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Who Is Your Neighbour? Who Is Your Enemy?

Central to the Christian doctrine is the idea of "Loving your neighbour" and "Loving your enemy".  But the Christian part of the bible (NT) gives us little help as to who your neighbour or your enemy is?

To bring some clarification into these concepts, I would like to ask the following questions;

1)  Who is your neighbour or enemy in the Old Testament understanding of these words?  And is there evidence in the OT that one should love one's neighbours and enemies?

2)  How practical is the injunction to "Love you enemy"?  Suppose your enemy really wishes and seeks for harm to come your way - say like the Taliban that seeks to destroy the Western world. How would Christians handle such threats from their enemies?  Was it wrong for the Bush administration to want to destroy the Taliban?  Is the war against the Taliban an act of love?

Good starting Reference:

Psalm 139

19 If only you would slay the wicked, O God!

       Away from me, you bloodthirsty men!

20 They speak of you with evil intent;

       your adversaries misuse your name.

21 Do I not hate those who hate you, O LORD,

       and abhor those who rise up against you?

22 I have nothing but hatred for them;

       I count them my enemies.

23 Search me, O God, and know my heart;

       test me and know my anxious thoughts.

24 See if there is any offensive way in me,

       and lead me in the way everlasting.

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6 answers

One of the things, in fact, the greatest thing Christ advocated, was the movement away from basic instinct, a basic tenet of just about every religion worth its salt. An example of his Temptation on the Mount would illustrate this. The Satan appealed to what could be called his "natural instinct" of self preservation, in the first; a lack of faith hence the need to test in the second, and power in the third - all things that many people who have not risen from their basic animalistic state would swiftly grab. But there is nothing to say that one cannot transcend such basic instinctive gratification, especially if one knows how to, and which Christianity, and many other religions teach one. But back to loving you, neighbour Tudor.

I will concede that it is a hard thing to do for some, especially those who's nature is to hate difference (for which evidence abounds on here). Still, I love you, and just the way that you are, and surely, in this age of the World Wide Web, you would agree that you are my neighbour indeed. I do not need you to change how you are to love you and you do not have to agree with me, for my love for you includes, in fact, is based on the acceptance that you have the right to be the way that you are (and I am not implying a judgement on you in any way, or either way, please note).

Hey! But I guess I can take such a view becasue of my bent (o religion, as some will call it though I protest). If I cannot accept you, trespasses and all, I (and not God, note), would have to condemn myself of my own trespasses is all.

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Like all fools before you people have believed the crap written in your so called "good book" - they have believed that a silent witness watches their  discussions and will judge them- only to die and be dead forever.

The most pitiful part is they died deceived and foolish.

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like all fools before you the good book will judge you one day.  there is a silent witness watching this discussion between usand you will so judged. today is not your end so you still have time to repent and change your life. Christ is a friend and not an enemy. i know u like your priviledge to live as immoral as much as you like to bebut if that is all you think you were created you are most miserable of all men. 

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do you have any mental trouble oga?

this your signature is stupidity of the highest order

what the bible say is The Fool Says in His Heart : There is no God. . .

you have admitted your foolishness. you are so condemned by your words

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There isn't really any practicability to the commandment "love your enemies"- basic human instinct is to stay away from danger including people who pose a threat to you- Everyone including christians adhere to this no matter how much they try to deny. . . .

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When you love all, there really is no need distinguishing between your neighbors and enemies now, or is there?

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