Thank you for your admonition to keep the commandments. I enjoyed your article very much. However, there is one statement that I believe needs to be clarified. When Jesus was asked what the greatest commandment was, he didn't "lump" the first and second greatest commandments together. He did list first things first. I believe that it is simple to skip over the first commandment and then get to the second commandment. This is much of what modern secular thought does. The reality is that by loving God (and by keeping His commandments) we are giving context to the second commandment of loving one another. I believe it is not possible to have the Pure Love of Christ (Charity) for others if we are not loving God with all our heart, mind and strength. That is why we are admonished to be missionaries. When we have the opportunity to share the light and truth of the Gospel, we should do it in a loving way - just as Christ would do - because we first love God. If our love for God is not first and foremost in priority, it is far too easy to slip into a compassion which justifies choices that are contrary to God's commandments. Honoring the agency of others is necessary, but so is urging repentance. When we see errors in judgment or actions, we are blessed when we take the opportunity to lovingly encourage correction of error and repentance. Contention should have no room in the relationship where loving God is the first priority. Loving God requires a selflessness that will strengthen our ability to keep the second greatest commandment. Hurdling the first great commandment, or lumping them together, often results in accommodation and justification of sin and is of little service to the sinner (all of us).
Again, thank you for your valuable insights.
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