Is There a Conflict Between Loving People and Taking a Stand Against Sin? - Radical

Is There a Conflict Between Loving People and Taking a Stand Against Sin?

Is it possible for Christians to speak the truth, but do so lovingly? Are there any instances where loving others involves not telling the truth? In this video, John Stonestreet examines the supposed conflict between speaking truth in love and standing against sinful behavior and practice. Throughout Scripture, there is a notable correlation between truth and love. Truth must be spoken lovingly, and it is maximally loving to speak the truth, even if it’s painful. John Stonestreet points out that while the gospel clearly proclaims the message of salvation, it similarly gives instructions about morality and God-honoring living. Because Christ is the pure, holy embodiment of truth and love, we can readily believe and be assured that there is no contradiction in the character of Jesus Christ, and as such, we must seek to stand against sin by lovingly calling out wrongdoing.

  1. Correlation of Truth and Love 
  2. Gospel of Salvation and Morality 
  3. No Contradiction in Christ’s Character

Is There a Conflict Between Loving People and Taking a Stand Against Sin?

My friend Eric McTaxis I think has said very clearly that it’s not truth if we don’t say it in love, and it’s not love if we don’t tell the truth. The most important thing you can do for someone is tell the truth to them, especially when the stakes are really, really high. We don’t have to choose between the two. I know there’s a lot of churches that think, If I speak out on this moral issue, it’s going to compromise my ability to share the gospel.

I’m with Owen Strand on this one; that the same God that gave us Jesus Christ, and therefore the gospel of salvation, is the one who gave us morality. So if it’s a conflict between the two, it’s a conflict in our minds, not in the scriptures. And it’s difficult. You got to live this out and work it out; and certainly not an easy thing to do. But we have to hold the two together, right? I mean, Jesus Christ is described in the Bible as the embodiment of truth and the embodiment of love, and there’s not a contradiction in his character.

John Stonestreet serves as President of the Colson Center for Christian Worldview. He’s a sought-after author and speaker on areas of faith and culture, theology, worldview, education and apologetics.


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