Read The Popular Book,
A Controversial Response To This Popular Belief
I never imagined that less than 3% of the U. S. population could bring this nation to its knees. One group, the LGBTQ (1) people, did it. Their demands force us into unconditionally loving them and approving them.
Mark Sandlin, an admired leader in this movement, wrote “Clobbering ‘Biblical’ Gay Bashing” in defense of homosexuality. (2) In it, Sandlin emphasized the necessity of unconditionally loving homosexuals.
The Unconditionally Loving Attitude of Jesus
To highlight his point, Sandlin used Jesus as an example of unconditionally loving everyone.
“Time and time again, Jesus made it clear that we should not put ourselves in the place of playing God and that, unlike far too many humans, God welcomes and loves us all equally. Period.” (3)
Sandlin then stressed the lack of an unconditionally loving attitude demonstrated by Christians toward homosexuals in contrast to Jesus’ unconditionally loving attitude to everyone.
“Many Christians have lost their way in this twisty, turny maze of how to practice (their) faith. (They) would much rather reinforce the things (they) want to believe than believe the sometimes difficult teachings of Jesus.” (4)
Sandlin assumed that Jesus’ unconditionally loving individuals included unconditionally approving their behavior, too. He did not and does not. This widely accepted fallacy contradicts the Biblical revelation of Christ’s treatment of sinners.
Jesus’ Unconditional Loving Treatment of Sin
Jesus loved individuals but He did not accept or approve of their sin. Take, for example, his encounter with a rich, young man. (5)
This young man came to Jesus with a question:
“Good Master, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life? “ (6)
Jesus replied by quoting several provisions from God’s law as recorded in Exodus 20.1-17:
“Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Defraud not, Honour thy father and mother.” (7)
The young man said that he had kept each of those laws from his youth. Jesus looked at him, loved him, and replied,
“One thing thou lackest…” (8)
Jesus told the young man what he lacked, exposing his sins, and demanded that he forsake them and follow Him. The rich man departed Christ, because he did not want to forsake his sins.
Jesus’ unconditionally loving this man did not prevent Him from confronting the young man’s sins. In fact, it proved Christ’s love for the man.
On other occasions, Jesus combined compassionate love for people and correction for their sins.
- He did not condemn the woman taken in adultery but warned her, “ go and sin no more.” (9)
- Jesus met a man at the Pool called Bethesda and healed him. “ Afterward Jesus findeth him in the temple, and said unto him, sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee.” (10)
- Jesus loved his disciples and often rebuked them for their sins, even saying to Peter, “Get thee behind me, satan.” (11)
- Jesus used harsh words in His judgments upon sinners:
- To a Syrophenician woman who requested a miracle: “…it is not meet to take the children’s bread, and to cast it unto the dogs.” (12)
- In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus called those who misjudged others, “Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam in thine own eye…” (13)
- In Matthew 23, Jesus used multiple punitive words to describe people:
- “…blind guides…fools…” (14)
- “…whited sepulchers (white washed tombs…)” (15)
- “Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers…” (16)
- His most severe statement, “Ye are of your father the devil…” (17)
When crowds gathered, Jesus identified their sins and called them to repentance. Jesus loved sinners but never approved of their sins. He always rebuked them for their sins and called them to forsake them. Jesus proved true love when He reproved sinners.
Christians’ Responsibilities on Unconditionally Loving Individuals
The Bible instructs Christians and the spiritual leaders of the Church to adopt the pattern of Christ. Christ followers must unconditionally love sinners. At the same time, we must rebuke and reprove sin in love and compassion.
The same way that good parents correct their children from harmful practices, the Church and Christ followers must demonstrate true love to sinners, including homosexuals, by admonishing them for their sins.
However, homosexuals reject the rebuke for their sins. They want the Church and Christians to unconditionally love them and approve of their sins, too.
Contrary to what the homosexual community proclaims, the Bible declares by the example of Christ and by exhortation to Christians the need for unconditionally loving sinners and rebuking their sin.
This combination does not come easily. It results from a life completely committed to Jesus Christ in reliance upon the Holy Spirit for enablement to fulfill these difficult terms.
Christ followers have a difficult responsibility to love others as Christ loved people. We must seek God’s supernatural ability to treat all people, not just those in the homosexual community, as Christ loved them and compassionately corrected them.
To those readers who long to experience the love of Christ as He demonstrated it, I urge you to respond to His call to you today to trust Him.
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son; that whosoever believed upon Him, would not perish but have everlasting life.” (18)
Jesus called those in distress to come unto Him and they would find comfort and rest. He promised relief from their burdens and sins to all who come to him.
“Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.” (19)
- LGBTQ: lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer.
- To view Mark Sandlin’s article, use this link: http://www.thegodarticle.com/faith/clobbering-biblical-gay-bashing
- Sandlin, Ibid., p. 1, #4.
- Sandlin, Ibid., p. 2, #2.
- Mark 10.17-22.
- Mark 10.17.
- Mark 10.19.
- Mark 10.21.
- John 8.11.
- John 5.14.
- Matthew 16.23.
- Mark 7.27.
- Matthew 7.5.
- Matthew 23.16-17.
- Matthew 23.27.
- Matthew 23.33.
- John 8.44.
- John 3.16.
- Matthew 11.28-29.
© Thomas P Hill. Website: www.masterministries.org.