to feel guilty and/or less of himself.

The Bible says that Christians should accommodate others to their edification (edification means to build someone up as opposed to tearing them down), Well, when we please ourselves to their detriment; that's being selfish. Some guys feel that cute buxom girls and yummy gams are a God-send, while other guys regard them as the Devil in disguise. The correct route here is to accommodate the more sensitive conscience.

This is one of those situations that requires that each individual to be convinced in their own mind whether Hooters is wrong for themselves or okay for themselves (Rom 14:5) and God forbid that Christians should criticize a fellow Christian who frequents Hooters because this is indeed one of those gray areas; and just who are you to legislate the rules for others in gray areas (Rom 14:3-4).

It's unfortunate that there are some very imperious, domineering Christians out and about who see nothing wrong with bullying others to compromise their convictions just so long as they get their own way and everybody conforms to their way of thinking.
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Title: Re: What Is Love?
Post by: NyawehNyoh on Mon Jan 20, 2020 - 20:02:14
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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's 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)
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Title: Re: What Is Love?
Post by: NyawehNyoh on Tue Jan 21, 2020 - 18:01:06
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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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Title: Re: What Is Love?
Post by: NyawehNyoh on Thu Jan 23, 2020 - 19:37:08
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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 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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Title: Re: What Is Love?
Post by: NyawehNyoh on Sat Jan 25, 2020 - 20:33:45
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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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Title: Re: What Is Love?
Post by: NyawehNyoh on Sun Jan 26, 2020 - 20:19:12
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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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Title: Re: What Is Love?
Post by: NyawehNyoh on Mon Jan 27, 2020 - 18:08:19
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● 1Cor 16:22 . . If anyone love not The Lord, let him be accursed.

One's love of The Lord is exemplified 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.
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Title: Re: What Is Love?
Post by: NyawehNyoh on Tue Jan 28, 2020 - 18:30:01
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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. (cf. Ps 51:17)


FAQ: Doesn't 2Cor 2:5-10 support the Watchtower Society's shunning and Scientology's disconnection?

A: Those organizations practice an extreme form of ostracizing that oftentimes destroys friendship bonds, destroys family ties, and even destroys marriage vows. Paul never meant for Christ's followers to go that far. His ostracizing is pretty much limited to church, viz: congregational functions, e.g. worship, communion, prayer meetings, banquets, etc. Taking Paul's instructions to extremes puts people in jeopardy of failing to comply with Christ's instructions at Matt 5:44-48. (cf. 2Thess 3:14-15)
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Title: Re: What Is Love?
Post by: NyawehNyoh on Wed Jan 29, 2020 - 17:09:10
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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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Title: Re: What Is Love?
Post by: NyawehNyoh on Fri Jan 31, 2020 - 20:49:51
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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 Greek 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 Greek 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, militant 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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Title: Re: What Is Love?
Post by: NyawehNyoh on Sat Feb 01, 2020 - 19:55:39
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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 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, lecturing, scolding, biting sarcasm, ugly remarks, carping criticism, brow beating, and such. Those kinds of behaviors aren't gentle, no, they're cruel and abusive. They're also unwarranted when the accused has committed an unintentional trespass.


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.

"each one looking to yourself, lest you too be tempted. (Gal 6:1b)

The Greek word for "tempted" is somewhat ambiguous. It primarily means to test; but can also mean endeavor, scrutinize, entice, and/or discipline.

I think what the restorers are being cautioned against is going about a right thing in a wrong way so that they themselves wind up taken to task for conduct unbecoming. In some people's minds, the end justifies the means so long as it benefits the so-called greater good. But that's Machiavellian thinking rather than Christian thinking.

In other words: the restorers need to tread lightly because if they go after an alleged offender like a lynch mob; then they themselves should expect to be seen by others as a toxic menace and a threat to peace and cohesion.
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Title: Re: What Is Love?
Post by: NyawehNyoh on Sun Feb 02, 2020 - 19:41:56
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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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Title: Re: What Is Love?
Post by: NyawehNyoh on Mon Feb 03, 2020 - 19:39:19
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● Gal 6:10 . . So then, whenever 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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Title: Re: What Is Love?
Post by: NyawehNyoh on Tue Feb 04, 2020 - 20:25:26
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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 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.

● Matt 5:9 . . Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.
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Title: Re: What Is Love?
Post by: NyawehNyoh on Wed Feb 05, 2020 - 17:22:53
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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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Title: Re: What Is Love?
Post by: NyawehNyoh on Thu Feb 06, 2020 - 20:36:09
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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.

One's neighbor is not the same as one's brother; i.e. the former is an acquaintance, the latter is kin.

The command is directed at "each" of you-- i.e. individuals --because one dishonest Christian disgraces all Christians, and raises questions about their overall sincerity because that's the way propaganda machinery works.
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Title: Re: What Is Love?
Post by: NyawehNyoh on Fri Feb 07, 2020 - 20:56:54
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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, spite, ugly remarks, emotional outbursts, demeaning comments, grudging, hysterics, etc.
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Title: Re: What Is Love?
Post by: NyawehNyoh on Sat Feb 08, 2020 - 20:10:50
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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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Title: Re: What Is Love?
Post by: NyawehNyoh on Sun Feb 09, 2020 - 20:39:58
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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, mean spirited rejoinders, mockery, and unnecessary criticism.
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Title: Re: What Is Love?
Post by: NyawehNyoh on Mon Feb 10, 2020 - 19:37:06
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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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Title: Re: What Is Love?
Post by: NyawehNyoh on Wed Feb 12, 2020 - 14:44:20
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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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Title: Re: What Is Love?
Post by: NyawehNyoh on Thu Feb 13, 2020 - 20:52:46
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● Eph 5:2 . . Live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.

Christ's love went way beyond just being friendly and helpful. His was a sacrificial kind of love; in other words: it was protective and supportive at the cost of deep expense to himself-- but not just as a humanitarian. Christ's life counted for more than just being neighborly, his life of love was an act of worship.

"I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will, but the will of Him who sent me." (John 6:38)

"I do always those things that please Him." (John 8:29)

In point of fact, God prefers to be worshipped by love than by church attendance.

"For I desire mercy, not sacrifice, and acknowledgment of God rather than burnt offerings." (Hos 6:6)
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Title: Re: What Is Love?
Post by: NyawehNyoh on Sat Feb 15, 2020 - 20:05:36
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● Eph 5:21 . . Submit to one another out of respect for Christ.

The koiné Greek word for "submit" is hupotasso (hoop-ot-as'-so) which means: to subordinate (as a verb) which is just the opposite of dominance, equality, and/or rivalry and competition.

A workable synonym for the kind of submission we're talking about here is "deference" which Webster's defines as: (1) respect and esteem due a superior or an elder, and (2) affected, or ingratiating, regard for another's wishes; viz: honor.

This isn't about a pecking order. What we're talking about here is a Christian social skill; it's about regarding others as not equal to yourself, but actually better than yourself; and it pleases Christ to do so; besides being just plain all around good manners.

● Matt 18:3-4 . . Whoever humbles himself as a little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.

Little children in that day were minors who had little or no social status at all to speak of. If somebody abused a minor; it was just too bad since there were no Child Services bureaus to defend them. Minors were typically among the ruled rather than among those who do the ruling; and they got like zero-to-none respect from their elders.

In other words, an imperious Christian-- one that's assertive, bossy, take charge, demanding, argumentative, quarrelsome, impudent, conceited, domineering, confrontational, manipulative, reactive, independent, non negotiable, opinionated, obstinately or intolerantly devoted to their own opinions and prejudices, stubborn, and insistent upon their own way --is definitely a failure at subordinating themselves to their fellow Christians in a manner consistent with the Lord's instructions.
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Title: Re: What Is Love?
Post by: NyawehNyoh on Sun Feb 16, 2020 - 19:15:01
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● Eph 5:28-33a . . In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. After all, no one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it, just as Christ does the church-- for we are members of his body.

. . ."For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh." This is a profound mystery-- but I am talking about Christ and the church. However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself,

That, of course, is a practical application of the so-called golden rule; which first shows up in the Bible at Lev 19:18, applied at Lev 19:34, and reiterated at Matt 7:12 and Luke 6:31.

The very opposite of the golden rule would be for a husband to do unto his wife the very things that he does do not enjoy being done to himself; either by word or by deed.

I'm not a qualified marriage counselor, but in my unprofessional opinion, were couples to practice the golden rule in their association with each other, it would go a long ways towards preventing their homes from becoming the semblance of a cold war.

There are toxic wives out there who do not deserve their husband's affections; and in fact have done all in their power to destroy them. Nevertheless, it is his Christian duty to continue looking after her, and to treat her well as if his very life depended upon it in spite of the fact that she may be someone he deeply regrets courting.
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Title: Re: What Is Love?
Post by: Jean74 on Sun Feb 16, 2020 - 20:24:26
The world only offers temporary love. Jesus is eternal love!
Title: Re: What Is Love?
Post by: NyawehNyoh on Mon Feb 17, 2020 - 22:29:27
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● Eph 5:33b . . and the wife must respect her husband.

We're not talking about admiration here. The Greek verb for "respect" is phobeo (fob-eh'-o) which essentially refers to fright; and is used just that way in numerous places throughout the New Testament.

Some translators render phobeo as "reverence" which Webster's defines as honor or respect; felt or shown; which means that wives don't especially have to like their husbands in order to respect them. A show of respect will do in lieu of felt respect. In other words: the Christian wife would do well to stifle the disgust she feels for her husband and be civil.

I overheard a female caller on radio imperiously announcing to Dr. Laura that she couldn't respect her husband. So Dr. Laura asked her why. The caller responded: Because he hasn't earned my respect. So Laura asked the caller: Have you earned your husband's love? The caller retorted: I don't have to earn his love. It's a husband's duty to love his wife just as she is.

