“How do we hold to “both” values that homosexuality is a sin but that gays shouldn’t be discriminated against? — or in Africa, killed”
The same reader previously asked a very probing and important question regarding the Christian’s attitude and treatment of homosexuals.
“How do we hold to principles of our Faith on sin, but also follow Christ’s 2nd most important Commandment to others?”
The question refers to the occasion when Jesus was tested by a lawyer who asked, “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?”
Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment.
Then Jesus added this: “And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.”
A simple, yet profound response! The 10 commandments, the law of Moses and all of the prophets’ admonitions are based either on our relationship to God, or our relationship to others.
When we love God, we love the Word of God. And we desire to follow, serve, and obey the Son of God. Jesus said, “If you love me, keep my commandments” (John 14:15). The apostle John expressed it this way, “For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome” (I John 5:3)
When we love God, we respect the will of God. The Truth of God. The moral values of God. Therefore, we must regard as sin, a violation of God’s righteousness–behaviors identified as “works of the flesh” (Gal. 5:17)
The reader is correct is saying the homosexuality is a sin. The Bible plainly says so (Rom 1:20-27; 1 Cor 6:9-11), as we have noted in earlier posts.
The second commandment speaks of our attitude toward others–-friends, family, fellow-Christians and even those who may be our enemies. It also applies to our attitude and treatment of sinners. Truth should be spoken in love (Eph. 4:16).
The Bible says, “Live wisely among those who are not believers, and make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be gracious and attractive so that you will have the right response for everyone” (Col. 4:5-6. NLT)
Homosexuals are sinners who are in need of God’s saving grace. Just like the fornicator. Adulterer. Or murderer.
Now the problem that arises in our politically correct culture is that someone will say that is “hate speech.” Actually, it’s lovingly telling the truth to folks who need to come to Christ for salvation. That is not a violation of the 2nd greatest commandment.
What is a violation of love is when Christians resort to violence. Hurling ugly epithets. Engaging in ungodly and unkind behaviors. And seeking vengeance against those who are in sin. That is not man’s prerogative!
The role of the Gospel is to save people from sin. Jesus did not come as a social reformer. Or a political leader seeking overthrow of Rome. Or a community organizer seeking social justice for the disenfranchised in life. Jesus came to”seek and save the lost.” Christianity was born and thrived in a civilization where moral perversity was pervasive, including homosexuality.
Our responsibility is to love sinners. Share the Good News with them. And demonstrate through our lives the kindness and compassion of Christ. That is my duty as a “kingdom citizen.”
As a citizen of the country in which I live, God expects me to obey its laws. (Rom 13:1). The only exception would be if those laws cause me to violate the law of God (Acts 5:29). For most of our country’s history our marriage laws have been based on the Judeo-Christian ethic of one man married to one woman. Jesus said it was God’s intention from the beginning (Matt 19:4-9).
Today our laws are changing to serve the shifting morals of a post-Christian culture. I believe same-sex marriage is sinful. Yet, its practice does not keep me from loving God. Nor does it diminish my duty to love others. Treat them with kindness. Dignity. And fairness. Even those whose lifestyle is sinful.
As our world becomes increasing wicked, Christians are called to be righteous, but not “self-righteous.” To firm in our stand for Truth. But also fair in our treatment of others. To hate sin. Yet show love for those lost in sin.
–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman