God Is Not Love

Love has become the new golden calf, the new idol, the new false god at whose feet the modern world has been commanded to bow . . .

This article from our archives was first published on RI in March 2022

If we accept the way that the modern world defines "love", then we would have to conclude that God is not love.

God is holy. He is a consuming fire. He is the way, the truth, and the life. God is a lot of things. But He is not love. At least, not according to the way the world abuses the word "love".

If love is what two people feel when they "fall in love", then God is not love.

If love is a powerful emotion flowing through the hearts of two people who are "making love", then God is not love.

If love is what you feel when you deeply desire to have another person near you, and you cannot imagine being without that person, then God is not love.

God is not a feeling. God is not an emotion. God is not a desire. Therefore, God is not love. — At least, not according to the way the world abuses the word "love".


A famous video has been making the rounds, describing what the author likes to call "fish love". His story goes like this:

"Young man, why are you eating that fish?"

"Because I love fish."

"Oh. You love the fish. That’s why you took it out of the water and killed it and boiled it?"

"Don’t tell me you love the fish. You love yourself, and because the fish tastes good to you, that's why you took it out of the water and killed it and boiled it."

So much of what is called "love" today is actually "fish love". — A young couple "falls in love". A young man and young woman "fall in love". What does that mean? That means that he saw in this woman someone who he felt could provide him with all of his physical and emotional needs, and she saw in this man somebody she felt could provide for her needs. But each person is looking out for their own needs. It’s not love for the other. The other person becomes a vehicle for my gratification.

"My dream woman." "The man of my dreams." "A vehicle for my gratification."

According to the modern English language — "Love" = "Lust"

And if love is the same as lust, then God is not love.


Over 3,000 years ago, when the devil convinced the Israelites to worship the golden calf in the wilderness, he was sneaky about it. He knew the name they used for God, and he didn't ask them to change it. He did not say, "Stop worshiping your god, and start praying to Baal, or to Molech, or to some other god." Instead, he just convinced them to setup an idol which had no resemblance to God.

The devil let them keep the same word for God, and keep the same priesthood as they had before. He just had them setup a golden calf, and call the idol by God's name. Aaron the high priest made a proclamation and said,

Tomorrow is a feast to the LORD!

This is the same sort of thing they would say in other situations, when they were actually worshiping the Lord correctly. The word "LORD" here is an English rendering of the Hebrew word "YHWH", which is a proper name for God. In this particular case, the words did not change. The only thing that changed was the definition of a particular word. The word "LORD" had previously referred to the God who created the entire universe, and who had miraculously led Moses and the Israelites out of Egypt. But now, in this case, the word "LORD" was used in reference to the golden calf.

By changing the definition of one word, the Israelites fell into idolatry. While their words claimed that they were worshiping the Lord, in truth they were just worshiping a lifeless statue made of gold.

In cultures where the Hindu religion is popular, people continue worshipping cows today. But among cultures that are more traditionally Christian, the devil has to take a slightly different approach. Setting up a golden calf and calling it the "LORD" is not subtle enough to fool most people.

So instead of redefining the word "LORD" or the word "God", why not just redefine a word that is closely identified with God?


One of the most beloved passages in the Bible is 1 John 4:8, which explicitly says:

". . . God is love."

And of course the Scriptures speak truthfully. But this truth is only helpful to those who know what love is. If the reader thinks that love is a feeling, or that love is sex, or that love is the lowest possible score in a tennis match, then saying "God is love" will do nothing but cause confusion.

I am reminded of this vile poem by J.V. Cunningham: 


God is love. Then by inversion
Love is God, and sex conversion.

I could hardly bring myself to share such a disgusting poem with anyone — except for the fact that it almost perfectly sums up the idolatry which has become rampant today in Western society, even within the Church.

The devil has redefined the word "love" to mean its opposite. The powers of evil have convinced us that love has nothing to do with patience, personal responsibility, or self-sacrifice. 

"Love" has thus become the new golden calf, the new idol, the new false god at whose feet the modern world has been commanded to bow. 

We are fed a constant lie about what it means to "love". And then the advocates of hell blithely remind us that "God is love". By this linguistic slight of hand, they tell us that God is lust, God is selfishness, and that God is sodomy.

But if this is what "love" is, then this is precisely what God is not. Pretending otherwise is nothing short of idolatry. It is no different from erecting a statue of a golden calf, and naming it "Jesus".

"Jesus saves", you say? Well, no, this one cannot save. Not this "Jesus". 

"God is love", you say? Well, no, He most definitely is not. Not this "love".

The word "love" is used over three hundred times in Holy Scripture. And we cannot change the teachings of Scripture. The Bible talks about love so frequently, and so extensively, that we cannot afford to ignore it.

The only reasonable course of action is for us to repent. We need to repent of the way we have abused the word "love". We need to repent of our idolatry.


In Scripture, the Holy Spirit inspired the apostle Paul to write 1 Corinthians 13:4-6, providing us with a proper description of love:

  • Love is patient
  • Love is kind
  • Love does not envy
  • Love does not boast
  • Love is not proud
  • Love does not dishonor others
  • Love is not self-seeking
  • Love is not easily angered
  • Love keeps no record of wrongs
  • Love does not delight in evil
  • Love rejoices with the truth

Reviewing this list, it is very difficult to see how anything in the modern "free love" or "LGBT" movements have anything to do with genuine love. Tell an unmarried couple that it is wrong to fornicate, and there will be nothing patient or kind in the way they respond to you. Tell homosexuals that they don't have a right to sleep with whomever they want, and find out for yourself whether or not they are easily angered.

If love is not self-seeking, then why do they place such a high priority on their own sexual pleasure?

If love does not delight in evil, why do they delight in every form of sexual activity which is condemned by Holy Scripture?

If love is not proud, why do they have homosexual "pride" parades?

Whether a man sleeps with his girlfriend, or whether he sleeps with another man, his actions have nothing whatsoever to do with "love". His deeds are impatient, unkind, and dishonoring to others. He is envious, self-centered, and proud. He delights in evil, and rejects the truth. And if you remind him of this, he is very easily angered. This is not love. This is the opposite of love.


If we truly understand love, then we speak truthfully when we say, "God is love".

In the following paragraphs, click on the links to see the underlying passages from Holy Scripture.

Jesus is God. Therefore, Jesus is Love. That means Love became a man who walked with us on earth. Love confronted sinners. Love told people to repent. Love told people to love one another. Love told people to stop sinning.

Love insulted false teachers, calling them hypocrites, whitewashed tombs, and snakes. Love got angry with people who lacked compassion. Love made a whip, knocked down tables, and drove out people who were defiling the temple. 

Love healed the sick, gave sight to the blind, and raised the dead. Love warned people of hell, and provided a way for them to enter heaven. Love was always good, but Love was not always nice.

Love is the Resurrection and the Life. Love promises that all those who follow Him will live forever.

Love is the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. Love says that sexually immoral people shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.

Love is patient. He has given us many opportunities for repentance. And if we do repent, then we will rejoice with Him forever in heaven. But those who refuse to repent will eventually be cast into the eternal flames of hell.

Love must reign, until Love puts all enemies under his feet.

And this will truly be the point where Love Wins.

  • Shqip
  • العربية
  • English
  • Français
  • Deutsch
  • Bahasa Indonesia
  • Italiano
  • Português
  • Русский
  • Español