So Laura pointed out that the caller was practicing a double standard. She demanded that her husband love her unconditionally, while refusing to respect him unconditionally. And on top of that; had the chutzpah to dictate the rules of engagement regardless of how her husband might feel about it; thus making herself not only impossible to like, but also quite difficult to live with.
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Title: Re: What Is Love?
Post by: NyawehNyoh on Tue Feb 18, 2020 - 22:08:30
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● Eph 6:4 . . Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of The Lord.

We're not talking about religious training here-- the focus is upon a daddy's parenting style. Despotism, tyranny, and unfairness are not The Lord's way of raising kids; but rather; his way is the manner of a shepherd; and "good" shepherds aren't cruel to their flocks.

Maybe you don't burn your kids with cigarettes, pour Tabasco sauce in their eyes, or lock them in a hall closet without food and water for two days; but do you ignore their opinions, demean them with denigrating labels, ridicule them, threaten their lives, work them as slaves without compensation, deny them things just so you won't appear to indulge them, and/or say "no" to their requests for no good reason than that you don't want to seem weak and under their control?

Do you routinely abuse their human rights, and/or relegate them to the level of livestock rather than bona fide human beings with feelings and a mind of their own? Do you nurture within them a feeling of importance, of belonging in your home, or do you make them feel like an invasive species and/or an uninvited guest? Kids pick up on things like that.

But aren't there moms out there exasperating their kids? Of course! Mothers can be just as tyrannical, just as despotic, and just as unfair as dads.

I believe it is a Spirit-filled dad's sacred filial duty to defend his children from their own mother's abuses should the need arise. Not many dads are willing to do that because it means risking having the wife turn against him; so quite a few dads opt to sacrifice the children in order to keep momma happy.

In my opinion, throwing one's own children to the wolves in order to avoid living in the same house with a moody woman has to be one of the worst possible sins a man can ever commit in his own home. It's just downright cowardly; and tells the kids they can't trust the one man in the whole world upon whom they should be able to rely in times of distress.


FYI: The Bible predicts that towards the end, parents will become callous with their babies.

● 2Tim 3:1-3 . . This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For people shall be . . .without natural affection

The koiné Greek word for "without natural affection" is astorgos (as'-tor-gos) which means: hard-hearted towards kindred; viz: lacking in sympathetic understanding i.e. unfeeling, pitiless, thoughtless, insensitive, cruel, and inhumane.
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Title: Re: What Is Love?
Post by: NyawehNyoh on Wed Feb 19, 2020 - 12:44:41
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● Eph 6:9a . . And masters, treat your slaves in the same way. Do not threaten them, since you know that he who is both their Master and yours is in heaven,

The "masters" in that verse are Christian masters; Paul's letters were written and sent to churches rather than to the world at large.

If there is one political maxim that seems to ring true in every generation, it's that power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. It's in the human heart to abuse authority and to oppress and exploit people rather than manage them to everyone's advantage.

Christian masters, and Christian slaves, are siblings together in God's family (Gal 3:28). Therefore, Christ's law is to be exemplified by both the slave and by his master.

● John 15:12-13 . . My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.

A slave master willing to sacrifice his life to protect his slaves would be a very unusual master; but that is the very attitude of a Spirit-filled master towards his Christian slaves; and should be the attitude of a Spirit-filled supervisor towards his Christian employees: which is the attitude of a good shepherd rather than that of a self-serving predator.

The Christian master's rank doesn't mitigate his accountability; he has no advantage over the Christian slave. Both must give an accounting of themselves, and neither the master nor the slave will be given the slightest preferential treatment. No, they will be recompensed on the merits of their faithfulness; rather than their positions.

● Eph 6:9b . . There is no favoritism with Him.
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Title: Re: What Is Love?
Post by: NyawehNyoh on Thu Feb 20, 2020 - 21:21:50
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● Phil 2:2-3 . . Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. 

If there is at least one place on earth where believers should be on the same plane with each other it's church; but that's not always the case as human beings are just naturally prone to status; especially among pastors, choir members, Sunday school teachers, Deacons, Deaconesses, etc.

Some people aren't content with mediocrity; no, they have to be head and shoulders above the crowd, they have to be admired: they have to be feted, they have to be heard, they have to be noticed, they have to be somebody, they have to be a mover and a shaker, they have to be up in an ivory tower; they have to have their finger on the pulse; they have to be in the limelight. And above all; they have to be right because it is totally contrary to conceit's nature to be wrong about anything; even superfluous minutiae.

If you should find yourself in a position around your church, whether as an usher or a cook for men's Saturday morning prayer breakfast, make sure you're your heart's in the right place because there is coming a performance evaluation for the Lord's sheep where some of the elite are going to be very embarrassed when they're exposed for the ambitious achievers they really are.

● 1Cor 4:5 . . He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness, and will expose the motives of men's hearts.

An especially bad case of "vain conceit" is on display at 3John 1:9-10
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Title: Re: What Is Love?
Post by: NyawehNyoh on Fri Feb 21, 2020 - 20:53:49
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● Phil 2:4 . . Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.

The "others" in that verse are exclusive. Paul's directive pertains only to the classification of people to whom he penned his letter; viz: "saints in Christ Jesus . . together with the overseers and deacons" (Phil 1:1)

Seeing as how The Lord expressly forbids selfish ambition amongst his own; therefore, before proceeding with your ideas, be very sure to ponder all the possible ramifications of your actions first.

Stepping on people's toes, and/or thwarting their ideas so that yours prevail, fails to satisfy the law of Christ; which requires believers to love their fellow believers as Christ loves them (John 15:12). It also fails to satisfy the Golden Rule which says: So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you. (Matt 7:12). Always looking out for No.1 just simply isn't very nice.
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Title: Re: What Is Love?
Post by: NyawehNyoh on Sun Feb 23, 2020 - 19:56:31
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● Phil 4:5 . . Let your gentleness be evident to all.

The  koiné  Greek word for "gentleness" is epieikes (ep-ee-i-kace') which essentially means: mild.

Webster's defines "mild" as gentle in nature or behavior, moderate in action or effect; not sharp or bitter, i.e. just the opposite of fierce, harsh, rough, scathing, mean, abrasive, stormy, intemperate, strict, and/or severe.

Though a mild person is affable, they aren't necessarily a wimp; no, they're just not easy to provoke. The quite opposite would be a thin skinned, reactive, defensive personality that goes to war at the drop of a hat.

Mild people don't threaten, nor come at you with bared teeth and narrowed eyes. They're reasonable and rational, rather than emotional and reactive. Assertive, confrontational people have no clue what it is to be mild; and those are the very ones losing sleep with evil thoughts as they obsessively re-wind and re-play a conflict with somebody in their heads over, and over, and over again rehearsing things they should've said, and would've said, had they thought of them.

● Matt 5:5 . . Blessed are the meek.

Moses was meek (Num 12:3) and Christ was meek (Matt 11:29, Matt 21:5). Personally I wouldn't categorize either of those two men as meek. So then, what really is meekness?

Primarily, to be meek, in the Biblical sense of the word, is to be temperate. A temperate person isn't eo ipso a cowering milk toast. Anybody who's studied the life of Moses and Jesus can easily testify that neither of those men were timid; no, they walked softly but carried a big stick, so to speak. Never mistake true meekness for a yellow streak.

Jacob and his dad Isaac were temperate men; but could be very strong when the situation called for it. Temperate people pick their battles carefully, and never waste anger and energy on trifles.

There are Christians in this world who're simply implacable. They just cannot live and let live. Turning the other cheek is to them a worn-out cliché that no one takes seriously anymore. For them rivalry, conflict, revenge, competition, retaliation, recriminations, and grudging are a way of life: every disagreement is an act of war-- they're peevish, emotional, bitter, harsh, unloving, cruel, thoughtless, and reactive; and they thrive on complaining, criticizing, chafing, carping, finding fault, tattling, bickering, retort upon retort, rejoinder upon rejoinder, sarcasm, endless debate, dredging up old unresolved conflicts, gainsaying, and getting in people's faces and giving them a piece of their mind.

It seems like those people are always getting indignant about some petty outrage or another. Well; those kinds of Christians are definitely not in the "gentle" category. They're hellish, toxic demons who relish letting their wrath be evident to all instead of gentleness because when they're upset; they want everybody to know it.
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Title: Re: What Is Love?
Post by: NyawehNyoh on Mon Feb 24, 2020 - 09:49:21
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● Col 3:9-10 . . Do not lie to each other since you have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator.

Humanity's original self began its created existence in the image of God (Gen 1:26-27). In other words; Adam started off as an honest man. Clearly then; dishonesty does not reflect the image of God, rather, it projects humanity's own image.

Humanity's original self wasn't created bullet-proof, so to speak. It was corruptible (Eph 4:22). Were that not true, we'd all be honest men rather than a pack of liars, deceivers, beguilers, and dissemblers.

The koiné Greek word for "renewed" is anakainoo (an-ak-ahee-no'-o) which means: to renovate; which Webster's defines as: (1) to restore to a former better state (as by cleaning, repairing, or rebuilding), and (2) to restore to life, vigor, or activity: revive. In other words: regenerate.


NOTE: It's interesting that the Colossian believers were lying to each other, and no doubt would have continued had not Paul commanded them to stop it.
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Title: Re: What Is Love?
Post by: NyawehNyoh on Wed Feb 26, 2020 - 18:02:15
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● Col 3:13-14 . . Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as The Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.

One of The Lord's constant rubs with his religious opponents was their virtually 100% lack of kindness; which effectively invalidated their rituals.

● Matt 9:13 . . Go and learn what this means: I desire mercy and not sacrifice.

Some folk honestly believe that Christ's statement, taken from Hosea 6:6, practically repealed the entire God-given book of Leviticus. But that's not what either Hosea or Jesus were saying. They meant that God much prefers that people be civil to each other rather than religious to their fingertips.

