-Philo of Alexandria
For the last few days, I find myself returning again and again to this simple post over at microlesia. I really like the Chagall painting and, synchronistically, I happened across this article from the WSJ online about Chagall and his fascination with Jesus Christ and the iconography of Christianity.
Lately, I've been thinking about worldviews, in particular some aspects of how Christians and non-Christians view the world around them and, especially, some of the specific ways that each views the other. I am interested in some of the misperceptions that each hold about the nature of the other. I know that some people think that Christians are judgmental, hypercritical, and hypocritical all at once. And that can undoubtedly be true, not a misperception at all, really. Some of us aren't very good at being Christian. Some of us have good days and bad days. None of us are anywhere near perfect, and most of us fail much more often than we succeed in living the representative Christian life. But then, our standard is Jesus Christ, the Son of God Himself, the only perfect man. Nobody can do that.
And that is ultimately a point that both Christians and non-Christians should understand about each other and about themselves. All of us are demonstrably unable, on our own, to live in a manner that consistently reflects virtue and goodness. This observable truth should, in fact, give some comfort to non-believers. Christians are truly no better than anyone else, especially those who think and attempt to act like they are. And, for the Christian, that truth should provide ample humility and compassion sufficient to last a lifetime.
Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for he who loves his fellowman has fulfilled the law.
The commandments, "Do not commit adultery," "Do not murder," "Do not steal," "Do not covet," and whatever other command there may be, are summed up in this one rule: "Love your neighbor as yourself."
Love does no harm to its neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.