For the last few hundred years, while the industrial revolution and the rampant quest to gain national and personal wealth resulted in the dehumanization and separation of people, love embodied in the person of Jesus Christ was carried by the church.
The message of sacrificial love was, in the background, softening the culture. Was the message misrepresented and misconstrued? Sure. But it’s been there. The message of Love being the healer of our greatest ills was carried, in trust, by Jesus teachings and presence in authentic vessels of followership.
From Mother Theresa to Desmond Tutu, there it was.
In many ways, the culture has now softened to the point where the themes of giving, kindness, serving, and loving other human beings has a high place – and is even idolized in the culture.
Now, in our time, the church is not the only one who talks about sacrificial love for other people. Many talk about loving others – celebrity culture is rife with love-speak – and most are awakened to see that caring for others is the best way to be human.
The resulting problem we have is that the specific redemptive story of the church – the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ – has been marginalised for the sake of a generic, shared, human-centered, so-called “love” story.
Therefore people don’t see a need for a specific, redemptive story. You can simply die “loved,” and nothing else matters (tell that to an unloved prison inmate who doesn’t share the white picket fence so familiar to many).
Why is Jesus even necessary, if “loving” one another is plenty?
The question is – is the current popular “Let’s love each other” story enough?