In other words; an ungracious person's lack of things like sympathy, patience, tolerance, lenience, helpfulness, pity, and common courtesy causes God to reject their worship just as thoroughly and bluntly as He rejected Cain's. I really think that God is insulted when people lacking humanity come to church actually thinking He's glad to see them show up for some quality time together.
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Title: Re: What Is Love?
Post by: NyawehNyoh on Thu Feb 27, 2020 - 12:31:20
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● Col 3:18 . .Wives, submit to your husband, as is fitting in The Lord.


NOTE: Here's a new word for your vocabulary: Womxn. You know what that is? It's the latest desperate attempt by man-hating women to avoid identifying themselves with men in every way possible. I suppose they'll next revise the spelling of their gender to look like this: femxle.

Anyway: in a nutshell; the submission we're talking about here is entirely positional.

For example; we ought to respect senior citizens not because they themselves have done anything to earn it, rather, because it's a respect that their age deserves. (cf. Lev 19:32)

Back when Queen Elizabeth II became monarch, her husband Philip felt humiliated to have to kneel to his own wife till she explained to him that he wouldn't be kneeling to her, rather, to the crown.

In other words: it's the position that deserves the respect rather than the person in it. So, wives give your husbands the respect due to their position in the home rather than the blokes they are.

"Wives, submit to your husband as to The Lord." (Eph 5:22)

That's a pretty tall order for Christian wives in a modern culture that constantly pressures them to be strong and masculine rather than soft and feminine; to be superiors rather than subordinates; and to be assertive, confrontational, and defiant rather than reasonable, peaceable, and cooperative.
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Title: Re: What Is Love?
Post by: NyawehNyoh on Fri Feb 28, 2020 - 21:59:28
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● Col 3:19 . . Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them.

Harsh can be defined a number of ways.

1• Abrasive
2• Abusive
3• Critical
4• Unfriendly
5• Uncivil
6• Rough
7• Oppressive
8• Cruel
9• Hostile
10• Loud
11• Demanding
12• Intolerant
13• Impatient
14• Insensitive
15• Unyielding

Those behaviors are very effective at making a Christian wife's existence bitter, i.e. a living hell; especially a Christian wife who's making an honest effort to comply with Col 3:18.
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Title: Re: What Is Love?
Post by: NyawehNyoh on Sat Feb 29, 2020 - 16:45:39
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● Col 3:21 . . Fathers, do not embitter your children, or they will become discouraged.

The koiné Greek word for "discouraged" is athumeo (ath-oo-meh'-o) which has to do with breaking the spirit. Really bad cases of embitterment can cause a child to lose the will to excel; sometimes even the will to live, i.e. suicidal.
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Title: Re: What Is Love?
Post by: NyawehNyoh on Sun Mar 01, 2020 - 21:23:36
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● Col 4:1 . . Masters, provide your slaves with what is right and fair, because you know that you also have a Master in heaven.

The master in heaven is providential. In other words: Christian masters have a sacred obligation to house their slaves in decent accommodations, clothe them with adequate garments, and nourish them with good food too because slave masters are a father to the souls in their house; they depend on him to care for them; there's no one else; and according to Gen 1:26-28 and Matt 12:11-12, people deserve to be treated better than an animal.
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Title: Re: What Is Love?
Post by: NyawehNyoh on Mon Mar 02, 2020 - 11:59:07
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● 1Thess 5:11 . . Encourage one another, and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.

Building up is just the opposite of tearing down. Christians in Galatia were busy doing just that.

● Gal 5:15 . . But if you bite and devour one another, take heed that you be not consumed one of another!

Biting and devouring one another describes cannibals and carnivorous beasts.
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Title: Re: What Is Love?
Post by: NyawehNyoh on Tue Mar 03, 2020 - 11:22:54
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● 1Thess 5:13b . . Live in peace with each other.

In this instance, "each other" probably refers to fellow believers.

The category of peace Paul is talking about is social; viz: harmony in personal relations. The Hippies and the peace-nics failed to achieve peace primarily because they couldn't be civil among themselves unless they were high on mood-altering drugs.

Peace can be defined as: calm, pacific, tranquil, at rest, quiet, and free of trouble and strife.

A lack of peace is characterized by war, quarrelling, debating, vendettas, hostility, grudging, fault finding, nit picking, chafing, competition, rivalry, cold shouldering, factions, taking sides, cliques, hostility, militancy, disorder, antagonism, fighting, conflict, struggles, et al.


NOTE: Never assume that everyone you meet in church is a fellow  believer. Going to church on Sunday is just what some people do, and probably have done ever since they were kids. There was a time when going to church on Sunday was considered good citizenship; and quite a few people were there for no other reason; i.e. church sort of fills out their social résumé. And then some people attend church because they're lonely and wanting to meet some new friends; etc, etc, etc, etc.
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Title: Re: What Is Love?
Post by: NyawehNyoh on Wed Mar 04, 2020 - 20:54:01
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● 1Thess 5:14b . . Comfort the discouraged

A discouraged person is someone who's given up all expectation that a situation will improve or change; viz: despairing.

In order to obey that directive, it's necessary to become personal with the people with whom you attend church. Too many Christians are like little islands of humanity in church. They warm a pew on Sunday morning and then get up and leave without bothering to spend even one minute mingling. They don't attend Sunday school because in Sunday school you meet people-- you associate with them; you get to know them, and they get to know you.

As disagreeable as that might be for private types of Christians, Sunday school is the best place in church to go for sympathy, for encouragement, and for support. Unfortunately, not many Christians can deal with negativity; and tend to distance themselves from people down in the dumps.


NOTE: In Dr. Laura Schlessinger's book "Ten Stupid Things That Men Do To Mess Up Their Lives" she lists men's propensity to fix things. In other words: instead of simply lending a sympathetic ear to people's problems, some men tend to see people with problems as "broken" and in need of repair; and then of course they take the initiative to begin offering unsolicited remedies. No; the idea is to console the discouraged rather than "fix" them.
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Title: Re: What Is Love?
Post by: NyawehNyoh on Thu Mar 05, 2020 - 17:11:31
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● 1Thess 5:14c . . Support the weak

That could probably be stretched to mean any number of things; but I should think it includes care for your church's aged and/or infirm; viz; people on crutches, people getting around in wheel chairs, people who can no longer drive a car, people lacking enough health to even leave their residences and go shopping on their own, people stuck in assisted living: that sort of thing.
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Title: Re: What Is Love?
Post by: NyawehNyoh on Fri Mar 06, 2020 - 17:40:54
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● 1Thess 5:14d . . Be patient with everyone.

The Greek word for patient is makrothumeo (mak-roth-oo-meh'-o) which has little to do with getting fed up with people. In James 5:7-8 it speaks of giving things space to happen in their own good time.

I would say that in this case, makrothumeo speaks of giving people a chance to either catch on or catch up. For example: we all perfectly understand what we're saying while those hearing may need to have us restate ourselves in different words in order to clarify a misunderstanding.
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Title: Re: What Is Love?
Post by: NyawehNyoh on Sat Mar 07, 2020 - 12:27:01
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● 1Thess 5:15 . . See that none render evil for evil unto any man; but ever follow that which is good, both among yourselves, and to all men.

Christian conduct isn't a temporary uniform kept in the closet just for Sunday mornings like the rather odd patrons who wear costumes at Star Trek conventions. No, Christian conduct is every-day wear-- in the home, on the job, at school, at the beach, at the mall, at the park, at the beach, in restaurants, in amusement centers, at the zoo, at the circus, on the internet, et al; in other words: ever-followed; not just at church on Sunday morning; which makes ever-following that which is good somewhat stressful at first; until it becomes second nature, i.e. a habit.
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Title: Re: What Is Love?
Post by: NyawehNyoh on Sun Mar 08, 2020 - 22:04:46
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● 1Tim 5:1a . . When speaking to an older man, appeal to him respectfully as though he were your own father.

There's probably nothing more humiliating to a parent than to be treated like dirt by their children-- except maybe to be treated like dirt by a spouse.

Americans have the right to a trial by a jury of their peers. Well, a child is not a parent's peer; he's not even the parent's equal let alone his peer. Parents are not children's peers; no, parents are their betters, not their equals. It's a thoughtless, wicked, insolent dunce who treats their parents with no more respect than a college beer buddy.

I was in a Sunday school class one morning where a young fellow substituted for the regular teacher. After practically every sentence during his lecture, the fellow would pause, tighten his lips, turn down the corners of his mouth, squint his eyes into narrow slits, and look around the room with a fierce scowl on his face; and better than half that room was older than he was. I don't know about the rest of the group, but as a man easily twice his age; I deeply resented the looks that youngster was giving us.
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Title: Re: What Is Love?
Post by: NyawehNyoh on Mon Mar 09, 2020 - 21:05:50
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● 1Tim 5:1b . .Speak to the younger men as you would to your own kin.

In this case, the "kin" would be sort of like a man's younger siblings; viz: his kid brothers. Young boys look up to their big brothers; who by all rights should be setting the example as role models that a growing boy can be proud of. Big brothers ought to be available too, and not treat their younger siblings as excess baggage and/or uncool nerds and morons who are beneath their dignity to be seen with.

Church officers who grew up in dysfunctional homes, where human relationships were an ongoing cold war, are going to find that 1Tim 5:1b is very difficult to obey in a manner that exemplifies peace, love, and understanding. Were they to speak to the younger men in church the very same way that they're accustomed to speaking to their own kin at home; it would produce disastrous results.
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Title: Re: What Is Love?
Post by: NyawehNyoh on Tue Mar 10, 2020 - 21:08:31
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● 1Tim 5:2a . . Speak to the older women as mothers,

Speaking to older women as mothers means doing so in compliance with the fourth of the Ten Commandments.

