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Aster's avatar

How do Christians show love for their neighbor when they do not love them?

Asked by Aster (19062points) September 5th, 2010

The Bible says to love your neighbor. If you love your family is that the same kind of love?
I can Like a neighbor and wave and smile to them but how can you love neighbors you dont know and rarely even see?

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18 Answers

marinelife's avatar

Love in the universal love of mankind sense is what is meant.

llewis's avatar

It’s not love the emotion, it’s love the action. Doing good by them. Helping if they are hungry or in need.

Trillian's avatar

And it is not neighbor in the sense of one who lives down the street. You neighbor is anyone at all. That includes the junkie in the crack house, the criminal in the jail cell, the unwed mother, the wide eyed fanatic trying to kill you, basically everyone on the planet.
That’s why christians have callings and ministries. That’s why you see youth ministers, and people who try to minister to the homeless. They truly do love them in the sense that they want to share what they themselves have and ease their struggles. They know that so often their time is going to be wasted or their money will be thrown spent on drugs or alcohol by the ones to whom they’re ministering. But they can’t make themselves stop caring, or stop trying. They really do have that universal love.

Aster's avatar

thanks so much for explaining!

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

Everyone defines Love in a different way. The Greeks had five different types of Love. Hindu Sanskrit has over 70 different definitions for Love.

English is a butcher of language and meaning. Alas, we have only one word to depict many different facets of what we ignorantly call “Love”. Most often, the Love of modernity means “I’ll be your friend as long as you act the way I think you should”. It’s disgusting.

For me, the word “Love” means selfless giving, even if it hurts me.

In that light, I try to show love for my neighbor, but rarely succeed.

BoBo1946's avatar

I’ve great neighbors, but there is always one that choses to be isolated and not friendly. The people across the street never interact with the rest of us. That is their call. But, if they had a death in the family etc., we would be there for them.

I’ve family members that are the same way. Also, I’ve family members that i love, but don’t like them.

josie's avatar

That is why “love thy neighbor” is an impossible expectation.

BoBo1946's avatar

If any one says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a
liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen,
cannot love God whom he has not seen. (1 John 4:20 RSV)

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

@BoBo1946 You’d think that Rev. Terry Jones would spend more time reading and understanding his own religious texts rather than blatantly setting out to burn a Quran’ on Sept 11th to make a statement that obviously rejects the verse you cite.

I fear a new wave of ignorant Christian Extremism is heading our way. This cannot be a good thing. By doing this, Rev. Terry Jones becomes a parody of the Extremist Muslims he mocks, whilst unwittingly rejecting his own doctrines that sit there right in front of his face.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

Funny, I just went to Pastor Terry Jones First Church of the Nazarene Web Site where it says in the first sentence About Us.

“Dove World Outreach Center is a New Testament Church – based on the Bible, the Word of God.”

Yet they plan to publicly burn a Quran’ on Sept 11th and Jones even has a book he’s selling called Islam is of the Devil.

Not much outreach coming from the Dove World Outreach Center. And it’s certainly not “based on the Bible, the Word of God” as they claim.

Is his congregation really so blind?

Thankfully, there are many level headed Christians, Jews and Muslims coming together to protest the event.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar


I just sent Terry Jones a message with your cited bible verse.

If any one says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen. (1 John 4:20 RSV)

Did you miss this verse? The first sentence on your Web Site Home page says:
“Dove World Outreach Center is a New Testament Church – based on the Bible, the Word of God.”

Does your Bible not have 1 John 4:20?

Not much “outreach” coming from the “Dove World Outreach Center”. It seems you have more hypocrisy than that of the pharisees.

Those interested can contact Terry Jones here. I think he’s serving up the same KoolAid as Jim Jones did.

Trillian's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies Thanks for the link. I don’t know how productve a scolding will be for someone with this much vitriol.
As a study in communication however, I think it is interesting. You, as the rhetor, have a challenge with him as an audience. How do you even get his attention, much less get him to change his point of view? This is the intention of a rhetorical act. I think that common ground might be a good staring point. I’m going to give this over to my instructor and see what he says.
Thanks for the great living lesson. I anticipate benefiting greatly from this.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

Though I cannot guarantee that Jones grants me an audience, I do know that it would be impossible without having first spoken out.

And even if it doesn’t get to Jones himself, the power of Word is contagious. There may be a lowly secretary who gets this email. She may wrestle with the paradox her church is pursuing. She may question it to another. Inner rumblings stir within the congregational body. Dissent is birthed. Jones is left to explain, justify, spin, bob and weave his way out of it. The congregation splits, and Jones discovers that the Devil lives much closer to home than he ever gave him credit for.

Trillian's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies Right. That is one possible scenario. It’s just funny coming at this specific time when we’re studying audience, values, etc.
I’ve posted on the DB for my class so hopefully I’ll see some good suggestions. My instructor is amazing, and I expect he’ll hack right through this gordian knot and come up with someting really profound.
Did you take a llok at @Laureth’s Q about morals? Check it out. I’d love to see your views on the link. It’s about 18 minutes, but well worth looking at.

BoBo1946's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies ditto…he has a greater responsibility than most. I’m sure that Billy Graham would have never said something like that, now is son Franklin, that is a different story. As you and I know, there are lots a great people that are Moslems. Shameful that people stereotype religions according to their agenda or their own ignorance. God loves everyone.

NaturallyMe's avatar

By being friendly. There’s nothing much more you can do for people who you never really mingle with or get to know, they’re basically strangers.

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