Last Sunday, we started the Book of 2 John – a book I’ve never read nor studied. Pastor was laying out the context for us, so us students of the Word (we’re all students of the Word, I suppose) could better interpret John’s epistle. One thing stuck with me in particular: the relationship between love and truth. It’s an interesting topic, right?
In the Bible, love is important. Likewise, truth is important; however, when the two come into conflict with another, it is truth that trumps love. As pastor was teaching us Sunday, he explained a concept that for some reason sounded a bit foreign to my millennial mind: without truth, love is worthless. Those five words rattled around in my brain all day. In general, it makes sense. You can’t have a fulfilling love based on lies. But then we started to view the concept through a very narrow lens. Truth isn’t some broad umbrella; in fact, it’s incredibly specific.
The Truth is Jesus. In the Gospel of John 14:6, it states, “Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.’” God is love. To get to the Father, you must go through the Son. If you don’t have Truth (Jesus), you don’t have Love (God). It’s quite a profound topic.
The mainstream church or the church that seeks to appeal to anyone and their dog preaches a message of tolerance. It doesn’t necessarily matter what your beliefs are as long as you attend church and you donate your time and money. Here’s the problem – the Bible is pretty intolerant. In fact, God is pretty intolerant.
That’s not a bad thing. Do you believe that Jesus is Christ AND the Son of God? You do? You’re saved. Now, let’s move forward in your relationship with God; however, if you don’t believe that Jesus is Christ AND the Son of God, that’s okay. No worries. You’re still saved. NO! NO! NO! God’s pretty clear that if you don’t believe that His Son was HIS SON, then you’re not with Him. Without the Truth, you’re void of true Love.
When I look around at how “tolerant” the mainstream church is, I want to throw up. I’ve blogged about this before, but I’ll never forget the moment my jaw hit the floor watching a Hillsong pastor on the View. He was a younger guy, and I watched him come out IN FAVOR of mid-term abortion. I was angry. I felt betrayed; however, I understood. It made sense to me why he said something to appease the rather liberal hosts of the View. They applauded his “tolerant” stance on abortion. I don’t remember God “tolerating” the Canaanites. In fact, I remember God telling the Israelites to wipe every living soul in the land of Canaan. That’s not a real ringing endorsement, is it? It’s not exactly tolerant, is it?
When you tolerate one vice, you force yourself to tolerate other vices. It’s a slippery slope of moral ambiguity. The quest for high attendance and cultural acceptance has led the church farther and farther away from its’ foundation – the Word of God. The irony is the church is losing itself trying to find acceptance from the very world that Jesus explicitly says hates us.
This blog post won’t be long. I just implore you to research and explore the relationship between love, truth and the current state of the church. What pastor taught us last Sunday has stuck with me. Love is love. Truth is truth. But when love meets truth, truth trumps love. Cool, right?