Through the Prophet Moses, the Lord spoke a message to His people and to all of us, saying, “I shall give you a commandment that isn’t difficult. It’s not so lofty that you have to ascend to the heavens to understand it; it’s not so far that you’ll have to cross the ocean to find it. In fact, you’ll find it on your lips and in your heart, for it is natural to being human. It is simply this: love the Lord your God. In case there is misunderstanding over what that means, I’ll tell you simply: walk in My ways, keep My commandments, My statutes, and My ordinances so that you may live and prosper.
“There are two paths before you: life and death. The former is the way of My commandments, the latter is following your own sinful desires and reasoning. Choose life. Love the Lord your God, obey Him, and remain faithful to Him. For He is your life.”
Our Lord Jesus affirmed this teaching when He said, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and most important command. The second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the Prophets depend on these two commands” (Matt. 22:37-40).
HIJACKING THE GOSPEL OF LOVE
Through these words, we see that the Gospel is all about love. Love for God and love for neighbor. However, I have seen in our culture an attempt to hijack the Gospel in the name of compassion or love. Some may ask, How is it possible to hijack a Gospel of love with love? By replacing real love with pseudo-love; by ignoring love for God and preaching that love is allowing people to do whatever they want. Pseudo-love is replacing the commandments in the scriptures with a blind “compassion” that encourages people in sinful and soul-destroying behavior.
While “a person is justified by faith apart from the works of the law” (Rom. 3:28), we do not throw out the commandments found in scripture. A little later the Apostle also said, “Do we then nullify the law through faith? Absolutely not. On the contrary we uphold the law” (Rom. 3:31).
These ideas do not contradict one another. We recognize that we are saved by grace through faith. Yet actively living in faith – being transformed into a child of God – means that we love God by obeying His commandments. As our Lord Jesus said, “If you love me, you will keep my commands” (John 14:15). To disregard any aspect of morality taught in scripture is to disregard God. As the Apostle taught, those who did not enter the Promised Land died in the wilderness because of their lack of obedience. The Apostle calls this disobedience unbelief, “So we see that they were unable to enter because of unbelief” (Heb. 3:19). Immorality with no repentance is disbelief in God.
STEPPING ON EVERYBODY’S TOES
What spurred me to write this article is the political situation of our day here in America. Neither political party is in the right. The commandments of God include sexual purity, self-control, contentment, and a lack of envy. They also require caring for the poor, orphans, foreigners, widows, single mothers, and the down-trodden in society.
I see those on the left disparaging those on the political right for their lack of “compassion” toward the down-trodden. Sometimes they are correct. Yet they celebrate sin and even try to force its acceptance on everybody. Those on the political right fight to uphold family values, rightly seeing that a traditional loving family is key to a healthy, peaceful society. They protect the unborn and the right of people to practice religion in peace. Yet they sometimes leave without help the single mother who didn’t choose abortion and the disadvantaged of society, accusing them of laziness. They often support wars, disregarding the plight of Christians and other peaceful people whose populations are being wiped out due to the destabilization we are causing through American imperialism. And to make matters worse, the political left is jumping on the war bandwagon.
LIVING WITHOUT HYPOCRISY
The Gospel has always been counter-cultural, even in Christian societies, because people are often motivated by greed, fear, or selfish desires. We as Christians must strive to live by the entire Gospel. Part of that comes through reading the Bible so that we can learn right from wrong. The teachings of the Apostles and the Church help us to read the Bible with discernment, especially regarding the Old Testament so that we can differentiate between what was a mere ritual purity command (such as not eating shellfish) and what is a moral command that prevents us from being separated from God (such as prohibitions on homosexual activity and caring for the poor).
While few people will attain to anything close to perfection in this life, we should try to live without hypocrisy as much as possible. Without God’s grace, it is an impossible struggle. But He offers us His help and His Holy Spirit when we decide to live according to His ways out of love for Him. Entering into this struggle is a grace-filled process that heals us inwardly and draws us closer to God.
We should be wise and discern when politically motivated people try to interpret the Gospel for us, telling us what is most important and what can be disregarded. We are citizens of the heavenly kingdom, and we should concern ourselves primarily with what our true Commander-in-Chief, Jesus Christ, wants from us. Love for God means obeying Him; love for neighbor naturally follows obeying God. May God be with us, strengthening us to live according to His ways.
 This is Deuteronomy 30:11-20, summarized and heavily paraphrased by me with excerpts taken from the CSB translation.