Speaking the Truth in Love to Homosexuals, Muslims, Mormons, and More
About two weeks ago I reacted in a blog post to some recent comments by Kirk Cameron about homosexuality and gay marriage. I also took the opportunity to share a biblical perspective and my own beliefs about the same topics.
In that post there were two main points that I made:
- The Bible reveals that all homosexuality is a sin in God’s sight.
- Christians who believe such are entitled to that free opinion just as much as those who are pro-homosexuality or gay themselves.
I anticipated that post getting a few extra views than our normal web traffic would bring. I didn’t quite anticipate that it would be the busiest day in the history of our church’s blog. Nor did I fully anticipate all the reactions and replies it would bring.
A number of reactions were very positive and encouraging. Many replied or wrote private messages stating their support and agreement. Others were thankful for some clarifying information.
Then there were those that didn’t agree.
Some entered into some back and forth discussion/debates with me. I was glad to have some nice conversations with people and it was helpful to hear other viewpoints. But a few were very upset with the blog post and with me. And their responses showed it.
I was called everything from hurtful, to hateful, to a bigot, and more. One was angry enough to include me in her own blog post that labels me as a fool, an idolater, ignorant, a bigot, and a poor Christian all in one paragraph.
So this begs these questions: Is this our purpose as Christians? Is it our purpose to be bull-headed and thick-skulled? Are we supposed to be a bunch of bullies offending others and causing hurt? Are we good for nothing but a few hot and heavy arguments? Do we need to print and wear a modern “scarlet letter,” one huge label that says “Hateful Bigot”?
As the apostle Paul says so often, “By no means!”
Rather, it is our duty, command, and privilege as Christians to do just the opposite. Words from Paul himself guide us in our conversations with others. First we look to Colossians 4:6 that says:
Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.
Our goal as Christians is to always be prepared to answer anyone, but to do so with grace (meaning undeserved love) and compassion. That would of course include respect. This can remind us of Ephesians 4:14-16
Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming. Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ. From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.
In all of our conversations with one another, and with non-Christians especially, we are to always speak the truth in love. That is the only way that there will be any growth or building up. That is the only way respectful and productive conversations will take place. That will be the wisest way to share the Word of God with others with no obstacles in the way.
This was my only goal in my previous blog post about homosexuality. This was what I did.
Not once did I use any derogatory, condescending, or politically incorrect words–only homosexual or homosexuality. Not once did I make fun of anyone. I didn’t call homosexuals second-class citizens or people. I didn’t say I was better than homosexuals. In fact, twice I included myself in the ranks of all sinners who desperately need Christ’s forgiveness.
No, rather, calmly and carefully I shared what Scripture says, I shared what I believe (based on Scripture), and I shared that it is not right for homosexuals to have their viewpoint but not Christians who believe that it is a sin. Even when attacked with hateful and hurtful labels and words, I still replied with respect and compassion.
Christians: This is what we are supposed to do.
When you speak with others and share God’s Word–and this could be homosexuals, Muslims, Mormons, atheists, or anything in between–speak the truth, but speak the truth in love. That includes the following guidelines:
- Be compassionate
- Be sympathetic
- Be calm
- Be respectful
- Be patient
- Don’t call names
- Don’t get angry
- Don’t argue
- Don’t get frustrated
- Don’t respond to hatred with hatred. Respond with more love!
What help will it be to shout at a Muslim or racially profile and assume that person is a terrorist? What good is it to make fun of Mormons because they have a different set of life rules or because some beliefs are on the stranger side of things? What benefit would it be to treat a homosexual like a half-person?
More importantly, how will it be possible to share the truth of God’s Word with anyone if you refuse to befriend them and show them love?
Look, not everyone is going to agree. Some don’t want to hear what you have to say. Or more specifically, some don’t want to hear what God has to say. Any anger or arguments come from a conscience that has been pricked by the Word of God. This is to be expected because God’s Word will not return to him empty but will always achieve a purpose (Isaiah 55:10-11)–be it for the eternal salvation or condemnation of a person’s soul.
And so, as we continue in life and have opportunities to speak with homosexuals, Muslims, Mormons, Buddhists, atheists or any one else, I have these constant and fervent prayers:
- My prayer for all Christians is that we share our faith and God’s Word with others tactfully, carefully, and respectfully.
- My prayer is that those we share God’s Word with will be kind enough to show respect back.
- My prayer is that God works through his powerful Word to change hearts to know and believe the truth.
- My prayer is that no matter whom Christians are speaking with and no matter what kind of response is received (even hateful ones), we continue to always and only speak the truth in love.
Posted on March 20, 2012, in Church, Preschool and tagged Bigot, Church, Gay, GLAAD, Hate, Hateful, Homosexual, Homosexuality, Hurtful, Ignorant, Kirk Cameron, Lesbian, Lesbians, Love, Mormon, Muslim, Preach, School, Sin, Sinful, Speak the Truth in Love, Speaking the Truth in Love. Bookmark the permalink. 56 Comments.