All for Love and Love for All

You Can’t Love the Lord and Hate His People

By Erin Chewning
  • April 08, 2015

As Christians, we say we love evangelism, outreach, and mission work. We’ve embraced the Great Commission and recognize the importance of sharing the gospel with those who don’t know Christ. And though we don’t do it perfectly, we’re often pretty intentional about “go[ing] into all the world and preach[ing] the gospel” (Mark 16:15).

But when it comes to our brothers and sisters who sit with us in the pews on Sundays, we don’t always have the same level of enthusiasm, grace, or compassion. Though we ourselves are fallen and sinful, we are quick to cast judgment, throw darts, and speak snidely about those we believe should simply “know better.” We call them irreverent when we think their church clothes are too casual, or refer to them as stuffy and boring for always wearing suits. We play the game of “them vs. us” when it comes to music styles, and our sharp tongues make quick work when a fellow believer stumbles. It’s not pretty, and it’s not biblical.

In his article, “Both/And,” Daniel Darling reminds us that, “There’s no category in Christian discipleship that allows us to love the Lord and hate His people.” When answering questions from the Pharisees, Jesus made it clear that we are to first love the Father and then extend that love to others (Matt. 22:34-40). In 1 John 3:1, we’re reminded “how great a love the Father has bestowed on us,” so it only makes sense that He’d expect us to pass this love on to others in our family of faith.

As Darling points out, “America is a highly individualized nation—we pride ourselves on our independent spirit. Christianity, however, was never intended to be an individualistic faith.” We are, at our essence, a body (1 Cor. 12). The church is made up of people, and sometimes people are messy. We are broken, battered, bruised, and imperfect. We’ve got different political opinions, varying ethnic and cultural backgrounds, and we come from an array of family situations.

So as we strive to change the world for Christ, making His love and sacrifice known to the masses, may we never once forget that we must also love each other. After all, we were created to be image-bearers of the Almighty.

Read the full article “Both/And” by Daniel Darling in this month’s In Touch Magazine.

Related Topics:  Christian Fellowship  |  Community  |  Love

15 And He said to them, Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.

34 But when the Pharisees heard that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered themselves together.

35 One of them, a lawyer, asked Him a question, testing Him,

36 Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?"

37 And He said to him, `YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND.'

38 This is the great and foremost commandment.

39 The second is like it, `YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.'

40 On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets."

1 See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us, that we would be called children of God; and such we are. For this reason the world does not know us, because it did not know Him.

1 Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I do not want you to be unaware.

2 You know that when you were pagans, you were led astray to the mute idols, however you were led.

3 Therefore I make known to you that no one speaking by the Spirit of God says, Jesus is accursed"; and no one can say, Jesus is Lord," except by the Holy Spirit.

4 Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit.

5 And there are varieties of ministries, and the same Lord.

6 There are varieties of effects, but the same God who works all things in all persons.

7 But to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.

8 For to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, and to another the word of knowledge according to the same Spirit;

9 to another faith by the same Spirit, and to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit,

10 and to another the effecting of miracles, and to another prophecy, and to another the distinguishing of spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, and to another the interpretation of tongues.

11 But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually just as He wills.

12 For even as the body is one and yet has many members, and all the members of the body, though they are many, are one body, so also is Christ.

13 For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free, and we were all made to drink of one Spirit.

14 For the body is not one member, but many.

15 If the foot says, Because I am not a hand, I am not a part of the body," it is not for this reason any the less a part of the body.

16 And if the ear says, Because I am not an eye, I am not a part of the body," it is not for this reason any the less a part of the body.

17 If the whole body were an eye, where would the hearing be? If the whole were hearing, where would the sense of smell be?

18 But now God has placed the members, each one of them, in the body, just as He desired.

19 If they were all one member, where would the body be?

20 But now there are many members, but one body.

21 And the eye cannot say to the hand, I have no need of you"; or again the head to the feet, I have no need of you."

22 On the contrary, it is much truer that the members of the body which seem to be weaker are necessary;

23 and those members of the body which we deem less honorable, on these we bestow more abundant honor, and our less presentable members become much more presentable,

24 whereas our more presentable members have no need of it. But God has so composed the body, giving more abundant honor to that member which lacked,

25 so that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another.

26 And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it.

27 Now you are Christ's body, and individually members of it.

28 And God has appointed in the church, first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, administrations, various kinds of tongues.

29 All are not apostles, are they? All are not prophets, are they? All are not teachers, are they? All are not workers of miracles, are they?

30 All do not have gifts of healings, do they? All do not speak with tongues, do they? All do not interpret, do they?

31 But earnestly desire the greater gifts. And I show you a still more excellent way.

Background Color:
Light
Aa
Dark
Aa
Font size:
A
A
A