Sunday, December 18, 2011

A quick thought

I had a quick thought on the way over to Church this morning.

I like, when teaching on "the Law" to focus over and over upon the neighbor. This is the tact Luther takes in the Catechism - the meanings are not focused on specific actions, but rather treat your neighbor well.

If we focus our discussion on actions - as in, "is this act okay, can I do this, etc" - our focus is placed upon ourselves. Am *I* acting right?

It becomes a fundamentally egotistical approach to the Law, it focuses on personal... development, growth, holiness - whatever. It focuses upon me myself.

That's not my job. My job is to love my neighbor.

If your focus is not upon your neighbor, you are missing the point.


Phillip said...

But we can't wholly focus on the objective and ignore the subjective aspect of the Law.

Rev. Eric J Brown said...

When in the Scriptures are you taught to focus on yourself, apart from your neighbor. There is the command to rest, or the injunction to Timothy to take a little wine, but even that is so that one will be better prepared to serve the neighbor.

Faith lives in the neighbor. Christian freedom is a wonderful thing. It is freedom from my own navel gazing.

Rev. Eric J Brown said...

Thinking a touch more -- I would say that we ought to address the "subjective" aspects under the guise of "vocation". What have *I* been called to do, what am I given to do? I'd say that's a good way to approach the subjective angle without falling into abstraction.

Of course, I'd contend that the differences in vocations shape how individuals are to act precisely because your vocation is nothing else that defining your relation to your neighbors.

Can you think of a single vocation that does not define or describe a relationship with a neighbor?

Christopher Gillespie said...

Here's a completely tangental comment: You sound like Ron Paul's civil use of the Law. You can't protect people from themselves but you can protect them from their neighbor and their neighbor's property through the use of the Law.

Rev. Eric J Brown said...

Hmmm... you mean an approach to law that views it as a means of caring for and protecting the neighbor... hmmm... what a strange coincidence. =o)