• I’m intrigued by the fact that, in spite of my explanation that this project is more about delving into who we are and what we do, rather than focusing as much on what we think or believe, many people are eager to […]

    • “600-plus Jewish laws” ? What is it that you are calling “Jewish Law” ? Are you referring to the Talmud? There is no such thing as “Jewish Law in the Bible, to the best of my knowledge. It is God’s Law.

      thank you.

      • You’re splitting hairs. There’s God’s law, and there’s Jewish (Talmud, Mishnah, et. al.) interpretation of God’s law. They’re not the same thing.

    • So many of us are hard on ourselves and are too self-critical, which in turn allows us to be critical towards others. If we find it hard to love ourselves, we’ll find it hard to love others. One must forgive oneself and release those shackles that hold us back from love. Implore the Holy Spirit to assist in this goal…..then one can easily see the right path. Forgive and love yourself in order to forgive and love your neighbors. Sounds easy, but it isn’t! Strive.

    • “What if Following Jesus isn’t Primarily About Beliefs or Actions?”
      One is known by ones actions, by the fruit we bare. Our actions come from our beliefs, the root and tree of what we are.
      Two herdsman went to look in the dark for their flock. One took his light and cloaked it on all but one side, as to not blind them in their search. Upon finding a few of their sheep he said, Let us return these to the flock. In order to see where they were at, the second herdsman held his light high and cloaked it not, to find that they were standing in the middle of the flock and there were also wolfs among them, but seeing the light the wolfs withdrew from the light into the darkness.
      Love is like unto the light of our soul that reflects differently from all that it falls upon. Whether it be a sheep or a wolf or God, the love is the same.
      If we cloak it in the least way, are we not withholding something from that which is, was, and shall always be.

      “I’m intrigued by the fact that, in spite of my explanation that this project is more about delving into who we are and what we do, rather than focusing as much on what we think or believe, many people are eager to distill the “Jesus journey” down to making a specific set of claims for beliefs: end of story.”
      Did you mean “I” and not “We” ?

    • I agree that love is what makes the whole thing work, but love [compassion] doesn’t just happen through force of will, anymore than faith does. Just as the Trinity is one symbiotic relationship feeding off of, building up and encouraging each other, so are faith, love and action. As James says in 2:17 “faith without works is dead.” I believe that it is through doing the work of the Kingdom [the works of Jesus,] fueled by study [the Word] grounded in prayer,that compassion and faith are realized, strengthened and deepened.

    • I’ve been thinking about this, and I find that you can’t distinguish love from action.

      John 21:15-17

      “Do you love me? Feed my sheep.” Three times, to make sure Peter (and all of us) got it. If you love Him, you will love your neighbor. If you love your neighbor, you will care for them. Tend to them. To love means to serve.

      • I agree, though sometimes we jump to the works without doing the heart work, which causes them to be joyless and empty, for us at least. When we do the heart work, the good works follow. Much like the scripture you cited, it’s an if/then corollary. IF you begin with love, THEN the feeding follows.

        CDP

    • Thank you, Sulev. I look forward to joining you in this journey!

      CDP

    • Got to try and learn from the great distiller himself, right James?

      Which causes me to wonder…what would Jesus distill…

      CDP

    • Sorry, my typing is horrendous!

      CDP

    • If you read my most recent book, “postChristian,” you’ll see what a Rollins fan I am. And he’s a good friend. I’ve had him on our Homebrewed Christianity CultureCast a couple of times too.

      CDP

    • Maybe this article is somewhat of an extension of paul’s revelation in I Co. 13. We can have all the knowledge (right beliefs – orthodoxy) and even the right deeds (giving all we possess, moving mountains – orthopraxy), but if we don’t have love – then we are the creaking of a rusty gate, going nowhere and bankrupt. Without love, all else is, in the long run, really meaningless. (Maybe this is the missing or hidden part in Ecclesiastes). Our beliefs don’t necessarily produce our character. Our deeds don’t necessarily produce our character. Our character (and by character here, I mean our heart and mind, our innermost motivation and intent, what we really are at our core being – our orthopathy?) is what will produce our eventual beliefs and actions. If our heart and mind are focused on and motivated by God’s love, then we will generally and eventually belief good things and not bad things; we will generally do good things and not bad things – naturally, without having to force ourselves to believe or do. If love is in us, it will naturally come out of us in beliefs, words and actions. Jesus said it is what comes out of a person’s heart that defiles them – and out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. Yes it is our heart and mind the Jesus came to have an intimate relationship with, that is the part of us He lives in, through His spirit. That is what motivates and leads us to find (follow the path to) the right ‘beliefs’ and do the right deeds or actions. When the root (heart) of the tree is inundated with love, then good fruits will come from it. To know Jesus and follow Him, is to have the same love and compassion and concern and empathy down in our core being, our heart, soul and mind, as Jesus did. Of course we will not have it perfectly, but it should grow and get stronger in us with time. That doesn’t mean we will not have questions and doubts – we will – they are a sign of a healthy faith, not a weak one. Jesus taught us to question and think by the use of his parables. It was said at the Nuremburg trials that the essence of evil was the lack of empathy. Empathy can’t be forced from right beliefs/doctrines or even by forcing ourselves to do “good deeds” or obey the ‘right laws’. It comes from the inner being, where Jesus dwells with us, producing a bit of his character in us – and His character is love. Jesus ‘re-interpreted’ the scriptures when they were used to harm rather than help people. Jesus’ focus was to help people. He can to save the world, not condemn it. Great article Christian Piatt. It helps focus us better and think more about how we relate to our savior.

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