Besides “community” there’s “love.” I get so irritated by the ways in which the word is commonly used. It is losing its meaning because of them.
Here are a few examples from the town where I live. Recently there’s been a trend of businesses putting up signs that say “We love our….” A dry cleaner just two blocks from my house has a sign that says “We love our customers.” Really? Where’s the evidence of that? They don’t even know my name and I take clothes there frequently.
An apartment complex near my home has a sign that says “We love our tenants.” Really? Somehow I doubt it. How exactly does that show? Do they not evict poor tenants who can’t pay the rent? Somehow I doubt it.
A sports stadium puts on its marquee “We love our fans.” Really? Do they offer free seats to events for those who can’t afford tickets? I doubt it.
When I see signs like that or hear media talking heads saying “we love such-and-such” I have no idea what they mean. The word has been stretched to the breaking point.
And, of course, this is one reason (perhaps the main reason) I oppose Calvinism. When a five point Calvinist who believes in double predestination tells me God is love or loving I have no idea what that means. Sure, in that belief system God loves the elect. But how much does he even love the elect if he chooses to bypass (i.e., reprobate) their sins or daughters, husbands or wives, mothers or fathers? After all, in that system God elects to salvation unconditionally; there’s no reason he couldn’t save everyone. Oh, except…for his glory. So God’s glory is more precious to him than love and his love is partial and selective.
Yes, yes, I know…God’s love is first and foremost for his own glory (Piper). Ah, what love is that when it necessitates the eternal suffering of many God could save? As Wesley said, it is such a love as “makes the blood run cold.” I say it is no love at all and using “love” in that system makes the term meaningless.