I want to set aside the secular aspect of the debate over religious liberty verses discrimination. Instead, I want to focus on something that actually alarms me even more than the damage that is being done by the militant homosexual agenda. What I want to address is the Spiritual confusion among professed believers as to what God’s Word tells us about how we should deal with homosexuals. I have seen some Christians arguing that they should have a right to refuse service to or association with homosexuals. Others are rather harsh in their attacks on other believers for stating this position. This group argues that we must show Christ’s love, and the only way to do this is to accept homosexuals and treat them as we would any other. Well, if you are a believer, let me ask you a simple question:
Has the Body of Christ grown so dead that it no longer knows or understands the Word of God?
The first thing we are going to do right now is state a Biblical truth — flat out. God has declared homosexuality to be a sin from the beginning of His word to the end. I could list the Scriptures and explain them to you, but I could never do a better job than what has been done here:
However, Christians should know that Christ extended this much further than just the act of homosexuality. Jesus said that all immoral sexual activity is sin. This includes adultery, sex outside of marriage and even immoral thoughts or fantasies. Scripture condemns it all, not just homosexuality. So I would ask those Christians who would choose not to have any contact with homosexuals:
If you apply the same principle to all the other forms of sexual sin Christ condemns, exactly who are you going to associate with? By that standard, you can’t even associate with yourself.
Scripture is very clear that believers are to witness to the world by showing the love of Christ in the way we live our own lives: in the way we treat others. But too many Christians take the love of Christ much further than He did. I had one person suggest that Matthew 25 suggests we should treat everyone as though they were Jesus:
40 The King will answer and say to them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.’
I do not believe the person who said this is actually a believer. They spoke as a believer, but if they are, then their ignorance of God’s Word is alarming. I say this because this passage does not mean we are to treat everyone as though we are ministering to Christ. If you want to read the detailed explanation, this is an excellent post on this issue. But the short of it is, when Christ said this, He was not referring to just anyone, He was referring to His disciples. But you have to read the entire passage to get the full context of this message. Once you do that, you will notice that it is said in context of sorting sheep (disciples) from goats (non-believers) and giving rewards to the believers for their actions toward God’s people.
The truth of the matter is that Scripture does not teach that we are to treat the lost the same way we treat God’s people. God is clear about this from start to finish. He told Israel not to have anything to do with the pagan nations surrounding her, lest those pagan nations lead Israel into idolatry. And he continues to teach His people to separate themselves from non-believers in the New testament. That is part of what Paul meant when he told believers not to be unequally yoked. Now, Paul tells us that we do have to have contact with the lost, but he is clear that they should not be taken as close associates. We are to have some discernment in our relationships, and for the same reason Israel was told not to make friends with pagan nations. It is to protect us from being lead astray. Anyone who knows the truth about the homosexual lifestyle, or even the promiscuous lifestyle promoted by our pop culture, knows that God is correct in His warning. It is easier to be lead into sexual immorality than to pull someone else out of it.
I think what many Christians misunderstand is that Scripture speaks of several different forms of love, but we translate each of them the same way. It would help if believers would learn the difference between the different forms of love in Scripture. We also need to understand there is a huge difference between love, tolerance and acceptance. We are called to have an agape love for sinners, nothing more. Once we understand the differences, we will be better able to understand how we should act not just toward homosexuals, but toward all lost souls.
Finally, I would mention that too many Christians seem to have missed the harder side of our Lord. Christ called a woman a dog, referred to the lost as swine and called the Pharisees a nest of vipers. In the culture and times of His ministry, these were very, very harsh words. Today, you would have to call someone a racist and a hater to even come close to equaling the severity of Christ’s words. Jesus was not so loving toward unrepentant sinners. In fact, they were who He was talking about in Matthew 7:6
“Do not give what is holy to dogs, and do not throw your pearls before swine, or they will trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces.
Our ‘pearls’ represent our understanding of God’s Word. Scripture does not speak to just anyone. The lost will never understand it, and even believers will only understand to the level they seek God and God’s Wisdom. So, if we cast our understanding of God’s Word before swine (i.e. the lost), they may turn and tear us to pieces. In other words: if we treat the lost as we treat believers, they may destroy us both spiritually and physically. [you can read more on this passage here].
So, if you are a believer, I would caution you not to be too quick in shunning homosexuals. Remember, whatever measure you use against people in this life will be used against you in the next. This is the true message behind the passage about removing the plank from our own eyes before worrying about the speck in our neighbor’s eye. Jesus was not saying not to judge. In fact, He was saying we must judge, so we had better learn to judge correctly, with love and mercy — lest we become victims of our own harshness on judgment day. but keep in mind that there are limits to how far we should go. As we have seen, we are to treat believers better than the lost, but Paul said that we are to put believers who are living in sin and refusing correction out of the fellowship. I would ask you to consider: if we are told to hand unrepentant believers over to Satan, how do you suppose we are supposed to treat the unrepentant lost?
In the end, the solution is always to study your Scriptures and ask the Lord for His guidance and Wisdom every time. the more you seek Him, the more His Word will open up to you.