● Ex 20:12 . . Honor your mother

Honoring one's mother means giving her the respect that her age and her maternal position deserve. It means watching your language, and it means keeping a civil tongue in your head. It means speaking to her as a grown-up instead of a child. It means treating her as superior and you as subordinate. It means deferring to her wishes instead of demanding your own.
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Title: Re: What Is Love?
Post by: NyawehNyoh on Wed Mar 11, 2020 - 19:28:10
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● 1Tim 5:3-4 . . Give proper recognition to those widows who are really in need. But if a widow has children or grandchildren, her kin should learn first of all to put their religion into practice by caring for their own family and so repaying their parents and grandparents, for this is pleasing to God.

A widow in real need would be one who is unable to work and has no one of her own to look out after her. Here in modern America that situation isn't nearly as serious as it is in third world countries where there are no government assistance programs for senior citizens. So you can see that in those circumstances a widow's church may be the only thing between her and grinding poverty.

A widow's Christian offspring have a sacred obligation to provide for their aging ancestors.

●  1Tim 5:8 . .Those who won't care for their own kin, especially those living in the same household, have disregarded what we believe. Such people are worse than infidels.
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Title: Re: What Is Love?
Post by: NyawehNyoh on Thu Mar 12, 2020 - 22:21:04
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● 1Tim 5:5-7 . .The widow who is really in need, and left all alone, puts her hope in God and continues night and day to pray and to ask God for help. But the widow who lives for pleasure is dead even while she lives. Give the people these instructions, too, so that no one may be open to blame.

The New Testament Greek word for "pleasure" means voluptuous; which Webster's defines as luxury and/or sensual gratification.

People who live only for the best that life has to offer generally regard religion as a ball and chain holding them back from living their lives to the fullest. Well; not everyone has access to either the means or the wherewithal to live life to the fullest. For some, life offers no options other than a tin shack, a dirt floor, and a bowl of white rice; if that.

Basic necessities aren't the issue here, rather, the goal to satisfy one's appetite for the best that life has to offer. It's said that one cannot serve God and money, well neither can one serve God and one's inherent cravings. True, it's difficult to stop one's self from craving the best that life has to offer; but one can choose whether to let the satisfaction of those cravings be the dominant force in their life.

● Mark 4:18-19 . . Still others, like seed sown among thorns, hear the word; but the concerns of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth, and the desires for other things come in and choke the word, making it unfruitful.
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Title: Re: What Is Love?
Post by: NyawehNyoh on Thu Mar 12, 2020 - 22:28:23
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● 1Tim 5:16 . . If any believing man or woman have widows, let them relieve them, and let not the church be charged; that it may relieve them that are widows indeed.

It's awful to think that a religion based upon love, has to command its adherents to extend kindness to their own kin.

But in all fairness, I should point out that Paul's directive only impacts believing widows rather than unbelieving, because a Christian church is under zero obligation to support widows who fail to meet all the requirements of a "widow indeed" as per 1Tim 5:9-10.

What we're talking about here are specifically Christian widows; so if those among your relatives are say, Atheist, Agnostic, Muslim, Buddhist, Bahái, Hindu, Jehovah's Witness, Scientology, or Mormon, et al; then don't even think about asking your church to help support them. If you want to help them, okay, but leave your church out of it.
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Title: Re: What Is Love?
Post by: NyawehNyoh on Sat Mar 14, 2020 - 12:07:28
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● 2Tim 2:14 . . Command them in God's name to stop quarrelling over trifles.

In a Sean Connery movie titled "The Name Of The Rose" church dignitaries assembled a meeting of the minds to reach a resolution on a theological question which was: Did the Christ own the clothes that he wore or not?

Well, needless to say, the discussion turned into bickering wherein nothing was resolved. Tempers flared, shouting ensued, feelings were hurt, and people were alienated over the issue-- a rather trifling issue; which is precisely what it means to fiddle while Rome burns down around you.

Christians are often embroiled in arguments over things that in the grand scheme of things have almost zero importance while all around them are weightier matters begging their attention.

It's interesting that Paul didn't want Timothy's flock instructed to avoid quarrelling over trifles, rather, to stop quarrelling. I can't help but wonder how many Christians think to seek absolution for the sin of quarrelling over trifles when they go to confession.
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Title: Re: What Is Love?
Post by: NyawehNyoh on Sun Mar 15, 2020 - 22:34:04
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● 2Tim 2:24a . . The Lord's bond-servant must not be quarrelsome

Sometimes it's best to follow Han Solo's advice and "let the Wookie win one". In other words; when one is wise; two are happy. Be the wise one and pick your fights carefully. Don't expend your energies on hot button topics; they'll just lead to anger, frustration, demeaning comments, and flaming remarks.

Especially avoid getting into discussions with obtuse individuals driven by a rather annoying propensity to challenge everything you say simply because they thrive on perpetual debating that never gets to the bottom of anything.

Another thing: Do you really have to be right all the time? People are entitled to a second opinion so let them have one. It's good diplomacy; which can be defined as skill in handling affairs without arousing hostility, i.e. tact.
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Title: Re: What Is Love?
Post by: Jean74 on Mon Mar 16, 2020 - 00:33:35
Real love comes from Christ. Not Buddha, Hindu, etc. But God through Jesus Christ!
Title: Re: What Is Love?
Post by: NyawehNyoh on Mon Mar 16, 2020 - 23:24:05
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● 2Tim 2:24b-26 . . The Lord's servant must . . be kind to all, apt to teach, patient when wronged, with gentleness correcting those who are in opposition, if perhaps God may grant them a change of heart leading to the knowledge of the truth, and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the Devil, having been held captive by him to do his will.

The all in "be kind to all" really should be taken to mean all in Christian congregations rather than all in the world. The reason being, according to Eph 4:11-16, Christ doesn't dispense his servants for the world's benefit, rather, for his body's benefit.

For the above reason; Sunday school teachers need to treat the people in church who oppose them with the same sympathy and consideration as they would patients in a mental hospital who lack the faculties to know what they're doing and/or to think for themselves; hence the instructions to be kind, gentle, and patient because according to the last words in that passage, those folks are entangled in a bit of spiritual difficulty not easily overcome.
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Title: Re: What Is Love?
Post by: NyawehNyoh on Tue Mar 17, 2020 - 23:09:45
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● Titus 3:2 . . malign no one, be non-contentious, gentle, showing every consideration for all men.

The Greek word for "malign" is blasphemeo (blas-fay-meh'-o) which means: to vilify, defined by Webtser's as: to lower in estimation or importance, and/or to utter abusive statements against. In other words; blasphemeo is talking about tearing people down and changing people's impression of them; mostly for the worse. There's a lot of that goes on in the world of politics.

It probably goes without saying that the kind of vilification were talking about here is mean-spirited and unwarranted. For example; is it tearing a Ponzi scheme mogul like Bernie Madoff down to say that he's a louse of marginal integrity who can't be trusted with other people's money? No; the man has been proven to be exactly that.

"non-contentious" refers to peaceable; i.e. not ready to fight at the drop of a hat.

"gentle" actually means mild, i.e. temperate: exercising self restraint; viz: controlling one's impulses.

"showing every consideration" is simply making an effort to avoid hurting people's feelings for no good reason. This no doubt includes common courtesy along with keeping a civil tongue in one's head.
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Title: Re: What Is Love?
Post by: NyawehNyoh on Wed Mar 18, 2020 - 22:55:07
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● Heb 12:14a . . Pursue peace with all men,

The Geek word for "peace" is eirene (i-ray'-nay) and means not only a lack of strife, but also the presence of prosperity; which implies always seeking the good of others rather than only your own.

People of peace are in an advantageous category.

● Matt 5:9 . . Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.
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Title: Re: What Is Love?
Post by: NyawehNyoh on Thu Mar 19, 2020 - 17:47:03
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● Heb 13:1 . . Let brotherly love continue.

The Greek word for "brotherly love" in that passage is philadelphia (fil-ad-el fee'-ah) which refers to fraternal affection. Philadelphia is different than the neighborly love required by Matt 19:19 and Matt 22:37-40.

The Greek word for "love" in those passages is agapao (ag-ap-ah'-o) which doesn't necessarily contain the element of affection; rather, it's an impersonal kind of love exemplified in behaviors like courtesy, kindness, sympathy, civility, good will, deference, and consideration. In other words, you don't have to be especially fond of your neighbor in order to comply with Matt 19:19 and Matt 22:37-40. (cf. Matt 5:43-48)

Philadelphia love is difficult because it requires the involvement of one's affections, viz: one's feelings rather than only their manners. A really good example is located at John 16:27 where Jesus stated:

"Father himself loves you because you have loved me and have believed that I came from God."

For those of us who grew up deprived of love; that passage is nigh unto impossible to believe that God is actually, and truly, fond of us in any way at all.

● 1John 3:1 . . Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God

The manner of love that a normal father feels for his own children is far more sensitive, than the love he might feel for his neighbor's children. A normal father's love for his own children is down in his gut, viz: his affections.

There's no fondness expressed in passages like John 3:16; which speaks of benevolence but not necessarily fondness and affection. God cares for the world, yes, but that doesn't mean that He likes the world. In point of fact, God quite despises the world; it disgusts Him and He'd really like for the world to give Him reason to improve His opinion.
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Title: Re: What Is Love?
Post by: NyawehNyoh on Fri Mar 20, 2020 - 13:13:14
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● Heb 13:2 . . Do not neglect to be hospitable with strangers; for by this some have entertained angels without knowing it.

Artists generally depict angels as heavenly creatures with wings and/or aglow with some sort of ethereal light. But the Greek word doesn't always indicate celestial beings, rather, it refers to all manner of messengers, e.g. prophets (Matt 11:10), delegates (Luke 7:24), fire (Heb 1:7), ecclesiastic authorities (Rev 1:20-3:14), visions (Rev 22:16), and even acts of God like fire, wind, smoke, voices, and earthquakes. (Acts 7:53)

Webster's defines "hospitable" as: given to generous and cordial reception of guests, promising or suggesting generous and friendly welcome, offering a pleasant or sustaining environment.

