The Love Without A Lie
February 7, 2005
Dear Friend of Mary Craig Ministries,
As I began to write, I remembered Bradshaw
On: The Family (1988). In it John Bradshaw states: "My belief
is that spirituality is about wholeness. The source of the wounds which destroy our wholeness can be uncovered
by exploring our family systems. My thesis is that there is a crisis in society today that is reflected in our
families, a crisis in which we are cut off from our true selvesÖWe live behind masks and act out performances based
on scripts we never wroteÖThe family is the source of the wars within ourselvesÖThese wars within I call addictionsÖAddiction
and war are evils. They embody lying and killing. They seem to have a power that transcends individual choice (p.
With 96% of all families emotionally impaired to some degree, one wonders
whether we can truly find wholeness and healing. Bradshaw considers soul-murder the basic problem in the world
during our times. It is, he says, the crisis in the family. To lose oneís true self, he maintains, is to have oneís
soul murdered. "To live and never know who I really am is the greatest tragedy of all." (Ibid, p. 20)
Bradshaw asserts that part of the problem is blind obedience to rules
handed down in our families for generations. Such obedience without critical judgment and inner freedom is what
produced Hitler and Rudolph Hess. Is he right?
Beyond soul murder is evil, that which kills the spirit. In his book,
People of the Lie,
Dr. M. Scott Peck maintains that people who are evil attack others instead of facing their own failures. They construct
layer upon layer of self-deception in order to avoid the pain of self-examination and, by doing so, often succeed
in deceiving others. Evil ones sacrifice others to preserve a self-image of perfection. They use the scapegoat
system and absolutely refuse to tolerate the sense of their own sinfulness, and they do this with subtlety, persistence,
and consistency. Theirs is a life of hidden and covert evil, e.g., the Pharisees.
Evil ones appear good. Their mirror must reflect righteousness, if not
in truth, at least in outward image. They lie. And their so-called love is a lie. Why? Because of willfulness and
Dr. Peck purports that Jesus Christ submitted Himself to the judgment
of His Father God in perfect willingness. Satan refused to accept Godís judgment because to do so would mean acknowledging
that he was inferior to his Creator and thus less than absolute perfection. His pride made such a thought unthinkable.
Self-absorption leads to self-assertion. (cf. Isaiah 14) Evil ones take the law into their own hands, like Cain.
They destroy life or liveliness in defense of their own self-image. (Peck, M. Scott, People
of the Lie, 1983)
What do I think? The word of God is a mirror (James 1). Satan and his
camp refuse to accept what they see there, hiding any possible imperfection, passing blame and shame to others.
Ordinary, everyday sinners refuse to remedy what they see in that mirror. Then children come along and use their
parents as "mirrors" from which they form their image of themselves. The result is a false self-image,
not the accurate self-image Paul urges in Romans 12.
Many, if not most, relationships are built on lies and can be murderous
to the soul and spirit. Only through judgment can deliverance come. We
must be willing to look into the mirror of Godís Word, to acknowledge our own imperfection and sin, and to remedy
the situation in accord with God, His laws and ways.
Bradshaw speaks of the true self, but I believe we find that true self
when we are in right relationship with the true God. That relationship begins when we are born again by the Spirit
of God. Looking into the mirror of Godís Word and seeing our reflection in His eyes, we conform to His image, as
originally intended. We must, in effect, be willing to accept and
receive Godís love, the love without a lie.
God desires relationship. Sin and iniquity separate us from God, and God
hates it. God seeks reconciliation and took the initiative in that reconciliation by sending Jesus to pay the penalty
for our sins and bear the wrath and curse sin justly deserves. Godís heart feels the woundedness of sin and the
agony of rejected love. That love, His love, is foreign to our nature, foreign to selfishness, and foreign to the
familiar, but by grace we are saved.
Godís love is an authentic love. It
expresses itself in humble service, e.g. John 13, Philippians 2. "This is how we know what love is: Jesus
Christ laid down His life for us (1 John 3.16)." In an act of pure love God gave Himself in Christ on the
cross for undeserving sinners. (1 John 4.10) Not pride, but self-humiliation. Not self-assertion, but self-abasement,
sacrifice, and self-giving. The cross, which appeared to be "shame," was in fact "glory."
Godís love is an undivided love, a
love in which Jesus Christ demonstrates a personal, loving solidarity with us in our afflictions. God meets us
in union, common union, and community. Jesus didnít come to condemn, but to save. (John 3) He isnít against us.
