Labeling people as haters removes your influence in any civil discussion. Pastor Rick Warren suffered a tragic loss and I cannot imagine the pain he is going through. Given Pastor Rick’s stance on homosexuality, the vitriol for his family’s tragic loss is disgusting. In the larger cultural context of marriage, anyone holding to a man and woman together for life meaning of marriage is labeled as a hater or against equality. The biblical stance is then labeled as old and not understanding of the times.
In the Gospel we see the brokenness of humanity and creation. Pain is a result of how sin permeates the whole universe. The muscle disconnection in my right eye is a result of the sin filled world we live in. Was it because someone sinned? No. All creation groans waiting for the day of redemption, according to Romans 8. We all struggle with something it is a matter of what we struggle with. Some struggle with same-sex attraction.
In the Gospel we see the consequences of sin. Pain is also a result of sinful actions we take. If I abuse my body, if I steal, if I don’t treat my wife with the respect and love the Bible calls for, I sin and there are consequences to my actions. The greatest consequence is that Jesus had to die on the cross for my sin. Sexual expression outside of marriage, which Jesus defines as one man with one woman for a lifetime, is sin. Does Jesus show compassion on those with sin? Yes!
Told hold something as a result of brokenness or to hold something as sin does not mean I hate them.
Cancer is a result of brokenness, but I do not hate those who struggle with cancer.
Physical deformities are a result of brokenness, but I do not hate them- or myself for that matter.
Mental illness is a result of brokenness, but I do not hate those who struggle with that.
The Bible calls lying a sin, but I don’t hate liars.
The Bible says divorce is because of sin, but I do not hate divorced people.
The Bible says to do things without complaining, but I don’t hate grumpy people.
The Bible says it is sin to dishonor your parents, but I don’t hate kids who do that.
The Bible says it is wrong to neglect one’s wife, but I don’t hate those that do.
The Bible says it is wrong to be arrogant, but I don’t hate arrogant people.
The Bible says it is wrong to have an affair, but I don’t hate people who have done that.
The Bible says its wrong to over or under eat, but I don’t hate gluttons or those who struggle with eating disorders.
To all of these I point to the hope we have in Jesus. I have or had friends who walked through all of these.
I believe for theological, civic and biological reasons that marriage is one man with one woman for a lifetime. I think bullying for any reason is wrong. Some things in life prevent us for doing certain things. Does that make us unequal? No, it’s part of life. Ultimate equality is found in the Gospel. Before God we are all broken and it’s not a matter of if we struggle but what we struggle with. It’s not a matter of being perfect, but of being broken and waiting for Jesus who makes all things new. Regardless of struggle, regardless of sin, Jesus opens the door to all who trust that he rose again for them and that he is Lord.
Equality, Hate and the Gospel
Jesus spoke against many things and he is friends with those he spoke against. To be against something doesn’t mean to hate the person. The vitriol against Rick Warren because of his stance on marriage is uncivil. If one must label someone as a hater or a bigot because they don’t agree with you, then please look in the mirror. Our hope is not in the behavior of humanity, but in the humility of Jesus. In teaching the Gospel there are things that no doubt will offend, but it doesn’t make one a hater. The cross demonstrates God’s love for us and that’s the level of love we should have.