It makes me angry and breaks my heart when people invoke their “Christian” religion in the name of advocating discrimination, bigotry, and just plain hatefulness. I don’t know where they went to Sunday School, but hate is not a Christian value!
The Jesus I know from the Bible commanded that we love one another.
A new command I give you:
Love one another.
As I have loved you,
so you must love one another.
By this everyone will know that you are my disciples,
if you love one another.
~ John 13: 34-35
Even if you believe that the Bible teaches that homosexuality or homosexual conduct is a “sin,” that’s no excuse for ignoring Jesus’ command to love one another. The Gospel is full of examples of Jesus treating “sinners” with love and compassion. Aren’t Christians supposed to strive to be Christ-like?
When Jesus does criticize others, he usually is targeting the self-righteousness of religious leaders. When a group of scribes and Pharisees were condemning an adulterous woman, Jesus said:
Let him who is without sin among you be the first to cast stones.
~ John 8: 3-11
(Many Bible passages cited as condemning homosexuality also condemn adultery)
If you think homosexuality is “worse” than any of your own sins, you should be stopped short by the warning in Matthew 7: 1-5:
Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.
I love the gratitude meme that Carla wrote about earlier this week. Borrowing that premise and applying it to forgiveness leads to this question:
We don’t even have to ask “what if,” because Jesus tells us in the passage from Matthew above that this is exactly how it works.
If you are a Christian, I hope that you agree that the greatest commandment really is to love one another. If you are not a Christian, I hope you understand that hate is not a Christian value.