I have seen the firestorm that has erupted as the topic of Homosexuality has again been brought to the forefront of American culture. I have tried my best to stay out of the debate since arguing on the internet is inherently unproductive. I can’t speak thoroughly on a topic or give a friend or fellow believer a complete explanation of my stance in a Facebook post. However, as friends of mine have shown their support for same-sex marriage and have placed love in higher regard to truth, I have been forced to say my piece.
Loving others DOES NOT mean accepting their sin. Throughout scripture we see the Lord being very clear on His stance on sin. Now, I don’t believe in stoning Homosexuals or some of the things spoken about in the Old Testament, but I do believe that the Lord has not changed His mind in terms of how he feels about Homosexuality. In fact, Romans 1 makes God’s stance pretty clear. Homosexuality is a sin.
Now, does this mean I HATE Homosexuals? ABSOLUTELY NOT! The reason why the Lord sent His Son to die for us on the cross is BECAUSE He loves us. The gospel of grace is the cornerstone of the Christian faith. However, the love God has for us comes in spite of our sin. God did not pardon us of our sins, HE PAID FOR THEM! The reason why Jesus died on the cross is not because sin is acceptable. Jesus died because the price tag for sin IS DEATH!
When we, as Christians, come into a relationship with the Lord, we are given the freedom to continue sinning but the Lord has very clear expectations of our behavior. In light of grace, we should strive to live godly lives BECAUSE WE LOVE OUR LORD. Moreover, the Lord expects us to balance love, grace, and truth. The Lord is a perfect being who has grace, truth, love all wrapped up EQUALLY in His character. The gospel is a message of BOTH love AND truth. Love was in the sacrifice and the reason for coming to earth to die. BUT ALSO He came to PAY THE PENALTY FOR THAT SIN to satisfy His justice.
The Lord also demonstrates this balance through His love for us and through His justice. For instance, the Lord loves us unconditionally, but He only allows those who have accepted His Son into heaven. The Lord loves us unconditionally but abhors sin. The Lord loves us unconditionally but disciplines us as a father disciplines those he loves.
Love DOES NOT mean accepting others sin as acceptable behavior. In fact, we are calling to hold our fellow believers accountable for their sin. The famous passage that talks about not judging others has the expectation that we will strive to live godly lives, BUT THAT WE WILL ALSO hold our fellow believers accountable BECAUSE WE LOVE THEM! If I love my fellow believer, I’m not going to allow them act in such a way that God has clearly said is ungodly. In fact, if I do allow them to do so then I am enabling them.
Love, by definition, means loving someone no matter what but also holding your friend, spouse, family member accountable for their behavior BECAUSE YOU WANT THE BEST FOR THEM. I want the best for my fellow believers who struggle with or have surrendered to the temptation of homosexuality. I DO NOT HATE THEM. I DO NOT JUDGE THEM. And I will love them NO MATTER WHAT. But I WILL NOT sit by as they choose to live a life contrary to what the Lord has clearly outlined for us.
We, as Christians, are Christ’s ambassadors. We are the light and salt to this world and if I want others to come to the knowledge that will save them from Hell, then I am honor-bound to be as godly as I can be. And if another Christian is going to compromise that mission, I will go to them IN LOVE and ask that they change their behavior. I don’t expect IMMEDIATE CHANGE. I fully expect trails, tribulations, hard times and lots of prayer, tears, and frustration, from them and me. BUT I WILL NEVER GIVE UP ON THEM OR CALL THEM WICKED.
That is the true definition of what it means to love someone.