The Christian Hippie Love Cult
by Dean Odle
March 29, 2013
There is a cult of counterfeit love in the church right now and it is getting out hand. Love is truly an important subject that is taught in the Bible. In fact, the Bible says, "God is love." However, there are many Christians today and false professors of Christianity that have taken their emotional/human idea of love and exalted it above what the Bible defines as the true God-kind of love.
These Christian hippies (and I say that because their mantra is "all we need is love") seem to think that they have attained a higher degree of love than the rest of us. Of course they would never admit this because they are also more humble than the rest of us. And because of their superior ability to love people, they seem to think it is their job to point out to other Christians how they should show more love. They are convinced that if everyone could just focus on love like they do and say everything like they do, then people wouldn't run away from the gospel and everybody could get along. They just know that if everyone would be like them, there would certainly be total unity in the body of Christ and the unsaved would all come to Jesus.
In spite of the fact that one of their favorite Bible verses (to use out of context) is the "don't judge" verse in Matthew 7, they always seem to judge us lower-level Christians when they think we are not walking in the proper attitude of love (which they have attained). They seem to always have a better way of witnessing, preaching, correcting, and counseling than others do. They are convinced that their gentle and passive way of sharing Christianity is a more effective method of evangelism. Never-mind the fact, that you don't see very many (if any) true repentant, on-fire disciples made by these people. In fact, they mostly add to their numbers by luring once solid Christians into their unbalanced and unbiblical "love" theology. It is called transfer growth, but they have convinced themselves it is evangelism. Some of them even manage to build some pretty big churches with their soft, sweet, non-offensive, seeker-sensitive Christianity, but their "success" at building numbers has only hardened their hearts toward the true Gospel.
Amazingly, one of the main proponents of the seeker-sensitive approach, Bill Hybels of Willow Creek Community Church, finally admitted that their method of "ministry" had failed miserably. After three decades of building a large church and marketing their pattern to other churches, they did a serious study on the results and were shocked to find out that the seeker-sensitive approach had not made strong Christians. In fact, the true Christians in the church were starving to death under their watered-down services. But after seeing Bill Hybels bring in heretics like the Emerging Church leader Brian McLaren (who is a pro-homosexual, universalist) to preach at Willow Creek, it is obvious that there are even more serious problems with their understanding of "doing church."
The sad thing is that these Christian hippies (who claim to walk in love) actually despise other Christians who dare to be strong in the Word and outspoken against sin, compromise, and false teaching. This disdain for the true prophetic anointing is deep within their hearts but they try to keep it hidden under either their contrived pity for those who don't understand how to love like they do or their superior notion that they are demonstrating their love and unity by not voicing their disagreement. However, their venom does come out when their "love" buttons get pushed. I have seen it time and again. Just correct one of their unbiblical comments on Facebook or expose an error being taught by one of their favorite false teachers and they can't hold back their accusations against you. You will be told that you are not walking in love. You will be called judgmental. They will say that you have a religious spirit. You will be labeled legalistic, a know-it-all (while they are claiming to know better than you), a Pharisee, a Puritan, the Christian police, a ministry of condemnation, or even a false prophet. They will say that your strong approach really drives people away from Jesus (even though you may have years of good fruit and many true converts who came to know Jesus through your preaching).
To these hippies a bold Christian is being too harsh if he or she dares to have a spirited debate/discussion in public. They cringe and their soft, tender hearts want to run away. They don't care if you point out that Jesus (the Perfect Example of LOVE) had several heated debates with Israel's spiritual leaders in public even calling them names. Oh and don't dare mention Jesus throwing over tables in the temple court or Jesus pointing out the hidden sin in the lives of people that He witnessed to like the woman at the well, the rich young ruler, and even His disciples. They ignore how Jesus called Peter "Satan" one time in front of everyone or that Paul debated the Scriptures and preached the Gospel in the Jewish synagogues and in the market place. If you direct them to what the Bible says that does not agree with their false love gospel, you will be accused of twisting Scripture or using Scripture as a weapon to "tear down" instead of the way they use it to "build up.".
