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What does loving one another realy mean?

Is the love Jesus spoke of exclusive to one religion?

Many scriptures tell us to love our brothers in Christ - John 13:35, 1 John 3:11-20, 1 John 4:7.  But, are our brothers in Christ exclusive to one religion or confines of a church?  No. There are many Christian religions, all believing in and having faith that Jesus Christ is our savior.  Our fellow brothers and sisters go far beyond the walls or confines of our church or religion.

And, are we to only love our brothers.  No, Matthew 5:44 states to, "Love YOUR enemies".  We should live our lives with love.  Be it with our family, friends, business associates, neighbors we should always try to make sure our actions are kind, not hateful.

1 Corinthians 13:4-7 (NWT) speaks of how love should be:

"Love is long-suffering and kind. Love is not jealous, it does not brag, does not get puffed up, does not behave indecently, does not look for its own interests, does not become provoked. It does not keep account of the injury.  It does not rejoice over unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth.  It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things."

What does the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society teach its followers about love?  When Jehovah's Witnesses try to show there is one right religion, one of the seven questions or characteristics of the one right religion is, "Do its members truly love one another?" (Watchtower Bible and Tract Society's book Reasoning from the Scriptures, p328-330)  Reading their answer to this makes it clear, they are speaking of the love among their own.  

Yet, love is not shown when it teaches its members to shun and even disown their own family members and friends.  When a Jehovah's Witness is disfellowshipped, they are to shun, even hate the disfellowshipped person.  Many times, the disfellowshipped person is even struggling and needs help to overcome an addiction.  Yet, because they cannot overcome their addiction and getting psychotherapy is discouraged, they are disfellowshipped, leaving them with no family or friends and probably sending some of them further into trouble.

Even when I was a practicing Jehovah's Witness, I experienced unjust judgments from fellow members.  The kind of above and beyond love Jehovah's Witnesses claim to have, I really can say happened only once when I nearly died in a car accident.  Members of my congregation came to my side to assist me and for that I am forever grateful.  My experience with my new church is they do the same and more for members in need. 

To only exhibit love to those members in one religion is not what the Bible says.

John 3:16 NWT

"For God loved the world so much that he gave his only-begotten Son, in order that everyone exercising faith in him might not be destroyed but have everlasting life."


Matthew 22:37-39 NWT

Scripture tells us the first and greatest commandment is to love God with our whole heart, whole soul and whole mind.  The second greatest commandment is to love your neighbor as yourself.

So why does the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society teach its followers to hate the bad person? 

James 5:19 states that even when a fellow brother is misled from the truth and they should want to return, they should be welcomed back.  Jehovah's Witnesses have been taught to view these people as apostates and that they are doomed to eternal destruction and to shun them.

The Opposite of Love is Fear

Having been raised in a fear-based culture, I now know that being coerced to practice a religion out of fear, is not loving.  1 John 4:18 (NWT), "There is no fear in love, but perfect love throws fear outside, because fear exercises a restraint.  Indeed, he that is under fear has not been made perfect in love."