Monday, November 28, 2016

"True Love"

2nd John 2.1 NIV

“The elder, To the chosen lady and her children, whom I love in the truth – ”

When I was very little, I used to wonder why there was such a thing as war. “Why can’t people get along?” The fact that my younger brother and I bickered constantly should have been a clue. I had the silly, childlike notion that every country should build bridges to all others and meet in the middle. If we loved each other there would be no wars, terrorism, fighting, hatred, or abuse. There, at the middle of the bridge, we would end ‘man’s inhumanity to man’.

The idea of negotiating peace on the middle ground of common beliefs and in a spirit of love made sense to me back then. But I have since learned that love is not enough. The elder John opened his second letter with a claim to “love in the truth.” Truth is as equally important as love. Unfortunately, truth is not easy to find. Most of us wonder, as did Pontius Pilate on the eve of Jesus’ crucifixion: “What is truth?” (John 18.38). If the meaning of truth was not in question, if we all believed the same, then there would be no divisions among us and love would naturally exist. It’s easy to love people who agree with you.

However, there are many versions of “truth” and people have always fought to defend theirs’s. The defense of truth can be extremely dangerous. What if the “truth” I seek and embrace is, in fact, not the truth? A lie from hell can masquerade as truth and cause unspeakable damage, as nearly occurred six years ago at Pioneer Courthouse Square when a bombing plot was successfully foiled during the Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony in the city of Portland.[1]

If you believe that the eradication of the infidel is your greatest expression of love for the supreme being you serve, then you will commit violent atrocities in his name. Sadly, in the case of radical Islam, some young people have no real choice in this matter. They are born into a religious system that fosters unreasoned hatred. They become indoctrinated as toddlers and grow up knowing little else.  

Most of us have a choice. We may choose a system of truth grounded in a personal relationship with a Supreme Being who existed before the beginning of time and within whom dwells the perfect combination of love and truth. Through Him we can actually “love in the truth”. Before I can even hope to love anyone I must know and subscribe to the real truth. I cannot simply love and hope for harmony. Love as an idea is meaningless. I must truly love or my love matters not at all.

About 2,000 years ago God showed us what it meant to “love in the truth”...

“But God put his love on the line for us by offering his Son
in sacrificial death while we were of no use whatever to him.”
Romans 5.8 “The Message”

[1] The accused terrorist, 19 year old Mohamed Osman Mohamud, felt betrayed by his family: "To my parents, who held me back from jihad in the cause of Allah. I say to them, if you make allies with the enemy, then Allah's power will ask you about that on the day of judgment." (The Oregonian, "Bomb suspect in court today", front page, November 29, 2010).


Anonymous said...

Thanks Dave.

Interesting that you should use the word: "infidel." As it is, I've been reading a copy of the Quran lately, if for no other reason than to try and understand where all this nonsense in the world is coming from. I'm about 1/10th through the book, and simply put, I am not impressed. The words: "disbeliever" and "infidel" are frequently used, but one word seems to be missing from at least the part of the book I have read. The word is "love."

How refreshing it was to return to the books of John, 1, 2, and 3 and be reminded how much we are loved by our creator and saviour and how much we are called to do the same, not only to those we call "believers" but the entire world.

One other thought on 2 John. John states: "It has given me great joy to find some of your children walking in the truth."

I feel equally blessed as all three of my children, including my 7 year old daughter have accepted Christ. Recently I asked my 7 year old daughter if she had or was willing to invite Jesus into her heart. She responded: "Daddy, I've aleady done that three times."

I can only pray that as they get older and the pull and allure of the world becomes stronger, they will stay true to their faith and walk the narrow road that leads to life.

Thanks Dave, have a great Wednesday.


Dave's Bible Blog said...

You are a man of God CMM. I'm so happy to hear that you are leading your family in the way of the truth of God's Word. You are being gentle and encouraging yet persistently trying to set the example and foster family traditions in keeping with your commitment to Christ. Your consistency will pay off.

I'm blessed to have you as a friend.