I recently received this email from Bill Card, Chairman of the Prince William County Republican Committee. Card wrote to thank the people who participated in the Republican Firehouse Primary as candidates, volunteers, and voters. He also asked for Republicans patch up their differences and focus on the campaign ahead of us.


Thank You!

A couple of notes from the desk of the Chairman today.

First and foremost, I want to say “Thank You” to everyone that participated in our Canvass (Firehouse Primary).

My most heartfelt thank you goes out to the small army of volunteers that opened and manned the polling stations and stuck with it right through the vote count. You were exceptional.

I also want to thank those that ran for our nomination and their volunteers and staffs. Thank you for your confidence in us.

And thank you to the voters that in several places braved long lines to register their opinion. Without you the exercise would have been meaningless.

When I got up Sunday morning and looked at my email, I knew I was in for a challenge. However, for the most part you expressed your thanks or happiness with a specific result. There were several complaints and I will get to all of those personally. In general, we got the same kinds of complaints that we get on any other election day, but of course any problems in a Firehouse Primary rest with the Party and in particular with me. I knew going in that some wouldn’t like this, but I personally endorsed this method and your local committee (by an overwhelming vote) decided on this method and I would do it again.

We promised a fair, open, and transparent process and that’s what we delivered.

There are some things that we learned and were we to have a do-over we might have done some things differently, but that’s to be applied to a solution on another day.

Secondly, those of you who know me know that I hate “Primary Season” more than any other time of year as Party Chair. I warned our folks that they would see friends and allies become mortal enemies based on the choice that they made on who to support. I personally have had heated and unsatisfying calls with people whom I consider friends and people whom I have known and worked with my entire political life.  We must put all that behind us now.

We can’t undo something that was done, we can’t unsay something that was said, but we can forgive. Comments made in the heat of political battle must be put in that context and we simply must move past that. The enemy in front of us is infinitely more dangerous and vicious than the one that we grappled with over the past few months.

We in Virginia have always been able to marvel at the difference that 90 miles makes. That the “Virginia way” has held to more gentile, honest, and productive political engagement. Let’s recapture that spirit.

Let’s all look ahead, line up with a truly inspiring ticket of fantastic candidates and win in November.

Kindest Regards,

Bill Card


One reason America is a great nation is because of one word, “forgive.” We recognize we are all human, prone to error and to sin. Hence, when we fight and argue among ourselves we try to forgive the excesses of those who sin in anger and maintain peace. Only those who can forgive can hope to build anything that approaches just society. Those who will not forgive are doomed to suffer endless strife. Without forgiveness, America will unravel.

38 thoughts on “BUT WE CAN FORGIVE

  1. “You want to believe God is all love and no hate?”

    I certainly don’t claim God is “all” anything. What God does to punish the other wicked people is not mine or yours to determine or to judge. Because I sin, I fear rightfully that I deserve God’s wrath, but I don’t OWN God’s wrath to condemn others with. Unless you are without sin, every single one of those throwing stones belong to Jesus.

    Here’s what Christians do know:

    “God IS love.” This provides the proper Christian focus and an emphasis for putting Christian belief into dynamic action. In contrast, what monstrous practice does “God IS hate” engender? You will say, “How can there be justice if we do not determine what God hates in order to condemn and punish that which WE determine God supposedly finds hateful?” Besides the scriptural fact that God’s vengeance does not belong to us, justice for the Christian begins and ends with the “practice” of love, not hate. Judgement without love is not justice.

    Jesus said that God bids us to love. In contrast, where did Jesus also command us to hate with all our hearts and with all our minds and with all our souls? Did you ever think about the fact that love, like faith, has no meaning independent of the act itself? It has no psychological structure outside of human activity so as to decrypt it. The same might be said of hate – hate is defined by the dynamic “action” of practicing hate. And a religious theology that recommends the “practice” of hate is antithetical to the Christian practice emphasizing love. We cannot serve both masters in this sense either. The psychological division is like a form of schizophrenia. We must choose, and if we choose to “practice” hate instead of love, we may be “practicing” some other religion that calls itself “Christian”, but we are not “acting” as Christ taught and showed us to act.

