More Love Less Dogma


The Beatles sound theology of love

allweneedisloveThe Beatles had some pretty sound theology.  Their classic, All You Need is Love, really summed it up well for an entire generation that was going through cultural and societal shift and change, and it was a world wide phenomena.  The Beatles embodied revolution against societal norms, that seemed only concerned with power, profits and politics, rather than caring about people. I was a kid when that song came out.  I was a pre-teen.  I knew they were unto something even at that young age.  I knew the youth and young adults of the day were fed up with the status quo, and fed up with a society that did not seem to care about others, and justified and used violence to achieve political goals in order to control people and the marketplace. The Beatles were calling people to a peaceful revolution against the accepted values of exploitation and violence. Their spirit and mindset mirrored many of the down to earth, love of others teaching of Jesus Christ. I found the Beatles resonated with me more than any sermon I ever heard on the Sermon on the Mount.  Perhaps that is because I rarely have heard a decent sermon on the Beatitudes. Most Evangelicals don’t really know how to unpack, interpret, and apply the Sermon on The Mount for our own day. They usually shrug their shoulders and some have even said, “It isn’t possible to live this way.”  I disagreed then, and I still disagree, almost 46 years later.

usandthemAt the end of the day, unpacking, interpreting, and applying a biblical understanding of love is a pursuit no one will  ever complete in their lifetime. The vastness and depth of the truth concerning “love” is not only a lifelong exploration, but also a lifelong transformation of the heart which affects how we live out our lives and engage with others. I discover more and more the radical nature of the love of God and the grace of God. In the end I cling to the words of John in 1 John chapter 4:

7-10 My beloved friends, let us continue to love each other since love comes from God. Everyone who loves is born of God and experiences a relationship with God. The person who refuses to love doesn’t know the first thing about God, because God is love—so you can’t know him if you don’t love. This is how God showed his love for us: God sent his only Son into the world so we might live through him. This is the kind of love we are talking about—not that we once upon a time loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to clear away our sins and the damage they’ve done to our relationship with God.

11-12 My dear, dear friends, if God loved us like this, we certainly ought to love each other. No one has seen God, ever. But if we love one another, God dwells deeply within us, and his love becomes complete in us—perfect love!

13-16 This is how we know we’re living steadily and deeply in him, and he in us: He’s given us life from his life, from his very own Spirit. Also, we’ve seen for ourselves and continue to state openly that the Father sent his Son as Savior of the world. Everyone who confesses that Jesus is God’s Son participates continuously in an intimate relationship with God. We know it so well, we’ve embraced it heart and soul, this love that comes from God.

Love transcends revolution and societal change

67-p-l.png

When the Beatles released All You Need Is Love in 1967, my family arrived in Montreal, Canada, from the UK.  The world was in tumult. Vietnam was in its truly violent phase and troops increased to a total of 475,000 were serving in Vietnam and the peace rallies were multiplying as the number of protesters against the war increased. The Boxer Muhammad Ali was stripped of his boxing world championship for refusing to be inducted into the US Army. In the middle east Israel also went to war with Syria, Egypt and Jordan in the Six Day War and when it was over Israel controlled and occupied a lot more territory than before the war, and it illegal occupation of Palestine continues to this day. That summer of 1967 in the summer cities throughout the United States exploded in rioting and looting the worst being in Detroit on 23 July,  where 7000 National Guardsmen were bought in to restore law and order on the streets. In England a new type of model became a fashion sensation by the name of Twiggy and mini skirts continued to get shorter and even more popular with a short lived fashion being paper clothing. Also during this year new Discotheques and singles bars appeared across cities around the world and the Beatles continued to reign supreme with the release of “Sgt. Peppers Lonely Heart Club Band” album, and this year was also coined the summer of love when young teenagers got friendly and smoked pot and grooved to the music of “The Grateful Dead. Jefferson Airplane and The Byrds”. The movie industry moved with the times and produced movies that would appeal to this younger audience including “The Graduate” Bonnie and Clyde” and “Cool Hand Luke”. TV shows included “The Fugitive” and “The Monkees” and color television sets become popular as the price comes down and more programmes are made in color.