Inviting strangers into one's own home could easily result in the murder of your entire family, along with the theft of your belongings. So, I'm thinking Heb 13:2 is not saying that; rather, it's talking about congregational homes; viz: churches.

I think it's very important to make non members-- visitors --feel at home in your church: make them feel welcome to return. Not only is that the neighborly thing to do, but you just never know if that next stranger through the door was guided there by providence and has been selected by God for a special purpose.
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Title: Re: What Is Love?
Post by: NyawehNyoh on Sat Mar 21, 2020 - 18:16:17
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● Heb 13:3 . . Remember prisoners, as though in prison with them; and those who are ill-treated, since you yourselves also are in the body.

The prisoners mentioned are not just any jailbird in lock-up; but rather, it's limited to those who are "in the body" viz: in Christ.

●  Eph 5:30-32 . .We are members of his body. "For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh." This is a profound mystery-- but I am talking about Christ and the church.

●  1Cor 12:12-13 . . For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ. For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body

The tenor of the command is, I think, restricted to Christians mistreated and/or confined for their religious beliefs and practices rather than actual crimes. There's a lot of that sort of thing going on today in Muslim countries. America is well-known for its religious tolerance; other countries, not so much.
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Title: Re: What Is Love?
Post by: NyawehNyoh on Sun Mar 22, 2020 - 20:27:41
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● Heb 13:4 . . Let marriages be respected: and the bed kept unsoiled

Some Christians don't know the meaning of "respect" when it comes to marriage. It means to treat someone else's spouse as a sacred object. I've seen for myself how some Christians think it's terrible to trespass on private property and/or steal the silverware when they're invited over for dinner; but at the same time get just a bit too chummy with their host's spouse.
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Title: Re: What Is Love?
Post by: NyawehNyoh on Mon Mar 23, 2020 - 18:57:34
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● Heb 13:16 . . And do not neglect doing good and sharing; for with such sacrifices God is pleased.

Doing good and sharing are bloodless sacrifices; and in point of fact are far more likely to be accepted by God than the death of birds and beasts.

In the first chapter of the book of Isaiah, God lambasted Moses' people for bringing all the correct, God-mandated sacrifices to the Temple. Why? Because those sacrifices were insulting while His people were not only crooks; but also lacking the milk of human kindness. The sacrifices that God preferred over and above the Temple offerings were the below:

● Isa 1:17 . . Learn to do right! Seek justice, encourage the oppressed, defend the cause of the fatherless, plead the case of the widow.

● Hos 6:6 . . For I desired mercy, and not sacrifice; and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings.

So "doing good" consists of doing what's right, and seeking kindness and fairness across the board for everyone; including the disadvantaged and the disenfranchised. The US Government has been notoriously negligent in doing good by its chronic failure to honor its treaties with Native Americans. Not long ago I read in my local paper about 50 years of Federal foot-dragging in respect to honoring its commitment to provide tribes situated along the Columbia River with fishing villages to replace the ones that were obliterated due to construction of The Dalles dam. Well; God takes note of that sort of thing; nobody is getting by with anything.
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Title: Re: What Is Love?
Post by: NyawehNyoh on Tue Mar 24, 2020 - 18:40:34
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● Jas 1:19 . . Let everyone be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger;

I can't help but wonder how many Christian parents have children whom-- in teaching them good manners --they taught that it's impolite to interrupt when others are speaking, but yet allow themselves liberty to practice just the opposite.

Anger per se isn't evil; I mean after all, The Lord himself wasn't immune to anger (Mark 3:5). And neither is the Bible's God immune to anger. (Ex 4:14, Num 11:1, Rom 1:18, Rom 2:8)

Non-sinful anger can be a valuable tool if it's administered intelligently. However, human anger is often spontaneous, impulsive, unfair, unjustified, inappropriate, irrational, unnecessary, controlling, violent, emotional, petulant, selfish, and reactive.

● Jas 1:20 . . Man's anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires.
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Title: Re: What Is Love?
Post by: NyawehNyoh on Wed Mar 25, 2020 - 11:18:08
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● Jas 2:1 . . My brethren, have not the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ-- The Lord of glory --with respect of persons.

The Greek word for "respect of persons" is prosopolepsia (pros-o-pol-ape-see’-ah) which means: partiality.

Webster’s defines "partiality" as: partisan, prejudiced, biased, and/or granting one person more value as a human being than another in regards to particulars like age, race, gender, looks, size, education, intellect, bank account, career, clothing, popularity, neighborhood, and social status.

● Jas 2:2-4 . . For instance, suppose someone comes into your meeting dressed in  flashy clothing and expensive jewelry, and another comes in who is low-income and dressed in shabby clothes. If you give special attention and a good seat to the rich person, but you say to the poor one, "You can stand over there, or else sit on the floor" --well, doesn’t this kind of discrimination show that you are guided by wrong motives?

When I first began attending church as an adult back in the decade of the 1970's, my wardrobe consisted entirely of shirts and trousers that I bought on the cheap at Value Village-- a popular second hand store on the west coast the same as Salvation Army and Goodwill.

I never told anybody where I shopped, although I've no doubt that some of the folk I encountered in church could tell that my fashions were a tad out of date because there were some upper income people attending that looked a whole lot nicer than me; but I figured: what the hay; I had as much right to attend in my previously-owned clothing as they did in their untainted high-end threads. Some of them had gold watches too while I sported a simple Timex with an imitation leather strap; and I drove an aging 1968 VW Beetle that needed paint. You know, looking back on that era, I sometimes wonder how many people avoided me without my knowing it because of all that.
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Title: Re: What Is Love?
Post by: NyawehNyoh on Thu Mar 26, 2020 - 19:30:15
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● Jas 2:12 . . So speak and so act, as those who are to be judged by the law of liberty.

The law of liberty is different than the law of the covenant that Moses' people agreed upon with God as per Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy. That law is depicted in the New Testament as a law of bondage rather than freedom. (Gal 5:1)

Within the context of James' epistle, the law of liberty-- a.k.a. Christ's law (Rom 8:2) --judges Christians by how they treat other people in accord with how Christ wants them to be treated in his name.


NOTE: There are Christians out there who are so uncivil, so uncompromising, so implacable so militant, so irritable, and so lacking the milk of human kindness, that they would actually be doing Christ service by not identifying themselves with him. Compare Mark 3:11-12 where Jesus commanded some evil spirits to keep their mouth shut about his identity.
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Title: Re: What Is Love?
Post by: NyawehNyoh on Fri Mar 27, 2020 - 11:16:03
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● Jas 3:13-18 . .Who among you is wise and understanding? Let him show by his good behavior his deeds in the gentleness of wisdom. But if you have bitter rivalry and selfish ambition in your heart, do not be arrogant and so lie against the truth. This wisdom is not that which comes down from above, but is earthly, natural, demonic.

. . . For where rivalry and selfish ambition exist, there is disorder and every evil thing. But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of compassion and good fruits, unwavering, without hypocrisy. And the seed whose fruit is righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.

The "seed whose fruit is righteousness" is oftentimes not sown in peace on internet forums; nor is it sown on internet forums by people who make peace. It's sown by flaming, competitive, assertive, confrontational people-- toxic, impulsive, mean-spirited personalities given to rejoinders, demeaning comments, recriminations and fault finding. And if there's a problem, it's never them; no, you are the problem, and for them; turning the other cheek is no longer in vogue.

Those kinds of people do not like to be wrong, nor can they even think of themselves as wrong, nor are they likely to admit when they're wrong because they're really not all that interested in the truth; but only in defending their version of the truth; viz: their truth is far more important to them than even the God's truth; and should you not accept their truth, then it's because you have no understanding and need to come to your senses. These people are neither wise nor gentle. They'll ride rough-shod over your feelings like a skate-boarder barreling through Autumn leaves on the sidewalk. It's just awful how little they care for the injuries their attitude and their choice of words cause others.

People who take it upon themselves to teach, preach, and/or discuss the Bible ought to be sensible, and they ought to exemplify the Gospel. They can't be doing it for the prestige, showing off, impressing their friends, and/or competing with a rival. They have to be honest and forthright. They have to have a heart, they have to be dedicated and reliable: they cannot be vacillating, they have to practice what they preach, and they cannot be sarcastic, obtuse, difficult, contrary, quarrelsome, snobby, pretentious, demeaning, domineering, despotic, assertive, confrontational, stubborn, militant, pernicious, or pugnacious.

Christians that teach and/or discuss the Bible with others really ought to be someone they can trust, and someone with whom they may speak their minds without fear of reprisals instead of someone in whose presence everybody has to walk on egg shells all the time.
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Title: Re: What Is Love?
Post by: NyawehNyoh on Sat Mar 28, 2020 - 17:32:22
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● Jas 4:11a . . Do not speak evil of one another, brethren.

The Greek word for "speak evil" is katalaleo (kat-al-al-eh'-o) which means: a traducer, a slanderer.

Webster's defines "slander" as: the utterance of false charges or misrepresentations which defame and/or damage another's reputation and/or a false and defamatory oral statement about a person; viz: libel.

Webster's defines "libel" as: 1) a written or oral defamatory statement or representation that conveys an unjustly unfavorable impression, and 2) a statement or representation published without just cause and tending to expose another to public contempt.

According to Webster's, a statement (or a photograph) need not be untrue to qualify as libel. If the statement, and/or the photograph, is unnecessarily denigrating and/or embarrassing to someone, though it be 100% true, then it qualifies as libel.