    Finally, hate simply does not work to conquer what we hate. As MLKS said:

    “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”

    Now let’s be clear before you swamp me with a scripture barrage of what you have interpreted as God hating passages – I don’t claim to know if or what God hates, so save yourself the trouble. “God hates sin”, whether that statement is subject to the full comprehension of God’s mind or not, is simply not what Jesus taught and showed us to “practice”. Jesus taught us that our paramount emphasis is to “practice” love. As impossibly hard as that “practice” might be to put into actual action, the faith principle is simple and absolute. The religious practice of hate, on the other hand, takes the misdirected pride and rabbinical legalism of a Pharisee to even contemplate, much less act upon.

    1. @tsalmon

      The central focus of this post isn’t hatred; it is forgiveness.

      Did Card point out that for Republicans our true opposition is Democrats? Yep! Did Card demonize Democrats? No. Yet what Card said was enough for you to seize on it. Why?

      Democrats do in fact have objectives that Conservative Republicans in particular think despicable. You know it. We know it, but you don’t like it when we point out the problems with what you want.

      The Democratic Party has an agenda. To call it unbiblical is to state the obvious, unless we want to cherry-pick the Bible.

      Sinners abhor having others point out their sins. That’s why the agenda of the Democratic Party agenda clearly includes destroying Trump and the “deplorables” who support him. The rage of Democrats is not even close to rational anymore.

      Jesus calls upon us to render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s. When a political party insists upon making a God out of our government, that’s a serious problem, and there is no getting around that fact. But we are not suppose to speak of it because God is love? You have to know that is nonsense.

      At every opportunity Democrats try to demonize Conservatives. It has become ridiculously obvious. You don’t like Bible quotes. Do I need to quote the Democratic Party leadership? Seriously? Yet you jump up and down about Card’s words. Seriously?

      Because God is love, Christian Conservatives are not allowed to point out the obvious? We are suppose to be guilted into silence? Because God is love? God doesn’t destroy workers of evil? There is no Hell? Just because you don’t want to believe God hates sin?

      Until we are born again, we are separated from God. Until we born again, we are already in our own bit of Hell. To repent of evil, we have to know enough to turn from it, to turn to good. We have to understand that when we don’t love our neighbor, when we try to use each other, we create Hell.

      Next time you get the urge to call Trump names, please begin by repeating this latest comment. In fact, you may wish to save it in a safe and handy place. See if you can practice what you preach. Because it doesn’t make any sense.

      Look up the imprecatory psalms. Read Matthew 23. See what Jesus had to say about Hell. Jesus does not hate us, even though we are sinners, but He most certainly detests our sins.

      1. My reaction was specifically to your response marmoewp’s comment, not the post in general. I think that you know that.

        I never said that Republicans and Democrats can’t be critical of each other. I said that, since the paramount focus of Christian belief is the “practice” of love in dynamic action, then the “practice” of love should guide all aspects of Christian life, including politics. Either political party that attempts to deify their own human hatred in the name of Jesus by claiming to spread God’s supposed hatreds can’t be following that paramount love focused Christian practice. It is up to God to decide what God hates (if it is even possible to determine God’s hates anthropomorphically), and not the Republicans or the Democrats.

        I never said that there is no Hell. I said that, whatever Hell is, Christians don’t get to decide who goes there, and Christians sure don’t get to send them there either.

        You know Jonah was so upset that God wouldn’t condemn to some sort of Hell all the evil heathen that Jonah hated and thought deserved to go there that he was ready to sit down and just die. So what did God say? He essentially told Jonah that he thought way to highly about his own opinions on who God should condemn. Think about what that means in preparing the way for Christ and His new covenant of love.

