hate the sin, love the sinner

A few days ago, I posted this on my fb and twitter:

much-needed truth for this generation… — “God loves the heterosexual sinner and the homosexual sinner.” – Lou Engle, JesusCulture Awakening 2011

Wow, I think that’s been the most popular update I’ve ever had. I suppose controversy always demands a response. A friend pointed out that it could be interpreted in more than one way, so I thought I ought to clarify my views about it.

God loves the heterosexual sinner and the homosexual sinner. True. I chose to highlight this particular point because I think many heterosexual Christians, often subconsciously, consider themselves superior to homosexual Christians. There are those who think that one cannot possibly be a Christian while living a homosexual lifestyle. Now, there are some who say that sexual sins are considered more severe, and based on the way the Bible talks about them, that does seem to be so, but coming to an agreement about that isn’t crucial for what I’m trying to say. The point I’m trying to make is simply that we are all sinners, equal in God’s sight. If anyone of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her. (John 8:7) I’m not trying to excuse anyone’s sin here; on the contrary, I’m trying to say that we need to recognize our own sin before we chastise others about theirs. Whether you are leading a homosexual lifestyle, or a lifestyle of foolish extravagance, or one with a disregard for God, one filled with concerns about earthly things… You are living a lifestyle of sin. Why are we so quick to judge homosexuals, just because it seems more scandalous and it’s more easily identifiable? Hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye. (Matthew 7:5) Sin is sin. God hates sin.

So yes, I do believe that it is a sin to live as a homosexual. That’s a whole ‘nother debate, for another time, perhaps.

But going back to the point. I chose to quote words about God’s love, because love conquers all. Love is the reason that we are here. And it is Love that shows us how we should treat others.

Some might interpret love as being fully accepting and tolerant of everyone. That’s where misinterpretations of what I meant to say with the quote can occur. The thing is, true love is not simply tolerance or blind acceptance. In fact, love is strictly and blatantly intolerant of all that is harmful to our beloved ones. Love is intolerant of anything that separates us from God. Love does not delight in evil, but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. (1 Cor 13:6-7)

See, it gets confusing because Love can appear really mean to us sometimes. That’s just our human nature talking, though. We don’t really understand Love, much of the time. After all, we crucified Him, didn’t we?

We need to love without compromising the truth. for love rejoices with the truth. As the saying goes, hate the sin, love the sinner, whether male, female, straight, bi, gay, lesbian, transgender, queer, fat, thin, glasses-wearing, black, white, yellow, orange, green, whatever… Love.


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