Love Is Love


Thus far in our dissection of the Secular Creed, we have contrasted secularism’s views on ethnicity, feminism, immigration, and science with the biblical teaching on each. Yet we now come to what I would call the great orthodoxy (we, of course, call it heresy) of our day: the deification and redefining of love, which has opened the doors for the wholesale embracing of the LGTB movement, not simply by the three percent of the population that identifies as homosexual but by the culture at large. As we will hopefully see, this is the theological and cosmological issue of our time. “The times and the law” of reality itself are the target of this modern revolution.

WHAT MUST WE DENY?

For this study, we will invert the order, for I believe it will be more helpful to begin with what we must deny and conclude with what we can affirm. The dogma that Love Is Love is most commonly associated with the LGBT movement and is a declaration that all love is truly love. Homosexual love is not a subordinate love to heterosexual love. Both are love and should be recognized as such. The simplicity of the statement adds to its appeal. After all, who really wants to be the person who calls someone else’s love a lie? Indeed, it has drawn in otherwise conservative persons by clothing itself in libertarianism. Increasingly, even those who view homosexuality as a sin now find themselves thinking, “What business is it of mine to say whom anyone else can love?” At the end of the day, love is love, right?

Rod Dreher places his thumb squarely upon the core of the issue at hand, where in the context he is explaining how the rejection of gay marriage is not the same as racism:

This is something that most supporters of gay marriage, including within the Christian churches, either fail to understand or refuse to contend with. They accept, in most cases unconsciously, the view that there is nothing teleological[1] about male-female sexual relations (and no, I’m not talking only about baby-making), and nothing essential (= in essence) about masculinity and femininity. This is profoundly, fundamentally contrary to Biblical teaching, going as far back as Genesis. If you are going to say that homosexual sex and same-sex marriage is in every way equivalent to the heterosexual version, you accept a cosmological disharmony. That’s a fancy way of saying that the Biblical view of creation, and of the role of men and women in mirroring the divine life “on earth as it is in heaven,” makes no sense if this is true. To equate this with racism is a profound category error.[2]

Owen Strachan makes the same point, but he points out specifically the difference between homosexuality and the adultery:

Our sexuality is not a mere matter of which behaviors to act on and which to stifle. Our sexuality syncs with our spirituality and enfleshes it. Every sin separates us from God by an infinite gap; every sin draws the just wrath of God. But we need to see this clearly: committing adultery with a member of the opposite sex is against God’s will. But committing a homosexual act is not only against God’s will, but against God’s design. It is as thorough a repudiation of the goodness of God as humanity can offer.[3]

Yet we can also hear the same point being made from the horse’s mouth. Melvin Tinker cites the Gay Liberation Front Manifesto as declaring:

Equality is never going to be enough; what is needed is a total social revolution, a complete reordering of civilization. Reform…cannot change the deep-down attitude of straight people that homosexuality is at best inferior to their own way of life, at worst a sickening perversion. It will take more than reforms to change this attitude, because it is rooted in our society’s most basic institution—the Patriarchal Family.[4]

Remember that the “Patriarchal Family” is God’s design for humanity in Genesis 1-2, which Paul only reaffirmed in the light of the gospel of Jesus Christ in Ephesians 5:22-33. Well-meaning Christians, who desire to distance themselves from sinful treatment of LGBT folk (which has, certainly and wrongly, occurred), have often parroted the notion that homosexuality is no greater sin than any other sin. As Strachan stated above, while that is eternally true, the consequences of some sins undoubtedly run deeper than others in this life. Who would argue against the fact that murder is a greater sin than theft? Both are equally damning before the holy God; however, theft takes another person’s goods, while murder takes their life. In a similar manner, homosexuality is a greater sin than is now culturally, and increasingly legally, permissible to say.

As the citations above make clear, the danger of the LGBT movement is not limited to morality; rather, it entails a cosmological revision of fundamental reality. Homosexuality can only be affirmed by first denying the creational institution of marriage, and transgenderism can only be affirmed by first denying that “male and female he created them” (Genesis 1:27). Behind these lifestyles is a worldview that is antithetical to the revelation of Scripture.

A further example of this inversion of reality can be seen in the elevation of pride in one’s sexual identity into a virtue. In Romans 1:30, Paul places “insolent, haughty, boastful” (which all flow out of pride) alongside slander, hating God, and inventing evil. Humility, not pride, is the biblical virtue, for it is humility that recognizes our dependency upon God and the limitations of mankind. Pride rebels against all dependency and limitations, following in the footsteps of the great Deceiver. Indeed, homosexuality and transgenderism uphold pride as a virtue because they are fundamentally rooted in a proud rebellion against the divinely created order.

Returning to our statement of study, all of this is simply to say that not all love is love, or, more accurately, not everything that we call love is truly love. As Christians, we hold to the expressly biblical truth that God is love, which is not the same thing as saying that love is God. Consider the monumental importance of this distinction. If love is God, then love itself is divine, and any form of love is good and right and true because it taps into the eternal force that we call love. However, if God is love, then love is not a force independent of God Himself. Instead, love is an attribute of God, a description of His eternal nature. This means that love is dependent upon God, not vice versa. Because love is an outflow of who God is, He alone possesses the right to define what love is and is not.

