What Happened to Love Your Neighbor?

When I had a spiritual encounter the message was very clear. God is about love, peace and connection. This experience happened unexpectedly while hiking the Camino on a mountain In Spain in 2014. I then realized there is something out there and in here. It has changed me forever.

It also called me to question, if God is about love and connection, why does it seem that there is so much strife and conflict? Where did mankind go off course? Why is religion occasionally used as a basis for strife?

In fact when I looked up the subject of love and connection, I found this

“Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”.  This is according to Matthew 22:36-40 of the New International Version (NIV) of the Bible.

If this is a major part of the foundation of the religious teachings in our country, I am questioning what’s going on in our nation.

In today’s political spectrum, it seems to be very popular for people to profess to be devout of faith, especially while campaigning for office.

Why are many of these same politicians basing their campaigns on demonizing someone else, or another class of people? Is this what it takes to get elected?

My thinking is, if you claim you are of a certain religion, then carry its teachings of love and peace in your words and actions. You say you are led by your spiritual beliefs, then, walk that walk. Don’t go out saying, I’m going to rip apart families in our nation because you think they have violated your version of the Law of Man.   Is “Loving your Neighbor” about building walls to keep others out? Is “Love Your Neighbor” about demonizing others?   Why can’t you talk about connecting people? Not judging them.  It would be refreshing to see some campaign for peace.

Some aspiring politicians are calling us a Christian nation. I go to a Christian Church but what about the other major religions or beliefs in our country? I believe there are many paths to God. Try to remember our early settlers in the US were escaping from religious persecution. They were the foundation of our nation.

Throughout history some people have hijacked religion to judge, demonize and sometimes bring harm to others. Unfortunately this is what drives people away from Church and God.

I believe we can bring about change. It all starts locally. Don’t buy into the hype. Try to remember this about the fabric of our society, the police, firefighters, teachers, nurses and soldiers who defend our nation. They are White, Black, Latino, Asian, Christian, Jewish, Muslims, male, female and gay.   They are also conservative and liberal. They are not the enemy, they are us. It is about love, peace and connecting.

I urge you to grab a friend or family member, or go solo and go for a walk. Go out and think how you can connect or bring peace into your life and those around you. Love your neighbor; it all starts at home.

Gregg Patterson

Gregg.patterson@yahoo.com

http://www.ItsIncredibleOutThere.com

 ©Copyright April 2016

 

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