Is It Hatred or Is It Love?

The history of Christianity, minus the dark ages, is a history of doctrinal differences. This site focuses on the doctrines of first century Christianity which is basically reading the New Testament in the context of the times the events within it occurred and were written. There are countless sites and forums all over the internet devoted to promoting numerous doctrinal differences. As we sift through the doctrinal statements of the various denominations from the Greek Orthodox to the Catholics and from the Calvinists to the Methodists, there is one doctrine that was never really in doubt until recently: the Biblical stance on homosexuality. The Biblical stance on this practice is clearly articulated in Torah and in the New Testament. Even Paul, who communicated in a very difficult manner, is crystal clear on homosexuality and other specific sins:

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. 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: 9-11

Isn’t it interesting that Paul addresses this passage to all the unrighteous but many just focus on the homosexual part?

Those of us who believe in the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob believe that He has chosen to communicate to us through the written WORD with the help of the Spirit. We believe that this WORD comprises the Bible and is our instruction manual given by our Creator for our benefit. We didn’t write the book but we accept it as authoritative. Readers of this site know this well, as we have upended our lives to apply a Biblical standard to all aspects of our lives.

Do you remember when you first “saw” the Sabbath or whatever doctrine it was that started your path to breaking from mainstream Christianity? Do you remember how you wanted to shout the truth about the Sabbath or Christmas or Easter or whatever from the rooftops? Do you remember alienating your family and friends by trying to bring them along with you? Do you remember why you wanted to tell everyone the truth of the scriptures?

The reason we want our family members and friends to understand like we do is because we love them. We want to spend eternity with them. And when we saw the truth about the Torah or the pagan holidays or whatever, we felt a duty to share the good news!  We must love our neighbors as ourselves. Love needs to be the genesis of all we do. Love for our neighbor means that we want them to be saved from the judgment. We want to see our neighbors in the New Jerusalem glowing in the light of eternal life. We want as many as possible to know the same Messiah that we know. This means we have to communicate the values and rules articulated in the WORD. This is a difficult thing to do living in a Babylonian world that has been conditioned to view Biblical values as hate and judgment.

Throughout the history of the faith, from Adam and Eve to Yeshua and on through now, following God’s will implicitly has caused grief. Adam was persuaded to disobey through his wife, his dear loved one who was made of his flesh. Adam’s desire to not cause division in his household was stronger than his desire to follow His Creator.

A guy named Leo told a story a few years ago that was an incredible illustration of what I am trying to articulate here. I will borrow his story:

A young couple who lived a great distance from the girl’s parents had courted for years. They marry and decide during their first year to take a visit to the girl’s parents to finally introduce the groom to his new in-laws. They arrive at her childhood home to find nobody home so they let themselves in and make themselves comfortable. 20 minutes later comes the sound of screeching tires and the family bursts into the door, all out of breath. The smell of sulfur fills the air as one of the younger men throws a few bags of money on the kitchen table. An older boy starts to collect a firearm from each person (the source of the sulfur smell) and to store the money and guns in a secret compartment in the floor. At this point, the newlywed has just figured out his new wife’s family are bank robbers. Many thoughts run through the newlywed’s mind. Fear, remorse, confusion. Then his mind wanders to his new wife. She’s so warm and caring. His time with her has been so euphoric. She is such a wonderful and loving woman. If these people raised her, they can’t be that bad. Really. I mean, look at them, they look normal. Bank robbers are people too. And they have to make a living, right?

Leo delivered this story much better than I could and the illustration he paints pretty much speaks for itself. In this fictional story, the man loves his wife so much that he rationalizes being directly associated with armed bank robbery as a lifestyle. Is this what the Bible means when it speaks of patience and longsuffering? No, clearly not. Sin is sin. This fictional story is much like what happened to Adam and Eve, as they both considered the forbidden fruit to be good to the eyes.

