One major cause of the gay community's madness, and even the displeasure of some professing Christians, toward my recent Charisma News article on homosexuality, was what they perceived as a lack of love on my part. Ironically, it's these same proponents of love who vehemently cursed me and ridiculed me while mocking the article. Here is one sample among hundreds of pieces of hate mail I received:
"You are seriously one of the most ignorant, hateful human beings (if you can be called that) alive in the world."
This smug arrogance among some people today—many of whom are half my age or younger—who claim to be such experts on the topic of love, would be amusing if not for the blatant hypocrisy of it. This sentimental kind of love they speak of is very thin-skinned, as they demonstrated, because it is conditional and fickle and is not a love based on truth. It is always based on loving them, accepting them, and respecting them and their gay lifestyle. It loves those who love them for who they are, whether they are homosexual, lesbian, transgender, etc.
Although God's love is unconditional, and He loved us while we were yet sinners, His love must be balanced with His justice. Yes, He loves homosexuals, even those who stick their nose up at Him and defame His name. But for some, their characterization of God's love is a love that only exhorts but never exposes, restores but never rebukes, comforts but never confronts. It is a love that has no foundation in truth, justice and righteousness. In order to truly love God, you must also hate sin, wickedness and unrighteousness. True love cannot function without hate.
Notice what was spoken of Jesus:
"You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness; therefore God, your God, has set you above your companions by anointing you with the oil of joy" (Heb. 1:9, NIV).
People in general, even good Christian folks, forget that the same Jesus who loves all mankind and is moved with compassion is also the One who rebukes sin, pride and hypocrisy and speaks truth without compromise. He laid down many judgments in the Scriptures upon those who reject Him and who refuse to come to repentance and obedience.
Let us not forget that it was Jesus who said, "He who does not believe will be condemned" (Mark 16:16). Does that sound like love? How can a loving God let people be condemned? Answer: They reject His words.
He also said this: "Unless you repent you will all likewise perish" (Luke 13:3). Does that sound like today's version of love? Again, would a compassionate God let people perish? If they do not repent, yes. What do people need to repent of? Sin, wickedness, unrighteousness and all that is displeasing to God and in opposition to His moral laws. Homosexuality and every form of sexual immorality are on that list.
Jesus healed a crippled man and then told him: "Sin no more, lest a worse thing come upon you" (John 5:14). He healed him to demonstrate His love. Then He commanded him to sin no more to demonstrate his justice.
Jesus also showed mercy to the adulterous woman but only after she was ridden with guilt and broken over her adultery. He will also show mercy to every homosexual who humbles himself in true contrition and acknowledges his sin with a desire to be free. After Jesus showed the adulterous woman mercy and released her from her condemnation, He also commanded her to go and sin no more (John 8:11). This is a wonderful example of grace and law, love and justice, and mercy and truth working together. You cannot have one without the other, in the same way you cannot have love without hate.
Jesus also displayed anger and pronounced judgments on individuals, groups of people, and nations, even calling them names.
He told the Pharisees that their father was the devil (see John 8:44).
He said Judas, one of His original 12 disciples, was a devil (see John 6:70).
Here are some other examples of not-so-nice name calling. "Woe unto you scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, blind guides, fools and blind, serpents and generation of vipers (snakes)!" (Matt. 23). That's a lot of name calling right there. Sounds like what people would quickly label as "hate" today.
In fact, it would do us all good to read Jesus' judgments upon a wicked and perverse generation in Matthew 23 to set aright our own image of Jesus. His love was not this sentimental, mushy kind of philosophical love that has no hatred for unrighteousness and wickedness. Yes, He is love, but He is also just and holy. Yes, He is merciful, but He is also faithful and true in establishing his judgments. He is even severe.
"Therefore consider the goodness and severity of God: on those who fell, severity; but toward you, goodness, if you continue in His goodness. Otherwise you also will be cut off" (Rom. 11:22).
We also tend to forget in this fickle world of ours that some of the greatest prophets were men who commanded people to repent and turn to God. And very often, they didn't mince words. For example, John the Baptist publicly rebuked Herod, the tetrarch, for his adultery with his brother's wife (Luke 3:19). His penalty: Prison and then beheading. His crime? Calling out sin. Again, sounds like hate to modern-day spiritual appeasers.
I believe in appeasement for righteousness's sake, not this milquetoast appeasement that concedes to the belligerent demands of a nation, group, person, etc. that violate the principles of justice and morality. Love without truth, justice and righteousness will always misrepresent God and His true character.
Love has boundaries. Imagine a society without traffic laws, educational institutions without order, business dealings without contractual agreements, and sexuality without standards and limits. The latter is upon us and that is the reason for articles such as these.
As I stated in my last article: No matter how you look at it, truth always sounds like hate to those who hate the truth.
What about these New Testament verses? Notice the directness of these verses and how different kinds of sinful behavior are identified and called out.
"Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God" (1 Cor. 6:9-10).
How do you get around these verses? Note the references to sexual immorality. Fornicators, adulterers, homosexuals and sodomites will not inherit the kingdom of God.
How about this one?
"But fornication and all uncleanness (this would cover homosexuality) or covetousness, let it not even be named among you, as is fitting for saints. ...For this you know, that no fornicator, unclean person (that would include homosexuality), nor covetous man, who is an idolater, has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God" (Eph. 5:3, 5).
It would behoove some of us to read these verses very carefully.
But here's the good news. All sinners can change, even homosexuals, just as many of the Corinthians were changed by the power of God. God never leaves people who want to change without hope.
"And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God" (1 Cor. 6:11).
Here's my concern:
The love of many believers seems to be waxing cold, not only because of being personally offended but also because of their desire not to offend anyone and to be accepted by all (Matt. 24:12). This false concept of love as a sentiment of total acceptance, free of the ability to hate, is one of the most popular rationales for which many believers are abandoning the truth and authority of the Scriptures.
Loving people is certainly a godly virtue, and the most important of all commandments. We need to be measured in pursuing love, but not at the expense of hating truth and righteousness. The focus of what many call love today is based on accommodating people's ungodly and sinful lifestyles and idiosyncrasies and frankly, even abominable behavior.
We are in the midst of a huge cultural war and a moral crisis, with homosexuality and gay rights at the center of it. But the greater threat to society and the church could be this false concept of love. There is a militant aggression in our society today that is demanding people love and accept others. This new sentiment is shaping public policy and being used as a standard of morality in evaluating people's behavior. Even many Christians are falling for it, and demonic doctrines and damnable heresies are spreading. Entire churches and denominations have left the faith for it.
Impenitent sinners and careless saints have one risky commonality, and that is that they do not take God seriously enough. If we do not stand up and speak up for truth, justice and righteousness and cultivate a hatred for the evils that have swarmed our society, sexual anarchy will march in our streets, and many churches and Christians will be as salt that loses its savor.
Bert M. Farias, founder of Holy Fire Ministries, is the author of The Real Gospel and co-host of the New England Holy Ghost Forum. He is a missionary evangelist carrying a spirit of revival to the church and the nations. Follow him at Bert Farias on Facebook or @Bertfarias1 on Twitter.