Craving God’s Love-Culture’s Misguided Attempt to Fix Agape with Eros Love
Steven Garofalo / https://twitter.com/Steve_Garofalo / September 1, 2022
U.S. Olympian and famous virgin Lori “Lolo” Jones is fed up with ‘Fifty Shades of Grey.’ Lolo told her Twitter followers to skip the kinky box office hit. Jones wrote, “Funny how some people think there’s nothing wrong with 50 shades of Grey. God Didn’t Create Sex For That Purpose”. The accomplished Olympian said that saving herself for marriage is the “hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life.”[i]
I believe that Lolo is calling out Hollywood and our culture regarding the highly unreported struggle which is negatively affecting many of our relationships, especially marriage and the family unit. I would assert that this struggle is a grappling search for God’s unconditional Agape love in the form of sexual gratification, the Erotic-physical expression of love in the form of sexual activity called Eros. In the New Testament, there are numerous words to describe different kinds of love. They are agape, phileo, storge, and eros. Three of these appear in the Bible. There is agape love which describes God’s selfless unconditional love, Eros love which describes erotic or sexual love sought by human beings. Then there is Felos (Philadelphia) or “brotherly love”. This is the kind of love we show our friends.
David J. Stewart of www.Jesus-Is-Savior.com ties this all together very nicely for us in an article he wrote entitled; Agape Verses Phileo Love. David writes, “God loves [agapao] all mankind, which is why He sent His only begotten Son to pay everyone's sin debt. However, God has a special love [phileo] for His own, affectionate toward those who love and obey Him. It's the same way that we love as Christians. I love [agapao] all people, whoever you may be; but I have an affectionate love [phileo] for those dear to me, such as my web visitors. Agape love is me loving you BECAUSE OF WHO I AM; whereas Phileo love is me loving others BECAUSE OF WHOM YOU ARE”. [ii]
With the exception of the word “life,” love is the most important abstract term in the Bible. God’s love is the basis for His dealing with humans in the Old Testament and peaks in the New Testament.[iii] When we begin to depart from and reject God’s ultimate moral law, we become unable to see what our heart truly desires, which is God’s unconditional agape love, and leaves us further depraved, searching for love in all the wrong erotic places. Simply put, we see the bad chasing the good.
As our culture increasingly departs from any sense of moral absolutes, which flows from an absolute Moral Maker-God, we begin to come apart at the seems-literally. Colossians tells us, He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together (Colossians 1:17). When we depart from God and His Moral Law, we begin to fall away from being “held together” in His goodness. Lolo points out that the road less traveled (God’s way) is much harder than the easy track (going with culture). The good news is that “God so loved the world that He gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16). God has modeled true love by the fact that He gave his only Son so that none of us created, sinful beings should perish.
If Lori “Lolo” Jones, a disciplined U.S. Olympian is saying that saving herself for marriage is the hardest thing she has ever done, it makes the point that it is all the more difficult for us and our children in today’s culture to remain sexually pure in our dating and marriage relationships. The good news is that God’s word tells us that there is nothing that can separate us from His love.
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord (Rom. 8:37-39).
When we discipline our hearts and minds to pursue God’s true agape love, as believers we are no longer in bondage to our carnal cravings because of what Christ did on the cross for us. We love because he first loved us (1 John 4:19). Culture tells us that human eros love will fix our problems and provide us with some form of God’s agape love. That is wrong. Lolo Jones was right when she said, “God didn’t create sex for that purpose”. She understands that God’s unconditional agape love is the blueprint and the gateway for His gift, eros love. Eros love is rightly defined within the context of traditional marriage, and that is a love worth pursuing.
For more on Moral Relativism, you can order Steven Garofalo’s book, “Right For You, But Not For Me-A Response To Moral Relativism” at http://reasonfortruth.org/#/seminars/order-book or on Amazon.
[iii] Geoffrey W. Bromily, General Editor, The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, Volume Three: K-P, (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1986), 172.