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Topic:   BROTHERHOOD OF MAN / BROTHERLY LOVE

I believe in the brotherhood of man, all men, but I don’t believe in brotherhood with anybody who doesn’t want brotherhood with me. I believe in treating people right, but I’m not going to waste my time trying to treat somebody right who doesn’t know how to return the treatment.
Malcolm X (1925–65), U.S. radical leader. Speech, 12 Dec. 1964, New York City.

Comment: Malcolm X did not know the meaning nor the rewards of true selflessness. When we love someone or love to serve others in Christian love we don’t care about return treatment. Our witness amounts to something only when we are willing to give even if nothing comes back. PK

The brotherhood of man is evoked by particular men according to their circumstances. But it seldom extends to all men. In the name of our freedom and our brotherhood we are prepared to blow up the other half of mankind and to be blown up in our turn.
R. D. Laing (1927–89), British psychiatrist. The Politics of Experience, ch. 4 (1967).

Comment: The brotherhood of man can be maintained and fostered by our willingness to love each other and migrate upwards from willingness to an open display of our love for each other. We have not blown each other up, so far, with nukes because we are afraid. We are afraid of mutual assured destruction, i.e. ashes in their mouth = ashes in our mouth. When one party does not respect life enough to fear death that party will launch. When two parties do not respect life enough to fear death they will both launch. When respect for another person’ life or respect for life in general falters or is non-existent death will follow in the form of spiritual death, emotional death, and most likely physical death. When no one respects life in a society then the society is dead anyway. This is the hidden societal effect of abortion. PK

The world has narrowed to a neighborhood before it has broadened to brotherhood.
Lyndon B. Johnson (1908–73), U.S. Democratic politician, president. Speech, 17 Dec. 1963, New York City.

Comment: The world has narrowed even further because of the internet. However, there is the problem of sin. That problem tears homes, families, work places, neighborhoods, cities, and nations apart. PK

They are universal places, like churches, hallowed meeting places of all mankind.
Iris Murdoch (b. 1919), British novelist, philosopher. Jenkin Riderhood, in The Book and the Brotherhood, pt. 2, "Midwinter" (1987).

Comment: If only we can keep them hallowed in our hearts. If only we could carry the humble spirit instilled by our God into the streets so we can embrace each other as brothers and sisters without regard to religion, color, creed, origin, preference, sex, bias, persuasion, or any other factor that separates us. PK

The principle of the brotherhood of man is … narcissistic … for the grounds for that love have always been the assumption that we ought to realize that we are the same the whole world over.
Germaine Greer (b. 1939), Australian feminist writer. The Female Eunuch, "Love" (1970).

Comment: We are the same the whole world over in most respects. We are the same the whole world over in that God made us all. He made our souls and spirits. We are more alike than we are different. That is why brotherly love is possible and can be made possible by putting our lives in the hand of God. PK

I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.
Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929–68), U.S. clergyman, civil rights leader. Speech, 28 Aug. 1963, Washington, D.C.

Comment: It is possible but will we make it probable? Without our letting God help, probably not. PK

The ideal of brotherhood of man, the building of the Just City, is one that cannot be discarded without lifelong feelings of disappointment and loss. But, if we are to live in the real world, discard it we must. Its very nobility makes the results of its breakdown doubly horrifying, and it breaks down, as it always will, not by some external agency but because it cannot work.
Kingsley Amis (b. 1922), British novelist. Sunday Telegraph (London, 2 July 1967).

Comment: Utopia’s on earth we may never see, but to abandon the idea is to kill the essence of love for one another. It is the idea that one human can love another human without expectation of reward that keeps the fabric of social life on earth together. Even if we never achieve the Just City on earth, there is already a Just City waiting for us when we see God. If we have dedicated our lives to His cause of striving to build a Just City between ourselves and all the people we have known before we die, and have accepted His son as His son into our hearts and lives, then we will live in the real Just City in the sky. PK

The brotherhood of men does not imply their equality. Families have their fools and their men of genius, their black sheep and their saints, their worldly successes and their worldly failures. A man should treat his brothers lovingly and with justice, according to the deserts of each. But the deserts of every brother are not the same.
Aldous Huxley (1894–1963), British author. Proper Studies, "The Idea of Equality: Equality and Christianity" (1927).

Comment: What you give someone should be based upon what you think they deserve. We should give as Christ would give, whether they deserve the gift or not. PK

 

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Scripture quotations marked (NIV) are taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. NIV®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved.

Scripture quotations marked (RSV) are taken from the HOLY BIBLE, Revised Standard Version of the Bible, Copyright © 1952 [2nd edition, 1971] by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.


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Shepherd's Care Ministries author and webmaster, Rev. Patrick Kelly, is affiliated through ministerial ordination with Church of God Ministries, Anderson IN 46018