Love Discriminates: Social Responsibility in the Execution of Agape

I am certain the title of this article got your attention. Likely your impulse reaction was to think that love does not discriminate. After all. this is what the World tells us, and it is all too often what is preached from pulpits worldwide. It is, however, a gross theological error, a socio-political Trojan Horse, and needs to be addressed with brutal honesty. In the biblical sense (and this is the only sense that really matters), love is not simply an emotional state or mere pity. There are several Greek words used in Sacred Scripture that are all translated love, but this English word itself does not do these distinct Greek words any justice whatsoever. Let us examine these Greek words and their true meanings before we proceed.

1. Eros- This word is best understood as sexual passion. This word can be taken in the positive sense that we Westerners are likely to afford it, but the Greeks intended by it a loss of control, and therefore saw it as a negative.

2. Philia- Brotherly love, such as one has for his comrades in arms, or a best friend.

3. Storge- A familial love, such as that which exists between parents and a child.

4. Agape- Selfless love, or the love (expressed as charity) that one affords the stranger or even the enemy.

Understanding each of these helps us to understand various statements of scripture as they were intended to be understood; that is, within their context. For the purpose of this article we are focusing on agape, since this is the love that is most misunderstood.

"And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”- Mark 12:30-31 (ESV)

The word translated love here is actually agape, which can be defined as the charity shown to the stranger. 

As stated at the outset, it is an oft used maxim in our culture that love does not discriminate. This fallacy is used to lend force to arguments for gay marriage, homosexuality, lesbian relationships, bisexuality and any other disordered form of relationship Leftists wish to indulge at the moment, as well as social policies designed to advance a radical Leftist agenda. True love, however, absolutely does discriminate, otherwise it is not love, but merely infatuation, obsession, pity, or pure lust on some level. When you just look at the Greek words above it is clear that each type of love is set apart for a specific people/persons. They are not blanket terms. 

But aren't we told to love our enemies?

Yes, but there is no sense in which loving the enemy absolves us of the responsibility to love our neighbor-citizens. If bringing someone into my nation threatens its stability, culture, or the safety of my neighbors, then I must find the best way in which to fulfill the Lord's command without violating others rights and safety- part of their highest good. In the case of our example, foreign aid would be a good way to do so, donating to a relief fund, volunteering for some such society that works to help the given people group, etc. None of these options cause us to violate Christ's command by ignoring the highest good of those in our own nation. Sadly, many well meaning Evangelicals (and not so well meaning "Christian Leftists"), would have us apply this admonition of Christ without regard to these considerations, inviting illegal immigrants from all over the world, who we may or may not have reliable background information on, and who, in other countries, have been the cause of social, political, and economic upheaval at the expense of the host citizens. This is not agape, but misguided sentiment.

For those who are parents, the following should help in understanding this principle. If you know that your child's school chum has parents who are drug abusers, or who are well known in your neighborhood for criminal activity, are you going to permit your child to stay overnight in that chum's home, or invite them to come live in yours? Not if you are a responsible parent! Why? You love your child, and because you love your child, you are discriminatory. It is the same on the national level. Christians must get over the wordly programming as to what love is and is not, and begin to understand it from a decidedly biblical point of view. 

And back to the point of loving the enemy; how do we best love our enemies? Simply by sharing the truth of the Gospel with them, not affirming them in their false religion. This is the absolute best way to seek their highest good, not dragging the Trojan Horse into the city gates in the name of love. That is the opposite of love. It is contempt for your neighbor-citizens, for the society you live in, and even for the one you claim to love.


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