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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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The Missing Stair?

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I was thinking about it, and wondering if the Missing Stair issue is one of the reasons churchs are having problems recruiting today? If you haven't heard the phrase before the idea is that people in a group tolerate bad behaviour from a member of the group because that is 'the way they are' or because they think they have to be tolerant, and that means tolerating everything. The idea is that the issue or person is like a Missing Stair which everyone has learned to walk round, but no one is going to fix. New members of the group take one look and either leave, or encounter the Missing Stair when they trip on it (having items stolen, being lied about, etc.) and then take action which results in schism in the group.


In this case, are liberal churchs being too tolerant of the actions of some of their members at the cost of attracting new ones? The conservative churchs which offer rebuke and direction as well as acceptance and compassion are growing, but the churchs which boast of tolerating everything are not.

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