I am told that “love is not enough”. That we need rules to deter the bad ones of their badness before they act upon it. And there is always a “them” in that – never “me” or “us” – always “them”.
Them with guns … with a grudge … who want to be first … who don’t believe in queues … who consider kindness a weakness … who think strength is intimidating others … who don’t consider
others me their equal. We need rules and consequences for badness enough to deter them … make “them” fear …
Which makes all of us “fear”. And constant fear never brings out the best in anyone.
It certainly doesn’t in me.
“On another sabbath Jesus entered the synagogue and taught, and there was a man there whose right hand was withered. The scribes and the Pharisees watched him to see whether he would cure on the sabbath, so that they might find an accusation against him. Even though he knew what they were thinking, he said to the man who had the withered hand, “Come and stand here.” He got up and stood there. Then Jesus said to them, “I ask you, is it lawful to do good or to do harm on the sabbath, to save life or to destroy it?” After looking around at all of them, he said to him, “Stretch out your hand.” He did so, and his hand was restored. But they were filled with fury and discussed with one another what they might do to Jesus.” Luke 6:6-11
The Chosen People Christians have rules and consequences aplenty. And rules only work when being caught – or the fear of being caught – is the reality. Because if that wasn’t the case there would be no need for police forces, and legal systems, and prison, and rehabilitation … or corruption, abuses of power, cartels, duplicity, bigotry, of all the “isms” (the “secular” ones).
So I think that if love is not enough – then neither are “rules and laws”.
“I ask you, is it lawful to do good or to do harm on the sabbath, to save life or to destroy it?”
We argue about stuff that allows us to be right and you to be wrong.
To do good or to do harm … to save life or to destroy it …
Forget the withered hand … the healing … the “where is the proof” … the “but is it biblically correct” … the “but is there really a God at all” … the “in what context are you asking” …
Forget all the intellectual googling, the academia of bible study, the God qualifications with all the practiced and sophisticated “scripturally correct” bullshit …
Good or harm … Save or destroy …
THAT is why we fear relationship with a stranger … FEAR relationship with one who thinks differently … lives differently … is different …
Because relationship invites each of us individually to do “good or harm” to another for which we gain nothing back. And THAT is not love. Because relationship gives us both proof AND context that invites each of us to “save or destroy” for which we gain nothing back. And THAT is not love either. Because relationship makes me face my own fears, my bigotry, my laziness of thinking, my lack of knowledge, my questions I have parked out of sight …
Relationship invites ME to do good more than I want to – to save life more than I think is right – to forgive more than I believe I should have to – to give to those who don’t deserve it … And THAT is not love either.
So where is the “proof and evidence” that love is not enough?
“But they were filled with fury and discussed with one another what they might do to Jesus.”
I see fury in the church right now today as I see written in these verses. AND I also see kindness and love.
Which as an argument for “church” stinks. I see kindness and love LOADS MORE outside church than in.
Because outside church it is genuine – but inside it may or may not be. Inside it is about being saved and saving others – outside there is no “pay back” other than relationship.
“Love is enough” is NOT about me saving you …
It is about me freeing me.
Reblogged this on Church Set Free and commented:
If God is the answer and being saved is my way to God – then why all the fear?
“Forget all the intellectual googling, the academia of bible study, the God qualifications with all the practiced and sophisticated “scripturally correct” bullshit …
Good or harm … Save or destroy … “
Less and less do I see all the complication of God that I was taught and still see taught each week. More and more I see a simplicity I was never taught. A God who is not complicated. A God who is undemanding. A God not of sacrifice and burden. A God who does not ask that I invest so that I can be paid back for my investment (for all eternity). But a God who shows me that “Love is the answer – now what’s your question?”
And more and more I think we prefer fear. And I wonder is …
“THAT is why we fear relationship with a stranger … FEAR relationship with one who thinks differently … lives differently … is different …
And I wonder if we might all think about teaching a different God to the complicated God.
Thanks for reading –