How Does The Second Great Commandment Apply to Treatment of Homosexuals?

LoveNeighbor

“How do we hold to “both” values that homosexuality is a sin but that gays shouldn’t be discriminated against? — or in Africa, killed”

This question was one of several that I began answering yesterday raised by one of my regular readers. It was in response to a post last week “What is Truth?”

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

8 Comments

Filed under Homosexuality, Love

8 responses to “How Does The Second Great Commandment Apply to Treatment of Homosexuals?

  1. Stephen Segrest

    Thanks Ken, but we still have a conundrum. The Bible is 100% clear on what God expects of us in our direct interaction with any gay person. But what is the guidance in supporting what can be very difficult secular laws, and our actions to elect politicians that enact these laws? In the Supreme Court case last year, something like 500 examples were cited on discrimination of gays.

    Politically moderate Christians shake their head and ask, “How should we interact politically in a secular world on this?” If only the secular world would live by Christ’s 2nd most important command in their personal actions, we wouldn’t have this problem. But sadly the real world just isn’t this way.

    Politically moderate Christians tried really hard on this by supporting laws that upheld the Biblical sanctity of marriage, but also allowed the secular world to enact civil unions (legal contracts) among themselves. But this approach was soundly rejected by conservative Christians.

    So what is the “Truth” in how we should interact on this in the political secular world? You just can’t treat this as a one issue “Truth” of homosexual sin and then bury one’s head in the sand on secular discrimination (and in Africa killing and imprisoning gays).

    And yep – just like Peter I find myself between a rock and a hard place in this secular world. But I do have one advantage that Peter didn’t have. I can hop on my computer and ask my teachers not to give me their personal opinion, but guide me through what our Holy Scriptures say about this. I don’t believe there is anything “new” in our lives today that God didn’t address to us in his Word.

    • Well, you have two separate issues here.  What the Bible commands Christians and do and be.  And what the state of the world is based on secular laws.  I don’t believe Christians are ever going to be entirely pleased with what politicians do, either on the left or the right.  And I need to be careful not to confuse my “support” of a political position as being absolute God’s Truth on an issue.  Nor should I get to wrapped up in secular solutions, when the real answers are spiritual.

       My personal responsibility is to be salt and light regardless of what happens in the world.  I can’t change what others do.  There will always be inequity.  Injustice. Bigotry.  Prejudice.  Discrimination.  I just don’t have to participate!  And my ability to change what laws are enacted is very limited.  Regardless of the laws, I can be what God wants me to be.  And that is the main thing.

      Ken Weliever 400 NW Highcliffe Dr Lee’s Summit, MO 64081 Home Phone: 816-600-5001 Cell Phone: 813-507-1726 Church Office: 816-761-2659 preacherman@weliever.net web site: http://www.weliever.net/ blog: http://www.thepreachersword.com/ Church web site:  http://hickmanchurch.com/

                  

      ________________________________

  2. Lavada

    Well said Bro. Ken! The most us Christians can do is teach the lost and pray for the lost. I don’t hate homosexuals…I hate the sin (act). I have several homosexuals that I come in contact with in my line of business and I treat them as I would anyone else but if the topic arises in conversation I hold to what the Bible says and I’m not the least bit shaken by what others feel/think about my belief. I do have a question about interacting with homosexuals. I had a relative bring a homosexual couple to my house a few years ago for a family gathering and when I discovered they were a couple, I asked them to leave. Was this wrong of me? I feel like this – I may not be able to control what goes on in the world but in my home I feel differently.

    • Stephen Segrest

      Dear Lavada — I know this subject can be hard, very hard.

      You asked Ken the question: “. . . when I discovered they were a couple, I asked them to leave. Was this wrong of me?”

      Tony Campolo provides an answer in how we must interact with any lost soul:

      (Note: Ken uses the title each Friday “It’s Friday, but Sunday’s coming!” Within the Christian community, this phrase was made famous by Dr. Campolo).

      Tony also has another video interview where he says the phrase often used today “Love the Sinner, hate the sin” is exactly the opposite of what Christ taught. Its love the Sinner and hate the sin within us.

      http://www.redletterchristians.org/love-sinner-hate-sin-doesnt-work/

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  4. Stephen Segrest

    Ken — Over a year ago I started a journey to think about my views towards homosexuality. Being Straight this was never a issue for me personally. But more and more, I’m seeing family members “come of the closet”. With 100% certainty, I know that our Faith teaches us not to hurt (directly or indirectly) others — and that’s why I support secular civil unions between gay couples which upholds the sanctity of marriage.

    But my journey is not stopping with only the topic of marriage. Today, Rachel Held Evans posted the following video from a Southern Baptist Preacher who has changed his position on homosexuality.

    Its interesting in how he addresses this Biblically, citing not just Romans 1 BUT Romans 2 also. He makes a very powerful presentation of bringing a historical “context” of Paul’s time — the Roman emperor Caligula.

    Could you write a blog about what Pastor Danny Cortez is saying. To be objective, could you limit your discussion only to Romans 1 and 2 (and the supposed link to Caligula)? I get the impression that Danny has other discussions on specific Scripture that’s often cited that I will forward if I find them that you can then discuss.

    The greatest thing I thought about Marty Pickup was that he said that asking questions is good — we should absolutely ask questions!

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