THE IMPORTANCE OF LOVING ALL PEOPLE INCLUDING THOSE WHO ARE LGBT
Many churches struggle to come to terms of what it means to showing the love of God, while standing up for the standards of God. Because many churches are so ill prepared when it comes to striking a proper balance, major errors in application have occurred in the application of the two, (love and judgment). Some have sought to show love without judgment, and others have sought to show judgment without love. In his word God tells us how to strike a proper balance between the two.
THE GREATEST LAW, LOVE GOD, LOVE OTHERS-- Long before the supreme court began to hand down it’s laws, the heavenly supreme court handed down, the greatest law. According to God’s laws, the two greatest commandments is to love God first and foremost, and to love others as we love ourselves.
When Christ was asked what was the greatest commandment of all, he gave this answer, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and most important commandment. The second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the Prophets depend on these two commandments” Matt 22:37-40. God's greatest commandment is duel in nature: we are to love Him first, ( A love which is best expressed by obeying His word). And we are to love others as we love ourselves, (which is best expressed via the way we treat others, and the inner attitudes we embrace toward them).
Today many have reversed these two commandments, they now stress loving our fellow man, more than we love God. This becomes obvious when we consider the fact that Christ tells us that the way we express our love to God is by way of obedience. “15 If ye love me, keep my commandments. If a man loves me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.” JN 13&23. Because we are to love God above all else, we must exalt his holy guidelines above our own ideas and carnal desires, and encourage others to do the same.
It is very important to God how we treat others, by others we mean everybody. One of the greatest ways to honor God, is to love all people. Some within the framework of the church not only disagree with the actions of the LGBT community (which they should) but their disagreement toward the LGBT community has turned into hatred and bitterness toward those who are gay. We must be careful not to allow Satan to get a stronghold in our life by our catering to a hateful, bitter and despising attitude toward those in the LGBT community.
The call for us to love others is not merely a call for us as believers to love those who love us. It is a call for us to love ALL people, including those who hate us, and those who live a lifestyle that we know to be unscriptural. Christ stated that to love those who love and bless us, is not nearly enough. 44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; 46 For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same?" Matt 5:44-46.
On the other end of the spectrum are the churches who go out of their way to show that they are not hateful or judgmental. Therefore they go out of their way in an effort to show that they are loving, and accepting. They do so in order to avoid being labeled as unloving, bigoted, homophobic, uncaring, and insensitive. In their effort to show love, they deliberately ignore the scriptures, that addresses sin and its wages. They cast aside God standards for holy living, in order to not offend. Many today who do this, quote the following verse as proof that we should not pass judgment on the lifestyles of others. , Judge not, that ye be not judged. 2 For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. Matt 7:1-2.
MANY TODAY QUOTE THIS VERSE OUT OF CONTEXT. ----Some say that we are not to judge others: They say that Christ said that we are not to make moral judgment in regards to the conduct and lifestyle of others. Judge not, that ye be not judged. 2 For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. Matt 7:1-2.
All they qoute are the words "JUDGE NOT"If we read the entire text we find that Christ was not telling us to not judge at all. He stressed a continual need on our part for self examination FIRST. He then said after we deal with our short-comings, we would be better able to help other deal with theirs.
5 Thou hypocrite, FIRST cast out the beam out of thine own eye; AND THEN shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye. Matt 7:1-5. When it comes to judgment our Lord did not say it is wrong to make moral judgment on others, (we do so all the time in our courts, when we serve as a juror). He did say that it was hypocritical to pass judgment on others, without FIRST dealing with our own shortcoming.
There is no denying the fact that we are to love all people, regardless of their color, religion, or sexual orientation. But our love for others does not negate our love for God. Therefore our highest allegiance, has to be to Him and his guidelines.
Any church today which stands on the biblical guidelines regarding proper and improper sexual conduct runs the risk of being labeled judgmental. To call conduct such as fornication, adultery, and homosexuality, a sin now puts one at risk of being called judgmental, unloving, insensitive, bigoted, or homophobic. The following comments by a unknown gay man highlights this fact. (compare below)
I recently read a blog written by a gay man, who proclaimed himself to be both Christian and gay. In this blog he noted how some churches are judgmental and hateful, because they disagree with his lifestyle. He tells how he found a church where he has been told that his gay lifestyle is acceptable to God. He invites others of the LGBT community to come to this none judgmental church.
"There are a lot of gays and lesbians who refuse to go to church because when we do go Sunday after Sunday we are spiritually abused. I felt it was necessary to offer an alternative to the dogma and fire and brimstone messages we're used to hearing. I have found a dynamic church in Atlanta that is under the leadership of a pastor who proclaims a message of hope and love for all, (rather than hate).
This church is not judgmental but rather its a LGBT affirming all inclusive and accepting of all of God's people. At this progressive and forward thinking assembly rather than the Bible being used as a battering ram to tear down lives, it is used to build up the lives of all people. This is a church that empowers you to grow in Christ and does not cite your sexual orientation as a hindrance in doing so. As the Pastor often says he ministers to a congregation of "wounded people" and he's exactly right.