Does homosexuality rank up there with armed robbery? I supposed one could make the case that it does not, but then this pesky verse comes to mind:

If, however, you are fulfilling the royal law according to the Scripture, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself,” you are doing well. But if you show partiality, you are committing sin and are convicted by the law as transgressors. For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles in one point, he has become guilty of all. For He who said, “Do not commit adultery,” also said, “Do not commit murder.” Now if you do not commit adultery, but do commit murder, you have become a transgressor of the law. So speak and so act as those who are to be judged by the law of liberty.  For judgment will be merciless to one who has shown no mercy; mercy triumphs over judgment. James 2:8-13

Just stumbling in one point makes us all guilty and in need of a savior. That’s a very hard concept because we tend to place more emphasis on some sins than others. But the book says what it says and the same theme runs through the Bible. All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.

Now comes the moral relativist part – since we all are sinners who are we to condemn homosexuals? What’s lost in that is that we aren’t condemning anybody! We don’t want people to rob banks, murder, or commit any willful sins that may prevent them from entering into eternal life! All sins are sins and we all have our own crosses to bear. But we would not know we were bearing crosses at all if there were no Bible, preachers, or authors to inform us of the dangers of living a lifestyle contrary to Yahweh’s will.

Many will opine that homosexuality is a learned behavior. While this is surely true for many, it also has to be a trait to which some in the human race are predisposed. There are many reasons for this but, chiefly, God is not a liar. He would not command us to not do something that nobody would ever consider doing! Think about why laws are given. They are given to inform people of unacceptable behavior. Worshiping false gods, blaspheming, disrespecting parents, murder, theft, adultery, covetousness, and Sabbath breaking are all things that happen CONSTANTLY! So for Torah to include a prohibition on homosexual behavior means that somebody at some time is going to consider this.

Further, there have been, and presently are, societies that brutally enforce anti-homosexual laws. These would be nations ruled by all sorts of religions and even militant atheism such as the former USSR. Iran openly executes homosexuals today. Yet homosexual people continue and have continued to exist in these societies. Granted, there is a source besides God and man for information. Satan is the father of lies and he can surely be responsible for introducing homosexuality into cultures but this begs the question why? If an entire society is united against any form of god (the former USSR for example), why would Satan be inclined to introduce destructive behavior? Surely it’s possible but not entirely plausible.

But let’s examine heterosexual sin. We are commanded not to commit adultery and further not to even lust after someone of the opposite sex who is not our spouse. Who hasn’t committed this sin? Aside from Yeshua, it is unfathomable that anybody has been able to withstand this temptation 100% of the time. Divorce is incredibly prominent in western society. Since this site tries to maintain a PG rating, there are other heterosexual sins that I will leave the reader to figure out. But the point is that society has a huge problem with sex sins. And we know from the scripture cited above that this makes us heterosexuals just as guilty as the homosexuals. Perhaps the question of why Satan would introduce sex sins and temptations in all societies was just answered. The Adversary wants to cover all bases and leave no stone unturned in his quest for absolute hopelessness. Regardless of the source, the truth remains: sex sin is pervasive.

We need to remember that we live and work in Babylon. We have to remain cognizant of time and place when speaking about any Biblical truths. Unfortunately, talking about our faith at work in any degree whatsoever is going to be problematic in most workplaces. We are going to have coworkers, bosses, subordinates, customers, vendors and all sorts of people interacting with us at work who have diverse lifestyles and religious observances. We must respect them while at work and we simply have to follow the rules of our employers as well as the laws of the land. This is not like the Sabbath where we have some degree of legal protection, but even that is questionable with many employers. The painful truth is that, unless you are independently wealthy, you need your job and you need to be successful at it. So that means leaving the religion at home to a large degree. Perhaps this is upsetting to some of my readers but it is reality and is also not without scriptural precedent if we recall that Joseph was a high ranking official in Egypt and there were quite a few Jews in Babylon who attained high office. This would not be possible without them tolerating the practices of those countries to some extent.

The society we live in is convinced that any talk that even hints against the homosexual lifestyle is hatred of homosexuals. In fact, if someone is not willing to officiate, finance, and host multiple homosexual marriages a year, one can be considered anti-gay. However, we aren’t anti-gay, we’re anti-sin. We also want our neighbors to have the opportunity to inherit eternal life. Now, is that hatred or is that love?

Let’s look at the verse cited above again with a different emphasis:

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. 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: 9-11

Paul writes to the Corinthian church that some of them were homosexuals, among other things, the congregation knew it, and they were washed – made clean. They stopped the practice and became converted, grafted into the vine, just like all of us sinners have been. Is that hatred or is that love?