Isn’t it strange that the weirdest people with the most radical beliefs are the ones who most often make the news to represent Christianity? Quite frankly I don’t want people holding up signs declaring that God hates one group or another, speaking for me. It isn’t that God doesn’t hate some things. But the things usually on the signs don’t make the list that I’ve ever read in Scripture. In Proverbs 6:16-19 Solomon list seven things God hates. On the list are: arrogant eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that plots wicked schemes, feet eager to run to evil, a lying witness who give false testimony, and one who stirs up trouble among brothers. It seems to me that several things on the list given here that the folks with the signs and those who want to parade at the funerals of fallen soldiers are themselves guilty of some of the things God hates, like arrogant eyes, a heart that plots wicked schemes and those who stir up trouble among brothers.
Can you in your wildest imagination picture Jesus holding up a sign saying, “God hates fags”? When I read the gospel accounts of Jesus confronting the religious leaders for being hypocrites and driving such folks out of the temple in anger for them turning the house of prayer into a den of thieves, I can much more imagine Him holding a sign saying “God hates self-righteous religious people.” When you read John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life” who do you include and exclude from “The world”? Paul declared that it is very scarce for us to be willing to die for a righteous person, much less our enemies. “But God demonstrates His love in that while we were still sinners Christ died for the ungodly.” (Romans 5:6-9)
Jesus was a friend of tax collectors and sinners. Among the ones most devoted to him were those who had been demon possessed that led to them doing some horrible things including being prostitutes. He even told the religious leaders that the tax collectors and prostitutes would enter the kingdom before they did. When we show hate and disgust for people involved in particular sins that we see as the worst, we aren’t acting like Jesus but like the Pharisees that wanted Him dead.
Since we all have a sin problem in our life it would make a whole lot more sense for us to be compassionate toward those overcome in sin to help bring them to the one who can change them from the inside out. Should we then not stand against sins? We should stand against sins, but all sins, not just the ones that we see as horrible. When we take a stand against sin it ought to be with great humility declaring with Martin Luther, “There but for the grace of God go I.” In Isaiah 6 the prophet saw God high and lifted up sitting on His throne with the angelic beings around Him saying “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty.” Isaiah cried out in agony, “Woe is me for I am undone. I am a man of unclean lips in the midst of people with unclean lips.” God sent an angel with a coal of fire from the altar to touch his lips and clean his mouth and heart. How do you think God would have reacted if when the prophet saw God high and lifted up he had cried out “Woe are all the homosexuals in the kingdom, for they are undone”? I don’t believe it would have been with mercy and cleansing.
The old saying that Christians should hate sin but love sinners seems to touch God’s heart much better than the harsh, hateful, arrogant condemnation of people because they have a sin problem in their life. Homosexuals, like all other people can be reached for God and their lives changed. Look at I Corinthians 6:9-11 “Do you not know that the unjust will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: no sexually immoral people, idolaters, adulterers, male prostitutes, homosexuals, thieves, greedy people, drunkards, revilers, or swindlers will inherit God’s kingdom. SOME OF YOU WERE LIKE THIS; BUT YOU ARE WASHED, YOU WERE SANCTIFIED, YOU WERE JUSTIFIED IN THE NAME OF THE LORD AND BY THE SPIRIT OF OUR GOD.”
Look at that list of sin again. Did your eyes rush to homosexuals, immoral people, adulterers and male prostitutes? Maybe our eyes should rush to greedy people. As a society far more people are trying to justify their greed than are trying to justify their sexual sins. But the wonderful thing is that whatever the sin one can be washed in the blood of Christ, sanctified and justified in the name of the Lord and by the Spirit of our God.