Whom should the Christian love?

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Jeremy Seth, Jun 9, 2016.

  1. Jeremy Seth

    Jeremy Seth
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    2 Chronicles 19:2
    Mark 12:31
    Matthew 5:44
    Does 2 Chronicles 19:2 contain an instruction to not love those who hate the Lord, and would this reading align with categorizing "those who hate the Lord" as not neighbors or enemies?

    I have always heard it said your neighbor is anyone that isn't you, highlighted with the example of the Samaritans vs the Jews as the tensest relationship of the culture.
    It would also seem to be consistent that the hater of the Lord would be an enemy of the Christian.

    What is the correct reading of these three passages?
     
  2. Jeremy Seth

    Jeremy Seth
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    I am also hesitant if "who" or "whom" was the correct word for the thread title, let me know if it seems off
     
  3. agedman

    agedman
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    One cannot use the OT standard of "love" expressed and apply it as a limiting factor to the believers. The presentation by Christ in the NT is that of care and concern to be expressed to all humankind irregardless of their estate, their standing as believers or not, or any health, wealth, or reputation.
     
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  4. tyndale1946

    tyndale1946
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    Matthew 5:43 Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy.

    5:44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;

    5:45 That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.

    5:46 For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same?

    5:47 And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so?

    5:48 Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.


    I have been taught all my life that we are suppose to and only by the grace of God to love the sinner but hate the sin and that is how I try to live my life and walk with my God and Savior Jesus Christ... Brother Glen
     
  5. Jeremy Seth

    Jeremy Seth
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    Does Matthew 5:43 reference an instruction that was extra-biblical, that pharisees had made up in addition to the revealed word?
     
  6. Van

    Van
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    Hi Jeremy, some commentators think the reference in Matthew 5:43 refers to Deuteronomy 23:3-6, So the rule of understanding we are suggesting is that Jesus sometimes embraces OT teachings, and sometimes overwrites them. The Law of Liberty overrules the Law of Moses.

    Now there is a small caveat, we express our love and commitment to the enemies of the cross to a point. But rather than waste our time, after some point, we are to move on and present the gospel to others. This is very hard, especially if the closed minded person is a family member. I can remember a Sunday School fellow student who had prayed for his father for something like 20 years. As his father was dying, the father professed Christ.

    Best that can be said is to consider the faithful steward, who used the resources Christ had given him wisely. I think it best to burn no bridges for the sake of those Christ died for.
     
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  7. Baptist Believer

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    No.

    If you read it in context, starting at the beginning of the previous chapter (2 Chronicles 18:1), you will see that Jehoshaphat had made an alliance with the king of Israel to go to war. The king of Israel was set against God and God's true prophets, Jehoshaphat was not much better, but God chose to spare him in battle because he had gotten rid of some of the idolatry and had decided to seek God (see 2 Chronicles 19:3).

    In context, the statement in question is a Hebrew parallel, emphasizing the same point in slightly different ways. God is admonishing Jehoshaphat for the parallel act of helping the wicked and loving those who hate God. This is specifically about Jehoshaphat as king, aligning himself into committed relationships with those oppose to God which endangers all of those whom he leads.
     
  8. Darrell C

    Darrell C
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    Editing this response from a singular question to a statement concerning the first verse given in the OP: In view is not God telling people to hate those who hate God, which would demand that we cease evangelistic efforts, lol

    In view is "helping" them.


    God bless.
     
    #8 Darrell C, Jun 10, 2016
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2016
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  9. Jeremy Seth

    Jeremy Seth
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    I still don't think I understand fully. Why is this limited to Jehoshaphat's status as king, and not extending to other instances Christian leadership?

    Is it your stance that Jehoshaphat's act of love brought the wrath of the Lord, but this isn't ever replicated because of the specific scenario Jehoshaphat put himself in?

    The word for "love" here is the same as in the command found in Deuteronomy 6:5 to "Love H157 the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might."
     
  10. Baptist Believer

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    The role of king of Israel is different from non-political Christian leadership. It was a theocracy enforced by the sword. Therefore, that role is subject to enormous abuse. He was dragging God's nation into an unholy alliance against the will of God.

    You are missing the Hebrew parallelism. In this passage:

    "helping the wicked" = "loving those who hate God [more than God]"

    In other words, he cared more for the King of Israel than he cared for God.

    While this is bound to a specific place and time, a similar situation could arise when a religious institution, political figure, or family member tries to get you to lead others into committing acts that are directly opposed to the will of God.

    We are to love God more than our neighbor. We must be properly oriented in love toward God to properly love our neighbor. You can't really divide love of God with neighbor neatly - the two go together - but doing things and using your authority to pull other people into rebellion against God is evil.

    The word is the same, but context gives the meaning - ESPECIALLY in Hebrew!
     

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