ronniemcbrayer300 orangeKENTUCKY (4/26/14) — I pulled from my bookshelf a few systematic theology books that I had not opened for a long time.

I blew off the dust, cracked the stiff binding, and dove into the hundreds of pages filled with declarations about the attributes and characteristics of God.

There they all were: God’s self-existence, knowability, immutability, infinity, immensity, unity, veracity, holiness, righteousness, omniscience, sovereignty, transcendence, and several other $10 words, with all my handwritten study notes in the margins. This corpus of work was intended to make the theology student feel confident, to demonstrate how right our doctrines are. But as I skimmed the pages I was made freshly aware of how distracted we have become.

For all of Christianity’s theoretical words and defenses, the Apostle John was simple and winsome with his definition of God: “God is love,” John said.

If Christians daily practiced this definition instead of declaring and defending how “right” we are, I imagine the world would be a much different place.

With the truth, “God is love,” rather than “God is on my side,” or “God hates you and your kind,” in the hearts of people and animating their actions, it would revolutionize the world. I know this talk about the power of love can trigger our gag reflex. We’ve heard enough of that, haven’t we?

Love talk is the cue to braid our hair in pigtails and flowers, break out the hookah pipe, drink a little free Bubble-Up, and lay back on a bed of rainbows. That’s about all it is, just talk. The late George Carlin said, “Love is incredibly powerful. It is a beautiful thing. But if love had any power to change the world, it would have prevailed by now. Love can’t change the world. It’s nice. It’s pleasant. It’s better than hate. But it has no special power.”

While tempted to agree with this assessment, I’m not ready to do so yet. I’m going to take John at his word: Love is God’s nature and love comes from God. Once this love gets planted in our hearts, it spills out to others, resulting in transformation; it changes the world, one person at a time.

Love isn’t ineffective. Rather, every generation must learn the same lesson: God’s love must become primary; more crucial than any other belief, creed, or doctrine to which we adhere. Such love will have infinitely more power than any theological explanation, and such power can be employed by everyone, from the brainiest theologian to the most common man on the street.

To that end, there was a rabbi who became friends with a Persian fortuneteller. Every morning the two sat together and watched people head out of the village to work. As a man walked by, the fortuneteller said, “I foresee that this man will not come back. He will be bitten by a snake and die.”

The rabbi answered, “Maybe so, but only God knows such things.” They agreed to come together at the end of the day to see if the worker returned. At evening they saw the condemned man enter the village! The Persian ran at once to him, grabbed his backpack, and emptied it on the ground. An enormous snake spilled out of the bag; a snake very much dead.

So the rabbi asked the man, “What did you do today to avoid misfortune?”

The man answered, “I cut trees in the forest. Every day at lunch the workers place our food in a common basket and eat together. Today, one of us had no bread and was ashamed. So I told my friends, ‘Let me collect the food.’ When I came to him I pretended to take bread from him, so that he would not be embarrassed.”

To this the rabbi burst out laughing. He said, “My son, today you obeyed God’s commandment to love! You saved your coworker and also saved yourself!”

And turning to his fortuneteller friend, the rabbi said, “When one loves from his heart, he changes the fates. Love saves the world from death.”

Indeed, it does.

Ronnie McBrayer is a syndicated columnist, pastor, and author. His newest book is “The Gospel According to Waffle House.” You can read more at www.ronniemcbrayer.me.

Disclaimer: The content supplied by columnists and letters to the Editor on this site does not in any way, shape or form, implied or otherwise, necessarily express or suggest endorsement or support of any of such content, statement, or opinions therein. SurfKY News does not necessarily adhere to or endorse content provided by outside non-staff sources.
e-max.it: your social media marketing partner

LIKE SurfKY on Facebook - Click here to LIKE us now.

© Copyright 2015 SurfKY News Group, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, or rewritten without permission. SurfKY News encourages you to share this story on social media.

Posted on 2/2/14
1 DOW 17,751.39
+121.12 (0.69%)    
2 S&P 2,108.57
+15.32 (0.73%)    
3 NASDAQ 5,111.73
+22.53 (0.44%)    

Most Read This Week

July 23, 2015 14768

UPDATE: Family Confirms Body of Missing Teen…

by Shawn Freels, SurfKY News
July 27, 2015 5216

Death of Central City Man in Dawson Springs Under…

by SurfKY News
July 22, 2015 4458

No. 9 Steakhouse Suffers Fire; Owners Vow to…

by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News
July 23, 2015 4416

Woman Accused of Striking Juvenile with Metal Belt

by SurfKY News
July 27, 2015 3655

School System Announces Free Lunch/Breakfast at…

by SurfKY News

Most Read This Month

July 02, 2015 19531

Emergency Response Team on Scene of Standoff on…

by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News
July 17, 2015 15688

Muhlenberg Most Wanted - Top 10

by SurfKY News

Stories Trending Now

July 28, 2015 2051

Hanson Youth Wins Soap Box Derby World…

by Tammy Holloway, SurfKY News
July 28, 2015 1881

Heavy Rains, Two Wrecks Impede WKP Travel

by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News
July 29, 2015 1643

Miss Hopkins County Fair 2015 Chosen

by Tammy Holloway, SurfKY News
July 28, 2015 1560

Hopkins County Grand Jury Indictments

by SurfKY News
July 28, 2015 1332

Bud's Gun Shop to Re-Open Uncle Lee's

by SurfKY News
July 29, 2015 1243

Crime Stoppers Top Most Wanted - July 29, 2015

by SurfKY News
July 28, 2015 1218

Hopkins County Misdemeanor Indictments

by SurfKY News
July 28, 2015 1160

Madisonville Police Arrest Reports Released -…

by SurfKY News
July 28, 2015 1096

Hopkins County Sheriff's Reports Released

by SurfKY News
July 29, 2015 884

PPD Warns Public: Beware of Facebook Scam

by SurfKY News