Does love conform to all ideas and ideologies? The obvious answer is “Of course not!” Love cannot conform to any kind of ideology
that includes the subjugation of others (Nazism, Communism, racism, etc.). It’s easy to identify things, systems,
people, and ideologies that oppress and subjugate others in objective and
tangible ways. Take away one’s God-given
“unalienable Rights” (Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness…see the
Declaration of Independence) and you know quickly that love will not conform to
whatever or whoever is doing the taking.
Love cannot conform to those who make it known that for whatever reason
they imagine they are somehow superior to others. Those things are obvious and I don’t know of
anyone, who wants to be taken seriously, who advocates that love should accept
and conform to processes that are so clearly harmful to others.
But what about the things that are less obvious? Things that take a certain amount of
spiritual acuity to discern? On the
surface, adultery seems to be a choice that two consenting adults make that has
little bearing on the well-being of others.
Not so on two levels. First you
don’t have adultery unless there is a spouse. Consequently, the well-being of
the spouse is being attacked. Additionally,
one or both of the adulterers often have children. Do you know how confusing and painful it is for
a child to find out his/her mother or father is involved with someone
else? Even for children it is not hard
to guess what the ramifications for the future are. The second level, of course, is the spiritual
level. Nowhere in the Christian Bible
where adultery is mentioned is the reader permitted to assume God approves of
the act or that the participant’s relationship with Him is undiminished as a
result. The Apostle Paul was adamant
about the damage done by unfaithfulness (to God, self, and spouse) when he
said, “the sexually immoral person sins against his own body” and then implies
far worse when he continues with “do you not know that your body is a temple of
the Holy Spirit within” and erases all doubt when he concludes with “for you
were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body” (1 Corinthians
6:18-19). Love simply cannot be made to
conform to the decision of two people to satisfy their lusts outside the bonds
of the covenant of marriage (which is clearly understood to be between a man
and a woman).
Why then, are so many of today’s Christian pastors and
denominational leaders so intent on selling us the lie that the love of God absolutely
conforms to the relatively new idea that homosexual relationships are a valid
means of expressing covenantal love?
That there is no harm being done in what is obvious (society) and less
obvious (spirituality)? Christian love
doesn’t embrace everything because not everything is holy. Not everything is beneficial despite all the
arguments from government and religious leaders that it is. True love is not only a proponent of what God
deems good for humanity but is also an adversary of all that undermines the
Incarnate and inscriptured Word.
“Let’s all get along” may be the clarion call of those who
wish to legitimize sin (of any sort; not just homosexuality) but it is not a
reality that is reflected in the Bible where it involves the spiritual life of
believers. For instance, Christ Himself
said that love must involve a decisive choice: “Whoever is not with me is
against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters” (Matthew 12:30 ESV).
To choose Christ is not only to embrace something but also to stand
against something else. Love doesn’t
embrace everything. It actually opposes
some things. Remember in Matthew 6:24
Jesus said, “No one can serve two masters.”
Love cannot be reconciled to everything and everyone. Why then, are so many of America’s religious
leaders counseling Christians to go ahead and get on board with any kind of sinful behavior? Because it is inevitable that a majority of
our neighbors are going to accept it? As
I recall, Noah stood virtually alone in his beliefs and practices concerning
what constituted holiness and righteousness.
There are also a couple of narratives in the book of Daniel that speak
to this (the lion’s den and the fiery furnace).
The sheer volume of people who promulgate a certain belief or behavior
in no way intones that it is holy and therefore to be celebrated as an act of
It is time for the Body of Christ (especially in America) to
learn to stand against some of what is being advocated as love. It is time for today’s Christian to
prayerfully consider Paul’s rhetorical questions
What accord has Christ with Belial? Or what portion does a
believer share with an unbeliever? What agreement has the temple of God with
idols? (2 Corinthians 6:15-16).
It is unfortunate that many are choosing to interpret
Scripture in such a way that would condone any kind of sin. It is heretical that Christian leaders are
teaching that Love requires acceptance of behaviors that are clearly
detrimental to both society and the soul (not to mention definitively
identified as sin in the Bible).
Homosexuality is certainly not the only form of sexual immorality. But I don’t hear religious leaders calling
for the legitimization of adultery, fornication, incest, or bestiality
either. My greater concern is for all
those who think whatever a Christian leader says must be right and true. I would advise those for whom warning bells
are going off as their pastor or bishop tells them God approves of any form of
sexual immorality to read the letter to the church of Thyatira in Revelation
2:18-29. It is a warning against
accepting as normative any kind of sexual immorality. Yet in addition to the consequences spelled
out for twisting the love of God into such a thing that would advocate immoral
behavior is a word of encouragement for those in the region “who do not hold to
this teaching” (verse 24). “The one who
conquers and who keeps my works until the end, to him I will give authority
over the nations…” (verse 26).
God’s love is not revealed by how many cultures, people, and
behaviors we are willing to embrace.
Rather, the Apostle John said, “this is the love of God, that we keep
his commandments.” It is not an act of
godly love to embrace our neighbor’s sinful behavior. The silence from Christians driven by being
fearful of what sinners may say or think of us for standing against what we know
to be sinful behavior is not an act of love but cowardice. Consider this word from Paul as he winds down
his letter to the Corinthians,
Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be
strong. Let all that you do be done in love. (1 Corinthians 16:13)
You see, love is not the antithesis of standing firm or
being strong by taking a stand against something. It is time for the Church to act like the
Ray Rooney, Jr.