How to love like Jesus so we can teach like Jesus
If ever there was an example of a balance between love and truth it is in Jesus. Jesus never beat ordinary people with a theological bat. The Pharisees were a different story, but think of all the instances where Jesus taught the ordinary person. He always walked into their story and loved them, served them, and then he would tell them the truth and call them to repentance. Jesus always led with love.
Imagine the story of the woman caught in adultery in John 8. The religious leaders and Pharisees bring this despicable woman in front of a large crowd, presumably pulling her half-dressed from her adulterous act, and publicly humiliate her and threaten her with stones. In an attempt to catch Jesus in a theological trap, they ask him what he believes should be done to the woman.
If you don't know this story this is where it gets interesting. I almost imagine Jesus picking up a stone of his own as he walks towards the question asker. Holding out his stone, Jesus says: "Let the one who is without sin throw the first stone." You could probably feel the tension in the air as Jesus extends this invitation to the group of men. Recalling their own sins and their own faults, one-by-one the men drop the stones that were in their hands and walk away.
Then the best part of the story. Jesus walks over to the woman and crouches down to her level, speaking so only she can hear his tender voice: "Woman, where are your accusers?"
Looking around, the woman realizes for the first time that everybody is gone. There were no stones colliding into her body. It was just her and Jesus. "They are not here."
She is met with a knowing smile. "Then neither do I accuse you," Jesus responds, "now get up, and leave your life of sin."
When Jesus taught people he never separated his theology from love; Jesus never divorced his theology with his love. The Pharisees thought they could do this; that they could love God but not love people. Jesus, however, comes and teaches them a new way of loving God by loving people.
It is important for the church of Christ, not the name on the building, but God's body of believers, to have a theological stance on cultural issues. BUT, at the same time, I cannot think of a more important time that while we take our theological stances we must combine them and saturate them with love for the people we are calling into repentance.