How can we unite love and truth?

Summary

Enmity and hatred always leads to unhealthy tribalism, but these tribes usually categorize themselves into 2 types of groups: those who focus on the freedom of truth (John 8:32) and those who focus on the power of love (I Corinthians 13:13). Ultimately, God calls us to balance these 2 principles (Ephesians 4:15). We found that almost any characteristic in the world relates back to either truth or love.

Endorsements

For most of humanity, most Christians believe there are innate differences between men and women, and most Christians like GotQuestions understand the difference between truth and love. Many non-Christian scholars like Jordan Peterson also support this. 

Reasons

Both are necessary for unity.

It appears that unity is difficult (Ephesians 4:13) because doctrinal differences (Ephesians 4:14) are caused by the paradox of speaking truthfully and also lovingly (Ephesians 4:15). This sentiment is further emphasized when God said to focus on love both by speaking the truth and by doing good deeds (I John 3:18).

They both tackle different ways we learn.

The love vs truth dichotomy is based on whether an individual prefers the mind’s reasoning or the heart’s intuition to growing in understanding (Psalms 64:6). Although we should use both (Mark 12:30), people are known to prioritize whichever one helped them the most in their childhood. Some learned wisdom through deductive and inductive reasoning (James 3:17), while others through correlating emotions to experiences (Ecclesiastes 1:16). Without the compassion of the heart (Mark 8:2), we won’t admit our arrogance (I Timothy 1:6-7). Without the logic of the mind, we’ll become dishonest about the truth (I Timothy 4:1-2).

Examples

Love vs Truth in Christianity

  1. Holy Spirit vs Bible–Protestants have divided into 2 major ideologies because of this (II Timothy 3:16; Romans 5:5).
  2. False Teachers vs Pharisee–If you love logic, dishonest dissenters are false teachers (Matthew 7:15). If you love emotions, arrogant preachers are legalistic Pharisees (Matthew 16:12).
  3. Dishonesty vs Arrogance–Pharisees tend to be arrogant (Matthew 23:13), and false teachers tend to be dishonest (I Timothy 4:1-2).
  4. Justice vs Preaching–Truth leads to preaching (Romans 10:15). Love leads to justice (Luke 11:42).
  5. Works vs Faith–Protestants divided with Catholics over this (Romans 3:28; James 2:24). See justification.
  6. Denominations–Catholics and Pentecostals focus on the heart, while Orthodox and Baptists focus on the mind.
  7. New vs Old Covenant–The old is about keeping the law (Galatians 3:12; Hebrews 8:11) but the new is about listening to the Spirit (Galatians 3:14; Hebrews 8:10).
  8. Renewal vs Tradition–The truth wants to be grounded in tradition (I Corinthians 11:2), and love wants to test tradition to find out what is better (Romans 12:2).
  9. Subjective vs Objective–Truth will always be objective (John 8:32), but we learn subjectively until we directly speak to the source of objectivity: Jesus (I Corinthians 8:2; 13:12)

Love vs Truth in Sociology

  1. Liberal vs Conservative–We can both conserve the truth (I Corinthians 11:2) while liberating the oppressed in love (James 1:27).
  2. Community vs Independence–While some realize the importance of having the freedom to live as we choose (Galatians 5:1), others realize the importance of working together with other people (Acts 2:42).
  3. Future vs Past–Truth is best found by studying the past (Romans 15:4), and love is best expressed by foretelling the future (I Corinthians 14:1).
  4. Science vs History–History is about studying the past (Romans 15:4), and science is often about discovering the future (Job 35:11).
  5. Nature vs Society–Science is about studying nature, while history is about studying society.
  6. Chaos vs Order–Nature is chaotic, and society is ordered. See Jordan Peterson’s opinion.
  7. Innovator vs Honer–The past-focused like to win by honing what already works (Hebrews 5:14) while the future-focused like to win by innovating new strategies (Romans 12:2).
  8. Solver vs Doer–Honing requires a lot of experience through doing (I Timothy 6:18) while innovating requires a lot of knowledge through solving (Proverbs 49:3-4).

Love vs Truth in Families

Note these are generalizations that fit God’s intended plan for how humanity should start, but it doesn’t apply to everyone, especially because God wants both men and women to become like the other (Galatians 3:28). 

