Love means saying ‘You’re wrong’.

MORE CONTROVERSY AND THEOLOGY. SKIP IT IF NEED BE.

I have a hard time with folks who single out homosexuality as a peculiar evil, quite literally demonizing it as responsible for everything from 9/11, to KIAs in Iraq/Afghanistan, to the national debt. Why? Because it is included in the 1 Cor.6:9-11 list, along with numerous other types of conduct/attitudes of heart, that are all unacceptable to God.

I also have a hard time with people who deny homosexuality is sinful or displeasing to God… because it is included in a list (1 Cor6:9-11) along with numerous other types of conduct/attitudes of heart that are all unacceptable to God.

Some Christians seem to delight in pointing out sin; others seem afraid to call it what it is.

“I want to love people. Not judge them.”

Fine, except the Jesus who said “Judge not lest ye be judged” also said “Judge a righteous judgment.” The first referred to not jumping to conclusions, the second to examining the evidence. Christians are commanded concerning both.

LOVE DOES NOT EQUAL SALVATION

There is confusion in Christian circles as to what “Love” and “Salvation” are. Lines are getting blurry.

According to John 3:16 and Romans 5:6-11 God loves you before you’re saved. That is a tremendous comfort, but notice you’re not saved because He loves you, rather He loves you and made a way (Jesus) for you to be saved. There’s a Hell of a difference there.

God’s Love for us stems from His very nature, despite our hostile heart and sinful conduct. Salvation is a specific gift accessed by personal repentance (turning away from sin) and putting faith in Jesus’ Death, Burial and Resurrection. (turning towards God) The distinction is crystal clear throughout the entire New Testament.

The entire Gospel Story is God coming down and saying to sinful man – “You’re wrong. In fact, you’re making yourself my enemy, and are utterly unable to save yourself, but I love you so much I’m going to pay for your crimes with my life. This will provide you not only with a way to escape Divine Justice, but complete transformation and adoption into an Eternal Family as well. Choose which road you’ll take.”

SURRENDER

C.S. Lewis summed up the Mankind’s dilemma when he said we aren’t simply broken creatures who need mending, but rebels who must lay down their arms. God offers a full and complete pardon in the Son, Jesus. This is free to any who confess their crimes and want to leave the ranks of the traitorous. God Loves you and offers Salvation in Jesus Christ.

Even Pardoned, we’re subject to the struggles, flaws, foibles common to all Humanity. We still wrestle with the Frankenstein of our fallen nature, an imperfect life in a broken world. Yet we are redeemed in our imperfection.

However, the fuzzy theology of Moral Equivalency insists anger/adultery/duplicity is the same as sexual immorality, then demands that grace either writes us all a pass, or none of us see Glory.

That’s correct – in a way. Sin is sin, and Grace does indeed cover our imperfections. But if I persist in lying, or adultery, or stealing, or whatever, then rationalize sinful behavior with some brand of mental gymnastics that helps me evade the conviction of the Holy Spirit, I’m kidding myself to think I can use Jesus as my “Get out of Jail” free card.

That isn’t some legalistic tightrope salvation-by-moral-perfection theology. It’s salvation-by-transforming-faith theology.

What Gospel are we preaching, believing in, if not the Gospel that forgives and transforms? What happened to 2 Cor: 5:17-21?

I will show the holiness of my great name, which has been profaned among the nations, the name you have profaned among them. Then the nations will know that I am the LORD, declares the Sovereign LORD, when I show myself holy through you before their eyes. – Ezekiel 36:23

I’m puzzled and not a little concerned when Christians – ministers included – mince around the issue of same-sex sexual immorality these days. It isn’t ‘hatred’ to call the liar, the thief, the adulterer, the proud, the murderer, to repent and believe God to forgive and transform their particular sinful inclinations or addictions. Yet how is it we succumb to the accusation in this one area? Do we expect good intentions or sincerity will compensate for deliberate trespass over a very clear Scriptural boundary?

Christians do a tremendous disservice to their Savior, to the Gospel, and to the Holy Spirit when they neglect to point out the tragic, eternal consequences of deliberately continuing in behavior symptomatic of a sinful, rebellious nature. Like the ones mentioned in 1 Cor 6:9-11. To paraphrase the Apostle, he’s telling believers not to kid themselves; a person cannot deliberately continue to engage in such conduct and go to Heaven. The unregenerate past is under the Blood, but the verse “Love covers a multitude of sins” doesn’t apply here.

