1. The Bible is the inerrant, infallible Word of God.He offers an alternative, a better way: "When we love, what more needs to be said?"
2. We just believe the Bible.
3. Jesus is the only way to heaven.
4. The rapture of Jesus is imminent.
5. Homosexuality is a chosen lifestyle and it is a sin against God.
6. The earth is less than 10,000 years old.
Now, I grew up in the '60's, but even I never actually bought that "all we need is love" line. I knew better. Of course I had great input from Bible-believing parents who took me to Bible-teaching churches and put me in a Bible-believing school and all, but I didn't need Christianity to teach me otherwise. I learned it from Foghorn Leghorn. Remember him? The loud-mouthed cartoon rooster always getting into trouble. I remember one of his episodes where he was trying to win favor with the rich widow hen by tending to her precocious son so he could be warm for the winter. It didn't work out well for Foghorn. In the end he stood at her door and told her, "Madam, I don't need your love to keep me warm. I have my bandages." Silly? Sure. But true. We need more than love. We need food, clothing, shelter. We need more than love.
Enter Mr. McSwain. Huffpo lists him as "'Voice of the SBNR (Spiritual But Not Religious),' award-winning author, speaker, thought leader, spiritual teacher." (I would think "spiritual but not religious" would be a fair warning.) So Mr. McSwain would like to alleviate us poor Christians of all the falderal that is getting in our way. Forget a reliable Bible. God isn't that capable. So he makes the assertion (without support) that the Bible is not the inerrant, infallible Word of God either in our translations or in the original manuscripts. Whew! What a relief! Let that one go. And you don't really believe the Bible. You believe your interpretation. Since (by implication) there can be no accurate interpretation, let that one go, too. And that whole "Jesus is the only way to heaven" notion. Oh, that's right out! There are lots of ways. (Remember, "spiritual but not religious.") A loving God would never allow such a travesty. (Well, of course, if "God" is the one you believe in. Maybe it's Allah and maybe it's Buddha -- no god at all. Maybe it's the god of Mormonism which is radically different than the God of the Bible.) Doesn't matter. Jesus said it, but He didn't mean it. (Remember #2 -- there is no accurate interpretation.) And despite the spectacular clash with Scripture (over 100 different passages say otherwise) and the horrendous collision with logic (it is impossible that contradictory truth claims of all religions can be true), just let that one go, too. Really. It's a relief to know that all we need is love. Not concurrence with Scripture. Not agreement with Christ. (Remember #1 and #2.) What is truth, anyway?
His comments on the fifth point were telling. His son, you see, had it all figured out. "Dad, it's your generation that's hung up on these issues. Once you guys get out of the way and the younger generation moves into the decision-making arena, these issues will disappear." God's view changes. His positions on morality shift with the tides of public opinion. What He abhorred yesterday He endorses gladly today. And He's not capable of inspiring a book to explain what He abhors ... or apparently embraces. Good news! All we need is love! McSwain assures us, "You can still revere the Bible, my friend, but move beyond the prejudice of Paul or anyone else." Because the Bible has never been the inspired Word of God despite anything the Bible, the Church, or the evidence says. All we need is love!
I'll leave the other two to you. I am reminded of Peter's words on the subject of #4 - the return of Christ. Peter warned "that scoffers will come in the last days with scoffing, following their own sinful desires. They will say, 'Where is the promise of His coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all things are continuing as they were from the beginning of creation.'"(2 Peter 3:3-4). Did Peter know his stuff or what? But, hey, I'm not going to debate the "less than 10,000 years old" question. But if you're a reader of the Bible, you'll notice it's not in there.
Mr. McSwain voices what a lot of people are saying. All we need is love, right? Let's stop all this nonsense about truth, the Word of God, any real knowledge at all, I suppose. It's all opinion, right? All we need is love! Like the brave soul who stuck his hand in the rattlesnake cage singing, "All we need is love." Not quite.
God commanded, "Love truth" (Zech 8:19). John wrote, "Let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth" (1 John 3:18). And Paul warned of the end times. "The coming of the lawless one is by the activity of Satan with all power and false signs and wonders, and with all wicked deception for those who are perishing, because they refused to love the truth and so be saved" (2 Thess 2:9-10). Love and truth. These are tightly linked together. We need love, indeed. But it's not all we need. And stripping us of a God who can defend His God-breathed Word, ripping away any reliable direction from God, stripping from us reason ("all religions lead to God"), and eliminating anything resembling fundamental morality is neither a love of the truth nor a better place to stand. It is what the serpent asked when he said to Eve, "Did God say ...?" He wants Christians to stop saying those things. I can't stop. Not without removing all basis for anything Christian. Calling on Christians to stop being Christians is nonsense. Thank you, Mr. McSwain. It's hard to see that as love.