“Christianity is all about love.”
You’ve heard it before. It’s the back-pocket, trump card that’s too often pulled by the ill-informed or weak of faith who seek to promote tolerance theology. It’s a safety blanket defense of dissent, which appears virtuously charitable to the secular world.
You’ve probably also heard of the NOH8 Campaign. Born of the success of Proposition 8, which protected the definition of traditional marriage, the NOH8 campaign was started by a celebrity photographer to create a “silent protest” of Prop 8 and to promote same-sex marriage. Their name says it all – labeling those who disapprove of homosexuality as hateful. Their understanding of charity is much different from true Christian charity. They have even gone so far as to attack Christians specifically, through blogs and billboards.
We know God is love and Christians who stand behind campaigns like NOH8 know this too. But what many don’t understand, or choose to ignore, is that God is not tolerance; and therefore, love is not tolerance.
Servant of God, Bishop Fulton Sheen wrote a brilliant poem called just that – “Love is not tolerance” – from which no single line I could quote does its entirety justice (so go read it!). In it he says, “real love involves real hatred.” Why? Because as Christians, we must have such a passionate love of Truth that we are unbending in our absolute hate of sin.
He continues, “Whoever has lost the power of moral indignation and the urge to drive the buyers and sellers from the temples has also lost a living, fervent love of Truth.”
If instead of being unapologetic in our hate of sin, we wave flags of so-called Christian love and tolerance, we undeniably fail to truly love Christ and to truly love our neighbor. We should care so deeply about our brothers’ & sisters’ eternal souls, that we can hardly stand silently tolerant of their grave missteps on the wrong path.
Pope Pius XI wrote in an encyclical in 1925, that the “timidity in good people, who are reluctant to engage in conflict or oppose but a weak resistance, [enable] the enemies of the Church [to] become bolder in their attacks.” However, he says, “If the faithful were generally to understand that it behooves them ever to fight courageously under the banner of Christ their King, then, fired with apostolic zeal, they would strive to win over to their Lord those hearts that are bitter and estranged from Him.”
We must be more courageous than to show “love” as our culture defines it. We must demonstrate true love as our true faith defines it: to care so deeply for every precious person created in the image of Christ that we are unrelenting in our hate for sin and the Evil One who drags them mercilessly away from salvation.