Much Ado About Love

trueloveFrom pulpits to social media, the world is saturated with talk of love. By contemporary measures it would seem that there is more love today than ever before, but what does the Bible really say, have we really been misreading it for two-thousand years?

The Apostle John discusses love in this way, “Dear friends, let us continue to love one another, for love comes from God. Anyone who loves is a child of God and knows God. But anyone who does not love does not know God, for God is love.” (1 John 4:7 NLT)

Under the current interpretation of love, this scripture might easily be viewed as an indictment against anyone who disagrees with someone else’s lifestyle or actions. Modern philosophy teaches that love demands tolerance and acceptance. Anything less is hate.

It is always dangerous to consider a single piece of scripture to the exclusion of surrounding scripture or in isolation of the wider Biblical narrative.

While John does say that we should love our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ, he also says, “Loving God means keeping his commandments…” (1 John 5:3 NLT) This passage clearly destructs the idea that love and acceptance are synonymous. In fact, true love can only be found within the context of obedience to God’s commands.

Please note that nowhere within the text is there a right to hate. Instead, John is very clear that hate is unacceptable in terms of our relationship with others. So on the one hand, we are told to love, while simultaneously being required to line up with God’s commands.

The Bible is clear on the matter. While “God is love,” Love is NOT God. When we invert the sentence, everything goes to hell. (literally) John is very clear, “Dear children, keep away from anything that might take God’s place in your hearts.” (1 John 5:21 NLT) “Anything” includes, a nebulous definition of love that is devoid of Gods precepts.


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