January 5, 2010
Having God's Glory and Knowing Him as primary leads to a whole host of supporting values. The first of which is what is known as the Royal Law: "If ye fulfil the royal law according to the scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself, ye do well:" James 2:8 This value is mysteriously inseparable from the first value of knowing God. "If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?" 1 John 4:20 So, then, we cannot say that we love God if we are not loving our brother.
Again, this value militates against secular culture. We have determined that the intent of this scripture is not, as some Christian counselors would have one believe, that you love yourself first and then you can love others. It means more clearly, that where in the past we would have put ourselves first, we now put others first.
Of course, any community that would attempt to live this sort of life will face an onslaught of opposition from within and without. At every corner, members must face deep rooted self interest. Once I commit myself to loving others first, the battle against my old way explodes. Self interest is not only the nature of unregenerate man, it is the philosophy that has governed every habit and pattern of life. One truly goes into culture shock upon entering a Christian community.
It becomes the chore of the community to unravel all of the methods and devices developed by their native culture (to the degree that those methods and devices oppose the new kingdom). The end result is a restructuring of almost every relationship. It changes the view of marriage, family, work relationships, church government, and peers to name a few.
These two overarching values could really be stated in the common scripture, "And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these." Mark 12:30-31
To embrace these values creates a whole new paradigm in which a culture develops. Subsequent values emerge that become governing values of the community.