Your Bible Versus Your Love

the scripture versus love cartoon by nakedpastor david hayward


This is one of my most popular cartoons on the topic of scripture.

Jesus says to a group of people holding their bibles, “The difference between me and you is you use scripture to determine what loves means and I use love to determine what scripture means.”

This upsets some because to them Jesus IS the Bible, conflated and equated. And the Bible is love, conflated and equated.

They commit the unavoidable hermeneutical method of reading into the text their understanding of what it means.

We all do it. In fact, it can’t be helped!

They may presume they’re doing letting the Bible speak for itself, but that’s impossible.

We all have our own hermeneutic.


If you have a shallow and restrictive understanding of love, you will find your small understanding of love confirmed in the Bible. You will find verses that permit you to limit and even withhold love.

But if you have a love that tries to appreciate and include everyone, then you will find verses that confirm you are endeavoring to love as you believe God loves: universally and unconditionally.

We all bring to the text our own minds (open or closed) and our own hearts (hard or soft) and will read into the text our own predispositions.

This is why we see the perplexing reality of terrorists and peace-activists inspired by the same Bible.

So, it comes down to the personal internal work of self-awareness, humility, and a willingness to learn and grow.

This almost always happens during deconstruction.

Which is why so many of you totally get what I’m talking about.

While those who are entrenched in their beliefs simply cannot comprehend what we’re talking about.

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