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Friday, May 09, 2014

But What About Love?

The singularly most prevalent thing you will hear from those who think that we who hold to biblical morality need to consider in order to come around to the position that homosexual behavior is just fine is the claim that "Love is good." You know. "How can you be opposed to two people who are in a loving, committed relationship?"

What we've got here is a failure to communicate.

In the biblical explanation of love (1 Cor 13), we find a list of characteristics. The list is interesting, to say the least. Included are things we would expect like "Love is patient and kind" (1 Cor 13:4) because, as we all know, love is both kind and patient. We are all quite aware, from the standard fairy tale ending, that "they all lived happily ever after" because "Love never fails" (1 Cor 13:8). We're good with that. On the other hand, there appears to be several characteristics that we all take for granted that are missing from the biblical account. There is nothing in the text that suggests tender feelings, romance, or, as apparently today's modern version appears to require, "Love means having sex with each other." Hmm, interesting indeed! In the middle, between "what we expected and got" and "what we expected but didn't get", is a section of what we did not expect. Like, "Love is not arrogant" (1 Cor 13:4). Really? What does one person's arrogance have to do with whether or not they love another? Things like that.

One of the things we (apparently) didn't expect but is included in the list is "Love does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth" (1 Cor 13:6). Consider, for instance, the young couple "in love". He wants to have sex; she doesn't. He says, "If you love me, you will." The easiest response would be "If you loved me you wouldn't even ask." Because, you see, "Love does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth." And there is no doubt whatsoever that sex outside marriage is biblically classified as "wrongdoing". So that young man can classify what he is feeling toward the young lady in a variety of possible ways -- lust, desire, even hormone trouble, perhaps -- but he cannot call it "love".

And this make sense when love is properly understood. You see, love seeks to achieve the best for the loved one even at great personal cost. Most people would agree with that on the face of it. Then it should be abundantly clear that seeking to urge one whom you claim to love to violate God's instructions would not be an effort to achieve the best for that loved one. It would be seeking to put them in great jeopardy for the sake of personal desires. It would be urging them to be in direct conflict with God. And that cannot be classified as "love".

So we circle back around to the first question. "How can you be opposed to two people who are in a loving, committed relationship?" As long as we are speaking the same language, my easy answer would be, "I'm not." It would, of course, require a little further explanation. "I am in favor of two people loving each other. That requires, however, that they seek the best for one another, and that requires that they don't urge one another to be in direct conflict with God because that is not the best and, therefore, that is not love." I don't know for sure what it is two people of the same gender who engage in sex with each other have, but it is not love. I would only say that, though, because I love you enough to speak the truth.


Glenn E. Chatfield said...

Well said, Stan. Well said.

Anonymous said...

Amen, Stan.