The Law of Love and Flirty Fishing
A theological cornerstone that David imparted to the Family was the doctrine referred to as the "Law of Love." The Law of Love is the foundation of Christianity, the all-encompassing principle of sacrificial love for God and others by which all Christians should conduct their lives, based on Jesus' commandment to love God and our neighbors. "Love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like unto it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' All the law and the prophets hang on these two commandments" (Matthew 22:35-40).
David taught that according to these and other Scriptures that loving God first and foremost and loving others result in the ultimate fulfillment and completion of biblical law, including the Ten Commandments. If we as Christians love the Lord with all our heart, soul, and mind, and our neighbor as ourselves, we will naturally fulfill the spirit of all the other laws. For example, we won't put other gods before Him or take His name in vain. To love our neighbors as ourselves precludes murdering them, stealing from them, lying to them, or coveting what they have.
The motivation for us--as Christians--to obey these commandments should not be out of a fear of divine judgment, but rather because we are compelled by our love for God and others to exhibit consideration and kindness to our neighbors. We refrain from activities forbidden by the Ten Commandments because they would not be in accordance with our love for God and others.
David contended that through the Lord's salvation, and because of His Law of Love as expressed in the verses listed above, Christians are released from the hundreds of rules under the Mosaic laws in the Old Testament and are no longer required to observe them. He understood that in light of these Scriptures, loving heterosexual relations between consenting adults regardless of marital status could be permissible and Mosaic prohibitions and traditions in this regard no longer applied to those saved in Christ, as long as their actions were not harmful to others. "Love does no harm to a neighbor, therefore love is the fulfillment of the law" (Romans 13:10).
When Jesus came, He abolished all other laws but Love! He gave only one law which fulfills all the laws of the Bible, both old and new, and that is Love!--For God and fellow man!
This is our specific religion and the religion of every Christian who truly believes in the Love of God in Jesus and the Bible! We are Christians and we believe in the religion of Jesus Christ, His Law of Love! We believe in the Bible, God, Jesus and Love--because God is Love! Jesus preached Love, and when asked what the greatest law was, He said God's only law now was Love.
"Love God ... and love thy neighbor as thyself! ... In these are all the law and all the prophets!" That's all the laws put together, the whole Bible--Love! If you have Love you have everything!--You are fulfilling all the laws of God!
In 1976, David proposed an unprecedented corollary to the Law of Love: He contended that, in certain circumstances, it would be acceptable for a Christian to have sexual relations with someone in an effort to demonstrate a tangible manifestation of God's Love, thereby helping them to come to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. This doctrine became known as Flirty Fishing," a term that David adapted from Jesus' admonition to His disciples to "follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men." It was practiced by many Family members until 1987, when it was discontinued.