Tuesday, November 28, 2023

Love Is Not an Entity to Be Worshiped


                                                              (Lake Erie, Monroe, MI)

(I am re-posting this for a friend.)

For followers of Jesus, love is great. But love is not the greatest. First Corinthians 13 tells us that love is the greatest, among faith and hope. In the great triumvirate of faith, hope, and love, love takes first place.

As mighty as love is, love is not a thing. It is not a substance. It is not an entity. Love is not an object, nor is it a being, or a person. Therefore, love is not to be worshiped, since it is irrational to worship non-entities, be they physical or non-physical.

Love is a multi-faceted verb, manifesting itself in actions we call "loving," such as patience, kindness, gentleness, not easily angered, protective, trusting, and so on. While 1 Corinthians 13 appears to reify love, that's just a rhetorical device to elevate the behaviors associated with love. Love acts in certain ways, and does not act in certain other ways.

When the Bible says God is love, it is telling us that love is an essential attribute of the being of God. As an attribute of God, love is not to be worshiped. We don't worship attributes. Let's say, for example, that one of my attributes is weighs 170 pounds. (I wish this was true!) While weighs 170 pounds would be commendable, this attribute is not an entity or a substance which, in itself, is praiseworthy. We wouldn't expect someone, unless they are mentally incapacitated, to bow down and worship weighs 170 pounds.

Don't reify love. It's misleading, and false, to do that.

Don't bow before love and worship a verb.

Worship God who, in his being, is love.