March 29, 2012

Love Never Loses Hope

One day last week I got into a discussion on Facebook with a person via a mutual friend.  They were condemning those who say homosexuality is a sin.  The argument was that Jesus never said it was.  The only one who did was Paul and so, it was just the opinion of one man.

I don't want to get into the whole thing here because it's really more of the same old, same old.  It's very hard to convince someone of something they don't want to see.  Not even when you show them Bible references that show that while Jesus didn't say anything directly about homosexuality, he did say that God's laws were in effect and should be followed....and if you take a look at the law in Deuteronomy, God had something to say on the subject.  As for Paul, he was God's chosen messenger and he met Jesus face to face.  I think I'll take his word on the subject.

Like I said, same old, same old.

What's been bugging me is a comment the person made when I said that anyone who is judging a homosexual is in the wrong.  I told them a Christian should be showing love while still hating and not condoning or encouraging the sin.  They said that was still judging and pretty much implied that you can't hate what someone's doing and still love them.  I disagree (obviously).

So, this morning I wrote the following and posted it as my Facebook status.  Tell me, do you think I explained it well?

How can a Christian say something is a sin, but that he still loves the person caught up in that sin?

Think of it like this: A parent has a child, raises that child, and invests in that child. The child becomes involved in something the parent believes is a sin (murder, homosexuality, child molestation, petty doesn't matter). The parent is not going to be happy, nor is the parent going to condone what the child is doing or has done, but the parent is also NOT going to stop loving the child. They may try to lovingly guide or correct them (what parent doesn't do this when a child does something wrong or harmful?) but they still love the child.

It's like that....only more so, because the Christian has Christ to show him how to love. The Christian isn't perfect, but he is on a journey...growing and learning how to love ALL. Even the ones who have caused him the most pain and don't deserve it.


Rochelle@AFamilyofLooneys said...

I think you explained it really well Stacy. You can still love the person, but hate the sin, but I have a feeling this person is not going to agree no matter what.

DaenelT said...

Very well said.

Ellen Stewart (aka Ellie/El/e/Mrs. Seaman) said...

As a new believer, not that long, I was told the ol', "Hate the sin, love the sinner."

But I also know that people just don't understand what sin is. That was a big question for me as a non-believer and then a new believer.

And in my researching, which was basically asking people, I got some really weird answers.

The good ones I hold onto.

But I also understand that just naming something as a sin, when it's not my own, rattles people.

So I put love before labels, and I remember there is a huge plank in my eye.

Stacy said...

Thanks, everyone. Ellen...we do have to watch our own before we worry about anyone else's, but there are sins that are flat out named in the Bible. I don't think it's judging to know what it is and recognize it. We just can't let it cause us to treat someone badly.

Brenda said...

I think that was a great answer. As for Paul being just man's opinion...Paul did say to 'imitate me as I imitate Christ'...I don't know the exact reference.
The whole book of Romans gives clear explanation of what sin is.
What gets me is the loose use of the word 'judge' (as Romans also speaks of that). Seeing something for what it is is not passing judgement. That's why it is so important to be in fellowship with the Lord and in His word reading contextually to be able to give answer to legitimate questions or to know when to not answer if it's just cause for debate.
Again, your answer was a great and thoughtful one done in love.
(ot - I answered your question to me on B.E. Creative Co. blog. Thanks for participating!)

Marti said...

Very well said. I sort of think that sin is sin, and only the perfect person can judge.

Simone said...

You answered it exactly the way I would've. You can love the person but doesn't mean that you love their lifestyle. How can we be an example to those that don't know Christ if we're too busy not associating with people who are homosexuals, alcoholics, overindulgers, theifs, drug users, prostitutes and etc.? I admire you for standing strong on your answer.

Debby@Just Breathe said...

Your make a great point and I agree with you.

Chatty Crone said...

My favorite chapter in the Bible. sandie

Beth Zimmerman said...

Very well said! Love you!

The other thing that I have realized lately is this ... We (Christians) are not called to point out the sins of non-believers. They are sinners and do not have to Holy Spirit to empower them to do otherwise. We are called to love them ... not try to perform the job of the Holy Spirit in their lives.

A possible exception to this (still kind of thinking/praying through it) is corporate sin. Abortion clinics. Governments that practice evil against innocents. Businesses such as pornography. Etc. But on an individual basis ... I just don't see where we are called to point out their sin.

With our Christian brothers and sisters on the other hand we ARE to call a sin a sin.

It just seems to me that, especially with the Gay Community, the church has made a stand against individuals and their choices. That's wrong! We are supposed to point them to Jesus and let HIM create change!

My only call is to love. Not to judge! To share Christ. Not put stumbling blocks in your path that make it harder for you to find Him.

Climbing OFF my soapbox now! :)

Stacy said...

Brenda...Excellent point about judging! Recognizing a sin isn't judging. Pointing it out (as Beth later says) to the non-believer and condemning him, is.

Marti...You are so right. There is only One who has the right to judge.

Simone...Yes! Take a look at who Jesus hung out with...the lowest of the low...prostitutes, tax collectors, fishermen.

Debby...Thank you. :)

Sandie...One of my favorites, too.

Beth...Climb up on your soapbox any time! That was wonderfully said and I agree that corporate sin is different and so is that of a fellow believer. We have to hold each other accountable, but we have to master the fine art of LOVINGLY calling them on it.


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