Have you given thought to the subjectivity of the New Covenant Imperatives?
Love your neighbor.
We know, via the Old Covenant, certain parameters relative to “loving God”: 1) He is to be Supreme, 2) We are prohibited from using images to represent Him, and 3) we are to “sanctify” His Name. Those represent the negative side, that is the “thou shalt nots”. But, what of the “shalt” side? Yet, is this not the very side whereby we “judge one another”? He or she doesn’t do…X…therefore, they don’t Love God.
John has been a believer for 40+ years and has never missed church or Sunday School. Yet, in all those years he has never read the Bible through, cover to cover, and couldn’t, for the life of him, recite other than John 11:35. Tom, on the other hand, is grossly infrequent at Sunday service, seldom at Sunday School, yet has read the bible through, cover to cover at least once a year since his conversion; has memorized in excess of 500 verses, and can quite adequately defend The Faith. Which one loves God?
Without beating a horse to death, I suspect you see the point. Evaluating another in terms of the negative aspects of The Faith is quite easy. Yet, when it comes to the positive affirmations, it is an equine of a dissimilar hue.
Might I be permitted to lodge the idea this very aspect is part and parcel the genius of the New Covenant?
Love your neighbor?
If such might be the case on the individual level, what might be the circumstance on the communal level, i.e. “government”?
So soon as I lift my eyes beyond my personal concern, a “neighbor” intrudes.
What is it to “love” this one?
What is “love”?
Again, we are confronted with the subjective.
What is “loving” to John, or to Tom, or to Eileen or Sarah?
Why are we not presented with a definition of Love in the text of scripture? All we have are examples of what seem to be “loving acts”.
Might it not be the case God expects us, you and me, to deduce from these examples and scriptural statements to construct a definition of Love whereby we, individually comport ourselves as Salt, Light, and Leaven?