Most Christians, and those who live in "Christian societies" are familiar with the ten commandments. Don't steal, don't murder, don't covet, etcetera. But the ten commandments are just a small representation of the Bible's laws. You may not know that the Old Testament actually contains over 600 laws for the people of God to follow. In the New Testament, Jesus does us a favor and condenses all of the laws to two: love God and love your neighbor (Mt. 22:34-40). If we simply do those two things, then we'll never break any of the other 600 commandments. If we loved others, how could we murder them? If we loved, how could we covet what another has instead of being happy for them? If we loved God, how could we choose to avoid Him by not gathering together with other Christians to worship Him? Love is absolutely central to the Bible and to followers of Christ. In fact, Jesus tells us that it is a Christian's love which will distinguish them as a true follower of God (Jn. 13:35).
John Lennon, singer and song writer for the Beatles, was one of the most popular musicians of all time. But Lennon didn't just write music. He was a lyricist who incorporated his philosophy into his music. On the topic before us today, love, one of Lennon's more popular songs entitled "All You Need Is Love" declared just that. All we need is love. Lennon wrote another very popular song entitled "Imagine," which was a vision of how we could build a world saturated with the love Lennon thought we needed. Lennon says, "Imagine there's no heaven. It's easy if you try. No Hell Below us. Above us, only sky... You may say that I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one. I hope some day you'll join us. And the world will live as one." In Lennon's mind, religion was an impediment to love, not a conduit. If we could just get rid of religion - if we could just get rid of the division religion causes, then the world could finally be free to love.
Unfortunately, Lennon was a far better musician than he was a philosopher. But despite his poor philosophy, his beliefs have been peddled to hundreds of millions of listeners throughout the decades, and his beliefs have unfortunately gained popularity. Like Lennon, many today believe that love would be in a much better condition if we could just rid it of the burden of religion. However, I am here to tell you that without religion - specifically without a religion like Christianity which has a relational God at its center - love is dead.
*The views and ideas on this site are in no way affiliated with any organization, business, or individuals we are a part of or work with. They're also not theological certainties. They're simply thinking out loud, on issues and difficulties as I process things.