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Enjoying God Blog


I’m not a fan of bumper-sticker theology. I’m referring to those clever little one-liners that neatly sum up an otherwise complex biblical truth, or what the author of the one-liner thinks is biblical truth. People generally love the sort of punchy proclamations that are short enough to paste on the bumper of your car or emblazon the front of your t-shirt. They are catchy and powerfully persuasive. That’s what makes them dangerous. More times than not they are an attempt to by-pass the hard work of biblical study and careful thinking. And they make the author of such sayings sound as if he’s deeply profound and insightful.

Now that I’ve stated my disdain for bumper-sticker theology, I want to affirm one. I can’t recall who said it or where I read it, but it truly does sum up what is happening in many professing evangelical circles.

I’ve written in the past about how the word “love” has been hijacked and redefined to mean unconditional acceptance, approval, and affirmation of the moral legitimacy of whatever belief or behavior makes a person feel good about himself/herself. If you ever dare to tell someone his/her belief and behavior is wrong, evil, sinful, and puts their soul in jeopardy of eternal damnation, you are a hate filled and arrogant bigot.

Why is this the case? How did we get here? Ok, here is the bumper-sticker theological statement that sums it up well:

“The difference between me and you is you use Scripture to determine what love means and I use love to determine what Scripture means.”

Is that an oversimplification? Perhaps. But it is also quite true in many cases. Ask yourself this question: How do I determine what “love” means? Do I turn to the inspired Word of God and submit to its authoritative definition? Do I trust God’s judgment on this matter? Or do I live in fear that to do so might expose me to ridicule and cancellation?

So-called “progressives” in our day first decide what “love” means and then use that as an interpretive standard to determine what Scripture means. Love, so they say, is whatever enables a person to feel good about himself/herself. Love is whatever heightens one’s sense of self-esteem. Love is whatever gives me a sense of authenticity, of being true to myself.

With this definition of “love” you can well imagine what happens to Scripture. The latter is twisted and turned to support the preconceived notion of how we can best love other people. And if that means ignoring or simply denying what Scripture says when it runs counter to that understanding, so be it.

This issue is just one more example of what happens when the inspiration and functional authority of the Bible is denied, or even only qualified to some extent. Do you believe that God has spoken in his written Word or not? If you do, not all the insightful observations or results of the latest public opinion poll should govern the conclusions you reach on matters of ultimate truth or ethical conduct.

If God says it is hateful and an expression of utter disregard for the welfare of a person’s soul to endorse any sort of behavior that puts their soul in jeopardy of eternal damnation, not all the pundits and politicians in the world can say otherwise.

We must be oh, so very, very careful that we do not formulate our understanding of what “love” is on the basis of anything other than the inspired text of Scripture. Otherwise, that definition will become a lethal principle by which we can easily dismiss the clear teaching of God’s Word.



Love to listen to you on Janet Parshall. Thank you for putting this in words that I could not.
Thanks Sam. Love rejoices not in iniquity but rejoices in the truth. 1 Cor 13

I appreciate what RC Sproul used to say about the signs / bumper stickers that say “God said it…I believe it…and that settles it.”

RC observed that it was too long. All it needed to say is “God said it…that settles it.” (Whether we believe it or not!).
Well said, Sam.

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