He is for us. (Romans 8)
Godís love is a committed love. It
is a love that enables us to conquer. It is a ravishing love, a tenaciousness grace that will not let us go. God is going to bless His people
and have their hearts.
Godís love is a binding love.
Angels, principalities, powers, things present or things to come cannot break the tie that binds us to God through
Jesus. Death cannot break it. Life cannot break it.
Godís love is a bonding love. We
are bonded to God in a covenant bond sealed by the Blood of Christ, a bond so strong that neither death nor life
can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus.
That love is stronger than death, and in it we find rest.
Godís love is a compassionate and merciful love.
While we were yet enmity with Him, while we were sinners, God identified Himself with our welfare. He looked beneath
our rebellion, our shame, and our guilt, to our need. God commanded light into our darkness. God gave His Son,
Jesus, to save His people, and now brings them to know and enjoy Him in a covenant relationship founded on His
Godís love is an electing love.
The love of God is free, spontaneous, unevoked, uncaused, unfailing. God loves His own because He has chosen to
love. (Deuteronomy 7.6-8)
Godís love is a covenant love. It
is not that the object of Godís love merits that love. When God chooses to love, He loves because He loves. (Titus
3.4-7) We have value because of the One who loves us.
Godís love is an infinite love. Jesus
reveals Godís love and mediates it. God gives because He is the Source and Supplier of all things. God gave His
Son to be the Divine Messiah, the God-Man, to die for sin, to mediate both the forgiving love of God and the gift
of love through the Holy Spirit. Godís love surpasses knowledge. The Father demonstrates His love in sending the
Jesus, the Son of God, demonstrates His love by coming and doing the work
of mediation. He lived out all the requirements of obedience leading to life for us. He died for us. He rose again
in victory as Lord over all. He enables our reconciliation with God.
This love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit which
is given unto us. Being given the Holy Spirit demonstrates the measure of Godís love. How much does God love us?
He gives us His Son, Jesus. He gives us the Holy Spirit.
God loves us with all of His own heart, mind, and strength. God loves
us even as the Father has loved Jesus (John 17). Our worth is based on the One who has chosen to love us.
Godís love is a holy love.
God is holy. Jesus Christ cleanses us for the purpose and possibility of being a loving people, a holy people.
God will meet you where you are and take you where you need to be. Love does no harm.
Godís love is a love we can trust and hope in. God
forgives us our sins that all barriers might be removed and He can pour His love into us, conforming us to the
image of Jesus Christ.
Godís love is an unfailing love.
God is committed to loving us and Godís love never fails. We come to reflect the glory of that love, that abiding
and eternal love.
Without love, life would become unbearable. Relationships would deteriorate.
Families would disintegrate. Lying loves do indeed lead to soul murder and the killing of the spirit. But the Father,
the Son, and the Holy Spirit counted the cost of love, made the commitment, and moved out resolved. Godís love is a resolute love. God
chose to love us and paid the price. God loves in deed. Godís love
is, in truth, the love without a lie.
Giving brings hope. Giving saves lives. Touch someone today and make this
world a better place. Your gifts to Mary Craig Ministries enable
us to bring Jesus to a hurting world and share the gospel of grace to the lost.
Every day we see God changing lives.
A womanís face lights up after healing prayer. Sheís memorizing scripture
and learning how to overcome her fears and infirmities. Sheís finding Godís love and forgiveness and allowing Godís
grace to touch her. A man grows in his understanding of Godís holiness. A boy receives encouragement and mentoring.
A family grows in Christ.
We have mission teams going to the Caribbean in February and to Bulgaria,
Romania, Serbia, and Turkey this year. Our next Barnabas Project
mission outreach to the South Florida migrant workers will be in early March. Donations designated "Barnabas
Project" will be used to buy school supplies, underwear, Bibles and books in Spanish, dictionaries, and other
Lives are being changed, transformed by Godís love. Your gifts enable
us to continue. Together we are making a difference, one heart at a time, in nation after nation.
Taking His glory to the nations,
P.S. In the area? Worship with us at Craighouse®, located in the Pompano Plaza at 114 E. McNab Road, Pompano Beach, FL 33060. Youíll
like our new worship team! Visit www.craighouse.org for a map, and www.marycraig.org for more.
Yea, I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore
with lovingkindness have I drawn you. Jeremiah 31.3