There are some things we could say about others that, though true, aren't necessary. For example, if you were to inadvertently see one of the ladies in the office scratching an itch on her derriere; is it really necessary to go blabbing about it all over the office? (cf. Gen 9:20-22)

No; and in point of fact, to do so would be libelous, not to mention possibly in violation of local labor laws banning the fomentation of a hostile workplace; and these days, it could even be construed as sexual misconduct. If that lady ever found out you were blabbing about her derriere she might be so mortified as to make it difficult for her to show up for work.

Words are weapons,
Sharper than knives.

The Devil Inside
INXS
Andrew Farriss and Michael Hutchence

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Title: Re: What Is Love?
Post by: NyawehNyoh on Sun Mar 29, 2020 - 19:36:34
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● Jas 5:9 . . Do not complain against one another, brethren, that you yourselves may not be judged; behold, the Judge is standing right at the door.

If there’s a personality clash between you and a fellow believer; God forbid you should drag other people into the middle of it! And keep in mind that God is an eavesdropper. He hears and sees everything we do, think, or say. Don't let Him catch you maliciously shredding a fellow believer's reputation, assassinating their character and/or running them into the ground behind their back. (cf. Matt 18:15)
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Title: Re: What Is Love?
Post by: NyawehNyoh on Mon Mar 30, 2020 - 12:22:16
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● Jas 5:14 . . Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of The Lord

Religious fanatics here and there are allowing their underage children to suffer and even die from treatable medical conditions on the basis of that verse. Where do we draw the line with the so-called "freedom of religion" guaranteed in the US Constitution's first amendment? Answer: We draw the line at the child's inalienable right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; which, according to America's Declaration of Independence; are not only God-given rights, but also a self evident truth that men were created with those rights.

The DOI goes on to say that all men are created equal. It doesn't say grown-up men; it says all men, which means that  women and children have just as much right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness as anybody else. Parents who deny the truth of those rights are nothing in the world but wicked despots; and in point of fact the very kinds of twisted monarchs the DOI targets.

Christ addressed this issue indirectly by means of his teachings on the seventh day Sabbath; which, in a nutshell, says that the seventh day was made for man, not the other way around. (Mark 2:27)

● Matt 12:11-12 . . And he said unto them, What man shall there be among you, that shall have one sheep, and if it fall into a pit on the sabbath day, will he not lay hold on it, and lift it out? How much then is a man better than a sheep? Wherefore it is lawful to do good on the sabbath days.

The sanctity of human life trumps the sanctity of the Sabbath. So then, hospitals, doctors, nurses, firemen, law enforcement, soup kitchens, rescue missions, Red Cross, Haiti emergency workers, etc. who are busy on the Sabbath do not sin. Do they break the Sabbath? Yes; but the sanctity of the Sabbath is secondary to the sanctity of human life.

So then, I would have to say, in accordance with Matt 12:11-12, that people who deny their children adequate medical care in the name of religion regard the value of their own flesh and blood as something less than that of a beast.

It's okay to have elders pray for your child, and it's okay to anoint them with oil as per James 5:14. But after that, parents really should take their children to a doctor because the sanctity of human life is far more important than strict observance of one's religious rituals.

There used to be an old saying going around in Christian circles that went something like this: When a farmer prays for a crop, he should say amen with a hoe. In other words, don't just sit back and wait for a miracle when it's in your power to take some action; and if you don't, then in my opinion, you deserve to be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law when a child in your care dies from a treatable condition.

● 1Tim 5:8 . . If any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he has denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.
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Title: Re: What Is Love?
Post by: NyawehNyoh on Tue Mar 31, 2020 - 19:57:57
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● 1Pet 1:22b . . See that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently

The Greek word translated "love" in that passage is agapao (ag-ap-ah'-o) which is actually a very easy love to practice because it doesn't consist of sentiments like affection and fondness; which are components of the other love in the New Testament translated from the Greek word phileo (fil-eh'-o).

Agapao is impersonal; commonly expressed in things like charity, kindness, sympathy, lenience, and tolerance; viz: agapao isn't expressed by liking people; rather, it's expressed by being nice to people, i.e. civil; defined by Webster's as adequate in courtesy and politeness: mannerly.

Phileo, on the other hand, is personal and not as common as agapao because phileo is felt rather than expressed; viz: phileo refers to emotional attachments.

An excellent contrast between the two loves is seen by comparing John 3:16 and John 16:27.

In the first; God is shown sympathetic.

"For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life."

In the latter, God is shown affectionate.

"The Father himself loves you because you have loved me and have believed that I came from God."

Obtaining God's sympathy is very easy because that's on Him; whereas winning His affections is not so easy because that's on us.

● John 15:10 . . If you obey my commands, you will abide in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father's commands and abide in His love.

Anyway; 1Pet 1:22b only requires Christians to be civil, which I'm convinced is within every Christian's capabilities; even for Christians whose sensitivities are those of a catcher's mitt or a wooden nickel.

A pure fervent heart refers to taking Peter's requirement seriously enough to make a conscientious effort to comply with it; viz: every Christian, even the bi-polar ones, really ought to be doing their level best to be good people not just some of the time, nor even most of the time; but all the time-- at the very least among themselves and with each other.
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Title: Re: What Is Love?
Post by: NyawehNyoh on Wed Apr 01, 2020 - 12:35:22
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● 1Pet 2:1a . . Lay aside all malice

The Greek word for "malice" is kakia (kak-ee'-ah) which basically refers to badness, i.e. depravity, malignity, and trouble.

Malignity commonly describes aggressive cancers, which tend to spread and produce death or deterioration, viz: malignant people are passionately and relentlessly malevolent; defined by Webster's as having, showing, or arising from intense often vicious ill will, spite, or hatred.

If malice can be lain aside, then I think it safe to conclude that there are some people whose mean-spirited behavior is by choice, i.e. deliberate.
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Title: Re: What Is Love?
Post by: NyawehNyoh on Fri Apr 03, 2020 - 16:14:05
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● 1Pet 2:1b . . Lay aside all deceit (a.k.a. guile, cunning, and duplicity)

The Greek word for "deceit" is dolos (dol'-os) which basically refers to a decoy; defined by Webster's as someone or something used to lure or lead another into a trap.

Decoys can also be used as diversions, e.g. red herrings.

Dolos also refers to trickery; defined by Webster's as the practice of crafty underhanded ingenuity to deceive or cheat, for example Gen 3:1.

A very common form of deceit is something called dissembling; which basically means to conceal one's true feelings with pretense. I think it's pretty safe to say that everybody at one time or another practices dissembling; it's pretty much a natural propensity.

Peter's instructions don't say to avoid deceit, they say to lay it aside; viz: stop it.
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Title: Re: What Is Love?
Post by: NyawehNyoh on Sat Apr 04, 2020 - 21:08:39
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● 1Pet 2:1c . . Lay aside all hypocrisy

The Greek word for "hypocrisy" is hupokrisis (hoop-ok'-ree-sis) which is a mite ambiguous. It basically refers to acting under a feigned part.

Not all hypocrisy is bad; quite a few people earn an honest living by accepting parts in movies and plays. That we can live with.

But hypocrisy in religion is insufferable; for example Mark 12:13-15, which reads like this:

"Later they sent some of the Pharisees and Herodians to Jesus to catch him in his words. They came to him and said: Teacher, we know you are a man of integrity. You aren't swayed by men, because you pay no attention to who they are; but you teach the way of God in accordance with the truth. Is it right to pay taxes to Caesar or not? Should we pay or shouldn't we? But Jesus knew their hypocrisy."

Their inquiry was reasonable; but it was based upon a hidden agenda. They didn't care one whit about the taxes; they were only looking for a legitimate excuse to have Jesus arrested and put away where he could no longer influence public opinion.

Hypocrisy is also exemplified in double standards, for example Luke 6:41-42 and Matt 23:2-4

"And why do you look at the speck that is in your brother's eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother: Brother, let me take out the speck that is in your eye, when you yourself do not see the log that is in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take out the speck that is in your brother's eye."

"The scribes and the Pharisees have seated themselves in the chair of Moses; therefore all that they tell you, do and observe, but do not do according to their deeds; for they say things, and do not do them. And they tie up heavy loads, and lay them on men's shoulders; but they themselves are unwilling to move them with so much as a finger."
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Title: Re: What Is Love?
Post by: NyawehNyoh on Sun Apr 05, 2020 - 22:09:37
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● 1Pet 2:1d . . Lay aside all envy

Webster's defines envy as painful or resentful awareness of an advantage enjoyed by another, coupled with a desire to possess the same advantage

There are musicians that I greatly admire for their talent and their creativity. But I don't hate them for it; no, I truly love their work, i.e. I'm a fan rather than a rival. For example; famed sessions musician Carol Kaye can lay down smooth jazz lines with an electric bass using nothing more than a flat guitar pick. I wish I could do what Carol does; at the same time wish her all the best and would sincerely like for her to continue playing and teaching forever.

But when admiration is mixed with pain and resentment, it can become ugly and extremely dangerous.

For example, it was envy that motivated Cain to murder his kid brother, and it was envy that motivated Joseph's brothers to sell him into slavery, and it was envy that motivated Jesus' opponents to have him arrested and put to death.

People prone to envy share a very common denominator: they simply must be either equal to, or better than, others. It's that simple. And if they cannot be equal to, or better than others, then nothing would make them happier than to see those others failed, maimed, silenced, disfigured, dishonored, disgraced, humiliated, handicapped for life and/or deceased.
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Title: Re: What Is Love?
Post by: NyawehNyoh on Mon Apr 06, 2020 - 22:14:19
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● 1Pet 2:1e . . Lay aside all evil speaking

The Greek word for "evil speaking" is katalalia (kat-al-al-ee'-ah) which basically means defamation; defined by Webster's as the act of communicating false statements about a person that injures their reputation.

