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John Calvin puts forward a very simple reason why love is the greatest gift: “Because faith and hope are our own: love is diffused among others.” In other words, faith and hope benefit the possessor, but love always benefits another. In John 13:34–35 Jesus says, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” Love always requires an “other” as an object; love cannot remain within itself, and that is part of what makes love the greatest gift.
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Of Living with Your Neighbors



Jesus answered, "The most important is, 'Hear O Isreal: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.  And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.'  The second is this: 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.'  There is no other commandment greater than these."

Mark 12:29-31 (ESV)(emphasis added)


In the previous post, which you most likely have read because you love this blog and would never miss a post, you saw that I commented on this article about a lady in the Los Angeles area who erected an over 24 foot high cross in her front yard.  I thought I would look again at this article through the lens of the above-referenced passage.


Sure, the apparent motivation, contrary to what the article states, of this lady is to tell her surrounding neighbors that she is a Christian.  This is something I will not try to confirm or refute as it is not my place, but I wonder if she truly considered the impact that having this cross in her front yard is actually having on any of her neighbors (which can be considered to be anyone she may come in contact with, or who would see the cross for that matter). Though she may consider that she is just being a witness for Christ in her community, she may also be, unintentionally, accomplishing quite the opposite.  On the one hand erecting this cross could be considered just as benign as erecting a flag pole just as tall, on the other some might consider it an eyesore.  But let us take a look, shall we?



Aside from the height of it, this cross seems rather benign, except for the fact that it is located in someone's front yard, as opposed to the front lawn, or the steeple, of a church.  According to the article, this lady's neighbors believe the cross is causing their property values to go down due to the increase in traffic in the quiet little cul-de-sac this house is located.  Of course property values is a rather subjective thing, but do the neighbors have a legitimate complaint?


In addition to the outcry coming from her neighbors, her city is stating that she either needs to take it down or get a permit for it, otherwise she is facing fines that could range up to $3000.  Not exactly the kind of example you want to make as a Christian.  Is it really a good idea to erect something this big without making sure that it is ok with the local authorities?  After all isn't it standard practice to obtain permits when making this big of a change to your property?


However, putting aside the lack of consideration she made in regard to getting permission from the city, has she really put any thought into how this is impacting her neighbors?  Would she be just as understanding of her neighbors if they were to erect a giant star of david, or put a budda statue in their front yard?



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I think it looks good. It blends in quite nicely with the surroundings.

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