Love Is the Most Important Part of Truth (#580)

It is said that the Pharisees believed truth was more important than love, and without love they soon veered off the path of truth. But for the follower of Christ, love become the most important part of truth. It's the conduit through which God brings his truth into our lives so we can be respond to it in a way that's transformative. Wayne's recent appearance on Moody Radio's Up For Debate provide the catalyst to explore why some people think THE SHACK is dangerous and how to respond to people like that. Brad also follows up on Wayne's thought the week before that God certainly does not live in the same parameters we do when we talk of him allowing things to happen in our lives. Finally, they consider a recent letter Wayne from parents who want to know how to respond to their transgendered daughter. It is easy to love people who conform to our expectations of truth or morality, but how do we learn to love people whose views and actions are so diametrically opposed to that which we hold dear?

Podcast Notes:
Wayne's Appearance on Moody's Up For Debate show about whether Christians should see The Shack
Wayne's blog: How Do I Love My Transgendered Child?
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17 Comments

  1. I think you meant to write that the “Pharisees believed that TRUTH was more important than LOVE…”
    I do that all the time, especially as I get older. Thanks for your ministry and conversations! It’s great to have others to journey with.

  2. I am troubled by the “God allows” type of comments too. Somehow in our little minds when good is the rule of the day we don’t seem to attribute that to God, but when evil comes, as it is prone to do, we somehow conclude that God allowed it. How backwards, I believe. We are all broken, fallen people in a fallen world. The best of us perpetrates evil at times and the worst prides themselves on doing so continually (Satanists, etc). I think God stops far more evil from happening than we can imagine! Does God use evil when it comes to work in our lives? Yes, He does… if we allow Him to. This railing against God at times of evil is so counter-productive. Non of us like the “evil days,” but let’s adopt a “Father please use this for good” attitude, not a “God, why did you let this happen” stance.

  3. I have family members who are in some very broken places. What sins they are involved with are not important. I do want to be a part of their lives, I do love them. I do want to give them as much mercy as the Lord has given me. Yet where do such passages as the following fit? 1 Cor 5:1-8

    5 It is actually reported that sexual immorality exists among you, the kind of immorality that is not permitted even among the Gentiles, so that someone is cohabiting with his father’s wife. 2 And you are proud! Shouldn’t you have been deeply sorrowful instead and removed the one who did this from among you? 3 For even though I am absent physically, I am present in spirit. And I have already judged the one who did this, just as though I were present. 4 When you gather together in the name of our Lord Jesus, and I am with you in spirit, along with the power of our Lord Jesus, 5 turn this man over to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, so that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord.

    6 Your boasting is not good. Don’t you know that a little yeast affects the whole batch of dough? 7 Clean out the old yeast so that you may be a new batch of dough – you are, in fact, without yeast. For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed.
    (from The NET Bible®, Copyright © 1996-2006 by Biblical Studies Press, L.L.C., Dallas, Texas, http://www.bible.org. All rights reserved. Used by permission.)

    • I see a huge difference between condoning sinful behavior among the community of believers and loving people who do not know him enough yet to seek the freedom he has to give. Paul is obviously dealing with a major issue among the church at Corinth and deals with it in a severe way. This is a unique event, not a principle of church discipline. As far as we know Scripture makes no other reference to this and because this was Spirit-led, it yielded the fruit he hoped for. I’ve never had an occasion where I felt “turning someone over to Satan” was what he was asking me to do. In the same passage Paul tells us not to withdraw from people in the world who struggle with these things. Our love is a lifeline for them to find his. Repentance comes after partaking of God’s goodness not before as I understand the kingdom.

  4. I’m glad the transgender issue was addressed here, as an issue of survival, versus a simple lifestyle choice. I have to admit I don’t understand the condition fully, but I am having to deal with it in the workplace and am making a conscious effort to simply ‘love the sinner’.

  5. Aren’t a lot of these individuals really in love with what they think they believe? It’s always truth over love for them, because their truth is supreme; all they believe is truth, others reside in error. I camped there for way too many years. Love is much easier. Wayne may be onto something here… There is no real reason to assume another is a Christian and being ready to evaluate their position in Christ from within our own viewpoint. Loving them regardless, seems to just be a simpler way of living. Theology which doesn’t alter our internal drives into a state of rest in Christ is just so much about clanging cymbals. Externally validated persons (self included) thirst for it as Jesus told the woman at the well. Validation is like dehydration unless THE Water quenches it.

