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This is Previous-Essay <== This-Essay ==> Following-Essay Click HERE on this line to find essays via Your-Key-Words. {Most frequent wordstarts of each essay will be put here.} ========================================================== %GREATEST COMMANDMENTS LOVE GOD NEIGHBOR LAW EVIL+960514 %GOOD RELATIONSHIPS INTIMACY VULNERABILITY FORGIVE 960514 Legalistic people approach all commandments as if they are all of a kind; i.e., prescriptions calling for conformity. The prescriptions may be prohibitions of certain actions, or requirements of other actions---but the prescriptions all call for conformity OR ELSE. Legalistic people see all commandments as calling for conformity---OR ELSE the implication is that there will be judgements, condemnations and alienations in response to non-conformity. All commandments are are regarded as all of a kind---because they all demand conformity and imply that judgements, condemnations and alienations will follow in response to non-conformity. Legalistic Christians seem unable to recognize the contrast between the implications of the life and teachings of non-legalistic Jesus of Nazareth and the life and teachings of the legalistic religious leaders who conspired to have Jesus crucified. Legalistic Christians seem unable to recognize that the vary nature of the two commandments which Jesus regarded as the greatest commandments---is a nature which indicates that those two commandments are not commandments which threaten judgements, condemnations and alienations if they are not heeded. Is there any integrity in suggesting that if we do not love God with all our hearts, minds and souls and/or if we do not love our neighbors as ourselves---there will be judgements, condemnations and alienations instigated against us on the part of the God who is Love? It is more likely that the suggestion is that if we do not conform to certain legalistic people's expectations we will be subject to their judgements, condemnations and alienations---all of which will be instigated on their part in the name of their god who is an angry and vengeful god whom they have created in their own small and demeaning image. (c) 2005 by Paul A. Smith in (On Being Yourself, Whole and Healthy) ==========================================================