Another View on Erastianism

Excellent article by Deacon Jonathan Munn.

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1 Response to Another View on Erastianism

  1. Stephen K says:

    Thanks, Father. That was a good article. I do wish to challenge the author on just one point and that was his fancy footwork over the relationship of the first and second commandments, wherein he opines that love of neighbour has to be “ratified” by the love of God. It seems to me that it is the author who is decoupling the two commandments as equally as anyone who would purport to subordinate the first to the second. This is because it is difficult to know or agree, or moreso, what it is that constitutes “love of God”. I would like to propose that a truer characterisation of the “double-commandment” is one that I have read in several places and that is that you show love of God through and by your love-of-neighbour. This reading seems to me to reflect a very New-Testament ethos, that Jesus appears to have made very central to his teaching and, ultimately, his death on Calvary: namely, that love of the unloveable in the here-and-now brings in the kingdom of God, in contradistinction to the emphasis on ritual purity satisfied within the confines of the Temple. Jesus did not overthrow rules so much as the spirit that confined justification to their observance. Indeed, he gave new rules, such as the double commandment doubling, and the Last Supper instructions, etc. and the saving of the sheep on the Sabbath etc.

    God, as the elusive and ineffable, is very susceptible to being cast in particular images by us humans, in the name of order, tradition, revelation etc. God does not answer back. To that extent, our neighbour is far more accessible and tangible and not at all inclined to meekly accept our definitions or treatment of him or her. Love of neighbour is the portal to love of God, and it seems safer – to me at least – to rely on working out the best way of loving neighbour as the best way of loving God than starting at the other end.

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