Friday, September 22, 2006

The Aberrant Concept of Loving and not Liking

Aberrant. I think that it is a way to call someone a heretic. At least that's the way it was used on us.

We said that we were making friends with Witches, Druids, and Pagans of a variety of traditions. They questioned us for quite some time about what we meant by "making friends."

"How can you be friends with a Witch?" someone asked. Jeff and Diane, and Bev and I looked at one another. We each wondered, "How could we not make friends with the Witches?" We live in Salem. There are quite a few of Witches, and we know a number of them. We like them, and some of them like us.

We thought that was a good thing.

Some of the people sitting around us at the council meeting were not quite sure. Some were supressing a low level antagonism toward our friendly approach to Witches. Some were simply trying to figure out where they stood, and a few agreed with us, but were afraid to say so.

Somehow the concept of loving people without liking them had its insidious grip in this dialogue. There are Christians who actually believe that it is possible to love someone without liking them.

Yeah right.

I thought this idea was rejected by the the Bible's most famous love passage. Doesn't it say that we can give our all goods to the poor, and our bodies to be burned, and still not exhibit love. Okay so if I sacrifice in my presentation of the Gospel for another person, this still does not mean I have loved them. So what's the missing component of my loving them if I give them everything? Isn't sacrifice love itself? According to Paul - apparently not.

Love is not just preaching, or giving, or even sacrificing yourself. These things are not love, in fact they may simply be rote activities of know-it-all Christians, or actions we force ourselves to do because we think it is the way to live the Christian life.

So what does love look like? Believe the best for others, be patient with them, and perhaps even want to spend your time being with them. In other words - like them, really like them.

I think that aberrant teaching allowed a group of people to sit us down, and question our motivations for making friends with Witches. I know some of the people in that group really believe that you can love someone without liking them.

Walking to The Vault today from home, I considered the passage from 1 Corinthians 13, and wondered if this silly idea that teaches we can love someone without liking them is one of the reasons that the words of the church are like a clanging gong in many people's ears today.

If so, I would imagine the teaching is aberrant.


Anonymous said...

Because we all know the bible speaks of Jesus keeping other sinners at a safe distance whilst he preached at them. He didn't eat with tax collectors and prostitutes. He didn't hang out with sinners. Just loved them from a distance, and didn't even try to like them. He didn't hold with the idea of targetting the sin, not the sinner. He wouldn't dream of actually liking sinners, just not liking their sin.

Liking people is not delighting in evil. Liking people is not liking sin. I was under the impression that the generally accepted Christian view of people was that they were ALL sinners. If that is the case then surely it should be impossible (following those church leaders train of thinking) to like ANYONE!

'I would imagine the teaching is aberrant.'

I may be one of those Pagan types. But I think I too would consider their teaching to be aberrant when looking at a variety of bible passages. But then, BEING one of those Pagan types, they'd be keeping me too much at a distance to hear anything I might have to say on the matter anyway.



Pastor Phil said...

Mike bro,

I see your tongue making a bump in your cheek. I'm with you.

Anonymous said...

My, but your eyesight is good. :D