Over the course of years, the meanings of words, at least in their usage, can change. Remember when “bad” meant “not good”? Remember when “sick” meant “not well” and “killer” was not complimentary? “Wicked” meant evil…and so on. If you are over 30, some of this should come to mind.
“Love” is another word that has lost its meaning. Perhaps it hasn’t become the opposite of its literal meaning the way some of these other words have, but it has still been changed to mean something other than what it really does.
I was recently asked a question by a young man, whom I believe to have been sincere. He posed his question this way, “aren’t we as Christians supposed to love everyone and what they believe?”
At first glance, it certainly sounds like a fine assumption. It immediately paints a picture of a utopian, harmonious setting for mankind, unless of course, you think it through. As Christians, there is no doubt we are to love everyone. Scripture bears this out. 2 Corinthians 5:14, among others, tells us this. But the second part of his question, perhaps even unknowingly being attached to the more general tenet, provides a far different answer. Are we supposed to love what everyone believes?
The hard truth is ‘No’. It isn’t love to encourage someone to continue along a pathway that is harmful to them, no matter how much they ‘love’ it. It isn’t love to deceive someone into thinking there are no negative consequences to their actions. Love doesn’t watch a child play in a busy street and not try to get them out of it, simply because the child wants to stay there.
Christians, living as we are called and prepared to do, SHOULD love everyone, but that means loving them enough to show them the truth. AND we should do it in a loving manner. But to endorse anything that is wrong and contrary to God can not ever be considered love. It is in fact the highest form of hatred.
Christians, living as they should, love sinners. Christians hate sin.