God is love, but love is NOT a god!

Our society doesn’t get this.  We have it backwards.  We have turned love into its own god, even redefining who God is, according to how we think love should look, act, and believe.  

Just today, I found a "Christian" blog that emphasized how the most important factor of being a Christian is that we love everyone and do harm to no one.  

However, this wasn't a "treat people kindly, take care of widows and orphans" kind of thing.  

It was a "support the LGBTQ-movement, defend the LGBTQ-people who are oppressed (I'm sorry, but how can you call that massive mob of loud, demanding people who are steamrolling everyone into doing what they want and tearing down anyone who doesn't support them "oppressed"?), and defend the living children, not the unborn babies" kind of thing.

She twisted Scripture to make it sound like a loving God wants us to show our love for others by approving of everything they do and everything they believe.  And anyone who criticizes another person's beliefs or choices is unloving.  And therefore, unchristian and ungodly.  

[Update: And I just found another Christian blog where the writer uses "love others" to make a case for abortion.  She criticizes Christian Crisis Pregnancy Centers for tricking women into keeping their babies instead of letting them know of all their "reproductive health-care options."  She basically says that the women are already upset and conflicted, and they don't need Christians adding to their burden by making them feel worse or by encouraging them to keep kids they can't support.  She also says that since the Bible doesn't address abortion and isn't clear about this issue, we should default to "love others," as if "loving others" means not making them feel worse about a bad decision.  She, like many other Christians out there, says that "love others" is the greatest commandment.]     

Sadly, many Christians have turned love into its own god, bumping the God of the Bible off of His throne.  

God is love ... but love is not a god.

Love does not take the place of THE God!  

Our view of God should not be based on how we define love.

Our view of love should be based on who God is, on how He believes and operates, on His Word.  

You cannot change Scripture to make it support the kind of "love" you want.  You cannot deny God's Truth and still call yourself "Christian" simply because you think it's loving to defend everyone's right to live and believe however they want, even in ways that are contrary to the Word.

Newsflash:  The first and greatest commandment isn't "love others."  It's "love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength."  

And you are not loving God when you change His truth to make others happy.

I think two of the biggest, most damaging heretical "Christian" teachings nowadays are the two that follow (taken from this post).  They are leading so many people astray, even "Christians," because they sound so good, so loving, so close to the truth.  They make people feel like they have enough of God to be saved, but not enough that it infringes on their lives.  But these teachings are so dangerous.  And yet more and more people spread them like they are Gospel truth. 

          Heretical Teaching #1:  “God is pure love!  And because He loves me so much, He just wants me to be happy.” 

            This one makes me crazy because it’s being used to excuse everything, acting like what matters most to God is that we are happy and enjoying our lives, whether we find that happiness in homosexual relationships or pre-marital ones or even ones where we leave our spouses for someone that makes us happier.  After all, “It’s all about the love.  And a loving God would never judge us or punish us or deny us anything that makes us happy.” 

            It’s not said in this way, but this is the belief going around out there. 

            Yes, God is love.  And it’s critical to know His love, and to share His love and grace and forgiveness with others. 

            But what people are forgetting is that God is also just and holy, as much as He is love.  And He demands holiness and righteousness from people.  He has rules and guidelines and He expects them to be followed, and there are consequences for when we break His rules and stray outside of His guidelines. 

            You can only get a clear, accurate picture of God and a proper fear of Him when you keep His love and His holiness/justness in proper balance. 

            I fear that this “God is all about the love” teaching is going to be what causes more people to stray from the Truth than anything.  Because they think they are honoring God, yet they still get to live life the way they want.  It probably seems like the perfect blend to them, the perfect teaching to tickle their ears, telling them what they want to hear so they can continue to live whatever way they want while feeling good about their “faith.”

