C.S. Lewis once stated that anything taken to the level of God become a demon. What he meant by this is that even a virtue can become a deadly vice if it becomes a idol. In the past decade there has been one virtue that culturally has become Godlike in its worship. The culture calls this emotion ‘love’ but because this new vice is not really what love it we for the sake of argument and this article call it ‘Lub’. This concept of Lub vs. love has been addressed before here already and will be addressed again in the future, but let’s dig deeper for right now. What is Love and how it that different from ‘Lub’?
Observation 1: The idea of love (Lub and/or Love) in everywhere. In our Fairy tales that end happily ever after or our romantic movies that just end at marriage (or other getting together endings) to song after song about it. We live in an emotion saturated culture. It is so saturated that you cannot escape it. They say that ‘sex sells’ but ’emotions sell more’ as they are more subtle (but not by much).
Here is an example from a TV show that my wife and I started watching (and then ended after this episode). In the episode we were watching there was a vinyl record with music on it so beautiful that once hearing it people would freeze in their steps and forget everything that happened while the music played. People dressed in black would play the music and steal from banks. In the end it turned out that the people dressed in black were not ‘really criminals’ but were stealing money for the musician who composed the music because the evil record companies swindled him. In the final scene were the criminals were confronted sad music played in the background while they looked so forlorn as if their puppy was killed. They were let to their own devices because they showed ‘lub’ to the artist. My wife and I were so disgusted by this (and because while they were stealing things with the magical music many lives were ruined) that we stopped watching the show – a criminal act is still criminal even if there are emotional reasons for it.
Love is much harder to sell because it is in for much more than mere feelings.
Observation 2: The more newer the story the more love is less an action and more it is a passive reaction. Lub just seems to happen whereas ‘Love’ is a noun that produces verbs. Lub greatest fear is seen as ‘hurting my feels’, but love itself is meant to be broken. In the 4 loves C.S. Lewis wrote:
“To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. To love is to be vulnerable.”
Observation 3: It is seen as ‘Lubbing’ to accept people as they are, or identify as. What I mean by this is that Lub in not unconditional but narrowly conditional – it is to imperative to ‘Lub me on my own terms’. Many people say they cannot believe in a God who would create Hell. This is very absurd because God’s love even has a condition: that you do not ultimately reject Him – if you do he will abide by your wish. If you reject God why should you spend eternity with Him (who is omnipresent)? That is the loving thing to do – a true lover like God will never force Himself on those who ultimately reject Him. In the same way we can never force people to love us but for some reason we can force people to Lub us – exactly how we want them to… even God.
Observation 4: Lub has infiltrated itself into the Christian culture. Ever wonder if some Christian songs on the radio or songs at church are really about God or could be (if in a different setting or genera) be about a boyfriend/girlfriend? It seems that only the older hymns sing about the other attributes of God like justice, sovereign nature, and power. John Piper nailed this issue when he famously said “God is love, but love is not God”. Adam4d has a comic illustration of this. We cannot just worship one nature of God exclusively otherwise we end up raising Lub to the throne of God.
Observation 5: Discernment is a critical part of Love. The Bible states that love does not rejoice in sin. One of the highest forms of love that my wife can do to me is to tell the truth to me even if it will hurt me. That high respect for the Truth is what binds us together. In the same way I have vowed to always tell the Truth to her no matter what. This openness is in opposition to Lub which demands people to blindly accept, endorse, and celebrate anything in the name of Lub. Below is a video from Stand to Reason about this difference:
Observation 6: We know that love is not lust, not just the physical and not just the emotional. We also know that love cannot be forced, is not free (is costly) and requires the immaterial soul. Love cannot be defined subjectively and has an objective meaning. Let us define love positively using the video of Sean McDowell below:
According to the video above love is “protecting and providing for the person you say you love”.
The Real Issue: Did Jesus teach love or Lub? He did not preach that we should follow our hearts like some Disney song or what the Beatles sang about. He did, however, teach love as the most costly thing. Check out the following verses (emphasis mine):
Matthew 5:43-48 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
John 15:9-17 “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full. This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this that someone lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you. You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you. These things I command you, so that you will love one another.”
Jesus not only taught about love, he lived it. He died for the world (John 3:16) and that included his disciples, friends, and his enemies. Then He was resurrected from the dead!
This is important! Jesus did not follow the religion of lub but followed God the Father – who is love.