Most of the members that of this church, were told that their lifestyle was an abomination, and they were threatened with fiery judgment if they continues. It’s refreshing to know that there is a church you can attend where they accept you as you were born If you've been rejected by your church because you're different I want you to know that you haven't been rejected by God, and no one has the right to judge your lifestyle choices and orientation. You were made in his image and he knew who you were going to be before you knew yourself. Your life is not a mistake!."
REMEMBERING WHERE I CAME FROM---- When I share with those who live the LGBT lifestyle, I always do so while remembering where God brought me from. The stand I take on the word of God is not based on hate, but on truth. First it's based on the truth of who and what I was, before God mercifully delivered me. Seconds it's based on the truth of what God can do in the lives of others.
In order to function on the level of love and compassion, God would have us to, we must be willing to give heed to the following advice given by the apostle Paul, "Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted'" Gal 6:1. We must first be willing to consider our own personal struggles, before and after salvation. We must consider our past and the places God has brought us from, the good, the bad, and the very ugly.
As I reflect back on he dark places of my own making that God has had to deliver me from, it serves as a reminder, that I should not look down on anyone. As I have often admitted when sharing my story, before God graciously delivered and saved me, I did many things sexually, criminally, and relation-nale ship wise, that I am now ashamed of. I hurt others, I hurt myself, and I’m sure I was a great disappointment to God. It is perhaps the words of the apostle Paul which best express how I honestly view myself. "This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners;of whom I am chief." 1st Tim 1:15-16. When sharing my story I openly acknowledge that I truly was the chief of sinners, and if God had not mercifully delivered and saved me on May 21st 1974, I would still retain that title.
Interwoven in this book is my personal story of struggling to come to terms with the direction I wanted my life to go in. There was the drug addiction, the times of incarceration, the sexual promiscuity, and of course the thug life. As I have often acknowledged, when sharing my story back in the late 60s and early 70s, some of my closest and dearest friends were part of the LGBT community. (These were friends that I deeply cared for). It is not my desire to hurt or embarrass any of the individuals I mention in this book. Therefore when sharing my personal testimony of how God miraculously delivered me, some of the names have been changed.
On May 21st 10:30 pm 1974, Christ saved and delivered me from the lifestyle I was living . The first thing I did afterwards was to go to all of my gay friends, my thug associates, and my drug buddies, and tell them what Christ did for me. They were amazed at the radical Change that had taken place in "diego the whip" (my street name). Not only did I share the good news of God's love, but because I loved them, I sought to warn then of the consequence of continuing in the lifestyle that God delivered me from, and they were continuing to live. I did not do this out of hatred or bigotry, I did this out of love.
We normally look out for those who we care for, for example most would agree that " friends don't let friends drive drunk." Because of our concern for the well being of those we care for, we would readily warn them if we saw that they were in harms way.
So it is with our greatest friend of all, God almighty...He sounds a warning when he sees that we are in eternal danger. The Bible clearly sounds a warning about the consequences of living a lifestyle which is contrary to God's guidelines. The Bible also commands us as believers to (in love), sound a warning to others in regards to these perilous circumstances.
Our cars sound a warning when we forget to buckle up, it might be irritating, but we still give heed. If a certain doctor had a policy of not telling his patients the truth about their condition, in order to spare their feelings, he would be sued for malpractice. If a major hurricane was heading toward our coastal cities and thousands of lives were at risk, the public demands that a warning be sounded. What would happen if the weather bureau decided to not disrupt the people in harms way by not sounding a warning? There would be public outrage. Positive warnings are good, they help save lives. The warnings we as believers share with others out of the scriptures are intended by God to help save souls.
Compare God's warning to us if we don't sound a warning. "Therefore hear the word at my mouth, and give them warning from me. When I say unto the wicked, Thou shalt surely die; and thou givest him not warning, nor speakest to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life; the same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand." Ezek 3:17-18.
HOW MUCH DO WE REALLY LOVE OTHERS??? It's not enough for us as believers to sound a a warning, we must ask ourselves how much to we love all people. One of the motivating factors for me doing this book, was my personal observations of certain prophetical events which unfolded before my very eyes. IT WAS THESE EVENTS WHICH MOST MOTIVATED ME TO DO THIS BOOK, AND TO SOUND A WARNING IN LOVE, TO THE BELIEVERS AND THE UNBELIEVERS.
These events took place the week of my wife and I 29th wedding anniversary. taking place. We live in Columbia S.C. but my wife is from Charleston S.C. I suggested to honey that we take a quick trip down to Charleston, where we were married, to celebrate our anniversary. Even though my wife’s family for the most part still lives in Charleston, and we normally stay with her mom when we go there, we like to go down and play tourist. Anytime we go down to Charleston we like to revisit various sites and take in the cordial atmosphere, which is very unique to that area. Our plan was to get a hotel room, take in the sights, and visit her mom the next day. Once we arrived in Charleston we got a room, went out to dinner and as usual we went to the battery which is one of our favorite places.
