“You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.” Inigo Montoya utters these great lines to Vescini as he continues to say “Inconceivable!” in one of my favorite movies, The Princess Bride. I can’t help but think the same thing is going on with the word “love”.

I ate lunch today (like I do most days) at Chick-fil-A. The place was packed. It took 20 minutes from the time I ordered to the time I received my food. There was no place to stand. The line was out the door and the drive through line wrapped the building through another parking lot and spilled onto the street. Yet whenever the manager would shout her appreciation for everyone’s patience, the place cheered.

Some folks think, because of the owner’s comments about the definition of marriage, that supporting Chick-Fil-A today is hateful and discriminatory. To oppose same-sex marriage is not loving in their view. I believe they think that because they don’t know what love is.

I know – how dare I write that! Saying someone doesn’t know what love means is so…unloving. Love is a many splended thing so I will not try and give an exhaustive list of everything that is love. (I would encourage you to read 1 Corinthians 13 if you haven’t attended a wedding recently to brush up a little.)

Perhaps it might be more palatable to say, “I believe they think that because they don’t know what love isn’t.” We’ll see. Either way I am with Inigo. Love doesn’t mean what they think it means.

Love is tolerance, liberals say. Love is unconditional acceptance of whatever behavior I feel like (at least when it comes to sex but not eating at certain fast food restaurants). Love accepts people for who they are. After all, God accepts me for who I am. God is love. And that is kinda close but misses the mark.

God is love and He accepts us as we are – but He certainly doesn’t leave us that way. No loving parent accepts whatever behavior a child exhibits. While they love and accept the child, they correct the child and show them the proper behavior. Even if it is painful to them and the child. They do this BECAUSE they love the child. To accept “whatever” behavior is a clear sign, not of love, but of indifference and apathy. Yet that is what liberals mean when they say it is loving to accept behavior that God calls wrong. What they are saying (but don’t realize) is that they are more loving than God. The Bible is clear about marriage and sex. To ignore or cut out the parts of Scripture that are “offensive” and then claim to do it because they are loving is to claim they are more loving than God. They know better than God. They are more tolerant than His Word. That kind of pride and hubris ends poorly every time it is tried.

God gives us the boundaries because He loves us. It is like He is standing in the middle of the road holding a sign and screaming, “Turn around! The bridge is out!” That is love. Especially when people run Him over. And if we know the bridge is out and danger is ahead, is it more loving to say, “Stop!” or to tolerate and accept their decision to drive off the cliff?

I realize that some may think, “I guess that means we should stone to death children for disobeying their parents. Isn’t that what the Bible says to do?” It does say that, Leviticus 20:9. If you want to use that argument you should read all of chapter 20. There is plenty of stuff that requires the death penality. The truth is sin – any sin, all sin – brings the death penalty. Romans 6:23 tells us very clearly, “the wages of sin is death” and that “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” (Rom 3:23) No one is righteous in God’s eyes. We’ve all sinned in some form or fashion and we all deserve to die.

“But God demonstrated his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). Because of Jesus’ death, our dealth penalty has been paid. That is love. Inconceivable love. So no, I don’t advocate fulfulling the law in Leviticus today because it has already been fulfilled in Jesus. The issue is whether or not you have received this gift of grace. If you do, you’ll experience transformation. This is the “God loves you too much to leave you the way you are” part. Romans 6 is a fantastic place to read about it.

I went back to Chick-Fil-A tonight about 9pm. The drive through line was still wrapped around the building and the wait for a milkshake was over 20 minutes. Inconceivable!



Filed under Beliefs, Bible, Marriage, Religious Liberty

6 responses to “Inconceivable!

  1. Kelli

    Yeah Bailey went with several people last night late here in Summerville and the line was still around the building at closing time! Can’t wait to hear sales figures today.

  2. Danielle

    Thanks, Mike! The way you allow God to speak through you, really speaks to me. I pray that more and more will see this REAL biblical view as truth and not the haphazard “picking over to suit the cause or issue” reading of God’s word.

  3. Mike Hudson (a different one)

    Profound! (And I do know what that means) Your analogy applies in so many cases where people attempt to point out the consequences of poor decision making or bad behavior only to labeled as intolerant, insinuative or worst of all – a bigot. “Love the sinner, hate the sin” has been demonized and become polarizing but I think your analogy (although to big for a bumper sticker) might work.

    • Thanks Mike – hope you can put the analogy to good use.

      I gotta ask you – do people introduce you to others and the others think they are saying “my cousin”? Happens to me all the time. I must be related to a thousand people by now. Blessings to you!

  4. Betsy

    Thank you for this post. I am always looking for “reaonable arguments” against. I also appreciated the bridge you built between the Old Testament and New. It is nice to have a response for when someone uses a troublesom OT command to minimize the Bible.

    I have spent the last months delving into the issue of “Homosexuality and the Church”. My understanding has always been on the traditional side, but I had no firm reason; I wanted to make sure where I was coming from and why. I came across this quote from Oswald Chambers some time back and at the time I felt like it most assuredly applied and it fits very well with the the context of your post: “Unless my relationship to God is right, my sympathy for men will lead me astray and them also; but when once I am right with God, I can love my neighbor as God has loved me. How has God loved me? God has loved me to the end of all my sinfulness, the end of all my self-will, all my selfishness, all my stiff-neckedness, all my pride, all my self-interest; now he says I am to show to my fellow-man the same love.”

    The quote is from Chambers’ “Biblical Psychology”. For me the key point, the point that initially caught my attention, is “symapthy” and how it will lead everybody astray. Until I read this quote, I had never thought about the difference. How many people on the pro side of this issue are confusing symapthy with love?

    • Betsy – Thanks for sharing your thoughts and the quote from Oswald Chambers. No one would ever think that our sympathy could lead ourselves and others astray, but it can happen. Great comment.

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