Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Extremist Christianity = Love Your Enemies, Your Neighbor

I get tired of hearing some talking heads say that what we need to do is get rid of all extremists in all religions. I can't speak for other religions such as Islam, but extremism in Christianity looks like this:

"Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you. "You have heard that it was said, 'Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you," (Matthew 5:43-44)

"If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that?" Matthew 5:46

"You have heard that it was said, 'Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.' But I tell you, Do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also."
Matthew 5:38-39

"But I say to you who hear, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you." (Luke 6:27)

"But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High; for He Himself is kind to ungrateful and evil men."

"For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. (John 3:16)

the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us. Romans 5:5-6

"Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse." Romans 12:14

"Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone." Romans 12:17-19

Paul continues:

"Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God's wrath, for it is written: "It is mine to avenge; I will repay," says the Lord. On the contrary:
"If your enemy is hungry, feed him;
if he is thirsty, give him something to drink.
In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head." Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good."

The "burning coals" is not judgment, but refers to the shame a person who has treated someone harshly might feel at having kindness returned.

"Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law." Romans 13:10

"If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal."
1 Corinthians 13:1

"Let all that you do be done in love." 1 Corinthians 16:14

"But when the kindness of God our Savior and His love for mankind appeared," Titus 3:4

"The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love." 1 John 4:8

"Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers." (Galatians 5:10)

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