I am on my new blog schedule. I get to sit here in the atrium with plastic flowers and cheesy elevator music - well if the cell phone screamers are not around -I can hear the music of someones life, not mine. Do you think Crazy Train would sound good on classical guitar and flute?
I was thinking about things that people get passionate about. Have you wondered why some subjects like killing babies or "a woman's right to choose" get people wound up and other topics like ping-pong balls and lint don't?
Here is a burning burning question I see in various forms out there in the blog-o-sphere. I am going to do a "Burning Questions" series - so be sure to suggest some if you like.
Why is it some folks think love is letting someone do whatever they want?
Isn't freedom of choice just that, the choice to do as we will? (Don't you hate folks that answer questions with questions?) There are lots of ways to look at love - but today I want to focus on love in relationship to our behavior.
When there is a conflict, one side often wants justice while the other wants grace. Regardless, love should be able to appease both sides, don't you think? Locally, a teenager killed someone driving drunk at last years prom. He was sentenced to 6 months. You can weigh in if you want to.
There are a whole list of offenses that we could name from violent crimes to non-violent thefts along with a host of "not so big a deal" type actions such as lying or "salty" language. How do you treat your kids (or your family members) if they talk back, steal gum at the variety store, hit the neighbor with a stick, smoke pot, or are involved in a teenage pregnancy? What is the loving thing to do?
On the flip side, do we have to love those that talk back to teachers, flip us off in traffic, steal our car, sell our kid drugs or get our them pregnant? What is the loving thing to do to them?
Call it what you want, ethics, morality, grace, love - what is it, that would cause you to "let it go," and respond in a loving way? What's your threshold for hate (assuming that is the opposite of love)? What can someone do to you before you stop loving them (maybe you never started), or even hate them?
All religions and most philosophies answer; or try to answer the question: What do I deserve in life and in the afterlife?
The truth is this, if there is no God, who the hell cares? Conversely, what if there was a God, how could he be so fickle and inconstant to mange Judaism, Islam, Buddhism and the other various major world religions? Is it 72 virgins or a city, coming back as a cow or streets of gold?
What if God is love, and we don't do it, does he have to continue to love us? I'm just asking.
If love = happiness, or love = lack of conflict, or love = feeling good, or parental love = permissiveness, then what if what makes you happy, infringes on my space and makes me unhappy? Who's right? And what if compromise makes us both unhappy? It is probably different for every one. Especially if we have "done the crime," or are a "victim of the crime."
One of the very best principals in Christianity (and most religions with a god) is that God treats everyone exactly the same. Jesus is perfect in love, perfect in discipline, perfect in justice, perfect in mercy and thankfully slow to anger. Everyone is offered forgiving grace or eternal separation. It's is a choice (IMHO a good deal too!).
The problem for most folks is that punishment of any kind, but especially the eternal kind, seems unfair. The truth is that God punishes all sin. Every lie, every careless word as well as the "big ones" like rape and murder. God's holiness demands 100% purity (in His eyes, not yours). The good news is that Jesus paid the price (was put to death, not instead, but in place of you) for the sins of mankind. If you don't like the Lake of Fire (eternal torment or separation from God), remember that it was not supposed to be for human kind. I was made for Satan and his band of disobedient demons where they would be destroyed.
What should God do if you go off on your spouse causing emotional damage? How about throwing a co-worker under that bus at your review so that you can get his job? Let's see: cheating on income taxes, watching pornography, buying lottery tickets, "keying" a car because they blocked you in, or swearing at the bank teller? All of these are sin in God's book. Maybe you're cool with lottery tickets, but what about those that get addicted to gambling causing torment to their families, what should God do with them?
For many, they would like to be seen as good, or "not as bad as" someone they think is morally worse than them. There is a lot of lip service to be tolerant, to do the right thing, to do what's moral or ethical - etc. It is so ridiculous, that it seems having a job that makes money for someone else is "bad" in the eyes of some. We seem to want to give the power of personal choices which reward hard work over to the government - that is how we will get to the End Times.
Unfortunately love is portrayed as a feeling much more often than an action, as if our emotion should be the rule of law instead of common sense and thoughtful premeditated action. HERE is more on Love. In the final analysis love is a choice that you or I make. It is also one that God makes. It is up to us to receive it by faith - to receive the perfect righteousness of Christ, or not.
If you really think about it, the whole business of love, morality and sin is kind of silly - well, unless there is a Holy God.