What Good is Our Love If We Always Communicate It Wrong?

For some odd reason, my blog post on “Calling BS on Rick Warren’s Quote” is getting more comments and traffic than any other post so far. I haven’t even published half the comments because they are all just links to the original quote in context. Thank you to everyone – I now know the context of the original quote. But that was not the whole point of that quote in the first place. I was dealing with how people are misusing the quote, not with Rick Warren himself.

A lot of the comments just had to be deleted as people tried to prove to me that they really don’t hate anyone by… using hateful language directed at me. Interesting, huh?

Most of all, I think a lot of people are so tied up in proving how much they love gays that they missed the point I was making. First of all, maybe you should wonder why you feel the need to prove you are a great gay-loving person to some random stranger on the Internets that runs a very unnoticed blog? Guilty conscious maybe? Me thinketh some of you doth protest too much. But ultimately, you missed my point if you think that whole post was about whether or not people who say they love really do or not. I didn’t contrast the whole situation as either/or. I called BS on saying that your attitude is being “just disagreeing.” It’s not just that – it is usually more. It may be love at some level, but the hurtful, hateful feelings are there, too.

If not, then where is the hurtful, hateful language coming from? So you say you love gays but use disrespectful stereotyping language for them (like the term “lifestyle”)? Can you see where that just doesn’t add up to many people?

Until we get this as the church, we will continue to be written off as irrelevant by people who don’t see the logic there. Disrespect may not equal hate, but to most people it doesn’t equal love, either. What good is our love if we always communicate it wrong? Or is it really love in the first place if it causes more hurt than we intend?

“But sometimes we have to speak the truth in love” people say.

This is usually translated to “I can say whatever mean things I want as long as I think it is truth and I end the rant with ‘but I love you man’ or something pithy like that.” Usually people use that statement as a way to cancel out the “in love” part with the “speak the truth” part.  ”In love” is used as a modifier in the statement, meaning that you take the truth you want to speak and choose words that modify it to come across as loving. It’s not a “get out of jail free” card, designed so that you can say whatever on earth you want and then tack on “in love” at the end. Of course, that is what many in the church do in my experience… and they whine about it when they get busted for it on Facebook or some random stranger’s blog.

[you can read more posts like this on my blog: Ecclesia Extraneus: Confessions of a Metamodern Christian (ecclesiaextraneus.wordpress.com)]

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