Thursday, July 2, 2015

An Open Letter: Hate or Love? The Church & Homosexual Marriage

To my brothers and sisters in Christ with whom we are on opposing sides,

As we discuss the U.S. Supreme Court's decision legalizing homosexual marriage across the nation, let's keep in mind that our struggles are not with each other, "but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places" (Eph. 6:12).

We are not perfect. Often, we are not tactful. And yes, like you, we are passionate. But this is not about "hate." Satan would love nothing more than for you to believe that, to divide us. Please hear me out.

We love God passionately because He has saved us from our sin and an eternity in Hell. He gives us strength, grace, and mercy to walk daily on this difficult and painful path on earth. Out of our gratitude for His love for us, we desire to obey Him in all things, which brings Him delight and pleasure. We seek to please and honor Him.

We believe His word, the Holy Bible, to be true.

It is the foundation of all we hold dear. Our hope rests on the truth of His word.

If we ignore parts of it that we don't like or make us uncomfortable, then none of it can be true.

For if we handpick parts to believe or trivialize what it says, we have shaped our own god, an idol of our choosing - and that is no god at hope.

So, we look at verses like 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 and Romans 1:18-32 (below), very pointed verses about whom God will save and whom He won't. What do we do with those verses? We can't just line them out because man has decided to do something contrary to them.

In fact, God closes His words to us in Revelation 22:18-19 with a warning: "I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues which are written in this book; and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his part from the tree of life and from the holy city, which are written in this book."

God never changes. His word stands despite man's beliefs and actions. Adding to or taking from God's word brings His eternal wrath on us, on our fellow man.

If we want to obey Him, He demands that we obey ALL of what He has spoken, or there will be consequences.

We love God, and we, along with God, desire for all "to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth" (1 Timothy 2:4) and share in the hope that He has given us! "Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God" (1 Cor 6:11).

We love our neighbor. We don't want God's eternal wrath poured out on any one.

This isn't about hate at all.

It's about real love.

Not the temporal, feel-good emotion that man calls "love."

But love as God defines it.

A love that is hard to speak. A love that is hard to hear.

A love that invites ridicule, hatred, slander, and scorn.

But a love that must be shared. Out of a love for God. Out of a love for others.

At the expense of love for self.

#LoveWins ‪#‎RealLoveAlwaysWins‬ 

Scripture References:

1 Corinthians 6:9-10:
Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God.

Romans 1:18-32:
For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them.
For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse. 

For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened.
Professing to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures.
Therefore God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, so that their bodies would be dishonored among them. For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.
For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural, and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error.
And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper, being filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, evil; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malice; they are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, arrogant, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, without understanding, untrustworthy, unloving, unmerciful; and although they know the ordinance of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death, they not only do the same, but also give hearty approval to those who practice them.