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Tuesday, March 15, 2016


A recent news item came out about "the most anti-gay city" in America. It was the product of a company that examined Twitter using 154 "derogatory terms" as a search function looking for racist, ethnic, sexist, and "anti-gay" (I put the quotes around it to encompass all its ramifications) tweets. They examined the data and discovered that Buffalo, NY, was the most anti-gay with 168 per 100,000 tweets that were homophobic.

I'm not about to examine the reliability of such a story. Questions like "What were the 154 terms?" and "How was it determined that they were actually intended as derogatory?" are never answered. The story admits, for instance, that in a similar study the "N-word" was searched for, but they recognized that it was not necessarily motivated by racism. That is, searches for certain words may or may not provide insight into racism, sexism, or anti-gay sentiment. All well and good. But one thing we do know. We know that every Bible-believing, historically orthodox Christian is homophobic, a hater, truly anti-gay because that group of people believe, as all of both Jewish and Church history do, that homosexual behavior is a sin. Hate!

Now, I've tried in the past to point out that this is not necessarily so. Sure, some use it based on their prior hate for them, but anyone who reads, "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." (1 Cor 6:9-10) (for example) and cares about people will come away with the strong conviction that those people need help. By "those people" I mean the sexually immoral, idolaters, adulterers, thieves, the greedy, drunkards, revilers, swindlers ... and those who practice homosexuality. If we care, we must respond. So, just like the story where a "homophobic term" may or may not mean anti-gay sentiment, I'm saying that a response that says homosexual behavior is a sin may or may not be hate. Heavy emphasis on the "may not".

Then I think it through a little further. If it is not necessarily hate to point out sin in the course of presenting the Gospel, where is the hate? If it is loving to warn people about the dangers they are in and then provide them with an actual solution, where is the hate? I think the hate lies with those who can see that God's Word is abundantly clear on the subject and then defend the behavior as moral and acceptable. I think the hate lies with those who claim to be believers and claim to value God's Word and then pat the sexually immoral on the back and say, "Good for you! Don't let any of those naysayers stop you from showing 'love' in the way you think is right!" But, wait! I also think that the hate lies with those who read these kinds of texts, agree with them, stand with God's view on them, and then ignore it. How many people -- Bible-believing Christians actually agreeing with God on these things -- try to keep their distance from such "evil folk"? They don't want to associate with them. They don't want to interact with them. Those people are evil! They're like someone standing on the shore looking at a "No swimming" sign and a guy drowning in the water and saying, "Well, I need to stay away from that bad person. They get what they deserve. Besides, if I tried to help, they might drag me down." Just as much as the person who encourages sinners in their sin, the Christian who refuses to engage sinners with the warnings and good news of the Gospel is a hater.

Make no mistake. It is love, not hate, that drives a Christian to warn another person about danger they face and offer a solution. On the other hand, encouraging someone who is unaware that they are in jeopardy to continue their course is not love. That's hate. And for those of us who know the truth of the errors and dire consequences of such sin and hold back, that is just as hateful. Don't stand there in God's presence looking down your nose at those sinners, praying, "God, I thank you that I am not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this homosexual." (Luke 18:10-14) Don't be the religious one that moves to the other side of the road (Luke 10:30-37). To those of you who deny God's Word and encourage the sin, repent. It's hate. And for the Christian who agrees with God's Word but refuses to warn people, repent. It's hate. Don't be a hater.


Bob said...

name calling what a waste of time. to those same people that are so concerned about whether we are haters or not, should consider the accusation God makes concerning themselves. they that sin are haters of God. those same people make the accusation as thought they knew that what love was. When God asked the question, why did you hate me? they will say when did we hate you? when you broke my laws, when you killed my children, we you went your own way against my Holiness. yea let the whole earth tremble at His appearing, for the real haters will be hiding under the rocks.

Stan said...

The "haters of God" accusation is certainly biblical (Rom 1:30), and I am deeply concerned about those who embrace and encourage sin in others as if they're being "loving" while they help dig in for further wrath. On the other hand, I am equally concerned about genuine Christians who agree with Scripture but keep their mouths shut because "I don't want to make waves" or believers who hide behind "The Bible says it's sin" so they feel like they don't have to associate with them. That is just as much hate. Jesus didn't encourage sinners; He called for repentance. But neither did Jesus avoid sinners; He took them the Gospel. We should do the same.

Bob said...

love and truth are two virtues that must go together to present the Gospel . not telling someone about sin, is neither loving nor truthful. the problem arises when Christians feel that it is judgmental to convey the truth, as though the truth is an unloving thing. yet no would think to call a doctor uncaring simply because he tells you that you have cancer. it always comes down to what is being protected, by not telling the truth. are we trying to appear more loving and caring by not speaking the truth? just another form of appeasement. just don't upset the status quo. very dangerous landscape indeed. seems that the theology of appeasement is more about saving face, than it is about saving others.

Stan said...

Kind of like "speaking the truth in love" (Eph 4:15), eh?