Okay, Church. Gather ’round. We need to have a chat, and y’all ain’t gonna like it. Ready?
Homosexuality. Marriage equality.
Oh! Yup! There it is! I saw that! Your knees jerked! Don’t try to deny it! We all know it’s true. You had a knee-jerk reaction to those topics. Yeah, I ain’t particularly happy about them either. But you’re going about it all wrong. Yeah, that’s right. I said it. WRONG!
I know, I know, I know. It’s in the Old Covenant as an abomination. Heard it. Heard it way too many times. It’s a sin. Yeah. I know that. You know that. They know we believe that. And y’ know what? They don’t care. Let me reiterate: they don’t care. And you bellyaching about it like a dog that’s treed a squirrel ain’t gonna do diddly squat to change anyone’s mind. All you’re doing is blowing yourself out, working up a sweat, and making them ignore you (at best), or ridicule you (more likely). Feel good about that? Did that get anyone into the Hereafter? Ah, nope.
So grab something cold to drink, sit down, shut your yap hole, mop your brow, open your Bible, and listen up for a few moments. You might learn something. Then again, you might not. I might lose a few of y’all after this. But so be it. I ain’t in this for y’all. I’m in this for Him. So stifle it. Stop fidgeting. You—in the back. Sit still.
When Yeshua (Jesus for you Traditionalists) was asked by one of the lawyers, which was the greatest commandment in Matthew 22:35, He responded with, “…’Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.'” (Matthew 22:37-40 KJV)
It was repeated in Mark, also. “And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.” (Mark 12:30-31 KJV)
Still not convinced? Let’s hash this out in triplicate then, shall we? “And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself.” (Luke 10:27)
Oh, there you go again, rolling your eyes. Yes, I can hear you thinking that if those people truly loved God, they would obey His commandment about homosexuality. They’re breaking his commandments by sinning with that one. I know, I know. I’ve heard all the arguments. Tell you what, though. Let’s look at that beam in your eye, first.
Oh, so now your mouth is open and no sound coming out! I’m sorry. Did I strike a nerve? I bet I did. Yep, that’s a hard one to take sometimes. “Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?” (Matthew 7:1-3 KJV)
Here, let me step a little harder: “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.” (1 John 1:8 KJV)
And: “For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.” (James 2:10 KJV)
Next: “Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like…” (Galatians 5:19-21 KJV)
You catching the drift here? Sin is sin. It doesn’t matter if you break even the tiniest portion, you’ve broken it all. Yes, I know—we’re saved by Grace. Guess what? So are they. All they have to do is come to know Him. And that—that is where we come in, not by badgering them incessantly with our hatred of their choice, but with His Good News. Remember that commandment? Or have you, in your zeal to hinder them, forgotten all about it? Yeshua told us all to do something. “And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.” (Mark 16:15 KJV)
Yeah. That one. And why did He command us to do that? C’mon, this is an easy question—you ‘member! “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16 KJV)
Ah! There it is! The verse that puts us on the side of Grace! Forgiven. Once again—forgiven. And saved. The Gospel! The GOOD News! The one we’re to preach to all the world. Did you ever read past that, though? Oh, not all that far. Just the very next verse. “For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.” (John 3:17 KJV)
Yep. Yeshua came to save us all. Every last one of us! All! All we have to do is accept Him in belief. He did not come to condemn us. Why, therefore, are we so busy trying to condemn the LGBT crowd? Fear?
“There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.” (1 John 4:18 KJV)
Are we able to preach the Gospel to them when they fear us? If you’re not walking in His love, you’re not preaching the Gospel. Hatred and strife—go back up to Galatians 5. Those are not of the Son. Those are of the fallen. They are sinful.
“Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord…” (Hebrews 12:14 KJV)
Peace. Be peaceful. Now I ain’t telling you that you have to agree with them. Nowhere in the Word does it say we have to agree with them. Nope. Never going to happen. Nor am I advocating lallygagging about with them, painting the town red until the wee hours of the morning. But be at peace. Love them. Love your neighbor…
“But he, willing to justify himself, said unto Jesus, And who is my neighbour?” (Luke 10:29 KJV) Do I need to trot out the story of the Samaritan? Or can I trust you to understand that reference enough without me showing it to you in black and white? All of mankind is your neighbor—even our enemies. Heaps of coals upon their heads, what, what?
“If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love.” (John 15:10 KJV) Love. We keep coming back to love, over and over.
“But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you…” (Matthew 5:44 KJV)
“But I say unto you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you…” (Luke 6:27 KJV)
“A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.” (John 13:34 KJV)
Your clamoring of hate and intolerance does nothing but make noise. “Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity (which is translated elsewhere as love), I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.” (1 Corinthians 13:1 KJV)
“By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.” (John 13:35 KJV)
Cease this Gospel of hate and judgment. Preach the Gospel of love. Let them know you love them. Get them to know the Gospel of love. God knows what’s in their hearts. He can change them.