“I fear what would happen if the world shared your narrow-minded views. You are a very sad specimen of humanity and even less so that of a Christian. Keep preaching to the saved and condemning the sinner and see what flock you gather”.
That’s the message I received the other day from the fiancé’ of a Christian young lady I know. I was engaged in a running debate on Facebook several days ago with her about “gay marriage”. Her assertion was that she loved all her LGBT friends and who was I to tell someone who they should and shouldn’t love. Beyond that, she said she was in favor of equal rights for all people. I took the view that homosexuality is an abomination before God and that, while all sins separate us from the love of God, homosexuals claim God made them that way, which makes no more sense than saying God made someone a liar, thief, or murderer.
I don’t want this blog to be about homosexuals or “gay marriage”. I want to focus on the way Christians are viewed by much of the world. In all my comments back and forth with the young lady, and a few others who chimed in on Facebook, not once did I condemn homosexuals nor did I claim I was any less deserving of God’s wrath due to my own sins. Over and again I maintained both my love and, more importantly, God’s love for all who are caught up in sin. Yet, I was accused of being a “hater” because I dared to disagree on Scriptural grounds to “gay marriage”.
I truly don’t believe I exhibited any hate for anyone. Yet, all my comments were seen by non-Christians and even OTHER CHRISTIANS to be hatred of homosexuals. Now, it must be noted that these other Christians were all young people. I was told time and again by them that Jesus is all love and only love. I was told that I was not supposed to judge or condemn anyone for who they are. After all, they said, Jesus NEVER condemned anyone.
In my dialogue with the young Christians I used Scripture to point out both the perfect love of God for ALL mankind and His perfect justice which demands that the “soul that sins shall die”. After all, it was that combination that resulted in Christ Jesus’ sacrificial death for all sins. Yet, the young Christians continually labeled me a “hater”.
When I attended Southeastern Christian College, a friend of mine had a unique way of challenging those around him. He would amble up to you and say, “How’s the world treating you?” Most people would reply with, “OK.” or, “Not bad.” or, “Pretty good.” Joe would just look at you and say, “Brother, Jesus says the world will HATE you because you are His.”
Back to the young man. By his own admission he is an agnostic, though I suspect he’s actually an atheist. I don’t expect him to hold to the same view I do. After all, his heart is in this world only. Why did he respond to me the way he did (including a foul name which I didn’t include)? I believe it’s because I dared to call sin, sin. The unsaved world has no use for those who deal in moral absolutes. After all, if there is absolute truth then there must be a God who absolutely will hold us responsible for our sins.
Here is my private message to him that elicited his response,
“I’m sending this to you privately because I do not wish to discredit (his fiancé’s name) in public. Have you ever read II Cor. 6:15? It says, “Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?” My prayer for you is that before you marry (his fiancé’s name), you would cast off your enmity for God and embrace Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior. My prayer for (his fiancé’s name) is that should you not embrace Him as your personal Lord and Savior that she would call off the wedding. That sounds harsh, but I say it and pray it out of love fer her and fear of what her life would be with a non-believer.”
This was my final message to the Christian young lady.
“Just a personal note to let you know I love you. It truly worries me that Christians believe it is OK to live the homosexual lifestyle. Nobody’s sin is any greater than any other sin. However, a person in a homosexual lifestyle means they have deserted how God made them. They are saying that God is a liar when He says homosexuality is wrong. A practicing homosexual says we must accept and love them no matter what they do and no matter how much what they do goes against God’s standard. Must we love them? ABSOLUTELY! We must love them enough to tell them the truth that they are in sin and must repent of that sin, just was WE must daily repent of our sins. It that means they hate us for telling them the truth, so be it. If we do NOT tell them the truth, then their blood is on our hands and we will be held accountable by God for allowing them to continue in their sin. Ezekiel 33 says, “As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign Lord, I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn from their ways and live. Turn! Turn from your evil ways! Why will you die…”
So, what do you think? How do we, as Christians, address non-believers and Christians on subjects such as this? Would you view what I said as hatred, or was I the hated?
-Jeff Adams lives in New Albany and worships with the Cherry Street Church of Christ.