Love and Truth2
For those who ascribe to the first great commandment to love God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength, the Orlando nightclub massacre reminds us that we are to respond out of the second great commandment to love our neighbors as ourselves. Those who lost their lives, those who were injured, and all those connected to them deserve our unqualified love. As fellow image bearers of God and fellow sinners we should be compelled to nothing but love. Commanded by God, we should be first in line to serve, give blood, or whatever way would bring grace and comfort. To do anything else, to qualify our response for any reason, is to fail to understand our command, to fail to understand our own sin condition, and to fail to see others as eternal souls in need of the same grace that we have been given.
With that said, and in no way trying to qualify our response, I am concerned about a trend that I see that a tragedy like this somehow obligates us to fully accept all people regardless of their life choices. This school of thought, that seems to be increasingly popular in the church, says that love prevents us from being able to hold to any transcendent truth that would stand against anyone. And yet our ultimate example, Jesus, who loved the tax collector, the sick, the prostitute, and the criminal, never failed to love, but also never failed to call the same to repentance. The Apostle John said of Christ, that he was "full of grace and truth." There is no contradiction then in extending an unqualified love while also standing up for the truth of God and calling all to repentance. In fact, to truly love someone, and to not call them to repentance that they might experience the same saving grace we have would be a fantastic failure to love, and simultaneously a failure to follow the first great commandment to love God above all.
We then live in a tension, a tension for which there is no simple resolution, but a tension that we each must prayerfully find a way to live in...in both love and truth.