        Finally, I’m not saying that Christians should not be outraged at evil. But don’t you think Christ had lots more to be outraged about than the First World crap we rant about. Let’s have a little perspective – the loyal opposition in either Party is just not pure evil and such over-the-top outrage just breeds an over the top response, and does nothing to promote the Christian practice of love. It corrupts the soul of everyone who spreads it. When you think about a focus on hate verses a focus on love think about the focus of a self righteous Saul condemning his fellows in the name of God and the redeemed Paul spreading the Good News of the Christian “practice” of love. Does that mean Paul was uncritical? No, but his focus was no longer the aggressive, self righteous, legalistic hatred, but instead love. He literally bled for love – he didn’t bleed others.

        I do have trouble trying not to hate Trump. He promotes vice as virtue, but I don’t honestly think that he is pure evil. My inability to love Trump as perfectly as I should is a sin, not a virtue. However, practicing love doesn’t mean that you can’t be opposed to Democrats or that I can’t be opposed to Trump, but it does mean, as with MLK, our opposition as Christians must always begin and end with a focus on love. Hate does not conquer the evil in our souls to turn to the ultimate good, only love can do that. Hate is easy, Love is impossibly hard, but that does not relieve Christians from endlessly forgiving and trying.

        1. @tsalmon

          You are using a straw man, arguing against a fantasy of your own making. When we love, we hate whatever hurts those we love. Much of what the Democratic Party stands for would hurt people I care about. So I oppose that organization and the damn fool nonsense it stands for.

          What has you riled? Is it the fact I point to the Bible for authority? I say something is a sin because the Bible says it is a sin. Well, that is one reason God gave us the Bible.

          What is the alternative? Self-righteousness? Abortion is a “right” because Tom sees nothing wrong with it?Redistribution of the wealth is good because Tom sees nothing wrong with it?Same sex “marriage” is not a sin — should be the legal equivalent of traditional marriage — because Tom sees nothing wrong with it? Gambling is okay so long as Tom wins? Stealing and murder are okay so long as Tom doesn’t get caught?

          If righteousness comes from me, then all that matters is what makes me feel good. I love me. Don’t you? Shouldn’t everyone love Tom?

          1. I’m not riled. I find a great deal of joy in spreading Christ’s message of love, don’t you?

            As for each of the issues that you mention, how does hate actually resolve them, unless it is by force. For example, when was the last time that you convinced a desperate mother to carry her child to term by saying that you know what God hates? Do you seriously think that a gay person is convinced to abandon love because of your determination that God hates certain kinds of sex (that apparently with all the genuine suffering in the world, sex is the special thing that God stays up late hating)? Jesus conquers and convinces with love not hate.

            Sin is selfishness. Love is selfless. Jesus convinces us to give up selfishness and sin, not because He was a great hater, but because He was the perfect lover. Heaven, meaning, joy all come from love, not hate.

            We want to hate because love is hard, it is risky. And if we can get God to supposedly bless our political party’s hatreds and ignore our political party’s wants, then isn’t that just awful convenient?😁

          2. @tsalmon

            Why don’t you just say the Bible has nothing to say about sin? It is all about love, love, love,…..because talking about sin only hurts people’s feelings. Only people’s feelings matter. Right? Why would all the bad things we do to ourselves and each other matter?

            Jesus did not ignore sin. Salvation requires us to repent of our sins, not to ignore them. Jesus plainly told the Pharisees to repent. That is why when Jesus healed people he told them they were forgiven and to sin no more.

            Look at Peter’s first sermon on Pentecost (Acts 2). Imagine being a Jew and being on the receiving end of that one. Peter did not spare anyone’s feelings. Peter told them they had crucified the Messiah.

          3. “It is all about love, love, love, love….”

            Well, yes, again I don’t claim that that what EVERYTHING is it is “all about”, but love is the focus of the Gospel. Why the need for hyperbole about something so central to our Christian Faith? Do we really essentially disagree on something so fundamental?

            We were discussing hate but I don’t mind talking about sin. I’ve never said sin doesn’t exist or that it is not relevant, but simply that, according to Jesus, sin only has relevance in reference to love.

            Matthew 22:36-40 New International Version (NIV)

            36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”

            37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’[a] 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[b]
            40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

            If breaking a commandment is to sin, then all sin is essentially derives from a failure to love (not a failure to hate properly).

