An open letter to the “love wins” crowd: Nice mantra. It certainly sounds like something everyone should agree with. Who wouldn’t want love to win? So it must seem strange to you that people who profess to believe in God would actually be in opposition to the legalization of same-sex marriage. After all, God is love,” (1 John 4:8) right? Two people in love, regardless of their gender, should be celebrated, right?
The first problem for us is that we believe you have misinterpreted or mis-defined God’s love. And, if we’re right about your misinterpretation, the consequences will be devastating. So, even if you don’t agree with us don’t stoop to name calling or character assassination. Come on, you’re better than that. People opposed to homosexuality shouldn’t stoop to that level either, by the way. And for the record, when you call us “homophobes” we’re really not afraid of people living a homosexual lifestyle. We’re afraid for people living a homosexual lifestyle. Because again, if we’re right in believing that you have misunderstood what God’s love actually is then we believe there will be a heavy price to pay. Even if you don’t agree with us at least understand that our motivation is, well, it’s love.
Now, when it comes to the area of sexuality you define “love” as acceptance of any person and their personal sexual preferences and practices, as long as what they are doing is not hurting anyone else. I’m not trying to speak for you, but based on what you seem to say I think I’m correctly defining your idea of “love” in the area of sexuality.
The reason I specify your definition or understanding of “love” in the area of sexuality is because you don’t really apply that definition to “love” in other areas. For instance, if you saw a child pitch a fit because his or her mom or dad wouldn’t let them play with a screwdriver in a light socket you wouldn’t post “love wins” on your Facebook page if the parents allowed their child do it, would you? I suspect you would be calling Child Protective Services. And you would be right in doing so, because the parents unwillingness to protect their child from a situation that they knew was dangerous, even deadly, was a case of gross negligence and shows a lack of concern for the well-being of the child.
But what if the parent’s defense sounded something like this: “But my child demanded his rights! He said he wasn’t hurting anybody else and it was nobody’s else’s business if he wanted to stick a screwdriver into a power chord receptacle!” (By the way, if you’re thinking that’s a ridiculous scenario that would never happen you’ve clearly never raised boys!)
My point is that it’s easy to see that giving a person what they want in every situation is not a demonstration of love at all. In the example above the parent’s decision to allow their child to make their own choice without trying to stop him or her would probably be considered criminal. It certainly would not be considered loving.
If your response at this point is something like, “But that’s a child. Of course a parent has the responsibility to guide a child to make right choices because they know better than the child does, and if they love that child they will say: ‘No, that is wrong’ when they need to. That’s different. An adult has the right to make their own decisions.”
That seems rational. But, isn’t God referred to as our heavenly “Father?” Don’t we often refer to ourselves as “Children of God?” (I realize this argument has no bearing on a person that has a belief system that excludes the existence of God. I’m addressing those of you who accept God’s existence and want to use His love for us as grounds for the acceptance of homosexual behavior.)
Since God, as our heavenly Father, is all-knowing, and since I don’t think any of us would dare to be so arrogant or presumptuous as to declare ourselves “all-knowing,” then we must acknowledge that, as our Creator, God and God alone has the right to determine what is right, or good, or healthy for us. And, like it or not, God has declared that homosexual behavior is not right, or good, or healthy for us.
God’s anger is shown from heaven against all the evil and wrong things people do. By their own evil lives they hide the truth. God shows his anger because some knowledge of him has been made clear to them. Yes, God has shown himself to them. There are things about him that people cannot see—his eternal power and all the things that make him God. But since the beginning of the world those things have been easy to understand by what God has made. So people have no excuse for the bad things they do. They knew God, but they did not give glory to God or thank him. Their thinking became useless. Their foolish minds were filled with darkness. They said they were wise, but they became fools. They traded the glory of God who lives forever for the worship of idols made to look like earthly people, birds, animals, and snakes. Because they did these things, God left them and let them go their sinful way, wanting only to do evil. As a result, they became full of sexual sin, using their bodies wrongly with each other. They traded the truth of God for a lie. They worshiped and served what had been created instead of the God who created those things, who should be praised forever. Amen. Because people did those things, God left them and let them do the shameful things they wanted to do. Women stopped having natural sex and started having sex with other women. In the same way, men stopped having natural sex and began wanting each other. Men did shameful things with other men, and in their bodies they received the punishment for those wrongs. (Romans 1:18-27 NCV)
I know that passage was a long one, but necessary to show God’s feelings toward rebellion in general, of which, homosexual behavior is a part. By the way, I’ve seen and read some of the pro-homosexual commentators try to spin that text to mean something else besides the condemnation of homosexual practice, but to do so you have to ignore pretty much every hermeneutical rule, and you have to turn a blind-eye to the clear and obvious interpretation of the text.
Of course there are several other texts that make it clear that homosexuality is wrong. You may not like that, but like the child with the screwdriver you have to trust that your Father knows best. It should also be mentioned that God also condemns heterosexual behavior that is beyond the boundaries He has drawn for it. But, since “Love wins” is a phrase used specifically in reference to same-sex marriage, I’m limiting my discussion to the practice of homosexuality.
That brings me to the second problem we run into between “love wins” advocates, and those of us who agree with God’s word that homosexuality is destructive behavior, and that is, you do not believe that we have a right to condemn someone else’s behavior.
In other words, based on my argument that God is our heavenly Father and only He has the right to determine what is right or wrong, good or bad, righteous or unrighteous behavior, some of you would then say: “That’s right, only God has the right to do that. You do not have the right to judge me or anyone else! Only God can do that!”
The funny thing is we’ve really got no argument with you about that. We completely agree that no human has the right to pronounce judgment on another human, except where the law and society would require it; acting as a judge in a court of law, or serving on a jury for instance. We have no right to pronounce judgment, but we have full responsibility to announce judgment.
If I say to the sinful man, ‘You will die for sure,’ and you do not tell him of the danger, and try to turn him from his sinful way so that he may live, that sinful man will die in his sin. But you will be guilty for his blood. (Ezekiel 3:18 NLV)
It’s pretty clear from that verse, and others like it, that each of us are accountable to God for the sins we commit against His pronouncement of that act. But it is also clear from that verse that those of us who have been exposed to God’s truth, and do not attempt to warn those involved in unrighteousness, that we will be held accountable for our silence.
If you think about it only a cold-hearted, uncaring, selfish person would keep silent and not warn someone of impending danger. To quote Penn Jillette, a professing atheist and half of the famous illusionist team of Penn and Teller:
“I’ve always said that I don’t respect people who don’t proselytize. I don’t respect that at all. If you believe that there’s a heaven and a hell, and people could be going to hell or not getting eternal life, and you think that it’s not really worth telling them this because it would make it socially awkward…how much do you have to hate somebody to not proselytize? How much do you have to hate somebody to believe everlasting life is possible and not tell them that? I mean, if I believed, beyond the shadow of a doubt that a truck was coming at you, and you didn’t believe that truck was bearing down on you, there is a certain point where I tackle you. And this is more important than that.”
I couldn’t agree with Mr. Jillette more. I wish every follower of Jesus would hear those words, and act on them. I wish we would become more, not less vocal about all sin. And, more vocal about how we can be delivered from both the penalty of sin, and the power of sin. Now that’s when love really wins!
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