God’s heart is always toward redemption, but salvation is for those who admit their sin – not those who deny it.

This next statement will cause problems too, but here it is: The mission of the church of Jesus Christ is not to love people. It’s to preach the Gospel of Repentance and Salvation through Faith in Jesus Christ. Loving people is the heart, the posture in which we carry out that task, but Jesus said if it comes down choosing between to Him or someone else, we must pick up our cross and stand with Him. We are commanded not to be ashamed of Him and His words in a sinful and adulterous generation. Like Peter said in Acts 4:12 – “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.”

Standing with Jesus isn’t hatred, it’s love. And He’s the only hope for broken, sinful Humanity.

“Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel. Whenever you hear a word from my mouth, you shall give them warning from me. If I say to the wicked, ‘You shall surely die,’ and you give him no warning, nor speak to warn the wicked from his wicked way, in order to save his life, that wicked person shall die for his iniquity, but his blood I will require at your hand. But if you warn the wicked, and he does not turn from his wickedness, or from his wicked way, he shall die for his iniquity, but you will have delivered your soul.” Ezekiel 3:17-19

7 Comments on “Love means saying ‘You’re wrong’.

  1. I prefer to follow Christ’s model with the woman at the well.

    I know you think that that when I talk about Love that it stops there. But I’ve spent YEARS building loving relationships with people, developing a sort of trust and friendship that can then be cultivated into a ministry of grace.

    • Sorry; the phone rang. As I was saying…this method doesn’t deny the full Gospel. But it does allow me to reach the sort of person who is deaf to your method. It doesn’t mean that I’m ashamed of the Gospel or denying God’s truth. Frankly I’m a bit irked that you seem to repeatedly imply that it does.

  2. I’m glad you responded and let me know how you feel.

    To be honest, you didn’t even enter my mind when I was writing this. I figure you’re perfectly capable of loving your friends and family, and witnessing to what Jesus has done in your life.

    Since you brought it up though, I get irked at the general implication that I don’t love or know how to be sensitive or gracious or considerate simply because at some point in the interaction I broach the ultimate issues of sin and salvation.

    There’s this strange notion that there’s one method that automatically works, and another that automatically doesn’t. It simply isn’t true. Swiping from Romans 8:7, the natural man is hostile to God. Jesus represents the single biggest threat to our sinful nature, so the Spirit of God has to get involved regardless of the “method.”

    I figure the approach to every heart is different. Which is why God uses all kinds of things and all kinds of people to help those outside of Christ in the myriad of ways and places they need it.

    All I’m saying here is that at some point, in order to be saved, the individual has to deal with their sin/need for salvation, rather than deny it. And the issue currently being contested/glossed over in our society is homosexuality.

    • I understand what you and others are saying. And repentance is key to salvation.

      The thing is, though, that like you said there are different people and different tactics for ministering to those people.

      I fall absolutely square on the build-relationships-emphasize-love-and-grace tactic. I will never be Jonathan Edwards.

      But time and again, on my own blog and elsewhere, I have other Christians get irate at this approach. Literally IRATE! It’s all Prodigal’s Brother stuff–if you don’t tell them they sin you aren’t really a Christian! Etc. (I am not referring directly to you in this–I’ve confronted already those of whom I speak.)

      Well I’m 42. I’ve been a Christian for THIRTY-EIGHT years. God uses me well and truly where I’m placed. I’m a magnificently eloquent ass.

      • Jonathan Edwards wrote a bunch of very cool sermons, other than SitHoaAG. (which, having read several times in its entirety, I have an immense respect for.)

        I hear what you’re saying, especially having been saved in a fellowship that goes to the confrontational extreme. In my experience, balance, prayer, sensitivity, character, and boldness are the critical ingredients.

        And even then, it’s the individual’s choice.

        Anyway…

        Have a great day. I appreciate you. Seriously.

  3. “All I’m saying here is that at some point, in order to be saved, the individual has to deal with their sin/need for salvation, rather than deny it. And the issue currently being contested/glossed over in our society is homosexuality.”

    Right on Brother.

  4. Thanks.

    I’m not trying to be mean or tedious, but I have this weird urgency to re-state some very basic principles. (almost used the word ‘fundamental’ there)

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