Objection: Love Takes Precedence

Objection: Love must take precedence

The argument here is that the core teaching of the Bible (and therefore of Christianity) is that we are to love one another. The implication is that love therefore means allowing people to make their own choices without any challenge. When we consider how to deal with issues such as homosexuality, our primary responsibility is to love people. Any challenge by Christians is seen as unloving and therefore contrary to the core teaching of Jesus. This is one of the main arguments of gay supporters. Many say that the Bible undeniably condemns homosexual practice but that the central command to love means that we must disregard the offending verses. Response The suggestion that the anti-homosexual verses are outweighed by the command to love is very strange. It implies that the Bible is inconsistent, that God is muddled and that we can decide what is most important and which of the things God has said, we can disregard. In reality, of course, it is not a case of choosing which passages to obey but of honouring all that God says. Let us indeed love in as radical a way as Jesus did, but let us also take seriously the biblical teaching on homosexuality. A specific command is not over-ruled by a general appeal to love. God is love but He still disapproves of homosexual acts. That is not inconsistent. Biblical faithfulness does not mean choosing between different Bible texts but, rather, holding them together. We will have a great deal more to say about love because it is so important. But we should not assume that love means acceptance of sin. See the section on Love. Let us state the obvious: helping people to hell by distorting, or withholding, the truth, is not love. Part of the appeal to the love argument is the assumption that love is always nice. It is part of the spirit of our age that we are discouraged from saying that anybody is wrong. According to this view, confronting someone is seen as bad form – something a compassionate society does not do. Everybody’s views and lifestyles are to be respected. That is what love is. Or so it is argued. It might be the spirit of our age but it is clearly not consistent with the Holy Spirit. God often confronts those who are wrong. A large part of the scriptures records a wayward society being challenged. Often the most compassionate thing we can do is disagree with someone. Of course there are questions around how that is done. There are harsh and disrespectful ways to confront but there are also very loving and sincere ways. I am not defending the harsh approach, simply pointing out that failure to confront might not be compassionate. In fact, that might be the least loving option. Yes, the Bible puts a premium on love. That does not mean that God suddenly approves of homosexual acts. We need to ponder how we hold all of the biblical truths. How do we continue to believe that homosexual acts are wrong and act compassionately? That combination is very possible but it requires work and a willingness to respect all that God says.

Related pages

© 2017 Peter Cheyne
A Christian’s Guide To Homosexuality
Truth In Love
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Objection: Love Takes

Precedence

Objection: Love must take precedence

The argument here is that the core teaching of the Bible (and therefore of Christianity) is that we are to love one another. The implication is that love therefore means allowing people to make their own choices without any challenge. When we consider how to deal with issues such as homosexuality, our primary responsibility is to love people. Any challenge by Christians is seen as unloving and therefore contrary to the core teaching of Jesus. This is one of the main arguments of gay supporters. Many say that the Bible undeniably condemns homosexual practice but that the central command to love means that we must disregard the offending verses. Response The suggestion that the anti-homosexual verses are outweighed by the command to love is very strange. It implies that the Bible is inconsistent, that God is muddled and that we can decide what is most important and which of the things God has said, we can disregard. In reality, of course, it is not a case of choosing which passages to obey but of honouring all that God says. Let us indeed love in as radical a way as Jesus did, but let us also take seriously the biblical teaching on homosexuality. A specific command is not over-ruled by a general appeal to love. God is love but He still disapproves of homosexual acts. That is not inconsistent. Biblical faithfulness does not mean choosing between different Bible texts but, rather, holding them together. We will have a great deal more to say about love because it is so important. But we should not assume that love means acceptance of sin. See the section on Love. Let us state the obvious: helping people to hell by distorting, or withholding, the truth, is not love. Part of the appeal to the love argument is the assumption that love is always nice. It is part of the spirit of our age that we are discouraged from saying that anybody is wrong. According to this view, confronting someone is seen as bad form – something a compassionate society does not do. Everybody’s views and lifestyles are to be respected. That is what love is. Or so it is argued. It might be the spirit of our age but it is clearly not consistent with the Holy Spirit. God often confronts those who are wrong. A large part of the scriptures records a wayward society being challenged. Often the most compassionate thing we can do is disagree with someone. Of course there are questions around how that is done. There are harsh and disrespectful ways to confront but there are also very loving and sincere ways. I am not defending the harsh approach, simply pointing out that failure to confront might not be compassionate. In fact, that might be the least loving option. Yes, the Bible puts a premium on love. That does not mean that God suddenly approves of homosexual acts. We need to ponder how we hold all of the biblical truths. How do we continue to believe that homosexual acts are wrong and act compassionately? That combination is very possible but it requires work and a willingness to respect all that God says.

Related pages

© Peter Cheyne 2017.
A Christian’s Guide To Homosexuality
Truth In Love
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