            But Scripture paints a different picture of God.  It is very clear about His holy and just side, about His wrath, and about our need to fear the Lord and seek righteousness:

            Psalm 33:5:  “The Lord loves righteousness and justice…”

            1 Peter 1:15-16:  “But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written:  ‘Be holy, because I am holy.’”

            2 Corinthians 7:1:  “… let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God.”

            Hebrew 12:14:  “Make every effort to live in peace with all men and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord.”

            Ephesians 5:3-6:  “But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people. . . . For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person – such a man is an idolater – has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.  Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God’s wrath comes on those who are disobedient.”

            Ezekiel 38:22-23:  “I will execute judgment upon him with plague and bloodshed; I will pour down torrents of rain, hailstones and burning sulfur on him and on his troops and on the many nations with him.  And so I will show my greatness and my holiness, and I will make myself known in the sight of many nations.  Then they will know that I am the Lord.”

            Ezekiel 39:7:  “I will make known my holy name among my people Israel.  I will no longer let my holy name be profaned. . .”

            Rev. 14:6:  “… ‘Fear God and give him glory, because the hour of his judgment has come.…”

            Deut. 5:29:  “Oh, that their hearts would be inclined to fear me and keep all my commands always, so that it might go well with them and their children forever.”

            Proverbs 8:13:  “To fear the Lord is to hate evil…”

            Romans 1:18:  “The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness.”

            Romans 2:5:  “But because of your stubbornness and your unrepentant heart, you are storing up wrath against yourself for the day of God’s wrath, when his righteous judgment will be revealed.”

            John 3:36:  “Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on him.”

            Romans 6:23:  “For the wages of sin is death. . . .”

            Matthew 10:28:  “Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul.  Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell.”

            Hebrews 10:31:  “It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.”  

            2 Thess. 1:8:  “He will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus.”  

            Matthew 7:21-23:  “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.  Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform miracles?’  Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you.  Away from me, you evildoers!”  

            Matthew 25:41, 46:  “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.’ . . . Then they will go to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.” 

          And this is just a small tiny bit.  And it’s far different from the popular teaching of “God is love and He just wants you to be happy, so go ahead and do whatever you want because He won’t say anything against you.”  Far, far different.

            God’s love will not excuse or overlook our rebellion, our choice to reject Him, to disobey Him.  God’s love made a way to save us from our sins but only if we accept it.  His love will not save us from hell if we choose to live apart from His truth, His ways, His offer of salvation.  He will always love us, but He lets us choose to reject Him and His ways … or to accept Him and His ways.  And in His justness, He allows us to face the consequences that go with our choice.

          Heretical Teaching #2:  “The most important commandment is ‘Love others’ and as long as we are loving others, we are doing all that God requires.”

            “ ‘Of all the commandments, which is the most important?’

            ‘The most important one,’ answered Jesus, ‘is this . . . ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’  The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ ”  (Mark 12:28-31)

            It is a very common teaching nowadays that “Love others” is the greatest commandment, the best way to show that we are following God.  And loving others is crucial.  It’s great. 

            But what we deliberately overlook is that “love God” comes before “love others.”  And when we put “love others” over “love God,” we base our view of God and His truths on how we want to show love to others.  And this is wrong!  We should be letting our love for God and His truth dictate how we love others.  Not the other way around.

            Many people believe that it’s not loving to call anything “sin,” and so they excuse everyone’s choices because it’s “loving” to be accepting and supportive and open-minded.  They believe it’s not loving to hold up the Bible as The Truth or Jesus as the only way to heaven.  To them, it’s much more loving to tell everyone that they are all going to heaven.

            But the most important command is not “Love others.”  It’s “Love God.”  And we cannot define who God is and what His Truth is by the ways we want to show love to others.  Our love for others needs to be based on the Word, on the Truth.  Not the other way around.

            And if I may point out one huge misunderstanding:  Loving God does not mean having warm feelings toward Him.  It does not mean simply acknowledging that there is a God. 

            Loving God means obeying Him, living your life the way He wants you to.