So much rapid societal change and progress, and in the midst of it, the Beatles release The Magical Mystery Tour, and their hit song All You Need is Love.

 

All You Need Is Love 

(Love, love, love)
(Love, love, love)
(Love, love, love)

There’s nothing you can do that can’t be done
Nothing you can sing that can’t be sung
Nothing you can say but you can learn how to play the game
It’s easy

There’s nothing you can make that can’t be made
No one you can save that can’t be saved
Nothing you can do but you can learn to be you in time
It’s easy

All you need is love
All you need is love
All you need is love, love
Love is all you need

(Love, love, love)
(Love, love, love)
(Love, love, love)

All you need is love
All you need is love
All you need is love, love
Love is all you need

There’s nothing you can know that isn’t known
Nothing you can see that isn’t shown
There’s nowhere you can be that isn’t where you’re meant to be
It’s easy

All you need is love
All you need is love
All you need is love, love
Love is all you need

All you need is love, all together now
All you need is love, everybody
All you need is love, love
Love is all you need

Love is all you need
Love is all you need
Love is all you need

Songwriters
LENNON, JOHN / MCCARTNEY, PAUL

Published by
Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

Respectful discourse is rare these days
seewithheartI have found it to be frustrating at times to have a respectful discourse on matters of belief when people try to convince you of the rightness of their views, rather than have actual discourse and debate. I used to find it stimulating to debate.  I used to be the living oxymoron of a Charismatic Calvinist.  I no longer hold to Calvinism or any other ism. I found it all so tiresome.  Emotionally it was taxing. I found that many just wanted to argue and not really debate in the classic sense of the word.  I have found that doctrine not only divides, but it kills relationships.
I have found that the language of Jesus is love and grace
jesuslovesmeIt is Jesus who does the convincing by His Spirit and the Scriptures reveal God’s will and heart for people.  When people are loved and respected, they usually return the same to you, and they will usually listen, even if they disagree. In the end love wins. It is pretty hard to argue or debate against love.
God doesn’t need me or you to defend him in our pursuit of apologetics
interpretationofscriptureDiscourse and dialogue only can happen if both parties are willing to respectfully engage.  Too often debates actually become arguments and the points being made are viewed as turf to be won, akin to the few yards fought for and won by soldiers in a frontal attack in WW1, where there were so many casualties just for taking a few yards of dirt.  How many people have to suffer from our debating when we are really on concerned with proving or making a point?  Are we lovingly engaged, seeking to understand? Are we willing to learn from one another? Are we willing to even admit that there may be more than one way to see the matter at hand?  Do we even care about how we are treating the other person?  What is the point of such interaction?  How did Jesus engage?  Can we dare to engage in the same manner?
You may have a biblical belief that is correct, but without love it isn’t worth much
krysty2It is not dogma or doctrine that saves, but upon whom we believe that saves. Jesus is the embodiment of love.  If we can love as He loves, maybe people will be persuaded by that love, that Jesus is not only real, but alive, and loves them.  If we can get the religious dogma out of the way of our engagement with others, perhaps to essence of the heart of God for people, for intimacy and life in relationship, will actually break through. It is at least my hope that it will.
Love makes a way where dogma and religion do not. In the end all that will matter is how well we loved others in the love of Christ. Let’s let Jesus do the saving, and let’s work on being better lovers and change the world one person at a time.
Peace.
~ Sam
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About Sam Buick

A lover and disciple of Jesus Christ. Married to my best friend, Lori-Anne. Father to 3 incredible daughters, Carragh, Caitlin and Erinn, and sons-in-law Alex, and Stephen Davis. An avid reader, a Droid user, a Mac addict, a lover of footy ball and football (there is a difference), and hockey. Once a soldier. Once a youth worker. Once an ordained minister. Once a claims adjuster. Once a charismatic, now a pacifist. A disciple of Christ, Gospel of grace proclaimer, pursuing union with Christ. There is only one way to God, and that is through Jesus Christ. Jesus unites, dogma divides.
This entry was posted in Bible, History, Missional, Philosophy, Society, Theology and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to More Love Less Dogma

  1. Glenn Wiebe says:

    Thanks Sam, Love is truly the only way and God IS Love. Keep writing.

    Liked by 1 person

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