  1. Feminine vs Masculine–Marriage is between a man and a woman (Ephesians 5:31) because both genders focus on different aspects of God (Ephesians 5:32).
  2. Love vs Respect–Wives want love, and husbands want respect (Ephesians 5:33).
  3. Beauty vs Power–Women want to be beautiful, and men want to be powerful.
  4. Emotion vs Logic–Men tend to be logical, and women tend to be emotional because the female brain is more interconnected.
  5. Flexible vs Resolute–Female gentleness and the increased left-right brain connections allow women to flexibly change their thinking, and men’s reason-driven thinking tends to make their decisions resolute.
  6. Intuition vs Reasoning–Because of this, men tend to be rational, and women tend to be intuitive.
  7. Creativity vs Memory–Reasoning power is based on memory load while intuition is based on one’s ability to create new thoughts from past feelings.
  8. Feelings vs Thinking–Men tend to think, and women tend to feel.
  9. Selfless vs Self-focused–Men tend to worry about their own life, while women tend to worry about others, yet balance is better (Mark 12:31).
  10. Reactive vs Proactive–Men like to solve problems before they happen, and women like to care for those who are currently dealing with problems.
  11. Spender vs Saver–Men tend to save by budgeting, and women tend to spend by shopping.
  12. Empathy vs Sympathy–Men like to give sympathy, and women like to feel empathy. 
  13. Indirect vs Direct–Men are direct about their opinions, and women indirectly let others know their opinions.
  14. How vs What–Men care about what you say, while women care about how you say it.
  15. Accepting vs Accountable–Men want repeat offenders to be judged and held accountable, while women want everyone to feel accepted.
  16. Gentleness vs Self-control–Men can control themselves well, while women can give control lovingly.
  17. Compassion vs Confidence–Men are confident in the truth (Ephesians 3:12), while women are compassionate towards different viewpoints (Hebrews 10:34).
  18. Optimistic vs Pessimistic–Men consider the repercussions, while women think about the possibilities.
  19. EQ vs IQ–Men tend to have more cognitive intelligence, while women tend to have more emotional intelligence.
  20. Agreeable vs Confrontational–Men like to confront problems, while women like to focus on what unites us.
  21. Open vs Reserved–Men tend to shield themselves from potential harm, while women tend to be open to new experiences. 

An example of truth silencing love.

Although we respect Ben Shapiro’s views, his debating the transgender has much to be desired.  Almost all Christians agree that transgenderism is wrong (Deuteronomy 22:5). Although Shapiro was factually right to call Zoey a “him,” he was logically disrespecting Zoey’s non-sin wish. This confused Shapiro because calling Zoey a “her” would break the Judaic law. Instead, Shapiro could’ve called Zoey by Zoey’s name: Zoey. That way, he doesn’t sin via misgendering (calling Zoey a “her”) nor sin via destroying the weak (I Corinthians 8:9,11). Shapiro failed in getting through to Zoey because he thinks God or facts don’t care about feelings (Psalms 34:18-19), but the fruit of gentleness is correcting people in a kind way they can hear (II Timothy 2:24-25).

An example of love silencing truth.

Although we respect the healthy side of prosperity preaching (III John 2), preachers like Benny Hinn usually took it too far. Although we love that he denounced many aspects of the Prosperity Gospel, he mostly ignored his nephew preaching the truth against it for years (Matthew 23:23). Instead of listening and responding with reason, the movement is quick to call dissenters Pharisees who quench the Spirit (I Thessalonians 5:19). Luckily, most prosperity teaching is learning to teach people the truth about God providing for our needs (Philippians 4:19) without hoarding masses of wealth (Matthew 6:19-21). Read more…

Society is always cycling between truth and love.

Although there isn’t biblical evidence to support this, we have found that all societies cycle between these two indefinitely. For example, The Enlightenment’s focus on logic immediately predated Romanticism’s focus on emotion. After World War II, American Christianity was all about preaching the objective Gospel in boldness, but this usually led to arrogance and is why the start of the 21st century was heavily based on relativism, feelings, and loving those who were hated by the church, especially the LGBTQ.

Counterclaims

This is like the Ying-yang or light vs dark.

While truth and love both describe God (Ephesians 4:15), there is no darkness in God (I John 1:5). Saying both light and darkness need to exist originates from Satan believing that he should be God (Isaiah 14:14), but God wants to exterminate darkness and all that is sinful (I Thessalonians 5:5; I John 2:8).