The ultimate goal of the radical LGBT agenda is to silence the pulpits, and they'll do it by labeling Christians as "haters." But those who strongly believe in the Bible and God's will regarding sexual behavior also strongly believe in unconditional love and forgiveness. To say that authentic Christians hate or fear those trapped in the homosexual lifestyle demonstrates a gross misunderstanding of the Christian faith. To "confront in love" simply comes from a desire to honor God and to truly love and care for others.
Ironically, those fighting for LGBT rights often overlook the rights of the unborn—remaining silent while silent screams go unheard. When medical professionals can fill trash cans full of mutilated babies, and presidential candidates praise the work of Planned Parenthood, and the so-called "rights" of sexual preference are put above the ultimate right to life, our conscience as a nation has been seared. God help us!
Lasting hope and joy are by-products of repentance—turning from sin rather than embracing it. We actually hurt rather than help when we don't convey the power of repentance. Jesus perfectly balanced grace and mercy with confrontation and correction. He wanted people to know the truth even if it offended. Oswald Chambers said, "The words of the Lord hurt and offend until there is nothing left to hurt and offend." The Bible was written so that people would know the truth—the truth about God, creation, sin and redemption. In reality, truth invites scrutiny; whereas, error runs from it (1 John 5:13).
Here are five reasons why opposing gay-marriage is not hate speech:
1. Confronting is often a characteristic of genuine love. We must extend compassion but without compromise. Parents warn and confront daily. Truly misled or self-serving individuals would wrongly attribute these traits to "hate-speech." We are not called to make truth tolerable but to make it clear. Ironically, it's the love of God that compels us to share all of His truth, including those things that are hard to hear.
2. Affirming what the Bible clearly calls sin is love, not hate. The term "hate speech" is meant to divert us from God's design. Again, those who strongly believe in God's will regarding sexual behavior also strongly believe in unconditional love and forgiveness. To "confront in love" simply comes from a desire to honor God and to truly love and care for others.
3. Many who defend homosexuality aren't truly loving them; they are simply seeking to avoid conflict. If a person is more concerned about being accepted than being truthful, do they really love homosexuals more than those who are willing to speak the truth in love? This is genuine love, not hatred. When pastors, leaders and denominations believe that God has given them the authority to change truth in order to keep it relevant and alive, they are departing from God. His grace is big and bold enough for all, but grace doesn't replace truth—it reinforces it.
4. Changing God's truth is not love, it's a slippery slope. The futile attempt being made to conform God's Word to social norms, rather than to conform social norms to His Word, has nothing to do with love—it's all about acceptance and every man "doing what is right in his own eyes." "Will you accept me and my sin" has always been the battle cry of man fighting God. Pastors and churches who accept sin rather than lovingly challenge it have three things in common: truth is vague, doctrine is blurred, and the fundamentals of the Christian faith are often avoided. This is not moral progression on God's scale; it's spiritual digression.
5. Love doesn't always coddle, it often convicts. Many leaders today have "perverted the words of the living God" (Jer. 23:36) by not warning, instructing, challenging and contending for the truth. Pastors, as the church falls deeper into self-reliance and further from reliance on God, our need for bold leadership has never been greater. Change will only occur when there is a strong conviction of sin, genuine faith, humility and sincere repentance—may God grant us the wisdom and strength to proclaim these truths. We must stop confusing God's patience with His approval and preach with conviction from the pulpits again.
Times change but God's standards do not change. Although Christians love those in the LGBT community, no matter how many laws are passed in favor of sexual orientation, it will not change God's mind. His principles are guardrails through the canyons of life—they protect us from falling.
Shane Idleman is the founder and lead pastor of Westside Christian Fellowship in Southern California. More can be found at ShaneIdleman.com, and free downloads of his books are available at WCFAV.org. Visit him on Facebook and subscribe to his new podcast.
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