          4. Like I said Tom, the defining concept that Jesus grants supreme importance to salvation is love, love, love. It is the absolute core to Christian practice. This is as simple to understand as it is impossible to perfectly carry out. Just curious. Do you think trivializing this concept somehow actually forwards any discussion about Christian practice? I don’t see it.

          5. @tsalmon

            Well, that’s progress! You are now quoting the Bible. ☺

            Check out this commentary => https://www.gotquestions.org/lean-not-own-understanding.html.

            When we don’t trust God and believe that what He calls sin is evil, we fail to obey Him. When we don’t abhor sin and hate sin as God hates sin, then we lack the wisdom to discern good from evil, to choose between God and Satan, to understand what it means to love someone other than our self.

          6. “Well, that’s progress! You are now quoting the Bible. ☺”

            I believe every comment that I have written to this post reflects the paramount scriptural message as I have been imperfectly graced by God to understand it through prayer and study. I’m no great prophet or theologian though, nor does one have to be to comprehend the importance Jesus places on love. This is pretty fundamental, don’t you think? We are discussing focus and priority here, not really any doctrinal difference.

            “When we don’t trust God and believe that what He calls sin is evil, we fail to obey Him. When we don’t abhor sin and hate sin as God hates sin, then we lack the wisdom to discern good from evil, to choose between God and Satan, to understand what it means to love someone other than our self.”

            True. Selfishness is sin. God allows us to deny sin through repentantly accepting and selflessly sharing God’s love. Do you disagree that the paramount focus here is love, not hate?

            Again, think of Jonah. It’s often written that Jonah prefigured Jesus. Jonah was blindly focused on hating the sins of his enemies. But God does call perfect sinless people – he calls a sinful people to perfection through God’s love. Love is not just an undeserved grace from God, it is a transforming and dynamic call to action and movement toward sanctification, toward holiness, through receiving and sharing God’s love.

          7. Absolutely. Again, I am not saying that sin does not exist or that understanding sin is not important. I’m saying that too much focus on sin, especially at the expense the primary focus of Christianity, which is the focused practice of God’s love, leads to constant outrage and ultimate despair.

            If we put hating sin at the forefront, then that hate necessarily will become our all consuming endless obsession. Why? Because, if our life’s quest discovering sins to hate, we will never stop finding sins to hate in ourselves and especially in others. It’s the Devil’s version Red Queen game – we will need to pour more and more rage and hate into poisoning our souls and the souls of others just too stay in the same place because sin surrounds us and lives within us all the time. Hate can never save us from this dilemma of death; only love can move us and our neighbors forward toward life and the eternal.

            Real wisdom isn’t really just knowing what sin is and hating it. Any fool can do that. Real wisdom comes from the knowledge to make the most selflessly loving choices instead of the most selfish sinful ones.

            Think of wisdom as the sojourner’s dynamic loving road. Intersections and obstacles are surmounted through love, not hate. Loving choices are immensely difficult and fraught with risk. Hateful choices are easy. This is why wisdom comes hard to most of us. It’s not just memorizing a rule book. No, it’s playing the game of love better and better through active practice, loss and triumph, pain and glory.

          8. @tsalmon

            Who put hate at the forefront? If you don’t want to do it, don’t. However, when the devil confronts you, you will still have to choose between good and evil, and you had better know which is which.

          9. In summary Tom. If the Christian really wants to know the least selfishly sinful choice in any decision, political or otherwise, then she should actively navigate the most loving path even though it is a difficult path that often calls for the wisdom of nuance and compromise.

          10. “Who put hate at the forefront? If you don’t want to do it, don’t. However, when the devil confronts you, you will still have to choose between good and evil, and you had better know which is which.”

            Don’t you think the Devil loves your hate and outrage? Don’t you think that he feeds and grows on it? Why feed the Devil what he wants. He starves when we serve up love.

            We can’t hate and rage our way into Heaven brother. 😊

          11. @tsalmon

            The Democratic Party isn’t about hate and outrage? Who knew? Your comments don’t stem from your outrage at an observation of the obvious. Even though Republicans have some very serious differfences among themselves, our differences with Democrats are much more profound. Yet no one here called upon Republicans to hate Democrats.

