Love over “Truth in Love”





I get a little anxious when I hear someone say, “All you have to do is look to this line of scripture and everything is clear.”







I mean– if the Bible is, indeed, the infallible word of God, why shouldn’t I be able to follow that philosophy? It really shouldn’t make me leery, I suppose.


But I’ll just go ahead and say it– when I read an article or position proclaiming a viewpoint that appears cruel, unloving, and, sometimes, discriminatory, my back goes up when I read the disclaimer, “It’s all in the Bible. Scripture makes this perfectly clear.”


[[If you’re struggling to know what types of positions I’m referring to, I’ll give you a really quick cheat to spotting them– 98.4% of the time, they will be accompanied by either the phrase “truth in love” or “love the sinner, hate the sin.” If you see either of those lines, there’s a good chance you’re reading just the sort of thing to which I’m referring.]]


It’s not that I think the Bible is wrong, certainly.


It’s not that I think there’s anything wrong with reading and interpreting scripture.


It’s not even that I think the Bible can be misused–


it’s that I KNOW the Bible can be misused.



One only has to read through the gospel of Matthew (chapter 4, here)  to know this is true:


Then the devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down. For it is written:

“‘He will command his angels concerning you,
    and they will lift you up in their hands,
    so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’[c]

Jesus answered him, “It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’[d]

Let me perfectly clear here–

not only can we logically see, clearly, that people misquote, misuse, and take out context various verses of scripture, but scripture itself flat WARNS us that this will be done.

Satan isn’t randomly testing Jesus here– he’s deliberately quoting scripture (Psalm 91)  in an inappropriate way.

And Jesus admonishes him.

I can honestly find no biblical passage that teaches that Scripture is the formal authority or rule of faith in isolation– I’ve looked– and I think a reason for that might be that we can be a cruel, dangerous people when left to sling verses around willy-nilly. I think Jesus makes it abundantly clear that we need to be taking a more global approach– we can’t limit our “argument” to this verse or that chapter or even that book. . .

But, if we’re going to limit it to a verse, I confess that I lean toward this one:

34 “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another.  35“By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”   (John 13)

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3 comments to Love over “Truth in Love”

  • earleyml

    AMEN SISTER! Before I even got to that last scripture I was saying it in my mind that it is the most important scripture behind Luke 10:27 “And he answered, “YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR STRENGTH, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND; AND YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.” Scripture can be twisted in so many ways but if you love God and love others than you won’t be doing any of those twisted wrong things.

  • Heather

    I’m going to print this verse out so I don’t forget. I do t know why no one acknowledges that in order to be reading the bible today it’s gone through countless translations by people. There’s bound to be some loss of original intent.

  • Laraba

    I do agree, and certainly Scripture has been twisted. I think people tend to lean towards one extreme or another — being peaceful with what God does say is sin at one end, and being Phariseeical at another end. I believe that there are many things accepted culturally that ARE sin. When you say — do everything in love — I think that is the key. We need to have a loving attitude towards everyone. If someone is…caught up in a drug addiction, we aren’t doing any favors if we just ignore it (assuming the person is someone we can influence.) If someone is involved in a dangerous, ungodly physical relationship — usually it isn’t my business to do anything but pray, but if it is a friend or relative I might say something. And I will acknowledge in my own heart that that person is walking a road that is, according to Scripture,missing God’s best plan for that person’s life. So I do agree with you, people DO misuse Scripture. But I think we can go both ways with it “do not judge, or you will be judged” sounds like we should NEVER judge. But obviously we are called to be discerning. It’s complicated :-). Praise the Lord for His Holy Spirit, who can guide us to truth in those complicated situations.

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