There, I said it. Are you happy now? Evidently I do, since I was told that by going to Chick-fil-a on “Chick-fil-a Appreciation Day” I was being “anti-gay”. I mean, think about it. It’s absolutely absurd that I would be FOR someone standing up for Biblical truth. I must be against SOMEthing. Isn’t that what Christians do?
Unfortunately, that is the message that has been passed around even by other Christians – that we’re just a bunch of haters who need to stop hating so much. We need to just all get along and LOVE them. An example on one blog states: “They need to hear our love and feel our protection from the stones before we say, ‘Go and sin no more.'” Obviously this was referring to the woman caught in adultery. The problem with this example as it relates to this subject, however, is that whether or not the woman’s actions were a sin was not in question. She knew she had sinned. The question was what is the appropriate response to her sin?
Now for those of you who don’t know me, or haven’t figured it out yet, I DO NOT HATE GAY PEOPLE. The title was tongue-in-cheek, and meant to prove a point. Jesus always confronted people with their sin, and to those who refused to turn away from it, He was often not what we might call “loving” in this day and age. (Pharisees, I’m looking at you.) However, even among the Pharisees, we know that there was at least one who became a follower of Christ.
Tough love is love, too. Sinners need to know and accept that they are sinners before they can receive salvation. ALL sinners. If we love them up so much that we refuse to confront their sin, how are we being Christ for them?
Here are some things Christ said to those who follow Him:
- The world will hate you (Matt 10:22)
- The world will call you evil/Sons of the devil (Matt 10:25)
- Boldly proclaim truth (Matt 10:27)
- Sin originates in our hearts (Matt 15:19-20)
- People will know you belong to Jesus by how you treat other believers (Jn 13:34-35)
He also said that He did not come to bring peace on earth, but a sword (Matt 10:34). The Bible describes God’s word (truth) as “living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart” (Heb 4:12). In other words, when truth is spoken, someone is gonna get hurt. Maybe they’ll reject truth and their feelings will get hurt, or maybe they will be convicted of their sinful lifestyle, but they will be hurt nonetheless.
Having said all that, I am not rejecting Jesus’ teaching to love your neighbor as yourself (Matt 22:39). Jesus showed time and time again that He hated the sin, but loved the person. He also recognized those who refused to turn from their sin and told his followers to leave them alone (Matt 15:14). (Maybe this is the part that we, as Christians need to learn more thoroughly?) Jesus accepted many that society had rejected, but it was because they repented of their sins and followed Him. The apostles angered many with the message they spoke, but just as Peter and John told the Sanhedrin, I can only speak of the things that I have seen and heard. If the world does not hate me, should I not reevaluate my message?