          12. “The Democratic Party isn’t about hate and outrage?”

            Yes. Both parties are heaping example of outrage upon outrage right now to see which can stir up in its tribe the most hate and anger.

            We have 24 hour internet and news so someone, Democrat and Republican, is bound to be doing something outrageous somewhere. Do you seriously think that the party playing the outrage game better than the other will win anything in a Christian sense? They may win an election. They may grind their political enemies (their fellow Americans) into the ground with the heel of their boot and force uncompromising compliance. But don’t you think that both sides risk losing their souls in the process? Should a Christian practicing love give in to this tribal rage fest by promoting its endless escalation?

            The parties do have significant differences. However, most of the real issues are far more complex, conflicted and nuanced than simply screaming rage all the time can ever explore and resolve. We are more often talking about conflicts between rights and between rights and responsibilities. Amplifying a hate and rage arms race doesn’t demonstrate wisdom. Any fool can be indignant all the time – in fact, some would say that that is what defines the fool.

          13. @tsalmon

            All you are saying is that you don’t like the way I said what I said. Since you vote for politicians who want to use taxpayer money to kill the unborn and save money by euthanizing people, i am surprised you have not heard far worse.

            Here is where I think we actually disagree. God is love, but God is also defines wisdom. In fact, we cannot define God with just one virtue or characteristic. Yet to separate Christianity from the political debate that is what you would do, just talk about love.

            Love, you say is okay. Being nice is okay. Obeying the Bible? Nope!

          14. “All you are saying is that you don’t like the way I said what I said. Since you vote for politicians who want to use taxpayer money to kill the unborn and save money by euthanizing people, i am surprised you have not heard far worse.”

            So am I supposed to respond to this outrageous over-the-top statement with some similar outrage that some Republican commits? Republicans are not immune from outrage and evil, you know? Can’t you see that this is the devil’s game we’d be playing? The only way to win is not to play.

            “Here is where I think we actually disagree. God is love, but God is also defines wisdom. In fact, we cannot define God with just one virtue or characteristic.”

            We don’t disagree, except I don’t think we can “define God” at all. We know that God is love, but God is infinitely more than that. Absent the possibility of perfect defining knowledge, we can only prioritize our words actions accordance with how Jesus in the Gospels showed and told us to. That priority and focus is clear – love.

            “Love, you say is okay. Being nice is okay. Obeying the Bible? Nope!”

            I can’t figure out how a Christian can think practicing love and obeying the Bible are mutually exclusive, but maybe you’re just being facetious or glib. Please explain?

          15. @tsalmon

            You do vote for those people. That’s the outrage.

            Since you mentioned Jonah you may like this post.

            We cannot define God, but we can understand some things about Him. We can obey Him and do is what He said.

            John 14:15 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
            15 “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.

            To obey God, to keep his commandments, we must believe Him, not just believe in Him.

          16. BTW, love is not just some virtue or characteristic. It is the source and life of ALL Christian virtue. It is the greatest of all commandments upon which ALL the Law and the words of the Prophets hang.

          17. “You do vote for those people. That’s the outrage.”

            This is most akin to mutually assured destruction in the futility of your outrage arms race. Another soul contaminating function of it is that pretty soon each tribe becomes immune to their own outrage, their own sin, because they have blown up the sins of “those people” so as to make their own sins appear smaller to themselves. But does it really make that log in your own eye smaller if your are exploring mine with a microscope? Save yourself some time condemning me Tom. You win Tom. I confess that I am a sinner who also votes for sinners. Do you really feel superior now? 😏

            “To obey God, to keep his commandments, we must believe Him, not just believe in Him.“

            That’s just what I have been saying. Now which two commandments did He say were most important? Which two on which do all the others rest? Are we going to, not just “believe in Him” when He tells us the one about love, or are we going to “act” like we believe Him too.

            BTW, I liked IB’s post. Thanks.

          18. @tsalmon

            If we just read one short passage, the rest of the Bible isn’t needed?

