Posted by: Yvonne | December 2, 2011

Such love is a monstrous caricature!

Christian love does not consist in approving everybody’s religious opinions. Here is another most serious and growing delusion. There are many who pride themselves on never pronouncing others mistaken–whatever views they may hold. Your neighbor may be an Atheist, or a Buddhist, or a Roman Catholic, or a Mormonite, a Deist, or a Skeptic, a mere Formalist, or a thorough Antinomian. But the “love” of many says that you have no right to think him wrong! “If he is sincere–then it is uncharitable to think unfavorably of his spiritual condition!”

From such love–may I ever be delivered! 

At this rate, the Apostles were wrong in going out to preach to the Gentiles!

At this rate, there is no use in missions!

At this rate, we had better close our Bibles, and shut up our churches! 

At this rate, everybody is right–and nobody is wrong!

At this rate, everybody is going to Heaven–and nobody is going to Hell! 

Such love is a monstrous caricature! To say that all are equally right in their opinions–though their opinions flatly contradict one another; to say that all are equally in the way to Heaven–though their doctrinal sentiments are as opposite as black and white–this is not Scriptural love. Love like this pours contempt on the Bible, and talks as if God had not given us a written standard of truth. Love like this, confuses all our notions of Heaven, and would fill it with a discordant inharmonious rabble.

True love does not think everybody right in doctrine. True love cries, “Do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world!” 1 John 4:1. “If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching–do not take him into your house or welcome him!” 2 John 1:10

J.C. Ryle, “Christian Love” 1878

HT: Grace Gems

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Responses

  1. Great post! I get tired of hearing the mantra, “Doctrine doesn’t matter – only love matters.” Well, real love would make sure the doctrine was correct!

    • Agreed, Glenn! How loving is it to allow someone to believe false doctrine? Especially if that doctrine is a false gospel.

  2. Preach it!

  3. I think we mistake what “love” is. No, as a Christian, I don’t have to accept everyone’s opinion as right. But what I do have to do is have respect for the person as a fellow human being. It certainly is not always easy. But that takes love.

    • Hi Ken and thank you for your comment.

      There seems to be conflicting ideas. “Respect for the person” in this context does not necessitate “love” as defined by Christ. “Respect for the person” (tolerating) is more of a nationalist idea. As in the United States “Respect for the person” is protected under the Constitution. Freedom TO speak freely, worship freely, own a gun (I am from PA), etc.

      We “tolerate” opinions . The pre-postmodern definition: 1) allow; permit. 2) to recognize and respect (others’ beliefs, practices, etc) without necessarily agreeing. 3) to put up with; bear.

      Since Christians are called by Christ to bear witness to The Light which came into the world. It is without question to practice “love” as Christ did. {Book of John}. Each encounter which Jesus had with people, initiated self-examination and a decision. By both today’s culture and the culture in Jesus’ time, Jesus questioned gently, boldly, and unashamedly the person’s sin.

      1Peter 4:15

      “but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence.”

      The “how” of bearing witness is also clearly addressed in the same Scripture. Not an accident that both parts — the necessity of defending Christ and the manner in which to do it — are found in the same verse.

      This is a very trite example: My neighbors’ house is burning and I yell up to their front bedroom window to jump out their back window (fire has not reached that area) to escape and live. The neighbor argues with me and tells me they are going down the stairs and out the front door. I yell back, “but you can’t see from up there, that area is full of fire, you will die”. My neighbor makes a decision.

      My neighbor and I disagree; am I being disrespectful by telling them the truth of which escape route will save their life? Or do I persevere through their objections, try different ways of saying the same thing, plead with them to listen to what I am saying in order for them to live?


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