Love, like holiness and glory, is one of those ideas that is common yet, for many, undefined and cloudy, more assumed than understood. Jonathan Leeman, editor at 9Marks, helpfully defines love as, “the lover’s affirmation of and affection for the beloved and the beloved’s good in the Holy” (The Church and The Surprising Offense of God’s Love, 107). So love has an object and an agenda, the agenda being the other’s good, and if that other is a human, their good in God (justification for the unbeliever, sanctification for the believer). This is consistent with what Jesus says in Luke 6:27 (note the parallelism in the verse). “But I say to you who hear, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you…” Does it not seem right to read this as: Love your enemies=do good to those who hate you? Love is aimed at the good of its object, good being defined by God.
So, a question for consideration: Is it possible for someone to seek the good of another apart from loving that other? If you accept Leeman’s definition of love, and I think you ought to do so, then the answer would be no; it is not possible.
A father cannot seek the good of his son without loving his son.
A wife cannot seek the good of her husband without loving her husband.
A North Korean Christian cannot seek the good of his persecutors without loving his persecutors.
This idea is true even when the object of love is not another human. To seek the good of your pet dog, you must love that dog.
And, the point I will insist upon here, a citizen of a country is incapable of seeking her good unless he loves her. If you are an American citizen, you are responsible to seek the good of your country. But it is only possible to discharge your duty as a citizen if you love America. And it is a country worth loving. Apart from Old Covenant Israel, no country has been founded with better laws and guiding principles. It is the land of the free and the home of the brave, a land of liberty and justice created in the waters of a worldview shaped by Biblical realities.
Sadly, many do not love America. Progressives/leftists, who have a monopoly on the means of educational production, do not love the country, which is why they speak of radical, fundamental transformation and change. They want something different. And because they have control over public education, they are training the generations of students who come through their schools to also hate her.
To illustrate their successful breeding of disdain for America, let me tell you of a recent encounter. I offered an American flag decorated slice of cake to a fellow American and friend. They kindly said they weren’t interested in it, which is fine by me, as I’m not particularly fond of sweets. With a smile, I sought to persuade the friend by saying, “But it’s birthday cake for America!” Their response was like a brick to my gut. “That’s reason to not eat it.” I thought I must have not heard correctly and asked, “It being America’s birthday cake is reason to not eat it?” And the answer was unfortunately clear. “I don’t love America. Just because I’m a citizen doesn’t mean I have to love this country.”
This friend is not alone in this lack of love.
Knowing this, I would call all such American citizens, those citizens who do not love the country, to recuse themselves from ever voting. That’s right: If you do not love this country, do not vote. I’m appealing to whatever honor you may have. Now, isn’t that a bull-headed thing to say? Well, not if it is true that in order to seek the good of another you must love that other. If you are not seeking the good of the country when voting as a citizen, something you are not able to do if you do not love her, it is wrong for you to vote.
If you are an American, and you do love your country, then please do vote, and in so doing, seek the good of this great land.