            1 John 5:3:  “This is love for God: to obey his commands. . . .” 

            John 15:10:  “If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father’s commands and remain in his love.”

            John 14:15, 23,24:  “If you love me, you will obey what I command . . . If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. . . . He who does not love me will not obey my teaching.”

            Acts 5:32:  “We are witnesses of these things, and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey him.”  (Who has been given the Spirit?  Those who obey Him!)

            Oh, the things people try to get away with by claiming “God is love” and that all God requires of us is to “love others”!  They are in for a rude surprise when they stand before the Judgment Seat.

When you elevate other people above God, you are not loving God at all.  To love God is to obey Him.  To obey Him is to stand by His Word.  And to truly love others is to help them find the path to heaven, not make them feel good on their journey to hell.

There are times that we Christians have to take strong biblical stands, even if it makes society unhappy.  Sometimes we have to stand up and deliver the unpleasant news that there is "right" and there is "wrong" ... that some ways lead to life and some ways lead to death ... that "rightness" or "wrongness" isn't determined by our feelings or by what we wish was true, but by God Himself through His Word.

Jesus didn't come to be popular or to tell everyone what they wanted to hear or to make people feel good about bad choices and about sin.

He came to save us from sin, to call us to repentance, and to set us apart from the world.

And yet here we are ... trying to look so much like the world, trying to please them, twisting "love" to show approval of whatever they want to do.  

And to Christians who try to say the Bible doesn't say anything about abortion ... 

Not only do we have the verses about not murdering (Exodus 20:13), not shedding innocent blood (Proverbs 6:16-17), about God knitting us together in our mothers' wombs (Psalm 139:13-16), and about God being the author of all life (1 Timothy 6:13), but we also have this little nugget of truth:
"If men who are fighting hit a pregnant woman ... if there is serious injury, you are to take life for life,"  (Exodus 21:22).  

What does the inspired Word of God call that preborn child?  A ball of tissue?  Unhuman?  Worthless as the garbage we throw out?  Worth less than an endangered animal?

No!  It calls it a life.  Worth as much as the life of the person who harmed it.

Unclear?  I think not!  

I believe that most Christians know exactly what the Bible says, but they do their best to deny it ... simply because they don't want to make people feel bad, they don't want to be unpopular with the world, and because standing for the truth is uncomfortable.  

The disciples of Jesus understood the risks of standing for truth.  Most of them paid with their lives for standing by the truth.  Whereas we simply change or deny what the Bible says about so many things so that we don't offend anyone.  

So, so wrong!  

It might bring you the world's praise now, but you will pay for it in eternity. 

Besides, even if it was unclear, shouldn't we default to protecting life instead of destroying it.  (I'm glad my mom did.  She got pregnant with me when she was a teenager, and she thought about having an abortion.  I'm glad she chose life over death for me.) 

The Truth of the Gospel will offend people.  And we Christians have to stop thinking it's our job to never hurt anyone's feelings, to never offend anyone, to never make anyone feel convicted about their wrong choices.

If we are preaching the Truth (in grace and gentleness, of course), we will offend and we will make enemies!

If everyone feels good about everything you say and believe, then you're probably doing it wrong!

Sometimes "loving others" is really just a cover for "compromising God's truth"!

If we seek to understand who God is according to His Word, we will also understand what true love is.

But if we try to redefine God according to our own ideas of love, we will understand neither.

Most Popular Posts of the Week:

If Calvinism is True, Then God is a Liar!

Should "Satan" Be Capitalized?

Why Is Calvinism So Dangerous?

Feminism Nonsense (repost)

Acts 13:48: Not As "Predestination" As It Sounds

Why Is It So Hard For Calvinists To Get Free From Calvinism?

Anti-Calvinism Memes and Links

UGW #9c: Considering Other Prayer Verses

Be Wary Of The Christian Post

"Defend Your Calvinism" Challenge