Saturday, December 5, 2020

Love Your Enemy

Jonathan Pageau offers that the highest value in Christianity is love; it is this that is at the top of the hierarchy.  His comments, reasonably well-captured, I hope:

Jonathan Pageau: But there’s a key in that, in the “love your enemy” thing.  It’s important to understand it.  One of the problems of reality that these hierarchies of tribalism, these hierarchies of identity are inevitable.  You can’t avoid them.  They have to exist or else the world stops to exist; it ceases to exist.

And so, how do you deal with it?  A lot of the Christian answers are something like that: love your enemy.  Love your enemy doesn’t mean that he’s not your enemy.  It’s not saying that this person is not your enemy.  It’s saying that this person is your enemy; you have to find it in yourself – and you can still defend yourself, actually. 

In terms of Christian understanding, no Christian country would say you need to let yourself get invaded by another country.  But the idea is that you need to continue to see the humanity of even the person that’s attacking you, and to see that they share something in common with you, even though they are your enemy.


  1. There is no such thing as a “Christian country”. The idea is simply part of the syncretist’s deception.

    “Being asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, he answered them, “The kingdom of God is not coming in ways that can be observed, nor will they say, ‘Look, here it is!’ or ‘There!’ for behold, the kingdom of God is in the midst of you.””
    (Luke 17:20–21 ESV)

    ““No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other; or else he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You can’t serve both God and Mammon.”
    (Matt. 6:24 WEB)

    1. Pageau is Eastern Orthodox. Orthodox history has taught them wacky ideas like this, you know - lots of Muslim invaders, children hauled off as slaves, genocides of Christians, things like that.

      Why it would shape thinking or language? I know, it seems silly.

    2. As a wife, you can serve your husband and God without contradiction or offense to God. The trick is to put each in their proper position of authority. If the husband obeys God, then he is to be obeyed. Same goes for the governing structure or association of a nation of people. So long as this government obeys God, it is to be obeyed.

      The modern problem is that governments have all become states, and these entities have a hard time knowing their place in the celestial hierarchy.

    3. Mike, would it make any difference if Pageau used the word "family" or "church" or "individual" instead of country?

      What I am getting at is the idea that experience shapes language - and language is limiting in any case.

  2. “If the husband obeys God, then he is to be obeyed.”
    I have not commented here in a long while, but I am really enjoying your last 4 posts BM, seems no better time than now to have these discussions.
    Back to the text I copy/pasted, I don’t seem to remember this, and I assume you are referring to scripture, as in the Holy Bible?
    “Likewise, wives, be subject to your own husbands, so that even if some do not obey the word, they may be won without a word by the conduct of their wives,”
    1Peter 3:1. I am not here to argue about the aholes who take that to their self gratifying extreme, rather I wanted to comment on the second part, as I assume again you are referring to scripture when you say “we” should obey this government? I was going to give the benefit of the doubt when I first read governing structures or nation of people, as those don’t necessarily mean a state, but this government?
    Not sure where you were finding that either. I think that there is a big difference between a wife honoring her husband in Christ and the honor we are to give God. You can’t serve two masters, you either love one and hate the other. I don’t believe in a Christian nation, at least not one that can be brought about by man on this earth, so their is only one kingdom I can have any loyalty to. Anyway, sorry to jump in midstream here, just blame it on Jim O., he sent me the links. And maybe I’m all wet in that Texas L wasn’t referring to scripture at all.
    Resolve to Serve No More

    1. "Resolve to Serve no More"

      Sounds like 'Non Serviam' to me. I'm not sure why you are interested in scripture.

      "Likewise, wives, be subject to your own husbands, so that even if some do not obey the word, they may be won without a word by the conduct of their wives"

      This was an exhortation by Peter to Christian women to marry pagan men and convert them, which happened a lot, since many Romans 'exposed' female babies in those times. I don't believe it was meant to be a justification for men to dominate their wives and deny Paul's advise to the Ephesians when he said, "Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it."

      As Christ is the head of the church, the husband is the head of the family, including his wife, but this position, to be performed in accord with God's will, entails true sacrifice for the good of the family, as Christ sacrificed himself for the good of the church.

      Also see the Catechism of the Catholic Church:

      "Authority is exercised legitimately only when it seeks the common good of the group concerned and if it employs morally licit means to attain it. If rulers were to enact unjust laws or take measures contrary to the moral order, such arrangements would not be binding in conscience. In such a case, "authority breaks down completely and results in shameful abuse."" - CCC 1903