Where is the Love?

I feel like God has been working on me for this blog post for a long time, but I have been shying away from it.  I don’t like to express my opinion about controversial topics before putting a lot of thought and prayer into what I’m going to say.  Controversial topics are usually controversial because so many people have strong feelings about them.  And I don’t want to hurt people’s feelings, but more than that I don’t want to hurt my witness for Christ by saying something that hurts someone.

But God keeps pushing this button with me until I feel like I need to write about this topic.  So, here it goes.

Let’s talk about homosexuality.  I need to preface this blog post by saying that everything that I write today is my own opinion, which is based on my reading and understanding of God’s word.  I am not taking this subject lightly and I pray that God speaks through me instead of allowing my own humanness to take over.

First, let me say that I believe as Christians that we have the responsibility to stand against sin.  We should not allow it into our own lives, into our own homes or into the homes of those people that we love.  When we see other believers who are living in sin, God wants us to gently, quietly and privately (notice those three words – they are important!) bring that sin to their attention.  As Christians we should hold each other accountable for our actions and decisions.  But it is my belief, that is where our responsibility as far as sin is concerned ends.  Sin is God’s territory.

We are not the sin police.  Focusing on eliminating sin from our lives is something that believers do to fine-tune our relationship with Jesus.  We do not have to rid ourselves of sin before coming into a relationship with Him.  What would be the point if we did?

I think that many believers today get so caught up on the sins of non-believers that we are driving people away from the cross.  This has never been more evident than with the subject of homosexuality.  In the last few weeks and months I have heard some things said by my friends and on my Facebook page that make me cringe.  Not because they are wrong, but because they are so insensitive and, I believe, so harmful to our witness for Christ.

Does God see homosexuality as an abomination?  Yes.  Does He condemn this sin and anyone who practices it?  Yes.  Does He warn that His wrath will fall on those who live homosexual lifestyles without repentance?  Yes.

Does God ask His believers to quote these facts to non-believers who live in sin until they have a change of heart and repent?  No.

Our purpose in life after we become Christians is to live our lives in a way that so exemplifies Jesus that people are drawn to us, to God’s love, and give their lives to Him.

God’s intention for our relationships with all people – saved or not, practicing lives of sin or not – is to love one another as He first loved us.  In fact, it is one of the Ten Commandments.  “Love your neighbor as yourself.”  Not, “love your neighbor as yourself as long as they are straight, living a life worthy of God’s love and in all ways easy to love.”

People who practice sin, whether it is homosexuality or gluttony, adultery or thievery, without remorse are one of two things: either they are lost, dying and going to Hell or they are believers who are living so far out of God’s will that they cannot even see how wrong they are.  Either way, what they need from us is not condemnation.  They need unconditional love.  They need Jesus.  And when they find Jesus, He will cleanse them of their sins and show them the way to repentance.  We cannot save them.  We cannot convict them of their sins. We cannot cleanse them.  We cannot force them into repentance.  All we can do is love them and show them the life of Christ in us.  Jesus will do the rest.

Here is the problem with the Christian Holier-Than-Thou type of attitude:  there is a world full of people who are dying without God’s love because those of us who have the keys to salvation won’t give them away to “sinners” like that until they have repented first.  We are standing between a lost world and Jesus holding picket signs rather than open, inviting arms of acceptance and love.

We are all sinners.  There is no one more unworthy than me of God’s love.  The only difference is that I have accepted His grace and I live daily trying to put away the things of this world and take up His example.  Jesus’ example is one of love and compassion.  We should be trying to be more like Jesus every day.  Jesus, who would have dined with a married gay couple and shown them the brokenness of their own lives with the contrasting example of His wholeness.  Would Jesus have brought their sin to their attention?  Most definitely.  Would He have convicted them of their sin and called them to repentance?  Absolutely.  But, then again, He is Jesus.  Our goal is to exemplify His character, not do His job.

So, I’m calling all Christians to a new standard.  When called on to make a decision about what you believe about sin, believe what the Bible says.  Homosexuality is a sin.  So are impure thoughts.  Anybody seen ‘Magic Mike’?

Believe every word of the Bible.  Tell people that you believe that.  But also remember that our purpose in life is not to debate the issues of this world.  God has already said all that needs to be said about every subject that matters.  We are called, not to spout our own opinions and create controversy with our words, but to stand firm in our beliefs and be an example of Jesus.

When you speak against homosexuality, some people will take what you say and twist it and make it into something hateful no matter what you say.  Just ask Dan Cathy, the owner of Chick-fil-A!  We can’t control the world, though.  We just have to believe the truth, and, when called to, speak the truth.  But above all, we should live lives that leave no question about who our Savior is and how much He loves us all – gay or straight, saved or not.

A day of judgment is coming for everyone.  And I pray above all things that there is never a time in my life when I do or say something that leads others astray from God’s love to face His wrath.  We need to remember our purpose in God’s will is to lead others to Him.  He will do the rest of the work in them and in us.

  1. #1 by Ronnie on August 1, 2012 - 7:55 pm

    I agree with 99% of what you’ve written today, and you KNOW I’m a huge fan of the blog and am thankful for your unique perspectives on God’s work in our lives.

    Just a thought, though… You said “We just have to believe the truth, and, when called to, speak the truth.” This whole Chick-Fil-A issue has come about because Dan Cathy spoke the truth (that he supports the biblical view and definition of marriage) and thousands (if not millions) of Christians have taken the opportunity to speak the truth along with him. They are doing so by waiting in drive thru’s and standing in lines across this nation. Buying a chicken sandwich today is not holding a picket sign between Jesus and a lost world. It is a statement that says Christians will not lay down and allow the loudest, the angriest, and the most politically correct to define what is right and what is wrong in this country.

    And… while we are to be winsome and loving in our dealings with others (especially those who are without Christ), we cannot be afraid to create controversy with our words. If our words are true, they will absolutely create controversy in a world that has exchanged the truth for a lie. Our stance against sin cannot be limited to our own homes. We are called to go and tell, and while it is God that convicts the soul of sin, it is the truth of the Word of God that defines it, and we ARE the purveyors of that truth…spoken in love.

  2. #2 by unitehbc on August 1, 2012 - 8:15 pm

    Thank you, Ronnie! I want to make it clear that this blog post was written weeks ago, and the “picket signs” comment was in no way meant to comment on what is happening at Chick-fil-A today. I support Chick-fil-A for their principles as well as their delicious chicken and sweet tea! I don’t want anyone to think that I am trying to say anything about that. What I meant with the picket signs comment is that we so often use the hot button issues as dividing lines and soap box topics rather than seeing that they are opportunities to show that we are different from the world with our love.

    I also agree that we should speak the truth. The reason that I emphasized the love that we should show in this blog post is that I think we as Christians have lost sight of our real purpose – to show Jesus to the world. When we live lives of love day in and day out, we don’t have to shout the truth at them, they will hear our truth when we whisper it.

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