“Theology without love is the theology of the demons.” -St Simeon the New Theologian
The other day I discovered that someone felt a comment I made on Facebook was unkind. I find this ironic (I think I’m using the term correctly) in that I was trying to demonstrate that a video was wrongly accusing Pope Francis and the Roman Catholic Church of calling Lucifer “God” in one of its Paschal hymns. I simply stated some historical facts and then called the video “shoddy reporting.” Frankly just a little bit of historical research, which is what a reporter is supposed to do, would have clarified everything. But clickbait always uses dramatic headlines and aspersions on a person or group.
But the quote from St Simeon was used during Sunday’s homily and caught my attention. I know I am guilty of loveless “demonic theology.” I was once told, that whenever I’m asked a question, I respond with a dissertation. That’s my personality and seminary training at work. By amassing an overwhelming counter-argument, I win.
And that’s my problem. There shouldn’t be a “winner” in theology. Being right doesn’t make me right, if that makes sense. Theology must be infused with love, which is willing the good for the other person. Sometimes the “good” might be correction. But correction doesn’t come by “winning” an argument. It comes incarnationally, by being and practicing good theology, which is ultimately love.