Consider two examples. 1 Timothy 6:10 warns us that “the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs.” Here we learned that one type of love (the love of money) is not a true, godly love that leads to life and holiness; instead, this form of love, this craving, leads to wandering from the faith and into the pangs of death. 2 Timothy 4:10 also warns us against following the pattern of Demas who was “in love with this present world” and abandoned the apostle during his imprisonment. Such love of the present world would have been the equivalent of Daniel being so in love with Babylon that he forgot Jerusalem entirely. Daniel, however, did no such thing. He faithfully served in Babylon all of his adult life, yet his face was always set upon Jerusalem, remembering that he was always an exile in the land.

Both the love of money and being in love with the present world are sinful, disordered loves. They are certainly still feelings of affection, yet their end is only destruction. Indeed, a hallmark of our sin-scarred world is that our flesh is now filled with dead-end desires and fruitless affections. Homosexuality is no different. I have no doubt that same-sex desires and affections are real, and I understand that the call to celibacy is a high cost for following Christ. However, I also believe that Jesus is worth it. Before His throne, all earthly desires are “a poor, weak, whimpering thing compared with that richness and energy of desire which will arise…”[5]

WHAT CAN WE AFFIRM?

While I do not believe that we can affirm the phrase Love Is Love at all, we certainly must devote ourselves to loving others with a true, biblical, God-defined love. I will not spend time here diving into what the Bible tells us about the love of God because of I have already done so in several other writings (like here, here, and here). Instead, let us consider how we as Christians should respond to the LGBT movement. As Ephesians tells us, we must speak the truth in love and walk as children of light.

First, we must refuse to perpetuate the lies that are inherent in the LGBT movement that homosexuality is not a disordering of creation and that humanity is not limited to the two genders of male and female. Nevertheless, we must do so in love. We must labor in word and deed to show that our opposition to homosexuality and transgenderism is not an opposition to anyone’s personhood, which continue to be blended together. Indeed, because we believe that these are sinful lifestyles, we must be willing to say so for the sake of their eternity. “Loving people often requires telling them the truth—even if they don’t respond well to it.”[6] A bold gentleness is required to do this, but we must also possess a genuine love for them, since all of this presupposes that we actually have relationships LGBT persons to begin with.

Second, we must walk as children of light, whose presence exposes the darkness. I hope to say much more on this in the final study of this series, but it is worth diving into now as well. Much of what Western churches have called ministry for the past several decades is increasingly passing away alongside the Christian morality. As society slips further and further into post-Christian territory, the fruitlessness of busy church activities will become more and more exposed. For instance, while I am all for Christians individually and churches corporately organizing and serving food and clothing distribution, are not people expecting the government to meet such needs now? Instead, the church must not simply offer handouts, as any organization is able to do, but offer a community in which to belong. In fact, one of the greatest buffers against falling into poverty is having the kind of close-knit connections found within a local church, for Ecclesiastes 4:10’s wisdom is still true: “For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up!” Furthermore, we must ready ourselves as safe havens for all who inevitably will flee the sexual revolution after its promises are revealed to have been a scam all along.

The same is true of the family, which will only continue to be revealed as the “apocalyptic battleground of heaven.”[7] If the LGBT movement disorders the created order, we must respond by properly ordering our own homes. We must love our wives, submit to our husbands, obey our parents, and disciple our children, which Paul noted is a visible enacting of the gospel message. Our homes should be messy and broken recreations of Eden in the midst of the world’s Babylon, for in a world of disorder nothing will stand out so much as pockets of God-designed order. We should strive to build homes which radiant the peace of Christ over sin to everyone who passes through our doors. Brothers and sisters, hear me: it is not enough to lament to the destruction of the family; we must sufficiently reinforce our own.

These acts are difficult because they set their hope in fruit that is decades away from ripening. God’s work, however, is rarely quick. He grows His people like trees beside the flowing streams of His Word, and His kingdom invades the world through the gradual and often-unnoticed faithfulness of ordinary believers. Let us not, therefore, lose heart but devote ourselves to the words of Ephesians 5:1-2: “Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.”


[1] Teleological refers to the ultimate goal or purpose for which something was designed. The telos of a can opener is simply to open cans. The telos of mankind is “to glorify God, and to enjoy him forever.”

[2] Cake and Cosmology | The American Conservative

[3] Owen Strachan, Reenchanting Humanity, 193.

[4] Melvin Tinker, That Hideous Strength: How the West Was Lost, 74.

[5] C. S. Lewis, The Great Divorce, 114.

[6] John Stonestreet & Brett Kunkle, A Practical Guide to Culture, 199.

[7] Melvin Tinker, That Hideous Strength: How the West Was Lost, 88.

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