"Love Or Hate"
Do you know the difference between love and hate?
Yes, that does seem like an awfully obvious question. But, truth be told, the world always confuses love and hate when it comes to the things of God.
The world doesn't know of God's love because they've heard only of His wrath toward unforgiven sinners (them). They don't know of His love and the magnitude of His grace that He has shown in creating a way to escape that justifiable wrath. But God wants to show us His salvation, not His wrath. "For God did not appoint us [Christians] to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ" (1 Thess. 5:9).
Our God is a God of love. In fact, Scripture tells us that God IS love (1st John 4:8).
But that's not the way the world sees it. Let me attempt to illustrate.
Suppose you're walking along a country road approaching a railroad crossing. You look up to notice a man you know to be deaf walking along the track. Then you notice a train barreling down the line from behind him. This man is totally unaware of his impending doom.
You have two choices. Either you run to the man and do everything you can do to warn him and get him off the deadly track or... you do nothing.
Which of those courses of action would show love for that man? Naturally, trying to save the man – trying to rescue him from danger – would be the loving thing to do. Deciding to do absolutely nothing to save him – even though you could – could be considered an act of hatred.
Now, suppose you encounter someone who is decidedly on the wrong track in their life. Would it be a loving thing to point out their error? Would it be a loving thing to rescue them from a self-destructive course of action? Or would it be "hateful" to interfere?
Here's a case in point. To confused "love-is-hate" gay activists, warning someone about the sinful nature of their lifestyle is considered "hatred." The thought process goes something like this: "If you hate my ‘lifestyle,' you hate me. It's who I am. So I'm justified in hating you." In our topsy-turvy, love-is-hate, right-is-wrong world, what more can you expect? Christ even promised that His followers would be hated by the world for His name's sake (John 7:7; Matt. 10:22).
The problem is that this upside-down notion of right and wrong is becoming more and more accepted in our society (as we strive toward "inclusiveness" that disregards Biblical principles of right and wrong). This new definition of morality (the old immorality) is even finding its way into law.
In fact, this week (tomorrow, most likely), the U. S. House Judiciary Committee will consider "hate crimes" legislation (H.R. 1913) that could cast quite a chill on the public expression of warnings about what God calls sin.
The Traditional Values Coalition says, "the so-called hate crimes bill will be used to lay the foundation and framework to investigate, prosecute and persecute pastors, business owners, Bible teachers, Sunday School teachers, youth leaders, Christian counselors, religious broadcasters and anyone else whose actions are based upon and reflect the truths found in the Bible." Are you in any of those categories? If so, you're in this bill's cross hairs.
Dr. Gary Cass of the Christian Anti-Defamation Commission puts it this way: "If this bill passes it lays the foundation for censoring Christians. In other countries, like Canada and Sweden, where these types of hate crime laws have been implemented, pastors and Christians have been jailed and fined for their faithful adherence to the Biblical values."
During previous discussions, Rep. Arthur Davis (D-AL) admitted publicly that the legislation will not protect a pastor from prosecution if he dares to share the Bible's views about homosexuality. Reading portions of Leviticus and portions of the New Testament in public would be strictly verboten.
You think Congress surely won't go for such an outlandish piece of legislation? Wrong. Actually, Congress already passed a nearly identical bill in 2007. Only President Bush's veto pen killed it. Nobody expects any chance of a veto this time.
Similar laws are already in place in Canada where pastors and pro-life supporters have already been jailed for speaking out about what the Bible says. Of course, tinhorn governments and non-Christian religious groups around the world are daily persecuting Christians in even much more grievous ways.
It's one of Satan's favorite lies to convince people that what the Bible clearly labels as sin is really not a sin, because, well, there is no such thing as sin. He started this way back in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3:1,4).
While I can still say it, listen carefully: On the authority of God's word, homosexuality is sinful behavior. But, thankfully, God loves sinners. He loves them so much He sent His only Son to die for them, to pay the inevitable and otherwise-inescapable penalty for their sin (John 3:16). All he asks sinners (any sinner) to do is to repent, ask His forgiveness and turn away from sinful pursuits. Even this one.
"For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved" (John 3:17). But have no doubt, a righteous God will not tolerate unforgiven sinners in His heaven. That leaves only one very hot alternative.
It would be hateful of us not to let these people know this truth -- truth that can set them free (John 8:32). It would be hateful for us not to attempt to rescue them from the path of that train of destruction which will otherwise be their eternal undoing.
Attempting to "rescue the perishing" is not a "hate crime" at all.
PS: Does your congressman know the difference?