I suppose I should start by clarifying that I hate Protestant orthodoxy and not Protestant people. However, I want to also make sure that I don’t make myself better than God by saying that I don’t hate anyone because the Bible is clear that God does hate certain people. Moreover, I once heard someone wisely say that loving everybody is often an excuse not to love anyone in particular. And lastly on this point, love and hate are really defined by action and not words to begin with. In my profession one thing always holds true: the aides that throw around the “love” word the most deliver the lesser care; talk, as the saying goes, is cheap. When I hear an aide tell a resident that they love them, that aide is totally suspect in my mind and I don’t want them on my hall. Likewise, if you are still misinformed enough to still be attending church and within the first couple of weeks of attending a new one members are telling you that they love you, run like hell and don’t even think about looking back.
Susan and I are recovering Protestants. That means we still struggle with seeing life through the prism of law and not love. Of all the doctrine of demons, Protestantism is the cleverest because it makes a works salvation from “faith alone.” It’s predicated on the misconception that doing nothing is not a work. To the contrary, doing nothing is a decision and a decision is an action. Thinking is a work. Wrong thinking is a wrong action; right thinking is a good work. In reality, work is the waters that humanity swims in. Man is created and designed to work in a work reality, and therefore, work is unavoidable. A non-work theology is a metaphysical impossibility; therefore, the true gospel separates law and love. Please be reminded; “faith WORKS through love.” Faith, like everything else in reality, works. Hence, as James states in his biblical epistle, faith that doesn’t work is like a body without a spirit…it is dead. The work of faith is love, not law. As an aside, let me mention that lazy people are very unhealthy in every way because they are rejecting the reality we were created to operate in. Fish are created to function underwater, the lazy person jumps out of the water and is flopping around on dry land.
So, let me recite a good example of this in my life and Susan’s. A year ago, Susan and I decided that I would vacate retirement and go back to work. Yet, we strongly believe that there is nothing in our lives that should be put on the back burner because of that decision. So, here is what should have been anticipated: the motive of love would be demonstrated less in certain areas of our lives and more so in other areas.
What does law do? It focuses on one area where something is different and launches a full press condemnation. In regard to less action in a given area of life, the love taking place in another area is not considered and the lesser becomes… “you are sinning against me and you love me less.”
Why does moving an aging parent into the household of a married couple put so much pressure on a marriage? There are more people to love in the household and the love experienced in the marriage changes. How does law respond to that? It assumes the worst about others in the midst of changing circumstances while “love believes all things” and “dwells on what is lovely, good, and honorable.”
Instead of trusting the core value and essence of love while experiencing its peace and thankfulness, and assuming the core values of love will eventually carry the day in a new, perhaps difficult situation, the law and its heavy gavel of assumed motives come into play. Unfortunately, every word and action will now be brought into court to stand before a jury and judge.
Folks, look at the metaphysical video of any divorce situation; any questions? It’s one big law-fest smothered in condemnation and the attachment of ill-motives to every existing moment.
This is best exemplified in the following dynamic that took place in my and Susan’s life just yesterday. This week has been tense for us; note that, while also noting that I am not big on the recognition of “special” days. To the contrary, Susan is. This is a dynamic that we mutually accept about each other with no reservations, but I note it to say this: I am not a person who often buys gifts for people except on special days and then my gifts are far from being delightfully anticipated by others. In contrast, my son-in-law is totally different; he is constantly buying gifts for people. Susan is somewhere in-between.
So, my ability to attend a special event yesterday without Susan who couldn’t escape work added to tensions, but had absolutely nothing to do with what I saw at the event; there were specialty retail booths that sold stuff that is totally her. This is stuff that you don’t ordinarily see, so I dropped some significant dollars to surprise her. I was meeting her someplace afterward, and couldn’t wait to surprise her with the gifts.
Then the Protestant law showed up. Upon announcing that I had brought gifts, she responded, “Is this a peace offering?” Seriously, the “silly” truism of the pop-culture movie Love Story,…“Love means never having to say you’re sorry” may be more biblical than what we think. It’s not that we had offended each other in some way, but rather tension over the idea that something is wrong with our marriage because circumstances are different. Instead of assuming the same love is present and merely mitigated by circumstances, the law shows up demanding some sort of performance and the constant unhealthy introspection of motives. Law never assumes an act simply flowing from love, but the tainting of ill motives in some way which excludes love altogether. In fact, because Protestantism defines love as perfect law-keeping, the reality of love in a marriage is completely denied to begin with. This is why, despite pretense to the contrary, the vast majority of Protestant marriages either end in divorce or are defined by miserable coexistence. The rest are creepy relationships that rejoice in evil and define marriage as, “two sinners living together.”
Accordingly, the simple bringing of a gift that flowed from love was made to be an alter call at a Protestant Sunday morning lawship service. Be sure of this: because I am no longer a Protestant, no gift to my wife is a “peace offering” offered at the church alter; that’s not love, that’s law.
Instead of moment to moment thankfulness for what is right and good about our lives, Protestantism sucks the life out of our existence with a moment to moment focus on what’s wrong with everything about life. Seeing something good in life is, “friendship with the world [being]… enmity against God.”
In contrast, an assumption of love and the focus thereof displaces lovelessness to begin with. “Sin” is not the problem because we “are not under sin” which is a synonymic phrase for being under law. Whenever condemnation is present in a marriage, love is not present. Condemnation and love are mutually exclusive. Condemnation is the consummate enemy of love and its lifeblood is the law. You want to “live by the gospel”? Then act like Christ’s sacrifice was an act of love that ended the law. Be like Christ; do love, not law.
In every case where there is strife in a marriage, the Bible is not being used to apply love, but to punish another with the condemnation of the law because of the desires that battle within us; the desire for a perfect law-keeping life as defined by Protestant justification, and a desire to define love by “perfect motives.” In reality, love spends little time questioning motives.
Often, in marriage counseling that involves Protestants, you find the core problem with the marriage to be perspective. A detailed inquisition while often reveal times of mutual enjoyment at some point in the marriage albeit diminished. Times that flow naturally from love. But how do they define their marriage when they come to counseling? With two law-driven condemnation lists backed up with a long list of scriptures. Yes, it’s almost hilarious; it’s two married people in a sword drill to prove who is the worst spouse.
But love “does not keep a record of wrong,” and marriage is not about law—it’s about love. If it’s not too late, it is a simple matter of redirecting their focus on what is right about their marriage and not sin sniffing. All in all, Protestantism teaches us how to sin-sniff, not love.
In conclusion, when circumstances threaten to displace love in a relationship, the answer is to be inventive in regard to displacing lovelessness. It calls for the wisdom of ingenuity.
Necessity is the mother of invention, and in marriage the law is not necessary and only good for condemnation, not the wisdom of love.
This is why I hate Protestantism. It defines righteousness as perfect law-keeping and uses its condemnation to suck the happiness out of life while replacing it with the lie that true happiness is found in sin-sniffing and the condemnation of self and others.
True happiness is found in “love that covers a multitude of sin.”