Nevertheless, the Bible is clear: God in the flesh (i.e. LOVE in the flesh - Jesus Christ) wasn't always nice and sweet. Bringing up these Bible truths to the Christian hippies will usually cause them to make snide comments that actually ridicule you for using the Bible to make your point (though they like to use the Bible to make their point). But what they don't understand is that this is the same reasoning the devil has instilled in lost people in order to argue away their need to repent and follow Jesus. They use the clichés like "God loves everybody" or "God knows my heart" while they ignore the Biblical requirements of repentance from sin and a continual walk of faith in Jesus Christ for eternal life in heaven. This is what you hear from homosexuals who refuse to give up their sexual sin and come to Jesus Christ. And it is these same distorted ideas about God's love that have caused many people to fall into the deception of universalism or universal salvation which teaches the lie that everyone is going to heaven whether they turn from sin and put faith in Jesus Christ or not. Some of them (like the heretic Rob Bell) even end up believing the lie that hell and the lake of fire do not exist or everyone ultimately gets out of hell one day. And this they do even though the same Bible they quote about love also teaches about the eternal torment in hell for those who choose to practice unrighteousness and reject Jesus Christ as the ONLY WAY to eternal life (John 14:6; Acts 4:12; Luke 16; Rev. 14 & 20-21).
The fact of matter is simple: a balanced, truthful Christian can't talk about "love" and ignore all the ways Jesus and His apostles walked in love. They warned people of the dangers of continuing in sin. They talked about the eternal judgment in hell and what would take a person there. They exposed false prophets and teachers who were leading people away from the truth of the Bible and putting souls in jeopardy. They rebuked and corrected believers who were in error and sin, putting some of them out of the church in hopes they would repent and be saved (1 Cor. 5). And they did not neglect to warn the people of the future judgments of God and deceptions of Satan that would come. This why Jesus could say to the church of Laodicea after His stern correction, "As many as I LOVE, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent" (Rev. 3:19).
Am I trying to say that we are never to be gentle and patient with hurting people? Of course not! Jesus showed great compassion for people who were broken, suffering or tormented by demons. He would forgive and heal them when they came to Him in faith and desperation. That is what was meant by the prophecy about Jesus that said, "A bruised reed shall He not break, and the smoking flax shall He not quench: he shall bring forth judgment unto truth" (Is 42 & Matt. 12). He truly came to heal the brokenhearted and to set at liberty those who have been shattered and wrecked by life (Luke 4). There are people that have been sexually, physically, or emotionally abused so long that they need a lot of tenderness and loving patience to help them find their way to the healing and deliverance available in the Lord Jesus Christ. But that does not negate the truth that they must admit their sins to God and come to repentance and faith in Jesus in order to be saved.
The same Bible that says Jesus Christ came to heal the brokenhearted also says that He came "to call sinners to repentance." And Biblical repentance is not just "changing your mind" like that false teacher Joseph Prince said on TBN the other night. According to the Strong's Greek Dictionary, Bible repentance means to have compunction (an uneasy sense of anxiety and sorrow) for where you are guilty of sin which then results in a personal reformation (which means the improvement or amendment of what is wrong, corrupt, or unsatisfactory). And this is the process that the Holy Spirit employs to draw a lost or backslidden person to the place of forgiveness, salvation, joy, peace, and healing that is in Jesus Christ. It is called conviction of sin. It is what made the Roman Governor Felix tremble when Paul preached the gospel to him and "...reasoned of righteousness, temperance, and judgment to come" (Acts 24:25). It is what that unsaved multitude experienced when they heard Peter's first sermon on the day of Pentecost. Peter boldly told them that they had murdered the Prince of Life, but God had raised Him from the dead! The Bible says they were "...pricked in their hearts..." and three thousand of them repented and were saved that day (Acts 2). The word "pricked" is defined in the Greek dictionary as "to pierce thoroughly, i.e. (figuratively) to agitate violently ("sting to the quick"):--prick." In other words, Holy Ghost conviction of sin is not comfortable feeling, but it is this "godly sorrow" that leads to repentance and then salvation. "For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death" (2 Cor. 7:10).
Thus, love is not the absence of correction or the suppression of truths that make us uncomfortable. Love always speaks the truth and rejoices in the truth. The Bible says "...speak the truth in love." That doesn't always mean it will sound like our human/emotional idea of love. If it is the truth of Scripture and points to Jesus Christ as the Only True Messiah and has as its purpose is to keep someone from being deceived and spending eternity in hell, then it is the true love of God.