I want to speak briefly about Jesus Christ’s summary of the commandments and description of love in Matthew 22:37-40. He states:

[37] Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
[38] This is the first and greatest commandment.
[39] And second is like unto it, thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.
[40] On these commandments hang all the law and the prophets.

The problem with these commandments is their fundamental misunderstanding of what love is. Love is voluntary. Love is spontaneous. Love is freedom of choice.

A commandment, on the other hand, is an order. A commandment is a mandate. A commandment involves coercion.

The very natures of love and commandments are complete opposites. Love is not authoritarian. We cannot be forced to love God, our selves, or our neighbors. The vision of love outlined by Jesus Christ in this passage is militaristic. The usage of guilt/shame (i.e. “sin”) and punishment (i.e. not entering the kingdom of heaven) violate the foundations of love.

Love is powerful; but commanding that love is ultimately a love of power.


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