If there is one word I would use to describe our world at this time, it would be this: confused. As time has unfolded and choices have been made, we find ourselves now in a world where the most basic aspects of human identity are being called into question. Biological makeup is no longer considered an adequate definition of gender; internal feelings and desires are the determining factors. Marriage and fidelity are believed to be outdated and have been traded for an “anything goes” mentality. Life itself is no longer understood as a beating heart or a functioning brain, and now individual comforts, preferences, and conveniences can be offered as legitimate reasons to terminate the lives of others.
We are a nation polarized, a house divided, and we have no real direction. Like a frog slowly being boiled in a pot of water, the result is that we find our nation creeping further and further into a destructive moral vacuum.
In the midst of all these national and international controversies is a continual conversation from all sides of the table on the definition of “love.” What is love, and how should love dictate our actions? Is true love free of judgement and condemnation, and does love mean tolerance? Celebrities, politicians, activists, and everyone in-between like to toss around this word, loaded with implications and expectations.
Christian love especially remains in the “hot seat” as an area of political and social commentary. Christians now frequently face the accusation that our beliefs, which are considered extreme to an anti-Jesus culture, are very unloving. Love, it is said by mainstream culture, should be void of judgment of others. Judgment, then, is further defined as speaking or simply having absolute beliefs about right and wrong and the way we should live. I probably hear or read at least once a day that Christians must quit being so judgmental and intolerant, for we are called to love and not to judge.
The most recent controversy has been around Target’s corporate policy concerning restrooms and gender preference. Once again, Christians have come face-to-face with a culture that pushes hard against the traditional Judeo-Christian value system, and we have been forced to wrestle with how we will respond. In it all, the issue of Christian love is put forth, and the question has been asked: How does Christ’s love influence the ways we respond to a Christ-rejecting culture?
In other words, what is this love by which Christians are to be defined?
As genuine followers of Christ, we know that the love of Jesus is what this world needs. Our challenge is that we must show how Jesus’ love is much different than a fallen world’s understanding of the concept. But if we are to show this world His love, it is important that we first define the terms.
Join me as we begin our exploration of God’s love. In the process, may we see how God has redeemed the world’s broken concept of love by introducing the world to Christ’s redeeming love.