I am convinced that the majority of what is preached in American churches and is called “love” is not truly the love “Jesus preached”. The “self-esteem” movement may have had a hand in this. For instance, the way we have taken this verse “there is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” and made it apply in such a way that it is almost impossible to correct anyone, or challenge anyone, or point out a “plank” in their eye. When we recognize something which grieves the Holy Spirit in Christ’s Church and say something about it, it does not mean we are “condemning someone to Hell!”. Because it is true that those who are in Christ Jesus will not be condemned to Hell. But it does not mean they don’t need to be rebuked and corrected. Before all things Jesus love was and is a “holy” love. His holy love is near to those who struggle and suffer. He is near to the grieving and broken hearted. He is near to the humble. But He opposes the proud who are His children. He opposes those Christians who are causing other Christians to sin. And He clearly opposes pastors and Bible teachers who do not preach the truth to their congregations, when it is out of fear, or any other motive besides ignorance.
I pray that we will reclaim the Jesus of the Bible, who is near to the broken hearted, but humbles the proud, and rebukes those of His children who do not accurately represent Him, when they “should” know better. I am not speaking of “babes” in Christ, or those who have not been accurately taught the truth. But I am certainly speaking of the Shepherds who are responsible for the Sheep. I am convinced it will do us good if we remember Christ is both gentle and He also has a double edged sword coming out of His mouth as He rides in majesty upon the clouds of heaven. The Jesus who in these last days seems to be saying this to many, “‘I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot! So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth. For you say, I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing, not realizing that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked. I counsel you to buy from me gold refined by fire, so that you may be rich, and white garments so that you may clothe yourself and the shame of your nakedness may not be seen, and salve to anoint your eyes, so that you may see. Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline, so be zealous and repent” (Rev. 3:15-19) It is His love which disciplines us for our good and calls us to repentance.
Anyway, I know I have many posts similar to this. It is because I see the damage it has done and is continuing to do to Christian’s, and to the Church as a whole, and to our witness to the world. If both the Church and the World define love by the same terms, that should be a red flag!