The consistent argument that is causing such division within the Body of Christ concerning the pandemic seems to be whether or not we truly love others. For if we did, we would wear masks, we would stay at home, and we would quietly obey our government. The presumption is that if we really cared about others, we would lay down our rights, turn the other cheek, and willingly submit to the governing authorities. Our sacrificial love for others has become the benchmark for those who claim to be Christian during the lockdowns and reopening of our country.
The problem with this line of reasoning is that compassion that is based on a lie – even half the truth – is not really God’s compassion. Love that is blind and unaware of all the facts opens a door to deception and takes us further from God rather than closer. Though God is certainly love, He is also holy, and the Golden Rule was never meant to supersede His truth.
Though we can all agree there is a deadly virus at work and that innocent people are dying, this simple truth has been twisted, manipulated, and politicized into a narrative that is demonic and dangerous. The small percentage of facts concerning the threat of this virus have been mixed with deadly toxins and poisonous presumptions. Herein lies our challenge. Unless we are able to see the underlying agendas behind this virus that have been fabricated and designed for our destruction, our demonstrations of love will be misplaced. Worse yet, our seeming sacrificial actions will become the enemy’s greatest weapon against us as our disinformation puts us in chains. Until we all agree on what is true and what is not, we will keep circling this room in the dark with no clear direction and no way out. Until we agree on the proper spiritual diagnosis of this pandemic, any natural cure will be fruitless.
The reality is that we must walk in Truth before we can ever walk in true Love.
Right before Jesus went to the cross He prayed for His followers. John tells us that Jesus’s main priority was not for the world, but for His disciples. His prayer was that they would be sanctified, not by their love, but by the truth. What would ultimately set them apart from the world would be their understanding of truth, which would then direct their love.
“They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. Sanctify them (set them apart) in the truth; your word is truth. As you sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world. And for their sake I consecrate myself, that they also may be sanctified (set apart) in truth.” (John 17:15-19 ESV)
Jesus’ demonstrations of love and compassion were never void of reality. He consistently challenged the public and their rulers on their perceptions of truth in the midst of His miracles (see Matthew 9:23-25, 12:25-28, Mark 3:3-4). His acts of love consistently revealed a higher reality and a greater truth in order to break man’s codependency with public opinion. He repeatedly told them to open their eyes and ears if they wanted to be participants in His unseen Kingdom.
Jesus’s commandment to love others as we love ourselves was not His greatest commandment. His first commandment was to love God – with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength (see Mark 12:30-31). Loving with our heart and soul seems to be our default mode. It’s easy to feel empathy and concern for the poor and weak. Loving with our mind and strength, however, is something else. It means we must use our brains and engage critical thinking if we are to love at our full God-given capacity. We must learn to ask questions and consider what is true before giving our heart and soul to something that might be built on a lie.
“When the Spirit of truth comes, He will guide you into all the truth, for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak, and He will declare to you the things that are to come.” (John 16:13)
When Jesus told His disciples to wait in Jerusalem for their Helper to come, it was not just to empower them for the miraculous. He said they needed Holy Spirit to KNOW WHAT WAS TRUE. The bottom line is that until we see things as they really are, we will have no solution, no treatment, and no hope to offer to a world that is being taken hostage. Until the body of Christ agrees on our true condition and acknowledges the cancerous principalities that are eating us alive, our love will be short-lived and our acts of compassion powerless to set anyone free.
Yes, we must show care towards others and be willing to sacrifice our own desires for our fellow man. But Jesus never intended for our actions to be without understanding or void of discernment. He sent Holy Spirit so we could judge rightly and separate the truth from the fiction and the facts from the lies.
“If we say we have fellowship with Him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.” (1 John 1:6-7)
If we are to receive the same boldness the disciples experienced on that day of Pentecost, the light of the Spirit must open our eyes to the battles raging in the unseen realm. It’s only then that we will recognize the deadly pestilence as the devil’s deceptive tool to release all of hell on earth. It’s only then that the fire of God will burn in us as never before and our compassion will be transformed into the zeal of the Lord. Sanctified truth and perfected Love will bring deliverance to the captive, not because of human compassion, but a holy fire born of heaven.
The truth may be hard to believe and even harder to face, but loving in the dark will only keep all of us in lockdown. We desperately need for Holy Spirit to turn on the light.