    • Mitch, it was a real breakthrough for me the day I stopped looking for validation for what I believed. I was getting it only as long as I lined up with what the other person believed. When God started leading me down another road, all bets were off. The relationships became duplicitous and superficial. Jesus also said you can’t put new wine into old wineskins…Many of us cling to what we always believed out of a false sense of security.

  6. Epic.
    Displaying the future of christianity, no less.
    Thank you guys, you rock.
    Your harvest in Christ will be beyond measure one day.

  7. Hi guys, I enjoyed the first part of this chat so much that I had to pause the episode and go to Moody Radio to hear the interview you were talking about as I continued my happy walk on a lovely sunny but cool Autumn morning in Auckland New Zealand.
    After hearing the good theologian’s credentials (that he reminded us all of a couple of times) I expected a nice honest and meaty conversation about what “The Shack” says about God; what he thinks it says, why he thinks that, and what you think you meant to say etc. But all he had to say was literally a big list of your heresies without any specific examples except one (when the host stopped him and pushed for one) – the trinity. So I, along with the host, waited for him to at least clear that one up ….and the next guy …. and concluded that “The Shack” probably got it about as right as any human brain can get it.
    Sadly we are still waiting for a chance to see the movie in NZ!
    Have a wonderful week,
    Marcia

  8. I think a major part of this is our definition of love. Instead of asking God to teach us the truth of love, we take and define love as what would we like to see done in this situation and then define God’s love as having those qualities. I have come to one conclusion about love – I do not have the definition for it, because every time I think that I do, I see how it does not fit into the way God acts and then my definition is rewritten into something better. I know one thing – God is the one to define it for me.

  9. Dang. Y’all have gotten even freer if that’s possible. Y’all are centered more on love, kindness, and generosity towards humanity than ever. Love and kindness shown to me by my wife has taught me to be agreeable with everybody, whether or not I agree with them. Love and kindness propels me to be nice to all folks, even to mean people. It’s true that kindness overcomes a multitude of people acting like buttholes. 🙂

  10. Nice William. I see that too.
    I think a major part of this is our definition of love. Instead of asking God to teach us the truth of love, we take and define love as what would we like to see done in this situation and then define God’s love as having those qualities. I have come to one conclusion about love – I do not have the definition for it, because every time I think that I do, I see how it does not fit into the way God acts and then my definition is rewritten into something better. I know one thing – God is the one to define it for me.

    I know many genuinely, loving people who share what they see as the truth to the point where it can be irritating.

    I try and see beyond their actions, and I can genuinely feel their love for me.

    With them, I tend to believe it is a lack of trust in God to lead me into all truth, not that they love the truth more than me, but see is as an integral part of my growth.

    I much rather be with them then those that try and define love for me, but I can’t see evidence of it (in some cases, that may be my blinders, just sharing).

    Love should be the foundation for everything for God is love.

  11. I just listened to this podcast for the first time last night, and I was captivated by your admonition to the parents of the transgender child, “where you are going to walk right now is uncharted water in which you need a God to be real to you every day.” Those of us who have had a personal encounter with the God who is real are intimately aware that this is how we live THE LIFE, every day.

    I had been contemplating this overnight, and this morning I got a text from a friend that reopened the dilemma. She is a survivor of the Khmer Rouge/Pol Pot genocide in Cambodia that was granted refuge in the US. The text told me that it’s been 100 days since her father died, so she and her family went to the Buddhist Temple to conduct his memorial service. She says, “today is the day that I must really accept the reality that my father passed away and pray for him to be reborn.”

    When God is real to you, you can’t help but be moved with compassion when you read this. The pain and suffering that this family has endured over the last 40 years is unbelievable. So I just sent a blessing in reply. “My heart is with you. I pray a blessing on you that God would make himself real to you and your family today.”

    Wayne, Brad, what else can make a difference to a broken world? If the real God can penetrate my own ingrained bulletproof fundamentalist religion, then I’m sure he’s more than willing to show himself from inside her pain as well. Same goes for the transgender child. Everyone walking the planet desperately needs to walk with the real God every day.

    I don’t know how God can or cannot become real to someone. I just know how he’s started becoming real to me, and enough to know that he wants this for all people. His ‘real to me’ is personal and unique to me. So I can’t imagine what ‘real to a Buddhist’ or ‘real to a transgender’ might look like. God will be real to whomever he will be real to, in whatever way that works for the receiver.

    How can anything else be more important than this? This is eternal life: that you come to KNOW the one true (real) God, and Jesus Christ, whom he has sent.

  12. I enjoyed the conversation, but don’t understand how God can not “have allowed it”. I think you mentioned a previous podcast where you talked about it. What was the podcast? I need more information to understand. Thanks.

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