If you are over 50 you gotta love The Beatles. And if you are under 50 you’ve at least heard of The Beatles. No question. They were the greatest band of the Boomer generation. Their list of hits takes my breath away.
One of my favorites was their hit All You Need Is Love.
But did you ever notice the song’s hidden message about love? The opening bars of the song are recognizable as a different song named “Marseillaise” which is the French National Anthem. At the very end of All You Need Is Love is another faint background melody reminding some listeners of a British anthem.
There are different theories floating around to explain these short embedded melodies. One theory points to the longstanding enmity between the French and English. Fans of this theory suggest by putting the French anthem at the beginning and the British anthem at the end, the hidden message is clear. Love ought to bridge the gap between estranged parties. Love is the unifying force. Love is the tie that binds even enemies together.
All you need is love
All you need is love
All you need is love, love
Love is all you need.
And when it comes to that kind of unifying love, the experts ought to be the Christian community. If anyone wants to see a love binding even enemies together look to the Church.
But I’m afraid for many Christians the word “love” contains a hidden message. And the hidden message is this: “Loves means you must agree with me. If you don’t then it’s okay to ridicule you, ignore you, and condemn you to hell.”
A prime example is the contemporary debate regarding homosexuality and their role in society. And this debate is filtering into the church. What, if any, is the role of the homosexual in the church? Can they lead? serve? belong?
The tsunami regarding this debate is pummeling the shores of most denomination. We are fooling ourselves if we think we can ignore it. This issue will be the defining moment for the Church in general and your church in particular.
But the defining moment about the Church and homosexuality isn’t quite what you think. This is not about THEM but it is about US; those inside the Church. It is OUR defining moment, not theirs.
The real question in this debate is this: does the Church REALLY believe and live according to what Jesus said about love?
“If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even ‘sinners’ love those who love them. And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even ‘sinners’ do that. And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even ‘sinners’ lend to ‘sinners,’ expecting to be repaid in full. But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. Luke 6:32–35 (NIV84)
I’m NOT debating the issue of the homosexual role in the Church. That’s more a question about THEM. But my concern is with the response of the Church. How will we respond?
- This is our moment.
- This is the litmus test of our theology.
- This is where the rubber hits the road.
- This is our chance to prove to the world we believe the words of Jesus and we will live them out.
Too many churches and too Christians respond to the homosexual debate with anger; even hatred. The jokes, the sneers, the rolling of the eyeballs ought to stop.
Fear regarding homosexuality runs rampant in the church. I too am afraid. But I’m not afraid about THEM. I’m afraid about US. My fear is in these critical moments, as the world watches, we will betray the hidden message in our songs of love: if you disagree with us we can throw you to the curb, ridicule you, and keep you out.
And if you have a strange idea I am approving of the behavior and lifestyle of homosexuals, remind yourself when your own kids do wrong you still love them. You may not approve of their actions, but your love for them runs deep.
Before The Beatles got it right, Jesus got it right: “But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back.”
Yes. All you need is love. If you are a Christian are you going to love everyone; including those with whom you disagree?
Fantastic posts, Randy.
I was so hoping this issue was done and over with in the church. It’s really silly, isn’t it? Do’s and don’ts skirt the issue of love. I too hope they get it right.
Unfortunately, all I remember of my evangelical upbringing and college where even the Baptists-who-believe-once-you-are-saved-you-are-always-saved are objects of contempt, is hate.
My rebellion is to live the opposite of that, but I still wonder how so many can use the word “Christian” to describe themselves when they just don’t walk the talk…of unconditional love.
Imagine a world (not to go ALL Beatles on you) where we live the life Susan Taylor describes in her post today.
Great post, Randy. It is ALL about love – not where any of us stands on any issues, church-related or otherwise. Love is about understanding, respect and dignity to others . I am all for that, everywhere and for everyone.
Hi Nydia! Thanks for reading and joining the conversation.
I have a gay friend and I have told her that I love her!! She is a former roommate of mine. She was a bridesmaid at our wedding. She left after graduation and went into the military and there she was told she was a closet gay. I would tell you more but other can read this and I will stop!! We love each other with the love of God!!
See?! I think that’s the way Christians ought to respond. In no way does it mean we condone what they do. It’s about modeling God’s love to everyone. Thanks for sharing.
Good article. We love them just not their lifestyle.
I’m so glad I’m not called to sort it all out-right vs wrong. There’s something very freeing about just being called to love.
That’s not only true, it’s profound.