Love and Extremism
Christianity is a religion of Love, just as it is so aptly said, “God is love” (1 John 4:8), the essence of God himself is love. Love is the core and the purpose of the relationship between God and man.
However, what kind of love is God talking about? In our daily experiences, we experience different types of love from different people. Sometimes, it is the calm and endearing love from our parents; sometimes, it is the passionate love between husband and wife. However, love can also turn to hate and fighting in an instant when there is miscommunication between two parties. The love that God teaches us through the bible may not always be the love we immediately associate with.
Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things
1 Corinthians 13:4-7 (NIV)
It is God’s commandment that when we love, we should be patient, kind, and tolerant — especially in the face of disputes and disagreements. Jesus is the embodiment of God’s love; and as the Lord loved his enemies even in the face of injustice, we also follow in his footsteps to love and rejoice in the truth.
We are saddened by the recent news of a young Singaporean being led astray from the original teachings of God by the influence of media, taking on an extremist view of violence towards groups he views as his enemy.
In the embrace of God, we have no enemies — we fully embrace and love all in Singapore, including our Muslim community and all other religions. We will continue to pray for their safety and well-being, especially for the hearts of our Muslim friends who have been unrest (unrest sounds odd. uneasy?) because of this incident.
And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’
Matthew 22:39 (NIV)
We commend the National Council of Churches of Singapore (NCCS) for speaking up for the Christian community in Singapore to clarify that our teachings are one of love and acceptance rather than violence. We also thank the authorities for swiftly taking action and preventing any harm done to other people.
Regardless of our beliefs, let’s all practice a love that is always patient, kind, and selfless.