            When Jesus summarized the Law and the Prophets, He did so by quoting from the Old Testament. He received agreement from the scribes and Pharisees because they already believed His summary. The problem is that the scribes and Pharisees still sought in their legalism to earn salvation. Unlike Abraham, who had learned to simply trust God, to believe Him and try to obey Him, the scribes and Pharisees looked for excuses in scripture to trust in their own righteousness, but our righteous is not good enough. The scribes and Pharisees overlooked the importance of Abraham’s faith.

            Because the Bible is a long and complex work, we can find things to disagree about. Fortunately, the important stuff isn’t that obscure. We just have to read the Bible and comprehend it the way the people who first read it would have understood it. In fact, we have a big advantage. Much of the New Testament explains the Old Testament and the four Gospels. Therefore, please study the Bible, and stop making ignorant claims it does not support.

            Without God’s wisdom, we have little understanding of how we are suppose to love each other. We can rave even about love in the most Orwellian ways. We can claim it is such a loving thing to abort babies, wait for the sick to die while we ration healthcare, use the welfare state to split families, confuse children about their sex, waste huge sums on mass transit boondoggles, … Politicians would have us believe they love us so much.

            Look at your own definition of love. Without the wisdom of God, is it complete? Unless we trust God, can we love Him and obey Him?

          19. Tom, me let you in on a little secret that has been around for over 2,000 years and that nations, tribes, political parties, ideologues and even religionists of all stripes have been trying to suppress or distort from its very inception. God loves you Tom. God wants you to love yourself as He loves you. God wants you to love others as you love yourself.

            God’s Love is an action verb, a dynamic activity, a practice, that defines what it means to be a Christian. This message is the alpha and omega of all of Christian scripture. God’s call to voluntarily action from the living words of Scripture and through His Holy Spirit transcends nation, ideology, culture, and every other form of tribalism, including denominational religionism.

            This is why for centuries every form of tribalism (including now in our country, political parties) have tried to suppress, distort or corrupt the true message and practice of scripture. This message, this call from God of love and to love is so dangerous to every form of tribalism that every ideologue, even ideologues as opposite in every other way as Karl Marx and Ayn Rand, that even false prophet supposed Christian clerics of all denominations, knew that it must be scoffed at, derided, distorted and suppressed if they were to cling to tribe rather than give themselves up to real Christianity, to God’s call to practice love.

            The paradox of the Christian practice of love is that it’s very nature in selflessness can’t easily be argued by rational gymnastics, by religious legalism by harsh judgementalism, and definitely not by force. It is a gift from God that must be asked for, voluntarily received, and then actively practiced through a leap of faith. One receives it in giving it away. You can’t hate your way into it. You must love your way into it. It does not bring the self satisfaction of easy determinative answers. Only in the struggle itself does it bring a special, indescribable kind of sacred joy.

            Now, you can go on accusing me of all your tribalistic horror shows by heaping outrage upon outrage. But I’m trying not to play that game any more. I can’t force you to believe in God’s love and I can’t keep you from trying to distort love into outrage and hate. I’m no saint and I’m no prophet. I’m just a sinner trying to speak and act like a Christian. It’s impossible for me and I fail constantly. But with God’s help I’ll keep on trying. With God’s love, all things are possible.

          20. @tsalmon

            Only Democrats can talk politics in a loving fashion? Do Democrats actually speak in love or use guilt as a weapon? When Conservatives point to the fact there is a problem with giving away other people’s money, why do we get stuff like this?

            Now, you can go on accusing me of all your tribalistic horror shows by heaping outrage upon outrage. But I’m trying not to play that game any more. I can’t force you to believe in God’s love and I can’t keep you from trying to distort love into outrage and hate. I’m no saint and I’m no prophet. I’m just a sinner trying to speak and act like a Christian. It’s impossible for me and I fail constantly. But with God’s help I’ll keep on trying. With God’s love, all things are possible.

            Are Conservatives are so terribly mean?

            The Bible says stealing is wrong. Love is not an excuse for making other people do anything you want. Love is certainly not an excuse for shutting people up.

