When Love is Redefined to Fit the World

By: Curtis Wayne 0 Comments   6/30/2016

Love is the foundation of Christianity – “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son.” (John 3:16)   

This tells us that God is a loving person and His love for us is so great that He sent His Son to earth to die in our place so that we could be reconciled to him.  (Romans 5:10) 

This is how we know what Love is, by God’s demonstration.  (1 John 4:10). And this is our example that we are to use to love each other.  “This is My commandment, that you love one another as I loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one's life for one's friends.” (John 15:13) 

Because of this, Christians are involved in outreach ministries of every kind, from feeding the poor to sending missionaries around the world.  This is a unique understanding of God that is not found in other religions, which is why the other religions do not have outreach ministries like Christians do.    

Slipped In 

The trouble is that Satan sometimes exploits the command to “love your neighbor” as a way to infiltrate the church.  Once he gains a foothold into a church through an outreach ministry, he can convince people to redirect funds away from other critical ministries like evangelism.  The church becomes more and more involved in “community service” projects and less involved in truly loving your neighbor by preaching salvation in Christ.  

“Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. It is not surprising, then, if his servants also masquerade as servants of righteousness.“ (2 Cor 11:14-15) 

They slip in and deceive the church:  “… secretly slip in among you… “. (Jude 1:4)  “These are the people who divide you, who follow mere natural instincts and do not have the Spirit." (Jude 1:19)  “Such wisdom does not come from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic.”  (James 3:15) 

It begins by redefining love.  If love is whatever we want it to be, then “loving your neighbor” is doing whatever we want to do.  The post-modern culture is very susceptible to this deception because we have already rejected God’s authority to determine right/wrong.  Christian leaders need to be on their toes, watching out for this so that their church is not deceived by someone redefining love to fit their actions.  If we redefine love, we are actually refusing to know God.  “Through deceit they refuse to know Me” – Jeremiah 9:6 

Love cannot be redefined 

When questioning someone that has redirected a church outreach ministry into a “community service” project, watch out for responses like … “we need to be Jesus to them” and “they will know us by our love”.  

These responses need to be questioned by asking "what do they mean by Jesus or love?"

When we show love to the world, the world will not understand it, just as it didn’t understand Christ’s love – because the world does not know what love is.   

“Behold what manner of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God. And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know Him.” – 1 John 4:9 

When we show love to the world, they will say … “why are you doing this?”  If they are not asking this question, then we are probably not loving them like Jesus did.  If they are not asking this question, then they must see the benefits we are gaining by our works, maybe they see our church benefiting by marketing.  

When we love the world like Christ did, pointing out the sins of the world that put them in eternal danger, the world will not respond by returning love to us.  The world’s response to Christ’s love was to murder him.   

“This is My command to you: Love one another. If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you were of the world, it would love you as its own. Instead, the world hates you, because you are not of the world.” – John 15:17-19 

The world does not understand love, yet we are commanded to love them, but we don’t like the world hating us for telling them about the love of Christ – which is to call them to repentance (turn from sin).   

In order to claim we are Christians and avoid the world hating us, we redefine love in our own terms.  But love cannot be redefined.  It is more than “patience and kindness” it also “does not delight in evil” (1 Cor 13:6), which means love points out sin and wrong doing; in fact, it tells you to stop, turn from your evil plans, and follow God's ways.

True love is concern for someone’s soul, which means confronting their unrepentance towards God.  Watch out that no one deceives you. - Matthew 24:4


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