By Mike Edwards
Jesus was asked what was the most important law by a religious-type (Mark 12:28–34). Religion-keepers try to stay in power by declaring their rules are God’s rules. Jesus simply said to love God and love others as yourself. Jesus wasn’t demanding belief in God as much as simply illustrating loving God is loving others like you want to be loved. Jesus wasn’t saying what hoops to jump through to be loved with God. Why then would Jesus suggest a law most of us fail often — loving others like we want to be loved? Jesus was encouraging a lifestyle to pursue with God’s help.
Sin is that which harms you or someone else
What does God desire the most from us? God only seeks what we deep down desires for ourselves — to love others as we wish to be loved. The question isn’t what rules does God demand to be in good-standing with God. In our circumstances we should ask “am I harming myself or am I harming others with my actions.” If it’s not good for you or others, then it is sin. God only wishes to steer us in the right direction.
It isn’t always easy knowing what the most loving action is
Disciples wanted Jesus to tell them when divorce was right and when divorce was wrong. Jesus didn’t give them a set of rules to go by. In relational difficulties we need to ask ourselves what is the most loving action in our circumstances. Sometimes, divorce may be best due to irreconcilable differences. It does take two to tango. The question isn’t if God opposes gays. If you had attractions to those of the same sex that you could no more control than those who have desires for the opposite sex, how would you want to be loved?
The same question applies whether to forgive someone. Many who have done great harm to others often don’t admit their guilt. Does forgiving such a person do the victim or the guilty any good. Again, the question is “what is the more loving action to take under the circumstances that will do the least harm to ourselves and others.” Easy forgiveness without admitting guilt can lead to others being victimized. See here.
What is a relationship with God like?
God isn’t always looking to condemn you or catch you breaking some rule. God simply seeks to influence you to consider what is the most loving action to take for yourself and others. We can’t just open the Bible or any book and find which rule to keep. Biblical scholars who have a deep respect for Scriptures don’t agree what the Bible says about gays, women, and other issues. See here. See here. God didn’t create to simply be told how great they are. God created for the same reason parents want children. God is seeking someone to love, to be a friend, and God seeks to help us make a positive contribution in the world by being kind to others. Just like any loving parent would!
Mike Edwards has been writing for Done with Religion for some time and has been a great addition to the site. Mike also has his own site where he writes that can be found at What God May Really Be Like He can be contacted by email at: email@example.com