Talking about someone behind their back counts as defamation only when the statements are untrue; especially if the statements are deliberately untrue and calculated to assassinate someone's character and/or question their good name.
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Title: Re: What Is Love?
Post by: NyawehNyoh on Tue Apr 07, 2020 - 22:45:14
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● 1Pet 2:17b . . love the brotherhood

The Greek word translated "brotherhood" is adelphotes (ad-el-fot'-ace) which appears in only two places in the entire New Testament; both are in the apostle Peter's epistles: one here and the other in 1Pet 5:9.

It's a curious word because it essentially refers to a fraternity; defined by Webster's as a group of people associated or formally organized for a common purpose, interest, or pleasure; i.e. persons of the same class, profession, character, or tastes: for example leagues, guilds, societies, and trade unions.

Just to be on the safe side, assume that Peter's greeting applies to anyone and everyone calling themselves a Christian regardless of their denominational affiliation.

One thing to our advantage is that the Greek word for "love" in 1Pet 2:17 is impersonal, viz: it doesn't require affection, it only requires that we be humane, e.g. civil, courteous, friendly, peaceable, hospitable, sympathetic, tolerant, lenient, forgiving, charitable, and generous. In other words; we don't actually have to like our fellow Christians.
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Title: Re: What Is Love?
Post by: NyawehNyoh on Wed Apr 08, 2020 - 18:48:54
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● 1Pet 3:7a . . You husbands, dwell with your wives according to knowledge

The Greek word for "knowledge" is gnosis (gno'-sis) which means knowing (as information) in other words: facts and/or ideas acquired by study, investigation, observation, or experience.

Gnosis is different than "intuition" which Webster's defines as: the power, or faculty, of attaining to direct knowledge or cognition without evident rational thought and inference.

Gnosis is different than "instinct" too, which Webster's defines as: (1) a natural or inherent aptitude, impulse, or capacity, (2) a largely inheritable and unalterable tendency of an organism to make a complex and specific response to environmental stimuli without involving reason, and (3) behavior that is mediated by reactions below the conscious level; viz: a mental and/or emotional knee-jerk reflex.

So then, Peter is talking about husbands applying instructed knowledge of Christian social skills to their marriages.

There are young boys being brought up by macho (a.k.a. toxic) fathers teaching their sons to "control their women". Well, that might be an acceptable marriage philosophy in the home of a Muslim fundamentalist and/or a club-toting Neanderthal, but not in the home of a man passing himself off as one of Christ's followers. In a pious home, Christian husbands are neither required nor expected to tame their Christian wives seeing as how the onus is upon the wives themselves to exercise self control.


NOTE: It's required of Christ's followers to love their enemies but it's not required to like their enemies nor is it required to always have a good opinion about them. However, though a Christian husband's love need not include the elements of affection and/or fondness; his love does need to include the element of benevolence, along with diplomacy; which Webster's defines as skill in handling affairs without arousing hostility, viz: tact.
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Title: Re: What Is Love?
Post by: NyawehNyoh on Thu Apr 09, 2020 - 10:53:39
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● 1Pet 3:7b . . Give honor unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel,

The koiné Greek word for "honor" is time (tee-may') which means: a value, i.e. money paid.

The word for "weaker" is asthenes (as-then-ace') which means: having no strength, i.e. fragile.

And the word for  "vessel" is skeuos (skyoo'-os) which can indicate anything from a soup bowl to a cardboard box; in other words: a container.

Peter isn't saying women are physically weaker than men; but that Christian husbands should exercise the same care with their wives as they would a fragile antique worth thousands of dollars like, say, a Ming vase. Nobody in their right mind handles a Ming vase like a farmer handles a 5-gallon bucket. Not that some women couldn't take that kind of handling; it's just that its unbecoming for a Christian man to lack sensitivity for his wife's feelings.

This particular assessed value isn't an intrinsic value, nor is it a deserved value either; but rather, it's a gratuitous value. In other words: Christ commands Christian husbands to categorize their wives up there with Dresden china even if she's as tough as a female cop and/or a UFC mixed martial artist the likes of Rhonda Rousey-- and this is not a choice; no, it's not a choice; it's an order.

Christian husbands who treat their Skil saws and their tomato plants with more care and concern than they treat their wives can just forget about associating with God on any meaningful level.

● 1Pet 3:7c . . as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered.

Note the word "together" which is quite the opposite of autonomy and/or independence.

Couples sometimes assert themselves with words like "What I do is between me and The Lord." No; not when you're married. Marriage changes everything between one's self and The Lord because people become one flesh in marriage: no longer two.
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Title: Re: What Is Love?
Post by: NyawehNyoh on Fri Apr 10, 2020 - 18:20:45
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● 1Pet 3:8a . . Finally, all of you be of one mind,

Peter’s not talking about the nerve center of a Borg-hive collective. The Greek word for "one mind" is homophron (hom-of'-rone) which means: harmonious; and this is the only place in the entire New Testament where that word appears.

Webster’s defines "harmonious" as: 1) musically concordant, 2) having the parts agreeably related; viz: congruous, and 3) marked by accord in sentiment or action.

Peter's instructions emphasize the third element-- "marked by accord in sentiment or action". Head-strong Christians, domineering Christians, those for whom every disagreement is either an affront or an act of war to win at any cost-- those for whom the word diplomacy has no meaning --of course have trouble complying with 1Pet 3:8a; that is: if they even consider it worthy of their notice.
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Title: Re: What Is Love?
Post by: NyawehNyoh on Sat Apr 11, 2020 - 15:55:23
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● 1Pet 3:8b-9 . . Have compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous; not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing.

"compassion" is from the Greek word sumpathes (soom-path-ace') which means: having a fellow-feeling; viz: sympathetic, i.e. (by implication) mutually commiserative: empathetic.

One of the meanings of commiserate is condole: like when we share someone's grief at the passing of a loved one, or their job has been outsourced to cheap labor in a foreign country, or they've lost their entire retirement fund to an unscrupulous corporation like ENRON, or their life savings to a crooked Ponzi schemer like Bernie Madoff, or when there's news from their doctor they have to begin chemo-therapy for a recently detected advanced cancer, or when the car of a single mom with limited income needs expensive repairs.

People in those predicaments are in sore need of condolences, and they are in no mood for philosophical platitudes.

The Greek word for "railing" is loidoria (loy-dor-ee'-ah) which means slander or vituperation; which Webster's defines as 1) to abuse or censure severely or abusively; viz: berate, and 2) to use harsh condemnatory language.

Rejoinders fall into that category; which are defined as a usually rude or angry reply to something written or said; viz: insensitive retorts deliberately meant to hurt people's feelings; viz: tit for tat. That kind of behavior doesn't go unnoticed.

● Matt 12:36-37 . . I say to you, that every careless word that men shall speak, they shall render account for it in the day of judgment. For by your words you shall be justified, and by your words you shall be condemned.
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Title: Re: What Is Love?
Post by: NyawehNyoh on Sun Apr 12, 2020 - 10:44:37
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● 1Pet 3:10-11 . . Let him who means to love life and see good days refrain his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking guile. And let him turn away from evil and do good; let him seek peace and pursue it.

Webster's defines "guile" as duplicity which is defined as: contradictory doubleness of thought, speech, or action; especially in the belying of one's true intentions by deceptive words or action; in other words, speaking with a forked tongue and/or saying one thing while meaning another.

Quite a bit is said in the Bible about the words people speak, whereas little to nothing is said about the words they write. That could be because so many people back in the day were illiterate. But surely one's written words have just as much voice as one's spoken words.

Good and evil are here juxtaposed as benevolence vs malevolence, i.e. good will vs ill will.

To "seek peace and pursue it" is blessing-worthy.

● Matt 5:9 . . Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.

If it's true that only peaceable kinds of people qualify to wear the label "children of God" then the opposite is just as true: difficult Christians are unworthy of the distinction.
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Title: Re: What Is Love?
Post by: NyawehNyoh on Mon Apr 13, 2020 - 13:17:35
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● 1Pet 4:8 . . Above all, keep fervent in your love for one another, because love hides a large number of sins.

A person easily provoked is not a loving person.

One Saturday morning I and another man at church were moving some furniture from one place to another inside the main building where, completely unknown to us, a wedding rehearsal was being conducted.

The woman in charge of organizing the wedding came out into the hall and began scolding us for talking and making noise. When I pointed out that there were no posted signs in the hallway indicating a function in progress on the other side of the door, she became sullen, and tightened her lips and narrowed her eyes in anger.

Had that lady exemplified the love about which Peter wrote, she would have handled her inconvenience with a little more tact and sensitivity, i.e. diplomacy.

● Matt 5:9 . . Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be known as God's kin.
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Title: Re: What Is Love?
Post by: NyawehNyoh on Tue Apr 14, 2020 - 11:11:10
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● 1Pet 5:5b . . and all of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, for God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble.

 The Greek word for "humble" is tapeinophrosune (tap-i-nof-ros-oo'-nay) which means lowliness of mind; viz: modesty, which Webster's defines as freedom from conceit or vanity. Lowliness of mind is to be greatly desired for its blessing.

● Matt 5:3 . . Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Humility is very rare on internet forums. Active members are typically easily insulted and infected with vanity; plus imperious, domineering, despotic, assertive, confrontational, arrogant, conceited, reactive, thin-skinned, self-righteous, emotional, critical, and defensive. Those are not what I would call good Christian attributes. They also have a propensity to jump to conclusions, get the wrong impression, and fly off the handle. Those aren't good Christian attributes either; in point of fact; none of those attributes are blessing-worthy.

"Grace" is one of those ambiguous abstract nouns that nobody seems to agree upon. Noah found grace in God's eyes (Gen 6:8) which in his case, regarded providence; which can be defined as kindly patronage. It was by God's providence that Noah and his family survived the Flood while the sons of God and their harems didn't. Let that sink in. Just because people label themselves a Christian, and profess a belief in Christ, is no guarantee they'll escape the horrors of the book of Revelation. Noah was a righteous man, and perfect in his generation; too many of today's card-carrying Christians are neither.