            Go back and read this thread. What have I said that deserves your outrage? I have just said the Bible says sin is wrong, and we need to repent. That’s outrageous? What you consider the threat?

            In the name of love, I am not allowed to tell you are wrong? I am not allowed to call people who contrive to portray me and others who share my beliefs as racist bigots an enemy?

            Take the time to consider the Book of Proverbs.

            Proverbs 9:7-9 New King James Version (NKJV)
            7 “He who corrects a scoffer gets shame for himself,
            And he who rebukes a wicked man only harms himself.
            8 Do not correct a scoffer, lest he hate you;
            Rebuke a wise man, and he will love you.
            9 Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be still wiser;
            Teach a just man, and he will increase in learning.

            Even though it goes against the grain (I too much enjoy hearing myself talk.), I don’t try very hard to go looking for people to debate or argue with. Too many scoffers. Generally, the result is just a bunch of insults. Yet the Bible tells us to love our enemies, not to deny our differences. Why? Well, it is wrong to hate. We should seek reconciliation, but reconciliation requires something besides love. Some of our enemies must be wise enough to teach us, and some of them must be able to learn from us. Otherwise, our differences just continue to trouble us.

          21. Tom,

            I think you misunderstand. I’m not outraged. I’m not defending Democrats. I’m not condemning Republicans. I’m not telling you what you have to do or not do. I’m just telling you what God clearly says in scripture, specifically with regard to what He said is the most important Commandment and upon which every word in scripture hangs. Although you rationalize, quibble and equivocate, you don’t really dispute the clear scriptural call to love. Do you really?

            If we want to practice Christianity, through the grace of God, we each and every one of us has to voluntarily come to terms with that paramount call from God. If you feel that it handicaps you, your ideology, your political party, or your tribe in carrying out hate and outrage, then your argument is with God, not me. 😊

          22. @tsalmon

            All you keep doing is escalating the meanless feelgood love babble. To define Christian love the way you define it, I have to forget I ever read the Bible. Why would I want to do that?

            Look at what you have written. What is my sin? I think we should hate sin because the Bible says God hates sin. Am I suppose to believe the Bible or you?

            If have the temerity to say what Democrats stand for is sinful, does that mean I don’t love as a Christian loves? Is it more Christian to help people sin? If I don’t help people sin, tell them God approves of their sins, that means I don’t love as as Christ taught? Seriously? Yet that is what I hear you saying.

            Think about it. You have not addressed the substance of anything I have said. You cannot. You know you don’t really make sense. So you have just tried to guilt me into agreeing with you. Is that because that same nonsense worked on you? Well, I have read the Bible, and the Bible does make sense. You need to do the same, read the Bible.

            Don’t start at the beginning and then try to read it all the way through. Some of books in the Old Testament are too difficult to easily understand without a good commentary. Switch back and forth between New and Old Testament books. Get yourself some decent commentaries. Leviticus, for example, is a bear unless we appreciate how the sacrifices foreshadowed what Jesus did.

            Once you read the Bible carefully you will begin to understand it all has the same author. That in itself is a revelation.

          23. “Look at what you have written.”

            Here again, the phrase you like to use when you have obviously not looked at what I have written or responded to it in any meaningful way.

            “All you keep doing is escalating the meanless feelgood love babble. To define Christian love the way you define it.”

            It’s not my “babble”, although I’m sure Im capable of plenty of it. It’s just what Jesus said. You wouldn’t be the first to belittle the immensity of His call, or to rationalize its clear meaning and difficulty away.

            Thanks for the advice on reading the Bible. I know that it is not meant to be as patronizing or superior as it sounds, and I love you for the effort.

          24. Thanks Tom. I’ll try to take a look.

            I think you misunderstand if you think that I’m against studying scripture. Are you ever surprised how many great Bible scholars in history failed to appreciate God’s greatest Commandments in scripture and the ultimate purpose of all scripture?

