“Real love stands against the deception, the lie, the sin that destroys. Anger and love are inseparably bound in human experience. And if I, a flawed, [narcissistic], and sinful woman can feel this much pain and anger over someone’s condition, how much more a morally perfect God who made them. Anger isn’t the opposite of love. Hate is — and the final form of hate is indifference.”- Rebecca Manley Pippert, Hope Has Its Reasons
As Timothy Keller moves on in Chapter 5 of Forgive, he reiterates that the elites of Western civilization find the idea of absolute moral standards repugnant. Yet, Jesus summed up the law of God (Matthew 22:36-40) as the command to love properly, proportionately, and completely.
Therefore, in The Abolition of Man, C. S. Lewis famously wrote that it’s impossible to instill an ethic of love without a God of wrath who both (a) models loving behavior and (b) punishes unloving behavior. In addition, Pastor Keller questions, if all moral values derive from relative and social constructs, how can one make the case for treating others with love? And not exploit them?
Most significantly, Pastor Keller notes, the concept of a personal yet infinite loving God is unique to Christianity. Certainly, Timothy muses, Christianity didn’t get this idea through observing the:
- state of the world
- history of humankind
- works of other religions
- looking at nature and its beauty
Rather, the concept of a loving God came from the Bible. A loving God rightfully demands love from human beings toward one another and toward Jim.
In conclusion, Pastor Keller stresses, the anger of God ultimately centers on love. As a result, the love of God often expresses itself in anger. Hence, the author underscores:
‘The Bible does not reveal a God simply of fury or a God simply of love but a God of love and fury, because this is a holy God. Holy love. Holy wrath. . . . He has set up the universe so that if you move against God’s law, you move against yourself. You can get away with your sins, but you can never get away from your sins. And he did this out of love.”
Today’s question: How do you live out the concept that real love stands against sin? Please share.
Tomorrow’s blog: “God substituting himself for man”