“The Commitment to Love and How to Enhance Your Love for Your Enemy”

“The Commitment to Love and How to Enhance Your Love for Your Enemy”

Love has no enemy, nor does it know any opposition and adversary. The writers of the Bible boldly proclaim that “God is love.” The amazing power of the divine love includes these most coveted adjectives: (God’s love is) beautiful, kind, uncontrollable, boundless, active, redemptive, universal, sacrificial, self-giving, and transcultural. God loves all people regardless of their location in the world and their experience in life; God is always pursuing every individual because he wants to shower each one of us with love, kindness, grace, and affection!

As a result, God commands love to be a catalyst of the human experience and defining characteristic of his creation. From God’s perspective, love is/ becomes more than a human emotion or a sensation; biblical love is a moral duty and commitment to express love boundlessly toward all people, even one’s enemy.

In addition, the most important moral duty of Jesus’s followers is to love and pursue it at all cost, that is, to imitate God’s way of love and loving, and to obey unreservedly Jesus’s ethical imperative to love, even one’s enemy. Hence, God’s creation ought to imitate its Creator by being like Him. Those who love unconditionally and pursue love relentlessly are like God; they are peacemakers like God and his natural children.

Tomorrow morning (Sunday, January 20) at Jesus Center, I will be discussing the idea of love from a biblical perspective and offer some practical ways on how to enhance your love for everyone, even for your enemy or rival. The way of love is the way of Christ and is the most fulfilling way to be human, to imitate God, and to become like Jesus.

You and your family are our special guests at Jesus Center. We can’t wait to meet you in person and fellowship with you. Our worship service starts at 10:00 am. See you tomorrow morning at Jesus Center Community Church!

“Love is the only thing that can turn an enemy into a friend.”— Martin Luther King, Jr.

“Love is kind and endures all things.” –Paul

“A new commandment I’m giving you is to love one another.” –Jesus

” Love your enemy; pray for those who persecute you.” –Jesus


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“Nine Crises and Weaknesses of the Hatian-American Church”

In December 2018, “The Haitian Times” published my article entitled “The Crisis And Failure Of The Haitian-American Church.” At the beginning of the new year (January 2019), “The Haitian Times” published the sequel to my December op-ed.

Check it out, “Nine Crises and Weaknesses of the Hatian-American Church,” and let me know what you think.

https://haitiantimes.com/2019/01/17/9-crises-and-weaknesses-of-the-haitian-american-church/

Bonne lecture!

“Haitian Studies in the Twenty-first Century”

“Haitian Studies in the Twenty-first Century”

While we should never neglect the substantial contribution of the Haitian Revolution and Vodou Studies—as these two subject areas of knowledge are foundational in the constitution of Haitian scholarship in the English language–in the construction of a distinctively Haitian epistemology, and what Dr. Paul Camy Mocombe has phrased “Haitian Idealism,” contemporary Haitian Studies in the twenty-first century must move beyond the scholarly research on the Haitian Revolution and Vodou to explore other significant fields of knowledge in which Haitian scholars and writers have explained the Haitian experience in both modernity and post-modernity and correspondingly contributed to human understanding and flourishing in the world.

My New Article on James H. Cone!

My very long and detailed article on James Cone was published back in December 2018. I was not aware of it. I just found out today.

“James H. Cone: The Vocation of Christian Theology and the Christian Church Today,” Africology: The Journal of Pan African Studies, vol.12, no.7, December 2018. pp. 8-58.

***Do look forward for two more articles I wrote on James Cone. One will be soon published; the other is currently under review.

http://www.jpanafrican.org/docs/vol12no7/12.7-2-CLJoseph%20(1).pdf

Happy reading and let me what you think!

