Love Is … : Introduction


39 And Moses told these sayings unto all the children of Israel: and the people mourned greatly.
40 And they rose up early in the morning, and gat them up into the top of the mountain, saying, Lo, we be here, and will go up unto the place which the Lord hath promised: for we have sinned.
41 And Moses said, Wherefore now do ye transgress the commandment of theLord? but it shall not prosper.
~Nu 14:39-41

The newspapers used to run a daily comic called “Love Is…”. It featured a male and female, usually with no clothing on but no real body parts (sort of like a naked Ken and Barbie), and most of the time ran some syrupy sweet, sometimes cute, saying that sounded good but wasn’t necessarily true. “Love Is… Never having to say you’re sorry” is an excellent example of the syrupy-yet-very-wrong sort of saying that would run.

Protestants also are guilty of presenting a very syrupy sort of love. They “love Jesus”, and yet for all of their words, do they really? Do they have an untrue and unrealistic view of love themselves? In particular, do they even understand godly love?
People have an amazing tendency to overreact to events and jump from one ditch into the other.  Jesus warned that the Christian walk is a narrow road, and so it should be a warning that you and I are not immune to jumping into the opposite ditch in a similar manner to how Israel jumped from disobedience by not entering the Promised Land to disobedience by entering without God’s blessing. I have witnessed many people running in the exact opposite direction because something was “too Protestant” when the opposite extreme was at times even less godly in nature.
I think that many in the Church have jumped the tracks on the topic of love. In fact, one of the biggest things I have against the many false teachers running around is that they present God as very unloving, only interested in rules, only interested in programming robots, and in fact equate love with keeping the commandments in such an obvious disregard of logic that a child could see through it.
In fact, I no longer wonder why Paul compared various churches to children. I find myself unable to write about many things because the truth is that so many in the Church still has not weaned itself off of milk. What is presented as “meat” is more like tofu, full of things that are not real but mere speculation, and all the while the basics are neglected.
If you do not understand love, you are not saved.
If you do not understand love, you will not make the first resurrection.
If you do not understand love, you are unable to keep the commandments to any degree no matter how many hairs you split.
If you do not understand love, Christ will tell you He never knew you.
If you do not understand love, you are not a real Christian, and you are lost.
It is that important.

He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.
~ 1Jn 4:8

We have plenty of examples of non-love around. One man who proclaims himself as something recently went on a rant about a certain website:

There is an anti God website out there which habitually lies by taking small points out of context and spinning them to appear to mean the precise opposite of the truth. This is not a site trying to be accurate, but a site of willful lying.

I cannot help but believe he was looking in the mirror when he said that. It is one of his specialties.  Ironically, the very comment about the other website took a small point out of context and spun it to mean just the opposite of what was intended.
That is not love.
Not surprisingly, the same person criticized UCG’s use of a silly puppet to teach about love. He called it “ungodly”:

Here is what UCG is teaching about love. They are teaching that a sentimental emotional feel good, is love; Instead of the truth that the Word of God defines true godly love, and that true love is to keep the whole Word of God

Keep in mind, Jelly is targeting children. It isn’t meant to be a theological treatise on love. Furthermore, this anti-God critic leaves out, very conveniently, that the short video also says love is “action”.
Mind you, I find it difficult to stand up for UCG and especially a video that was, IMO, poor quality.  However, the truth is the truth, and love without truth is meaningless.
Obviously, this “teacher” does not understand love, does not practice love and does not have the love of God in him. Unfortunately, he is not alone. He is just one of the nuttier, should-be-obvious-to-anyone-with-a-brain, extreme examples. There are others that twist words, take them out of context and generally do not wish to communicate the truth in love, seeing as they know neither.
Jesus said something very interesting about the end times:

12 And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.
~ Mt 24:12

Friends, Jesus here is talking of the Church! He is not referring to the rest of the world. The context makes it obvious that it is the conclusion of members turning upon one another, being offended and actually betraying one another! It is a warning for us!
How can we heed the warning when we don’t even know what love is?
Are we going to follow their examples? Will we follow the other ungodly examples that happen all around us by leaders of organizations? Will we instead turn to God’s word and embrace what it says — all of it — no matter where it leads?
Didn’t we promise to do so at our baptism?

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