Recently I came across a quote that has had its fair share of controversy:
“Our culture has accepted two huge lies. The first is that if you disagree with someone’s lifestyle, you must fear or hate them. The second is that to love someone means you agree with everything they believe or do. Both are nonsense. You don’t have to compromise convictions to be compassionate.” ~ Rick Warren
This controversy started when a picture running around social media was posted with this quote over the face of Phil Robertson(Duck Dynasty). The truth is, Rick Warren first made this statement when pressed about Christians hate towards Muslims.
It does not matter who said this quote. Sometimes we get too caught up in the ‘who’ instead of looking at the ‘what’.
I believe that this quote is dead on, except for one thing, it is not just the culture anymore, it is the church.
First Lie: If you disagree with someone’s lifestyle, you must fear or hate them
This lie has been accepted in the Church. Forget about the outside world for a minute and examine the division and strife in the body of Christ. If someone says or post something to social media about disagreeing with what someone said, or an action they took, in most circles you are treated different, gossiped about, and written off. If we have all these issues in the church, it would make sense that the world would want nothing to do with it, for the most part where they are and who they are surrounded by support them and love them. They are accepted and loved.
The other big issue is the church cannot expect the world to behave as a follower of Christ. We need to be sharing truth with them. That truth, is Jesus. It does not matter what you did, if it is sin, it is sin and you are in need of a Savior.
Second Lie: To love someone means you agree with everything they believe or do
This is the biggest lie and distortion of Truth that there is. Take just a second and lets follow this thought through for a minute. If this is true, you hate your child because you place them in timeout for disobedience. If this is true, you hate your friend so you tell them that the drugs they are using, are ruining their life and relationships… Do any of these statements really make sense? If you really loved them, you would not say or do anything, just let them live their life as they see fit.
14 For the love of Christ compels us, because we judge thus: that if One died for all, then all died; 15 and He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again. – 2Co 5:14-15 NKJV
The truth is, as a follower of Jesus, it is love that compels us to share. If there is any other motivation, than it is not Christ and therefore it is not Christianity.
Because there is perceived Hate, there is a call for Tolerance.
7 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.
8 He who does not love does not know God, for God is love. …
20 If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen?
21 And this commandment we have from Him: that he who loves God [must] love his brother also. – 1Jo 4:7-8, 20-21 NKJV
Finally, Love does not mean acceptance. Love is not passive. Love is an action that one must walk out. To simply accept something that is wrong and not speak up, that is Hate. We must redefine what Love and Hate really are.