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Another Question March 19, 2007

Posted by larrylaz in Quotes.

If I’m not mistaken, Joe has a game tonight and so it doesn’t look like we’ll be hearing from him today.  So I will try to kee things rolling with another quote.  This morning I shared one that asked a question: What is it that makes us rejoice?  Well, here is another quote from Strauch’s book Leading with Love that also asks a question.  This one is from Francis Schaeffer:

“We must ask, ‘Do I fight merely for doctrinal faithfulness?’  This is like the wife that never sleeps with anybody else but never shows love to her own husband.  Is that a sufficient relationship in marriage?  No, then thousand times no.  Yet if I am a Christian who speaks and acts for doctrinal faithfulness but do not show love to my divine bridegroom, I am in the same place as such a wife.  What God wants from us is not only doctrinal faithfulness, but our love day by day.  Not in theory, mind you, but in practice.” 

There is much to say about this quote (and if I am trusting that Joe could well have something to say about it tomorrow!), but for now I feel compelled to stress how important four little letters can be in a sentence: O-N-L-Y.  I’m talking about this line, “What God wants from us is not only doctrinal faithfulness, but our love day by day.”  Oh how many people there are who think that these two things are mutually exclusive: doctrinal faithfulness and love.  It seems as though large branches of Christendom act as though we must choose one or the other.

Schaeffer’s words are carefully chosen; God does not want only doctrinal faithfulness from us.  But make no mistake, He does want doctrinal faithfulness!  And, in addition to that doctrinal faithfulness, He wants us to love Him and love others.  Otherwise, we are nothing but a noisy gong.

Let us not allow the current of our Christian culture to force us to choose between the pursuit of doctrine and the pursuit of  love.  May we contend earnestly for both, that our light might shine brightly for Christ.




1. inchristalone - March 19, 2007

Hey Larry,

Good post. We definitely need to think about the importance of what you brought up. I am suspecting I know your answer to this, but I will ask it anyway: Is it even possible to have one of these (doctrinal faithfulness, love) in a God-glorifying way without the other?


PS – Maybe you could incorporate the noisy gong illustration on your blog somehow. Or would you have to pay copyright fees to Strauch?

2. larrylaz - March 20, 2007


I think you’re right in that you probably know my answer to the question already: I certainly do believe that a God-glorifying life is impossible without both doctrinal faithfulness and love.

If love is to give someone what is best for them, then it becomes clear that for a person to be truly loving, he or she must lift up Christ as the satisfaction of our hearts desires. To do that faithfully, doctrinal purity becomes essential.

Strauch’s book however deals more with compassionate side of love, like showing hospitality and gratitude and things such as these. I do think it’s possible to be not a heavy doctrinal thinker and still show this kind of love, but I would encourage that person with the many passages of Scripture that speak of pressing on to know the Lord more and more.

Yet I would also want to encourage the doctrine-lover that he or she does not really love doctrine unless they are adorning their doctrine with acts and emotions that are fitting of that doctrine.

I’m a bit rushed right now because I’ve got a meeting to get to, so if any of that is unclear let me know and I’ll try to clarify.


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