Sunday, 29 June 2008
Love Thy Neighbor
I could point to the book of Deuteronomy and what it tells you about treatment of unbelievers - it says that you should kill them. And, I could tie that together with Jesus and his penchant for chiding people for not following the laws of the OT closely enough. But, I thought I would focus on the NT treatment of others.
The well known verse is that Jesus said one should love thy neighbor, and many Xians understand that to mean that one should love all. This is not the case, however, if one takes into account the other teachings of the Bible. Take 2 Cor. 6 for example, where god commands that believers separate themselves from unbelievers, to shun them basically, and shut themselves off from them. That doesn't sound very neighborly to me.
Or, take 2 John. This book tells us that all who don't believe in Christ are liars and antichrists. I'm not sure if the word "antichrist" held the same meaning then as it does now, but if so this book is calling all non-Xians devils. Again, this is not very neighborly. Later, god instructs Xians to turn away all non-Xians, don't invite them into your home, don't even tell them "god speed," because even by bidding them a good farewell you are partaking in their evil deeds. (Aside: evil deeds? It's evil to not believe, even though we are made that way?) Even though the NT no longer directly commands you to kill non-believers, it certainly doesn't command that you love them. When Jesus said, "Love they neighbor," in this context, he certainly meant that one should love his fellow Jews, and the later Xians turned it into loving one's fellow Xians.