“The Call and Courage to Love When It Hurts”

“The Call and Courage to Love When It Hurts”

In the Gospels and Epistles, love is a command, an attitude, and a lifestyle that is distinctively marked the daily interactions and relationships of Jesus’s followers. In fact, in Christianity, love has a nature and an identity, and arguably is a person, as the Bible boldly declares, “God is love.” Love as a divine virtue and moral and ethical virtue comes with many challenges, defeats, and dissappointments. In spite of the complexity to love difficult people, as love is not a natural human virtue, love is the very essence of the Christian faith and the cross of Christ. Jesus commands his disciples to love their enemies and pray to those who persecute them. Apostle Paul states to do everything in love. The Hebrew Prophets compel us to pursue love, mercy and compassion as these threefold divine attribute summarize the greatness of God and God’s loving actions in the world and gracious interactions with human beings. Hence, God’s creation ought to imitate its Creator by being like Him. Those who love unconditionally and pursue love relentlessly are lke God and his natural children.

Tomorrow morning (Sunday, January 13) at Jesus Center, I will be sharing a few words about the biblical notion of love as a christian virtue and moral order for Jesus’s disciples. The call to love, even one’s enemies and rivals, is the way of Christ and is the most fulfilling way to imitate God and to become like Jesus.

I look forward to engaging you in this vital and practical conversation at 10:00 am, the time of our corporate worship at Jesus Center. You’re welcome to bring a friend with you.

Love has a name; its name is Jesus.

“Jacques-Jules Bonnaud, the First Haitian Jesuit in Colonial Saint-Domingue-Haiti”

“Jacques-Jules Bonnaud, the First Haitian Jesuit in Colonial Saint-Domingue-Haiti”

As I continue to work on Haiti’s colonial religious history, I discovered an interesting Haiti’s religious gem of colonial legacy: Jacques-Jules Bonnaud, the first Haitian Jesuit.

Father Bonnaud was born in Cap-Francais/Cap-Haitian/Okap in October 27, 1740–only three years before Toussaint Louverture was born in May 20, 1743/BrĂ©da, Cap-Francais– to a French Father and an African mother; hence, he was a mulatto child.

As it was customary in Saint-Dominguan interracial relationships, at an early age, his parents sent the young Jacques-Jules to study in France. He attended La Flèche, a Jesuit High School, associated with the Compagnie de JĂ©sus. In December 20, 1758–the same year Jean-Jacques Dessalines was born in Africa–, he entered the Jesuit order in Paris (des JĂ©suites de la Province de Paris) as a young seminarian; he was fifteen years old at the time.

The Jesuit Order appointed him as Professor at the Collège de Quimper in Bretagne (Brittany), France’s north-westernmost region. He taught there for two years until the King’s order to close the Compagnie de JĂ©sus in 1762–the same year Britain entered the Seven Years’ War (1756-1763) against Spain and Naples. It was also in April in 1762 that Louis XV passed a decree for all black and mixed-race (mulatto) Frenchmen residing in France to register in the local municipal and with the offices of the Admiralty Court. On the government’s form, blacks and mulattoes had to declare their age, full name, religion, and reveal the purpose they were living in France. They were also to inform the government their place of birth and the name of the ship that transported them to France.

Jacques-Jules Bonnaud was ordained as Priest at the Grande SĂ©minaire de l’archidiocèse de Paris. Due to unfortunate circumstances associating with the French Revolution, he was assassinated in 1792 at the SĂ©minaire des Carmes in Paris. In 1926, the eleventh year of the American military occupation in Haiti (1915-1934), Pope Pius XI beatified Father Jacques-Jules Bonnaud rendering him the first Haitian Catholic Saint. Nonetheless, St. Martin de Porres is the first Black Saint in the Americas.

Arguably, Father Jacques-Jules Bonnaud, the first Haitian Jesuit, was a victim and martyr of the French Revolution.

***Consulted Sources:

Kawas Francois, “Sources Documenaires de l’Histoire des JĂ©suites en Haiti auc XVIIIe et XXe Siècles” (2006).

Henri Fouqueray, “Un Groupe de Martyrs de Septembre 1792” (1926)

JosĂ© Luis Saez, “Un MĂ rtir Broto del Cabo, Santo Domingo” (1978).