Friday, June 12, 2015

In Love with Love


The Church is struggling to have a voice in this increasingly strange world. I get that. Morally, we are very unsure of our message. People have great difficulty with being told what is moral or righteous and being measured against a standard of morality. We in the Church, on the other hand, are not as sure of what is right and wrong any more. It used to be so obvious. Things that used to be right are now wrong and things that used to be wrong are a matter of someone's rights. The difficult events in the Old Testament have become more difficult. What we used to look on with "There but for the grace of God, go I." we now condemn as genocide. God used to be understood to know best in these things. Now we want to distance ourselves from the idea of God who, at need, punishes whole nations.

I think there is a reason for this confusing state of things. I think we've gone out on a limb for the word "Love." We've made a God out of "God is Love." We've drunk the Kool-aid of our own marketing. Contemporary worship songs are symptomatic. Over Easter, I heard one that described Jesus' resurrection as some kind exertion of Love. What happened to the triumph of Life over Death? What happened to the triumph of Righteousness over Sin? I guess that kind of thing is passe.

But who is going to speak against Love? It's the ultimate Motherhood-and-Apple-Pie issue. And tagged to this present out-of-focus focus is another biblical catchphrase, "God is light and in him is no darkness at all." And we've brought to the table our contemporary ideas of what constitutes darkness and said "God can't be that." We've forgotten that sometimes, light burns. It used to be that we would look at the difficult parts of the Old Testament and say, "God knows best."and walk away with a healthy fear of God -- which Proverbs tells us is the beginning of [true] wisdom. Now we judge everything we read -- and say that it all must have been based on a distorted view of God and walk away without any moral compass at all.