Thursday, August 2, 2012

I'm not anti-gay ... I'm pro-Christ.

Wow! What's happening in our nation? A man cannot declare the values of his own company without being labeled a "hate-monger"? If I say that I believe it's wrong to steal, is it because I hate all thieves or simply because I value my property? In declaring my belief that homosexuality is wrong, why is it assumed I hate all homosexuals? I simply value God's word. I believe it. I don't hate homosexuality any more than I hate anything else declared by the Lord as sin. I'm not anti-gay ... I'm pro-Christ. In all cases, it is my task to urge those who commit sin to repent of it, and to forsake worldly things in favor of heavenly things.

I am worried though that soon it will be a criminal offense to speak the word of God. Will it soon be labeled as "hate speech" if I merely read what the Bible says? I have reason to be concerned, because I find this in the Scriptures: "Now Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest, 2 and asked for letters from him to the synagogues at Damascus, so that if he found any belonging to the Way, both men and women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem" (Acts 9:1-2).

Saul, as one of the Jewish religious leaders, asked for a standing warrant for all who declared themselves to be Christians. These people were not violent - in fact, they were just the opposite - yet he asked for and received permission to bring them back to Jerusalem "bound." Is this the direction America is headed? Will my beliefs be criminalized and vilified?

I oppose gay marriage ... because the Bible opposes it. But I also oppose those who are anti-gay. Groups like Westboro Baptist prove by their actions that they are not Christians ... not because I say so, but because they are in conflict with the word of God.

So how should we treat those who do not want to hear what we have to say? Well, two of Jesus' disciples - James and John - shared the attitude of many today, "'Lord, do You want us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them?” 55 But [Jesus] turned and rebuked them, and said, 'You do not know what kind of spirit you are of; 56 for the Son of Man did not come to destroy men's lives, but to save them.' And they went on to another village" (Luke 9:54-56).

We must defend our faith - absolutely! - but not at the expense of our Christian behavior. "The Lord's bond-servant must not be quarrelsome, but be kind to all, able to teach, patient when wronged, 25 with gentleness correcting those who are in opposition, if perhaps God may grant them repentance leading to the knowledge of the truth, 26 and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, having been held captive by him to do his will" (2 Timothy 2:24-26).

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