            To get a truer understanding of this, you might consider reading scriptural scholar Mildred Bangs Wynkoop’s “Theology of Love”. To a great extent, Wynkoop interprets John Wesley, also a great Biblical scholar and more importantly, a great lover. It’s a long book and not an easy read, but you should enjoy it’s strong scriptural basis, particularly how it looks for meaning through translations of the various languages that some transformative passages are written in. It’s worth the effort.

            I also enjoy Reverend Mel Wild’s blog and am learning a good deal there. Thanks for turning on to him.

          25. @tsalmon

            Your welcome. Hope you enjoy it. Here is something you may find helpful.

            What I go to these days is call a Reformed Church. Related to the Baptist Church, but mostly in the sense both are part of the American evangelical tradition and share a similar theology.

            As far as I know, the church I go to is not connected with the teaching institution R. C. Sproul started. Nevertheless, I enjoy Sproul’s reasoned and scholarly approach. If interested, you can check out this => https://www.ligonier.org/learn/series/what_is_reformed_theology/.

            Here is a link to their free stuff => https://www.ligonier.org/learn/series/?filter=free.

            Reverend Mel Wild also takes a reasoned and scholarly approach, and he certainly understands theology better than I do. I suppose we have some differences, but I haven’t noticed anything worthy of a ferocious debate. 😉 Instead, I have too enjoyed his blog.

  2. “see friends and allies become mortal enemies”
    “The enemy in front of us is infinitely more dangerous and vicious”

    I can not reconcile your approval of this language with your simultanious praise of forgiveness. Obviously it is not intended to be granted to political opponents. Do you consider thinking of your political opponents in these terms to be a healthy attitude, both for people personally as well as for the society as a whole? Or do you actually see domestics politics as downright out-and-out warfare?

    1. @marmoewp

      I expected that would draw a comment. Inevitable, I suppose.

      Our first obligation is to know God. Then we must strive to see ourselves and others as God sees us. Have you ever read the Imprecatory psalms (see => https://www.gotquestions.org/imprecatory-psalms.html). Ever wondered why they are in the Bible? Have you ever read Matthew 23? When the eternal life of someone is at stake, the least we can do is to bluntly express our opposition to their sins.

      When the other political party stands unrepentantly for evil things, imprecatory language is appropriate. Jesus called upon us to love our enemies, but He did not ask us to call evil good or good evil. When Jesus died on that cross, he did not die for everyone. Read John 3:16 carefully. Jesus gave His life for those who believe in Him.

      1. Hum? So Christ sacrificed himself on the cross so that we could strive to know know what God wants us to hate?

        That may be your “religion”, and you are entitled to it. But that is not the practice of Christianity, which is instead the “practice” of dynamic, sacrificial, manifestation of God’s Love in our lives. The religious worship of what to hate is just the same old self-righteous smugness of the Pharisee, don’t you think? Societies may not see this in the moments of our tribal rage, but real Christianity always looks back on these sad periods of hate worship with shame.

        1. @tsalmon

          Please consider a simple version of your question. Why did Christ sacrifice Himself on the cross?

          If you investigate the matter (https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Romans+5%3A1-11&version=GNT), I suspect you will find it helpful to understand two terms: grace and mercy.

          When we receive the grace of God, He gives us what we cannot earn and do not deserve, salvation. Sinful creatures like us do not merit eternity with God in Heaven. When we receive mercy from God, God withholds the punishment we have earned. Sinful creatures like us belong in Hell. We sin, and God says in His Word that He hates sin. Fortunately for us, God Himself paid the price for our sins, on that cross. We just have to repent of our sins and accept the gift of His grace and His mercy.

          You want to believe God is all love and no hate? Then you explain that cross. You explain what Jesus said about Hell.

          As it is, because I am still prideful, I don’t especially enjoy being so needful of God’s grace and mercy. It is not easy to admit I am a sinner in need of salvation. Fortunately, there is great joy in knowing God loves us so much.

  3. Amen Tom— a constant lesson that business of forgiveness— without it, we die —yet we must first learn to die to self— dying from that of ego, pride, selfishness in order to live.
    Thank you for the reminder found in of all places, politics 🤭

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