I had a reader scold me because of my position on homosexuality and gay marriage. This reader told me that I do not understand God’s Word and they will pray for me that God may change my heart so that I can find a way to serve God and my fellow man with love. If you are of like mind with this reader, may I ask you to please do me a favor? If you believe the same way as this reader, please do not pray that God will make me like you. I have enough trouble trying to be obedient without you adding to my burdens. Besides, I never want to hate someone so much that I would make them comfortable in their sin, worse still, that I would do it in the name of Christ. However, I will pray that those who believe as this reader will come to understand why I reject such prayers. If you allow me, I’ll even try to explain it to you (and, hopefully, to this particular reader, as well).
First, I want anyone who reads this to understand that I am well aware that I am a sinner. Just this morning I sinned. I knew I was doing wrong and — try as I might — I could not stop myself from doing what I knew was wrong. It is why I understand what Christ meant when He said “The Spirit is willing but the flesh is weak.” But I also understand that I am forgiven, so I know I am still saved. This does not mean I am any better than any other sinner. It just means I have no excuse not to understand the need for grace, or mercy. I cannot ‘earn’ my way to salvation by any work I may do. I need God’s Grace: His undeserved and unearned forgiveness. I claim this through my faith and reliance on Jesus Christ and His redeeming work on the cross. But, at the same time, I look to my own failures and realize I am no different from any other sinner. This is how I learned what mercy is and why it is essential to love and justice. But I have also learned that it is neither love nor mercy when we make people comfortable in their sin. This is why I do not want people praying for me to come to a point where I will willingly make people comfortable in their sin. I never want to hate someone that much.
I love Jesus. I want to serve Him. The best way I know how to do this is by reading, learning and then obeying His Word. This requires that we actually read Scripture. When we do, we discover that Jesus and the Father are One, and that they do not change:
“Heaven and Earth will pass away, but My words will not pass away.”
Jesus also said:
“Why do you call Me, “Lord, Lord,” and do not do what I say?”
“If you love Me, you will keep My commands.”
Now, I understand many people will point to Christ’s command to love one another and they will think this is a command to accept homosexuality. But this is not what Christ taught. You see, man has a bad habit of trying to change God’s Word to suit his desires. Man also has a bad habit of thinking that what people calling themselves by Christ’s name actually do is a reflection of what Christ taught. None of this is true. They are just examples of men getting it wrong on both sides of God’s Word. That fact is that Scripture clearly and repeatedly condemns sexual immorality (this includes homosexuality):
You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination.
Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.
For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error. And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done.
If a man lies with a male as with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination; they shall surely be put to death; their blood is upon them.
But because of the temptation to sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife and each woman her own husband.
The sexually immoral, men who practice homosexuality, enslavers, liars, perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound doctrine, in accordance with the gospel of the glory of the blessed God with which I have been entrusted.
But from the beginning of creation, ‘God made them male and female.’ ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.”
Now, Scripture cannot conflict with or contradict itself, and Christ clearly tells us to love one another. So how do we reconcile the command to love each other with the command not to be sexually immoral? That is easy, but it requires us to understand what Christ means by ‘love.’ Christ never commanded people to accept the willful practice of sin. He never commanded us to embrace and even facilitate the wanton continuation of a sinful life. He told us to fight sin in our lives: to reject it:
3 For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments; and His commandments are not burdensome.
6 And this is love, that we walk according to His commandments. This is the commandment, just as you have heard from the beginning, that you should walk in it.
You see, both Jesus and His disciples told us that those who practice sin will not inherit the Kingdom of Heaven. So it is not ‘love’ if we accept and/or embrace those who refuse to fight their sin. If we pave the road for them to be comfortable in their sin, we are not showing them love, but hate. This is because the road we pave is not the one to salvation but to eternal damnation. Nor is it love to force others to do so. If this is how a person sees God’s Word, then they do not love God or themselves, for who can love God but reject His commands? And who can love themselves and choose damnation? And who can love their neighbor while making it easy and comfortable for their neighbor to damn themselves? Where is the love in any of this?
But I am trying to learn God’s Word, so I know that there is a difference between how we are supposed to treat believers and pagans. We are to show the love of Christ through the way we live, in hope that this will convince lost souls to seek the Lord. But, as I just showed, God’s love does not mean paving and making easy the road to hell. God’s love is teaching God’s Law to others. We do this to the lost by preaching Christ’s Gospel and living it in our daily lives. But to those who claim to be Christians, there is a different standard. We are to rebuke those who claim His name when they do wrong. This includes those who teach falsely. We must remember that Jesus told us there will be wolves who sneak into the Church. they will not look to help but to destroy, and they will seek to use Christ’s name to destroy. Jesus told us many will destroy in the name of peace, so how large of a leap is it to think they would also destroy in the name of love? The only protection from such evil is to know God’s Word. If you do not know His Word, you will not be able to discern between Satan and God. If you read the Scriptures, then you know that it warns us of this very thing.
So, if the person who said they will pray that I will come to accept sexual immorality in the name of Christ’s love, I ask the Lord to rebuke you. Just as Jesus called Peter, Satan, and told Peter to get behind Him when Peter tried to stop Christ from doing the Father’s will, I rebuke those who would pray that I stray from the Lord’s Word. I do not follow the ways of man, and when I do, I know I sin. I want and try to follow God’s ways. And to those who claim Christ’s name but say we should make the sexually immoral comfortable in their sin, I remind you:
5 It is actually reported that there is immorality among you, and immorality of such a kind as does not exist even among the Gentiles, that someone has his father’s wife. 2 [a]You have become [b]arrogant and [c]have not mourned instead, so that the one who had done this deed would be removed from your midst.
3 For I, on my part, though absent in body but present in spirit, have already judged him who has so committed this, as though I were present. 4 In the name of our Lord Jesus, when you are assembled, and [d]I with you in spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus, 5 I have decided to deliver such a one to Satan for the destruction of his flesh, so that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord [e]Jesus.
6 Your boasting is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump of dough? 7 Clean out the old leaven so that you may be a new lump, just as you are in fact unleavened. For Christ our Passover also has been sacrificed. 8 Therefore let us celebrate the feast, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.
9 I wrote you in my letter not to associate with immoral people; 10 I did not at all mean with the immoral people of this world, or with the covetous and swindlers, or with idolaters, for then you would have to go out of the world. 11 But [f]actually, I wrote to you not to associate [g]with any so-called brother if he is an immoral person, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or a swindler—not even to eat with such a one. 12 For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Do you not judge those who are within the church? 13 But those who are outside, God [h]judges. Remove the wicked man from among yourselves.
So, if you claim to be a child of Christ, and you think I hate homosexuals, understand that I do not hate them. I love them. It is why I urge them to reject their sin and seek the Lord, just as I reject my own sin and seek the Lord to help me fight it, myself. That is loving others as yourself. But if I make others comfortable in their sin, I do not love them, I hate them for I am making smooth their path to eternal damnation. If you call yourself a child of Christ and you do not see and understand this, I beg you to read God’s Word — not to defend your will, but to know and understand God’s.