Monday, March 05, 2007

What is more important - Loving God or Loving Your Neighbor?

While doing some research on the Sermon on the Mount I came across the following video

This video is a response video to one of Rob Bell's Nooma Videos entitled "Bullhorn". Basically Bell is upset with the tactics of the Bullhorn street preacher, and he wishes that the megaphone preacher would put down his bullhorn and start loving people. Bell makes this statement - Loving People IS how you love God.

Doing some reading on the Emerging Church in recent months has got the wheels turning in my noggin again. In some ways it seems that the philosophy of this movement is more centered in what you are doing, than in what you are believing. I hope that is not to simplistic.

The bottom line is - we know that loving God and loving your neighbor is not an either or proposition. If you love God you will love your neighbor. If you don't love your neighbor, you don't love God. My question is this - Have we emphasized the loving God part too much, and the loving your neighbor part not enough?

Some have worded it this way. The Emerging Church Movement emphasizes orthopraxy over orthodoxy. Some may word it this way - right living should be emphasized over right knowing. As James would put it - I'll show you my faith BY my works.

In discussing this with one of my friends from church, he came across a very interesting observation. The Emerging Church Movement in some ways is a protest movement against fundamentalism. Yet one of the flaws (in my opinion) of fundamentalism is the emphasis on their definition of "right living" besides "right knowing".

In other words, the Emerging Church Movement and fundamentalism may actually have the same philosophy in this regard. They emphasize their definition of right living vs right knowing.

I'm still sorting this out and I'll try to come back to it later.

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