I just don’t see why you are such a stickler for details. Christianity is about love and if you keep insisting on those things, we’ll lose everyone. The writing is on the wall. People today just are not going to put up with all those technicalities. Before you know it, everyone will be walking out of here. Like, does it really matter if one believes that Christ could have sinned but chose not to? Is there really that much difference in saying that and saying He was absolutely free from sin and could not sin? If the bottom line is the same (He was sinless), would you really split the Christians over something so technical? Have you ever heard of love?!!
Let’s face it: there is a technical side to truth. Truth is never wishy-washy. It is factual and unchanging. It is not fuzzy around the edges. Truth is not optional; it’s mandatory. Truth unifies those who value it. Truth is not like putty – malleable and shaped according to one’s personal preferences. Love never trumps truth. In fact, the very foundation of the uniqueness of Christian love is truth.
The difficulty is usually our understanding of the truth – but never the truth itself. Let’s face it – over the ages of the Church, Bible teachers have held differing perspectives on eschatology, ecclesiology and various aspects of other Biblical truths. But in our pursuit of love, sunny-days, and welcoming-ways, is everyone to be embraced and honoured for having their own ‘take’ on every aspect of truth?
What are your hills to die on – as the saying goes? Where would you draw a line in the sand? And if that’s the only place, is everything else palatable, or negotiable and Biblical?
Christians do not love one another because we were changed into lovey-dovey disciples the moment we believed, and all our personalities have suddenly become sweetly compatible. No, the basis of our love is the truth we have come into the good of. We love because of the truth that has gripped our souls. The basis of our love is Christ and all His name represents – the common truth we cherish.
The Apostle John wrote believers and said of them:
…whom I love in truth, and not only I, but also all who know the truth, because of the truth that abides in us and will be with us forever: Grace, mercy, and peace will be with us, from God the Father and from Jesus Christ the Father’s Son, in truth and love. I rejoiced greatly to find some [interesting qualifying word] of your children walking in the truth, just as we were commanded by the Father. 2John 1:1-4
And this is love, that we walk according to his commandments; this is the commandment, just as you have heard from the beginning, so that you should walk in it. 2John 1:6
The late Anglican evangelical and respected Bible scholar, John Stott, wrote: “Since Christian love is founded upon Christian truth, we shall not increase the love which exists between us by diminishing the truth which we hold in common. In contemporary movements towards church unity, we must never compromise the very truth on which alone true love and unity depend.”
Stott went on to say: “Christian fellowship should be marked equally by love and truth, and we are to avoid extremism which pursues either at the expense of the other. Our love grows soft if it is not strengthened by truth, and our truth hard if it is not softened by love. Scripture commands us both to love each other in the truth and to hold the truth in love.”
Love is more than merely saying the word repeatedly – while we proceed to slice and dice someone who disagrees with us.
Before this post ends, let’s remind ourselves that love cuts both ways. Those of us who say there needs to be more love must genuinely love the very ones we accuse of failing to show love in their personal pursuit and practice of the truth. Isn’t one as bad as the other? Have you heard the English idiom from the stove-tops of medieval times – “Is it the case of the pot calling the kettle black?”
May the Holy Spirit minister to us in all our weakness, frailty and brokenness. We all fall so far short on many of these fronts.
Walk carefully and closely with the Lord today.
Warmly in Christ
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