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This phrase is showing up a lot lately – “Love is love.” It’s been a popular slogan for some time, generally used to express support for those in homosexual or other non-traditional relationships. Just Google the term and you find that much of what comes back is in support of the LGBT…community. There is an Australian singer and songwriter, Starley who has a video on YouTube called “Love is Love.” The song presents the idea that love, regardless of who it is with, is love.

Surely, most who display “love is love” banners or support this slogan have friends, family members, or other loved ones who identify LGBT…, or who in some other way are outside the pattern of traditional male/female identity or relationships. A desire to love friends and family well and support them appropriately is certainly good and God honoring. But the question for Christians is should followers of Christ use the phrase “love is love”? I believe that the answer is clearly a “no.” That is what I want to discuss here today in this blog.

As Christians, we are called to love. We are called to love because God loved us, and we are commanded to love the Lord our God with all our hearts, soul and mind. We are called to love our neighbors as we do ourselves. In addition to that we find that the world is to know us by our love for one another. We are to love our enemies for crying out loud!!! So, what then is the issue with this slogan, ‘love is love.” It seems then that we should embrace this idea of love.

First, “love is love” suggests that love is self-defining, that it cannot be qualified. This would make love somehow self-existent and foundational – something like, “Love is what it is and you cannot question it.” Love is certainly a powerful reality, but its reality is only known because it has been defined – self-defining it is not. Only God is self-defining, self-existent and beyond questioning.

In Exodus God sends Moses to free the Israelites. Moses would certainly have to address this and asked God to identify himself so he could tell the Israelites who sent him. “If I come to the people of Israel and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ what shall I say to them?” (Ex 3:13)

If you know this story, then you would know what God’s answer was. God said to Moses, “I am who I am.” And he said, “Say this to the people of Israel: ‘I am has sent me to you’” (Ex. 3:14). God uses phraseology similar to “love is love” to reveal his name, his character and power, to Moses.

Unlike love, God is self-existent. As eternal creator he is not derived from anything or anyone. He exists independently from all other beings or causes. He is the original cause for all that exists, the one to whom everyone and everything owes its existence – including love. Therefore, everyone and everything is subject to God and defined by God.

“God is God” is true because God is the independent, eternal creator and sovereign ruler of all things. “Love is love” is untrue because love is dependent on a definition and to have a definition it needs a definer. Love must be defined. And only God, as creator, has the right to do so. Therefore, anyone who believes “in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” (Gen. 1:1) should reject the phrase “love is love” for logical reasons.

In addition to this, in 1 John 2:15 we find what might be a controversial text for this topic. But it is a critical text for the topic and the world we live.

“Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world,

the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and the pride of life—is not from the Father but is from the world. And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever." (1 John 2:15-17)

The passage here appears to be completely out of place and almost contradicts itself in light of the fact that we as Christians are called to be lovers. So, it can make this passage confusing as it comes to us as a shock when we read the words, "Do not love.”

That means if we violate this text, we are sinning. In other words, love can be sinful.

This makes this passage important for our day as what we love can be sinful and we live in the midst of a culture that needs to hear that because it is coming to us with this whole "Love is love" mentality, and how can you be against love? How can anyone be against love. Certainly, Christians can't be against love, because God is love and we are called to love. Therefore, how can anyone stand in the way of any two people who love one another?

The text makes it very clear that there are instances when love can be sinful.

The question that needs to be answered is what makes love sinful? Reading the passage, we can see that love becomes sinful when it is directed at the wrong object.

In verse 15 it says "Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him." The use of the world here in the text refers to the spiritual realm that is in opposition to God and in rebellion against His kingdom. John is not using the physical description here of the world itself. When John says, "Do not love the world," he says your love becomes sinful when it is directed at that system that is anti-God, that system that is anti-kingdom.

Knowing this, Christians shouldn’t accept or use the phrase “love is love.” Very simply, the phrase is generally used to condone LGBT lifestyles. Scripture unequivocally condemns homosexuality. The apostle Paul wrote, “do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men[a] 10 nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.” (1 Cor. 6:9 – 10)

Notice, first, that homosexuality is not alone in this verse. No persistent, unrepentant person of ANY sin will inherit the kingdom of God. One who makes a lifestyle of idolatry, greed, or cheating and never repents of their sin and trusts in Christ to forgive and deliver them is equally guilty before God. The passage is clear that homosexuality does not render a person more guilty before God than other sins. What we do need to take notice of is that homosexuality is included in this list of sins. That means we can’t redefine homosexuality as something neutral or beautiful. It is, along with everything else in this list, a sin and make it something contrary to God’s character.

Using the phrase “love is love”, knowing that it is generally used to promote and celebrate LGBT lifestyle, is to call good what God has called bad. The prophet Isaiah said, “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter” (Isaiah 5:20)!

The writer of Proverbs declares, “He who justifies the wicked and he who condemns the righteous are both alike an abomination to the Lord” (Prov. 17:15). Those who condone what God condemns are openly opposing God’s sovereignty over creation and Isaiah warns them in strong terms. Proverbs says God abominates both those who justify the wicked and those who condemn the righteous.

Many believe that throughout the church’s history we have been consistently wrong on the issue of homosexuality. There is a progressive movement, a new method of interpretation that is required for a new, enlightened era – a method of interpretation that outright rejects or otherwise redefines Scripture or rejects it altogether. Those who claim this believe they have been enlightened.

The question still remains, if love isn’t just love then what is it? The apostle John has a different three-word definition will help us in this passage. John says that God is love.

If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in them and they in God. And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them. This is how love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment: In this world we are like Jesus. There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. (1 John 4:15-18).

The staggering reality that “God is love” should stop all of us in our tracks. Notice the correlation love has with Judgement and that our confidence is in the hope we have in the gospel of Jesus Christ. As an act of love, true love, God sent His Son to die in the place of countless sinners – this is love! God is love! In this act of love God raised Jesus from the dead in eternal victory over sin.

The absolute best way for you to love those in your life who openly embrace any sin, those who do not yet know Christ as Savior, and those who do but are struggling with temptation, is to point them to God and His love displayed in Christ. God is love. And only in the greatest act of love, the sacrifice of Jesus for sinners will those you love find true joy and peace with the hope of eternal life.

“Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6).

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