The Bible never minimizes the importance of love. The Ten Commandments are all about how we should love God and love others. Jesus set an example of love and taught us to love. We must preach that true faith in Christ and repentance of sin leads to love for God and love for others. But here is the Christian distinctive that is different from Liberalism. God commands us to love because He first loved us by sending His Son Jesus to die for our sins. That is a doctrine, not a life of love.
Classical Liberals love to say that Christianity is a life, not a doctrine. Have you ever heard anyone say that? People sometimes say: It doesn’t really matter what you believe. What matters is that you love other people. What matters is that you do good in the world, rescue the oppressed, care for the sick and poor, and help those in need. As long as you love and do good in the world, it doesn’t matter what doctrines you believe. Doctrines cause divisions, conflicts and wars. So, let people believe whatever they want. What really matters is that we love our fellow human beings.
In his magnificent treatise, Christianity and Liberalism, J. Gresham Machen argues that this Liberal idea is not true. It is the very opposite of biblical Christianity. Christianity does not begin by telling us to love other people. It begins with the great biblical doctrines of God, man, Christ, and the gospel. Christianity doesn’t begin with a command to love God or others. It begins with the sweet doctrine of God’s love. Christianity begins by proclaiming that God is holy, but we are sinners in need of salvation. And God lovingly looked down upon this broken world, and He graciously sent His only Son, Jesus, into this world to die for poor sinners and to rise again on the third day.