Commanded to Love?

Many find the seemingly obvious contradictions of Christianity baffling - one glaring example is the dichotomy between "Free Will" and "The Love Commandment".

According to the Bible and the Catechism of the Catholic Church, God created man with a free will. Yet Jesus Christ commanded His disciples to love God and their neighbors with all their heart!

Can one be ordered to love? Wouldn't this violate "Free Will"? Is "obligatory" love still love? Moreover, is it possible to love God in the first place since we have never met him?

Here's how Rev Fr Albert Renckens explained this apparent controversy:


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.'" (Matthew 22:37-39)

Comments

Janine said…
I just saw your blog and feel I must share something incredibly iportant with you.

You need the Holy Spirit. It is not given by being told you now 'have it' as is the case with mainstream churches including RC.

Read Acts 1 and 2 and in particular Acts 2:38. People today still receive the Holy Spirit speaking in tongues as commanded. This is the universal sign of receiving the Holy Spirit. From this point you KNOW God is in your life because He dwells within and will NEVER leave. Until you get to this point you have only knowledge of God, you cannot know Him in the way He intends all mankind to know Him.

Even though God may do great things in your life you must have His seal ( receiving the Holy Spirit with evidence of speaking in tongues) upon you to inherit the kingdom of God and be saved upon His return.

God will always honour faith when it is directed toward Him - this does not mean that you have a personal relationship with Him. This only occurs when you become filled with His Spirit.

I realise you may never have heard these things before. Neither had I despite many years in the Anglican church. I put Acts 2:38 to the test and guess what - it works today as it did 2,000 years ago.

If you would like to know more please don't hesitate to ask. There is a Revival Fellowship in Singapore. You owe it to yourself to check out the truth in God's Word.

By the way, I'm an Australian living in KL and visit Singapore regularly.
Paul said…
Dear Janine,

Catholics receive the Holy Spirit at baptism ("unless you be born of water and spirit"). The sacrament confers both the grace of the forgiveness of sins as well as makes available a fitting temple for the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.

As the child matures, (and after many many Sunday school lessons) he receives the Sacrament of Confirmation at the hands of the bishop. This is a very early Christian practice; it was to better signify the gift of the Holy Spirit, an anointing with perfumed oil (chrism) was added to the laying on of hands. This anointing highlights the name "Christian," which means "anointed" and derives from that of Christ himself whom God "anointed with the Holy Spirit." In this sacrament, we also pray that the candidate be made a more perfect witness of Christ who calls all of us to be soldiers of His Word.

Just a point on tongues. If we study the history of Christian mysticism- St. Teresa of Avila, St. John of the Cross and many other countless Catholic saints who Protestant ministers study throughout their course of Theological formation, we will learn that the highest form of 'communique' is not through tongues but rather through what spiritual St. Ignatius himself termed "infused contemplation". This sort of prayer- a gift from God- requires no words. God speaks directly to the heart of the Christian and fills him/her with spiritual estacy, visions, gifts, etc. I am not downplaying the role of tongues. I believe that we need to be more open to the God who cannot be confined. The Spirit IS moving in our midst and to each, he fills and satisfies with His love, in His own way.

I hope this clarifies your misunderstanding.

Coincidentally, I was just at the website of one of our Catholic parishes. You may like to take a look at it:-

http://www.risenchristcpg.org/

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