While speaking last week to a group of 700 pastors and faith leaders at an American Renewal Project 'Pastors and Pews' event in Orlando, U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) addressed the subject of homosexuality and how evangelicals should embrace them.
He recounted the ways in which homosexuals were wrongly mistreated by other Americans. He said the aftermath of the Orlando shooting at the Pulse nightclub was an example of how Christians could minister to the gay community, and he urged those in attendance to "open their hearts to gay people and welcome them."
"To love our neighbors in the LGBT community, we should recognize that even as we stand firm in the belief that marriage is the union between one man and one woman, there are those in that community and in same-sex relationships whose love for one another is real, and who feel angry and humiliated that the law did not recognize their relationship as a marriage," he said. "To love our neighbors, we must recognize that many have experienced, sometimes, severe condemnation and judgment from some Christians.
"They have heard some say that the reason God will bring condemnation on America is because of them. As if somehow, God was willing to put up with adultery, and gluttony, and greed and pride, but now, this is the last straw.
"To love our neighbors, we must abandon a spirit of judgment. Do not judge or you will be judged. For in the same way you judge others you will be judged. And with a measure you use it will be used to measure you. And we should remember not to ignore the plank in our own eye ...
"I want to be clear with you, abandoning judgment and loving our LGBT neighbors is not a betrayal of what the Bible teaches, it is a fulfillment of it. Jesus showed us how to do this," he said. "Jesus showed us that we do not have to endorse what people do in order to accept them for who they are—children of a loving and a merciful God ...
"If any of us, myself included, in any way, have ever made anyone feel that Christianity wants nothing to do with them, then I believe deeply that we have failed deeply to represent our Lord Jesus Christ who time and again went out of His way to reach out to the marginalized and to the forgotten of His time."
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