36 “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” 37 And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 38 This is the great and first commandment. 39 And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. 40 On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.” Matthew 22: 36-40 ESV
If you were to ask me, “Marshall, what’s the essence of Christianity?” I would respond with the above quote or a paraphrase of the above quote (because I was never forced/strongly encouraged to memorize Bible passages). And I’d probably put extra emphasis on the second of those commandments. Not because I don’t believe in God, but because we interact with neighbors all day every day (also because God will always love us (unless you trip and place a hand on the Arc of the Covenant or are a Fig tree with no figs when it isn’t fig season or are named Job, but we’ll push those to the side for now)).
I posted an article earlier today that was about ‘nones’ and ‘dones’ and the disenchantment and frustration of my generation when it comes to religion and the doctrine/tradition that comes with it. I would be lying if I said I wan’t part of that group that’s frustrated by the current religious marketplace.
I’m not saying I don’t believe in a higher power. I firmly believe that there is power that we cannot see. I’m just kinda over the whole tradition, go to Church every week, and doctrine of it all.
I’m disenchanted by the tradition because I feel that most of the discussions are around things that were written 4,000 – 6,000 years ago and focus entirely on the words of certain passages instead of the over-arching spirit of the passage/chapter/book.
So, essentially what I want to get across is that the essence of Christianity is ‘love others as you’d have them love you’ or if you want a more direct message, to quote a sticker of my sister’s ‘don’t be a dick.’
Here’s the link to the article I mentioned above.