Sunday, May 18, 2014

Are Christians Called To Love Homosexuals?

To answer the title in a word, no. But don't go letting your head explode on me just yet. Keep reading please because I have two things to say to qualify that answer.

1. Nowhere in scripture are we called to "love the homosexual".  What we are called to do is to love our fellow sinners. To say that we are called to love the homosexual does two things. First, it gives a particular sin a feeling of specialness.   The special attention this sin receives is the result of bleed-over from our culture into Christianity.  Second, it allows the sinner to adopt his sin as an identity. What man, given the definition of adultery that Jesus gave, is not an adulterer? I'd say the vast majority are, given the low bar set by Jesus for becoming one. But I've yet to see anyone proclaiming, or demanding, that Christians ought to love the adulterer and stop judging him and to be more accepting of his special sin.

2. The second is more important. The command in scripture to "love" our fellow man, that is those who persecute us, those who are enemies of God, and a host of other sinners, ought to have us examining the verb "love". Scripture is not silent on this matter, but let me first say that nowhere does scripture confuse the word love with acceptance. The common mantra of our day is that Jesus accepts the sinner wherever he is. I don't think that's true. Jesus loves the sinner wherever he is, but he rejects his sin. For example, let's look at an occasion that does not carry the cultural baggage of the modernday homosexual; the rich young ruler.  Jesus did not accept this young man's sin of idolatry, yet the scriptures tell us "...Jesus felt a love for him... ". (Mk 10:21)

The modern Church is constantly admonishing us to love like Jesus loved.  But I can't help but to think that there is a difference between what we're being admonished to do and what scripture teaches us to do. From the beginning to the end of Jesus' ministry his sermons can be summed up by "repent for the Kingdom of God is near".  He did not preach "accept sins that are popular in your day".

To be sure there is a caricature of Christians who are pointing their fingers in angry self-righteous indignation and demanding repentance.  While I'm sure there are some who do this--and we are supposed to love them too by the way--this does not mean that we are to be more accepting of a popular sin in order to mitigate that caricature.  That would be folly.

In short, we are not to confuse love with acceptance.  While it is certainly possible to love without accepting there is a very real danger in our present age of unwittingly not loving while accepting.

So, are we to love the homosexual?  No, we are to love the sinner, every sinner, enough to call him to repentance in a compassionate and loving way.


Susan said...

Wonderfully said, as always!!!

Kathy said...

Thanks for writing this, Danny. As you know, this has been on my heart big time.

I happened to be in Nashville following the last election and attended a church where Pastor Steve Fry addressed the issue of our culture. In this message he addressed the sin of homosexuality and (either) divorce or adultery. He answered the question about what sets those apart from other sins like stealing, lying, etc., and that is that those sins have an eroding effect and serve to remove the underpinnings of our culture, namely the family. That has since helped me to explain to others why those seem to be the big sins, so to speak, that are hit on so hard.

Timmy Jimmy said...

Good post. I think we need to add the reality that the sin of homosexuality and gay marriage is a warping of what it means to be made in the Image of God. This is why the sin is called an abomination in Leviticus. It warps the Image of God in the worse way.

Also, should it not be that Jesus raised the bar rather than lowered it? Don't mean to be picky.

Timmy Jimmy said...

One more thing. When are you guys going to make the jump to word press. That way, I can subscribe and have your post come up in my feed. :)

Dan said...

I understand what you mean by "lowering the bar", and I gave it some thought as I wrote it. While it is true that Jesus raised the bar for righteousness, it was consequently lowered as it concerns committing adultery as in we can be guilty in our hearts without actually doing it. As for WP, I've seriously been thinking of changing over and probably will when I have a little time.

Glenn E. Chatfield said...

Timmy Jimmy,

You can subscribe to this blog via e-mail. That's how I get a lot of mine.

Mike said...

I am a little late on this comment, but I agree with others very good post! It helps to "put a finger" on the lies of the enemy.

For someone to say " shouldn't we love the homosexual?"...what they really seem to subconsciously mean is "..maybe if I stay directly in the moderate position of this issue.. nobody will be offended and I can go about being one of those accepted Christians".

It's the exact same position as "I would never do that, but I would never tell someone else they can't do it."

Not to mention, as we spoke about earlier, love is now a very loaded word. It comes with so many different meanings to each person that one cannot be offended by using it. Unless of course we explain that Jesus loved us by telling us to "repent for the kingdom of God is at hand."

Dan said...

Excellent point Mike. I hadn't thought of that... but I will be.