Love Calls For A Response
Neutrality Is Hostile Towards Love
I wanted to take a bit of time to delve further into a topic that I speak about often; a love ethic. In these days of polarizing hot takes, disrespect, and simmering rage, I know that love is not often a topic that people spend their time reflecting on. “Give us the deeper stuff.” Nope. I believe Jesus when He told of the days (in Matthew’s Gospel) where the love of many would grow cold. If you haven’t read some of my musings on a love ethic feel free to go here on Communal Love or here on the way of love . The truth is, while I have a variety of thoughts theologically, emotionally, and physically for this world, embracing a love ethic is the beat to which I am dancing to. Please get on board with me.
“When I speak of love I am not speaking of some sentimental and weak response. I am speaking of that force which all of the great religions have seen as the supreme unifying principle of life.” Martin Luther King Jr.
It is curious to me that a determined movement within Christianity, or at least the Christianity in my current context, has seemed to hang its hat on a love personally and societally that hangs its hat on neutrality. This type of thought manifests itself in various ways, but never more pronounced than when issues of harm or justice are brought to the table. This thought seems to shy away from being abrasive. This thought, in its attempt to reach for unity, seems to embrace a deadness. How many times have I heard that we should “see both sides”? How many times have I seen Christians deflect from areas of justice because it doesn’t seem that people are being *kind*? Neutrality has no place in love.
It should be well stated that shying away from neutrality does not mean that one has to become insufferable. What I wish to illuminate is that love beckons us to leave behind the shores of comfort in order to embrace this powerful ethic/force in our care for the common good. Love is not limited to sentiment, but instead seeks the highest good of all that are entranced by its spell. As a Black man in society, I wake up every day in search of deepening my commitment to love’s call. This will never mean that I have to dim my light, embrace neutrality, or sit as a bystander as people hurt in this world. The love ethic I embrace is never neutral.
“Not once did I hear anyone speak about Black boys needing love as a foundation that would ensure the development of sound self-esteem, self-love, and love of others.”
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