Love Isn’t What We Think It is

I recently began reading “The Church and the Surprising Offense of God’s Love” by Jonathan Leeman. It’s an incredibly well-researched book that shows we have embraced a secular view of love within the church instead of a Biblical view.

He introduces this subject by asking a question….

What if what people call love is not really love?

He expands on that question by explaining most us us hold to a “romantic view of love” that emphasizes personal liberty, and individualism.

He closes chapter one “The Idolatry of Love” with this paragraph

We have erected an idol and called it “love.” And this idol called love has two great commands: “Know that God loves you by not permanently binding you to anything (especially if you really don’t want to be)” and, following from it, “Know that your neighbour loves you best by letting you express yourself entirely and without judgment.”

This kind of love often finds itself expressed in anti-authority-ism. In other words, anyone who places rules or stipulations on them is not loving.

The problem with this view of love is it despises the glory of God

Leeman does a very good job pointing out two aspects of God’s Love that doesn’t fit in our definition.

  1. God is Holy
  2. And God is soveriegn

The Holy and Sovereign love of God will not allow me to remain in sin, because that is not whats best for me. Instead God’s Love brings me to a place of joyful submission.

One of the most interesting things about Leeman’s book is its subtitle, “Reintroducing the Doctrines of Church Membership and Discipline.”

He defends church membership and discipline (very well) with the idea of God’s Love!

This doesn’t mean we must become hateful or selfish individuals. Instead we display true love.

  1. True love will say the truth, even if it hurts
  2. True love will not give up on you (more on that tomorrow)
  3. True love lovingly confronts sin
  4. True love breaks fellowship (if absolutely needed) so you come to repentance
  5. And true love will always be ready to welcome you back

Our Heavenly Father loves us too much to let us walk the paths of sin, and we must be the same way.

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