“Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?” He said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the greatest and first commandment. And a second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.” (Matthew 22:34-40)
One common criticism of Christianity is that it’s full of rules that come from an old outdated culture. The counter argument is that God is timeless, and therefore rules cannot change with the whims of current culture. Both are just looking at the surface. They are the shallowness that has taken over. But, what about these two great commandments? “On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.” (Matthew 22:40). Where are they in the picture of Christianity and all its rules? They are the two that are the depth, where instead of seeing, we are experiencing. They come from that bond between people and their Creator, that covenantal relationship. They are much deeper than shallow rules. They are experiences of God.
Beloved, let us love one another, because love is from God; everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, for God is love. (1 John 4:7-8)
They are the soil from which good fruit is produced. Those rules that we fight over, they aren’t rules as much as fruits. If they grow from love, they are good fruits, but not all necessarily are. Likewise, trying to mimic good fruits while remaining on the surface, means nothing.
If I give away all my possessions, and if I hand over my body so that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing. (1 Corinthians 13:3)
We need to dig our roots deep into love! We need to squish our toes in the rich soil of love that gives birth to our actions! It’s not rules that are at the heart of Christianity; it’s the experience of God known as Love!