Not much has changed since the first century.

When Jesus came he encountered at least two major groups of people. On the one side there were the sinners who were most likely considered the rebels of the day. They rejected the teachings of the religious leaders of the day and did their own thing. This was the group that Jesus went to and received Him.

The other group one with major influence in the community included the religious leaders and particularly the Pharisees. This group's most formidable characteristic was Pride. In keeping the religious laws of the day these people emphasized the moral issues of the scripture. Intellectually they knew the two great commandments but their focus was always on the moral issues.

The religious community today is a lot like that. They will boycott a company because of one of our special moral issues like abortion or homosexuality or call for drastic action to defeat a threat to their way of life or sacrifice to give to a religious cause. Yet they will turn their heads when others mistreat their employees when businesses take advantage of illegals or foreigners or others use their monopoly power over others in business.

Love can't be complacent. It's not a do nothing way of life. It must be just as proactive as the efforts to live a life of purity or insure our religious freedom. Love is a key difference between self-righteousness and true righteousness. You can't be righteous if you are not upright in your dealings with your neighbor. If you forget that you may find that the righteousness of the sinners exceeds your righteousness and all of your moral sacrifices will be worthless.

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