Originally posted on my blog unmaskedtheologian.wordpress.com 2/11/15 Modified 4/6/16
There has been a question regarding my last post. I suppose that the statement, “love people more than truth” is slightly ambiguous and deems explanation. I think I will take some time to reflect upon this. In order for me to thoroughly explain this point I will write a series of posts explaining myself. I must remind my readers that this statement is not original with me, but I do believe that I will thoughtfully expound on it.
The word “love” is used very carelessly. I have said, I love pizza; I love reading; I love my friends; I love the people who I minister to; I love God; I love my wife. I think we could all agree that none of the previous uses are meant in the same way. I love the Bible; I love truth, but do I love either more than people? Who, or what does God love?
We are created in God’s image; because this is true, we are of immeasurable value and worth to God. We are equally valuable in the eyes of God; He is not a respecter of persons. Truth is intangible. One could argue this point by identifying the Holy Bible as tangible. But, does this truth about the Bible (physical attribute) change the fact that truth is intangible? If every copy of God’s Word, and all of the manuscripts destroyed, would it remain truth? There is truth that is not contained in God’s Word. Truth is intangible.
It is written that God’s Word would be preserved for each generation and that His words will not pass away. Psalm 12.6,7; Matthew 24.35 The Bible is valuable and it fulfills it’s work of explaining to us how God relates to His creation, and how His creation is to relate in return. The Spirit uses the Word. (II Timothy 3.16,17) I do not believe that I am minimizing the importance of God’s Word; the Scriptures were written for God’s most complex and fascinating creation, man. So, we know that we are created in God’s image, and that He has given us specific truth teaching us how to relate with Him and others.
Jesus, our example, loved people more than truth. Jesus rejected the pharisees and their strict obedience to the law, their truth. He was not concerned about his reputation. The pharisees accused Him of being a glutton and a drunkard. On more than one occasion the pharisees questioned His character based upon the fact that he spent time with publicans and sinners. He did not avoid sinners. He ate with them, talked with them, accepted them, and spent time with them. Meanwhile the pharisees thumped their chest, thankful that they were not like “sinners.” I appreciate what Greg Boyd says, “the mindset of Christ, loving people is always more important than reputation.” (Sermon from Woodland Hills, “Rediscover Humility”)
I would suggest that God loves people more than truth. Extraordinarily God has used all truth to reveal Himself; this communication is a great demonstration of His love. (Hebrews 1) God has also demonstrated His love towards man by the gift of His Son. Christ demonstrates the same love by laying down His life. It is our responsibility to imitate the love of the Father and the Son. Since people are of immeasurable value and worth to God, they should also be of immeasurable value and worth to us. When we communicate, love or not love, and minister to others, we should consider the truth that they are precious, and unique individuals created in God’s image. Christ is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world. (I John 2.2)