repenting of religion

“John sums up the matter bluntly. “Those who say, ‘I love God,’ and hate their brothers and sisters, are liars” (1 John 4:20). To truly love God includes loving others with the same love God has for us and the same love God has for them. This is part of what it means to be a participant in the divine nature. It is, in fact, what it means to be Christian (Christ-like). “Whoever does not love,” John wrote, “does not know God, for God is love” (1 John 4:8). Our capacity to love—to fulfill the greatest two commandments—is the definitive evidence that we are in fact abiding in Christ and participating in the perfect love of the triune God.”

“Christians sometimes try to assess how they or others are doing on the basis of such things as how successfully they conquer a particular sin, how much prayer and Bible study they do, how regularly they attend and give to church, and so forth. But rarely do we honestly ask the question that Scripture places at the center of everything: Are we growing in our capacity to love all people? Do we have an increasing love for our sisters and brothers in Christ as well as for those for whom Christ died who are yet outside the church? Are we increasing in our capacity to ascribe unsurpassable worth to people whom society judges to have no worth?”

Boyd, Gregory A., Repenting of Religion: Turning from Judgment to the Love of God. Baker Books, 2004.