055 Thou Shalt Love

In my treatize on "Bible Verses Most Christians Choose to Ignore" I've brought out some of the advantages and reasons that make me stick to my Family, even after 27 years of ups and downs, constant spiritual revolution and the accompanying controversy that's bound to appear as a side affect...

But I think I left out one - probably the most important factor.

Nearly every church or congregation has a verse that they choose as their dogma, their highest commandment: for the 7th Day Adventists, it's the commandment to keep the Sabbath. For the Pentecostals, it's the gift of tongues. For most Catholics it's probably just being catholic. For Baptists, as for Mormons, it's the water. And then there are those red-white & blue flag waving patriots and warmongers who still seem to be clinging to the Old Testament dogma of "an eye for an eye..." (Not to mention those cunning politicians and leaders who pose as Christians, when in reality subscribing to the god of this world. You can recognize them by a very devout dedication to the 10 commandments: "Thou shalt not kill; thou shalt not covet; thou shalt not lie, etc., except that they always omit the word "not" from each phrase.)

Now, the highest, greatest, and yes, even only commandment the Family adheres to, above all, and which has been the gist of our message from the very beginning, is the very same one which Jesus Himself described as the fulfilment of all the laws and the prophets (Matthew 22:37-40), namely, to love God and our fellowman.

As our leader and shepherdess wrote, "The only thing that matters is love."

In other words, our religion is love, and as one nature-born sucker for love, I can only say that that's the only religion, in my opinion, ever worthy of subscribing to.

For most Christians, love is probably not enough. They need buildings, rituals, certain amounts of physically visible success as manifested in the abundance of the things they possess, but you can keep all that, if it makes you happy.

As for me, I'll choose love any day above that. After all, if God IS love, as the Bible tells us clearly, then what higher thing could there ever be to strive for?

When love becomes your religion, it becomes more than that. Most Christians keep their religion tucked away well hidden from everybody else, in some neat little corner in their lives they reserve for God: that hour on Sunday mornings, or that brief devotional reading or prayer sometime during the day, which I don't want to minimize or put down.

But when you truly seek to adhere to the first and great Commandment of Love, it becomes part of every facet of your life. And I think that's precisely what Jesus was trying to teach us. He was precisely trying to convey to us the opposite of the "separation of religion and state" of our minds and affairs. He was saying, if it's the Real Thing, you can't keep it separate. After all, re-legio(n) is about putting things together, not taking them apart.

So, anything less than love is not enough (true) religion for me. Anything else is at best a cheap imitation.

How does your faith manifest itself in your life? How does your religion come across in your interaction with others every day? How much do you express your love for God and others on a daily basis? How real is what you believe in?

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