So...a while back....I wrote a few posts about the gay agenda....and how several folks did an about face in their views when they began to interact one on one with folks they had once considered their enemy. They began to see specific human beings or what Ted Grimsrud refers to in his article "What Did Jesus Do?" as "particular people." But like a Buddhist koan, there is a paradox in this truth.
….the opposite of a profound truth may well be another profound truth. Niels Bohr
While it is easier to love and accept particular people…it is also easier to hate and avoid particular people.
And, yes, it is easier to hate huge chunks of hypothetical people....it is also easier to LOVE huge chunks of hypothetical people.
Martha Beck said that she recognizes burn out in herself when she develops the following attitude.....
Though you live to serve humanity, you hate everyone.
That is a sentiment echoed by one of Fyodor Dostoevsky characters in The Brothers Karamazov
The more I love humanity in general the less I love humans in particular.
In my dreams, I often make plans for the service of humanity, and perhaps I might actually face crucifixion if it were suddenly necessary. Yet I am incapable of living in the same room with anyone for two days together. I know from experience. As soon as anyone is near me, his personality disturbs me and restricts my freedom. In twenty-four hours I begin to hate the best of men: one because he's too long over his dinner, another because he has a cold and keeps on blowing his nose.
I become hostile to people the moment they come close to me. But it has always happened that the more I hate humans individually, the more I love humanity.
And he goes on to say:
"I must make one confession," Ivan began. "I could never understand how one can love one's neighbours. It's just one's neighbours, to my mind, that one can't love, though one might love those at a distance.
Critic James Breech writes…about the above confession/insight
“He loves humankind in general because he hates his concrete neighbor”"
Ahhhhh....but Jesus....had a keen insight into human nature.
.....he knew all people and needed no one to bear witness about man for he himself knew what was in man.
And he understood this catch 22 "particular people" principle..and he is not letting us off the hook about loving the guy next door. The one with the barking dog and the lawnmower at 6 am….or the loud party in the middle of the night.
In fact, he summed up the law as loving God and loving your neighbor as yourself.
Jesus healed and ministered a wide variety of people...the woman at the well, the woman caught in the act of adultery, blind beggars, epileptics, a leper, a centurion's servant, Peter's mother-in-law, two Gentile demoniacs, tax collectors, sinners, the daughter of a synagogue leader.
He announced he had come to the lost sheep of Israel but his ministry crossed all boundaries and social classes.
Jesus showed us ….by word and action….that everyone is our neighbor…..
More on that in my next post….