Dan Popp
The truth about love
By Dan Popp
July 20, 2014

Faithful are the wounds of a friend, but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful. (Proverbs 27:6, NKJV)

Lies are poison to the soul. And America can't get enough of them. The worst lies are the lies about love. You know: Sex is Love, Government Force is Love, Causing Misery to Children is Love, and many more. And the very worst lie about love is that love lies.

We're told that, because of love, we shouldn't tell people they're endangering their souls. Apparently this is what some people think Jesus did. As one reader advised, "...stop railing against people because of their sexuality, follow the example of Christ and preach love." First of all, Jesus did not (and therefore does not) accept the sloppy postmodern equivalence of sexual acts with sexual desires, and desires with identity. That conflation is anti-biblical, anti-scientific and anti-rational.

I've never railed against anyone because of his or her "sexuality." I have said, along with Jesus, the Father, the Spirit, the Apostles, the Prophets, Judaism, Christianity, civilization and probably even most barbarians throughout history, that homosexual acts are morally wrong.

Second, what Jesus preached was truth. We can speak the truth without love, but we cannot preach love without truth. Love without truth is just a lie, not love. Truth without love is still truth, and still a good thing.
    Some indeed preach Christ even from envy and strife, and some also from good will: The former preach Christ from selfish ambition, not sincerely, supposing to add affliction to my chains; but the latter out of love, knowing that I am appointed for the defense of the gospel. What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is preached; and in this I rejoice, yes, and will rejoice. (Philippians 1:15-18)
Someone who loves you wouldn't tell you to go ahead and play with fire even after you protested that you're really, really drawn to fire and you believe you were born to be one with the flames. Only the unwelcome but true message that reality has no regard for your feelings is motivated by love.

But aren't "white lies" born out of love – for example, telling your wife that the dress she's wearing doesn't have an unusual property of magnification? Consider whether you're tempted to tell that fib for her sake, or for your sake.

"Love is patient and kind" is only a snippet out of the Bible's famous description of love. As the New King James translators render it, "Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth...." (1 Corinthians 13:4-6)

Uh-oh. If love does not envy, then leftism is the opposite of love, because leftism is envy plus violence. You have something I want, and I'm taking it. Love does not parade itself, and of course it would never parade its sin, and Jesus would have no part in such a parade. Love...does not rejoice in iniquity.... This is as much a watermark of genuine love as are patience and kindness. Authentic love is saddened by sin – it doesn't celebrate it. Love...rejoices in the truth.

Love doesn't lie.

Here, truth is set as the opposite of iniquity. Love... does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth.... Sin and truth are enemies. To sin is to act contrary to our created purpose, to betray the moral universe, to bear false witness against God. Love, on the other hand, requires us to think truth, to speak truth and to do truth. If you imagine that "love" gives you immunity to do all the wrong you want, you don't know what love is.

Jesus didn't condone sin. Yes, He ate with "tax collectors and sinners," but the tax collectors stopped robbing and the sinners repented. He ate at the house of a fellow known as "Simon the Leper," too, but Simon didn't still have flesh falling off his bones when dinner was served. You can't hang with the Lord and hang onto the leprosy of sin. One or the other is not staying for supper.

The loving Jesus was harsh – terrifyingly harsh – with people who rejected the truth. "And whoever will not receive you nor hear you, when you depart from there, shake off the dust under your feet as a testimony against them. Assuredly, I say to you, it will be more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of judgment than for that city!" (Mark 6:11)

Yes, He pardoned the woman caught in adultery, but His pardon was contingent on her repentance. Jesus said, "Go, and sin no more." He didn't say, "Far be it from Me to rail against you because of your sexuality." Unfortunately for those who want to get into heaven while acting like hell, there's no provision for that in the gospel. "Nevertheless the solid foundation of God stands, having this seal: 'The Lord knows those who are His,' and, 'Let everyone who names the name of Christ depart from iniquity.' " (2 Timothy 2:19)

Have I therefore become your enemy because I tell you the truth? (Galatians 4:16)

© Dan Popp


The views expressed by RenewAmerica columnists are their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of RenewAmerica or its affiliates.
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