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Christian Counseling - Love Is All We Need!?

In my book, love is supreme for many reasons. Scripture says it's the summation of the law, a conqueror of fear, a new commandment from Jesus to all of His disciples, the calling card of evangelism, and that we should owe nothing but to love. Humanly, it bonds people together and yields understanding, cooperation,  sacrificial giving and peace. It's a wonderful feeling, and the unconditionality of agape (decisional, logical) love knows no equal in the world of love. Consequently, there are those that believe love is above all, conquers all and all we need. They believe that together with love, compassion, tolerance, kindness, gentleness, forgiveness, mercy and other similar words can overcome doubt and evil and convince anyone to follow a different and righteous path given enough time. In some ways it's hard to argue with that and, in part, I don't want to. But I am a philosopher (a lover of truth) and that reasoning falls short of the truth.

One word nixes the view that love and its companions absolutely conquer everything wrong and evil and are all we need--Armageddon. Revelation 16:16 mentions the end time war between the armies of Satan and Christ. Other references reveal Christ will return to earth to engage in war (Revelation 17:14; 9:11). If love could conquer all, there would be no need for war. God's love doesn't conquer all, as some people's free will won't cooperate with Him.  If love could overcome anything, there would be no need to discipline any child, no divorce rate, no prisons and the judicial branch of government would not have been mentioned in the third Article of the Constitution. If love were unconditionally supreme, Christ would not have been born and died for our sins because love would be enough.

We must arm ourselves with love in one hand and a sword in the other, along with cultivating discernment so that we may choose their use wisely. Jesus, upon the return of His disciples after being sent out to preach the gospel two by two, commanded them to carry money, clothes and a sword, literally (Luke 22:35,36). Peter carried a sword even at the end of Jesus' life; in the garden of Gethsemane. There he was told by Jesus to put it away after using it, but not to get rid of it (John 18:11). Love can overcome evil and we should make every attempt to repeatedly express it to everyone in most every situation. But when evil people, who are a threat to our way of life and/or righteousness, refuse to be moved by love we must take a metaphorical sword (words, boundaries, protests, etc.) to protect the innocent and limit their influence on earth. The use of a physical sword can be warranted for defensive, life-threatening situations, but not for offensive purposes (Matthew 26:52 and John 18:11). In our world where good and evil coexist and both sides end in victories and defeats, love and swords are necessary.

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