The Greek word for "proud" is huperephanos (hoop-er-ay'-fan-os) which means appearing above others, viz: haughty. Those kinds of people typically regard others with contempt, i.e. undeserving of respect or even so much as common courtesy. Haughty people are typically cruel, thoughtless, insensitive, and badly infected with a superiority complex, which goes hand in hand with arrogance: defined as an exaggerated sense of one's importance, sometimes manifested in an overbearing manner.

Arrogant people can be intolerably pushy and assertive at times; standing up to them usually always provokes an indignant reaction and a call to arms, so to speak, because these folk regard any and all disagreements with their way of thinking as demeaning attacks upon their core values and their distorted sense of self worth. These people have very little interest in harmony; they're stand-up fighters whose primary interest is winning and/or suppressing the opposition.

Seeing as how Heaven is reputed a place of peace, then the arrogant, the haughty, and the proud cannot be allowed to go there with their unholy personalities. For sure they'd just end up making things very uncomfortable for Heaven's normally mild-mannered, affable society.
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Title: Re: What Is Love?
Post by: NyawehNyoh on Wed Apr 15, 2020 - 23:16:58
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● 1John 3:11-13 . . For this is the message that you heard from the beginning, that we should love one another-- not as Cain who was of the wicked one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his works were evil and his brother's righteous. Do not be perplexed, my brethren, if the world hates you.

The Greek word for "love" in that passage, and in 1John 3:11-13, is agapao (ag-ap-ah'-o) which is an impersonal kind of love. In other words; it's civil but not necessarily affectionate; which means you don't have to especially like your fellow Christians, but you can still be nice to them in spite of the fact that some may thoroughly disgust you and/or rub you the wrong way.

A really good example of agapao is John 3:16 where it's said that God so loved the world. Well, it tells me that the love God extended to the world via His son's death is impersonal. It says that God wants what's best for the world in a generous, charitable way rather than motivated by adoration and fondness; i.e. there's generally no attachment in that kind of love.

Agapao is the word for love in John 3:16 but it's not the word for love in John 16:27 which reads like this:

"The Father Himself loves you, because you have loved me, and have believed that I came forth from the Father."

The love in that passage is phileo (fil-eh'-o) which is an affection that God feels for His friends . It's a personal love-- tender, sentimental, and close to home; consisting of things like bonding, fondness and affection. God doesn't feel phileo for just anybody; only for people close to his heart.

The word for "hates" is miseo (mis-eh'-o) which basically means to detest and/or to love less. Miseo isn't necessarily a passionate dislike; for example Matt 6:24 where a choice is made between God or wealth. (cf. Luke 14:26)

From that I think it's safe to take from John that he's not saying the entire whole world would like nothing better than Christians all lined up and shot, but that we should not expect the world to think highly of us for our religion's beliefs and practices; rather, to them Christianity detracts from our value; i.e. wearing the Christian label makes us less admirable; less of a person.

But there's people out there like Cain too.

● Ps 37:12 . .The wicked plot against the righteous and grate their teeth at them.

One of the boys involved in the April 20, 1999 Columbine High School shooting incident murdered a girl in the cafeteria just because she believed in God. Isn't that amazing? That boy was nothing in the world but a twentieth century Cain with a gun.
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Title: Re: What Is Love?
Post by: NyawehNyoh on Thu Apr 16, 2020 - 18:44:33
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● 1John 3:18a . . My little children, let us not love only in word or in tongue, but in deed,

The Greek word for "deed" is ergon (er'-gon) which primarily has to do with toil as an effort or occupation; but can also imply the way people act, i.e. the things they do as opposed to the things they say.

Some Christians can tell you all about love and quote their scriptures about love hip and thigh, but seem utterly incapable of exemplifying loving behavior.

● 1John 3:18b . . and in truth.

What is truth? (John 18:38)

Pilate's question was meaningful in his day because ancient philosophers perpetually discussed and debated the nature of truth without ever achieving a universal agreement about it.

Well; one of Webster's definitions of "truth" is: a state of being the case; viz: fact; which Webster's defines as the quality of being actual. In other words: truth is the way it is; viz: truth is reality as opposed to speculation, fantasy, opinion, error, inaccuracy, inexactness, theory, imagination, and false impressions, etc.

The trick to loving in truth is first of all knowing the truth.

I was once asked by an atheist why Christians need so many rules when their whole religion is summed up by just one: the Golden Rule.

Well, human nature's idea of the so-called golden rule is one thing; which may not may not conform to God's idea; hence the following commandment.

● Rom 12:2 . . Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

There are no short-cuts to the truth. The good path is according to Eph 4:11-15; viz: by teachers and preachers. I do not recommend the self-taught route. People who go that way usually end up with disinformation lodged in their heads that is not easily corrected.

● 2Pet 3:16 . .Some of Paul's comments are hard to understand, and those who are ignorant and unstable have twisted his letters around to mean something quite different from what he meant, just as they do the other parts of Scripture-- and the result is disaster for them.

Anyway, point being: love in accordance with truth may at times seem very unloving to the world because it doesn't know the truth, nor does it care to know. I think a fair percentage of the world would agree with Pilate that truth is uncertain and unknowable.
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Title: Re: What Is Love?
Post by: NyawehNyoh on Fri Apr 17, 2020 - 21:05:56
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● 1John 4:20-21 . . If someone says "I love God," and hates his brother, he's a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen? And this commandment we have from Him: that he who loves God must love his brother also.


NOTE: The commandment referenced is located at John 13:34

The Greek word for "love" throughout 1John 4:20-21 is  agapao (ag-ap-ah'-o) which is an indistinct word for love that may or may not include affection and fondness; but it certainly includes things like civility, courtesy, generosity, lenience, tolerance, charity, kindness, patience, forgiveness, diplomacy, humility, hospitality, sympathy, respect, tact, etc.

I think that what John is trying to get across is that inconsiderate treatment of The Father's children betrays one's lack of consideration for a father's feelings; which is the behavior of a churlish Christian rather than a spiritual Christian.
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Title: Re: What Is Love?
Post by: NyawehNyoh on Sat Apr 18, 2020 - 12:00:37
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● 1John 5:16-17 . . If anyone sees his brother commit a sin that does not lead to death, he should pray and God will give him life. I refer to those whose sin does not lead to death. There is a sin that leads to death. I am not saying that he should pray about that. All wrongdoing is sin, and there is sin that does not lead to death.

The most common sins unto death are those classified as capital crimes; viz: those for which the death penalty is the right thing to do. It would be a miscarriage of justice to pray somebody out of that jam. If the courts and the laws of the land have decided that they must die; then they must die; and that's that.

If a fellow believer is on death row for a capital offense; it's best to stay out of it and let God and the courts handle it. Christians on death row should be encouraged to man-up (or woman-up, as the case may be) and face the music rather than expect sympathy from either their church or their Christian friends. Christians who pray for the release of believers on death row for capital crimes are not only attempting to obstruct justice, but also in shameful rebellion against Almighty God's sovereign wishes.

● Rom 13:3-4 . . For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to evil. Do you want to be unafraid of the authority? Do what is good, and you will have praise from the same. For he is God's minister to you for good. But if you do evil, be afraid; for he does not bear the sword in vain; for he is God's minister, an avenger to execute wrath on him who practices evil.
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Title: Re: What Is Love?
Post by: NyawehNyoh on Sun Apr 19, 2020 - 21:26:40
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● 2John 1:5-6 . . And now I beseech you, lady, not as writing to you a new commandment, but the one which we have had from the beginning, that we love one another. And this is love, that we walk according to His commandments. This is the commandment, just as you have heard from the beginning, that you should walk in it.

The precise identity of the "lady" of this epistle is impossible to know for sure. Some have construed it to be Christ's mom, and yet others as a local church to which John mailed his letter, while others believe it refers to the church as per Matt 16:18. I tend to think it was a local church since 2John 1:13 indicates the lady had a sister; viz: a sister church.

The first of the two loves in the passage is agapao (ag-ap-ah'-o) which is a verb. The second love is agape (ag-ah'-pay) which is a noun. Neither of those two words specifically refer to either affection or fondness.

Things like courtesy, generosity, loyalty, sympathy, kindness, civility, and charity can all be extended to one's fellow Christians without especially liking them; in point of fact, we may even wholly despise them with every fiber of our being. But we dare not allow our low opinion to dictate how we treat them.

Anyway, the bottom line is: though Christians obsess and chirp about love till the cows come home, the bald fact is that if they are not complying with Christ's commandments in their association with other believers, then as persons they have little to commend them.


NOTE: Christianity is a very practical religion. It not only brings sinners into a right relationship with their creator, but it also makes them better people; viz: makes them more humane.
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Title: Re: What Is Love?
Post by: NyawehNyoh on Mon Apr 20, 2020 - 19:58:04
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● Jude 1:22-23 . . On some have compassion, making a distinction; but others rescue with fright, pulling them out of the fire, hating even the garment defiled by the flesh.

 Some Christians are offended by fright because it violates their concept of love. But fright can be a good thing if it's applied judiciously. For instance: it is just as wise to be afraid of God as it is wise to be afraid of cactus spines, a mule's kick, and/or a forest fire.

Christians neglecting to build themselves up on their most holy faith, to pray in the Holy Spirit, to keep themselves in the love of God, and to look for the mercy of their Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life; are seriously off-reservation. Some are so far off-reservation that somebody needs to get in their face and confront them about their condition, even if it means becoming harsh, insensitive, and judgmental because stray Christians are also away from God's providence; and that is a very risky situation to be in.

Some off-reservation Christians can be stopped from destroying themselves; while others are too far gone. Of those with possibilities, counselors have to use a little God-given common sense as it isn't necessary to employ fright with everyone-- just the ones who are particularly difficult. Some people can be reasoned with, while others only understand fear and can be persuaded to move in the right direction only by lighting a fire under them, so to speak.
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DONE