As a tourist destination, the Battery is famous for its stately antebellum homes. May 17th was a beautiful evening, and the battery was the perfect place to be to watch the sun set. As usual honey began to take pictures of the scenery, especially the sail boats which effortlessly glided by. The sunset was simply breathtaking as we stood there on the battery, soaking it all in. (honey took these pictures of the sail boats).
We left the battery and took a casual ride through the city. At approximately 8:30, I turned on Calhoun street, honey and I did what we usually did, we looked at the building and talked.
At approximately 8:30 and 9:00 we were in front of the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal church . I distinctly remember it because I remember honey pointing out the fact that they were during some type of construction work on the church. From there we went back to our hotel. It was not until the next morning that we heard the news of what had happened on the inside of the church. When we heard the news of the tragic shooting which took place, we realized that while we were actually right there at just before it happened. The shooter was actually sitting in the Bible study as we went by. One of the shooting victims was my wife's mother cousin.
A day or so later we returned back to Columbia. On Friday June 26 was a very emotional time for many of us in South Carolina. This was nine days after the shooting. Rev. Clementa Pinckney was laid to rest. Not only was he the pastor of Emanuel AME church, but he also was a state senator. Thousands gathered in Charleston, South Carolina for the funeral and millions watched by way of TV.
The day of his funeral services just so happen to have coincided with the handing down of the ruling of the supreme court, in regards to same sex marriage. The US Supreme Court ruled that same-sex marriage is a legal right across the United States. The ruling triggered jubilation from coast to coast, with couples young and old flocking to registry offices to tie the knot. Social media exploded, with millions tweeting and posting hashtags such as #LoveWins, #LoveIsLove and #MarriageEquality.
What struck me about these dual events was just how accurately they matched the prophetical sayings of Christ. Man has always desired to know what the future holds, even Christ’s own disciples asked him of the things which would take place in the future. . “And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world”? Matt 24:3. Jesus then outlined a number of things which would be taking place in the last days, which would signify those days to indeed be the last days. Because God wants to give us every opportunity to come before his presence and obtain salvation, the signs Jesus spoke of are now taking place. 25 And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; 26 Men's hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken. *28 And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh. LK 21:25-28.
Jesus named two specific time frames as examples of the condition the world would be in, just prior to the end of this age. 'But as the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. Matt 24:37-37. 'Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; Lk 17:28-30. So just what was taking place during the days of Noah and Lot?
We see the fulfillment of these two prophecies taking place all around us daily. As the Bible foretold today there is a dramatic increase in the over the top violence and sexual promiscuity. At times these two prophecies are hand in hand being manifested. Today we see an increasing level of over the top violence that is indiscriminately targeting our family, friends, and neighbors. The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence. Gen 6.
Even though I disagree with the LGBT lifestyle, I deeply love those who live this lifestyle. I was deeply saddened by the senseless murders that took place in Orlando at the Pulse night club, (A gay night club in Orlando Fl). No one has the right to murder people in cold blood. On June 12, 2016, Omar Mateen, a 29-year-old security guard, killed 49 people and wounded 53 others inside the club. I was deeply hurt that such meanness was perpetrated against these precious human being. Some have smugly pointed at this tragic event and say that God was punishing those at the Pulse nightclub for being gay. We must be careful how we assess this tragic situation, because what happened in Orlando is not a isolated act of violence.
We had a very similar circumstance take place at a elementary school. Yet no one in their right mind would say that God was punishing these precious children. “The Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting occurred on December 14, 2012, in Newtown, Connecticut, when 20-year-old Adam Lanzafatally shot 20 children aged between 6 and 7 years old, as well as six adult staff members. The incident was the deadliest mass shooting at a high school or grade school in U.S. history and the third-deadliest mass shooting by a single person in U.S. history.’ (wikipedia.com). In both of these cases senseless and unwarranted violence was perpetrated against precious human beings.
Then there was the shooting which took place in during a Bible study in Charleston S.C. (just as my wife and I was passing by the church. This shooting hit close to home because we have a simular type Bible study at the church every week. This brought me to tears, but I also was brought to tears over the Sandy hook shooting, and the tragic shooting at the Pulse night club. It is only as we can equally grieve at the loss of all precious lives, that we as believers can love the way God would have us to. “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and most important commandment. The second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself. Matt 22:37-40. According to the Bible, ALL LIVES MATTER, therefore if we want to please our creator, the lives of each of these individual must be precious in our sight.
LOVING OTHERS THE WAY I LOVE MYSELF----In Luke's account Christ was asked what was the greatest commandment, to which he stated, 7 Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself. Lk 10:7. The Jewish teachers of Christ’s day had often interpreted "neighbor" to include only people of their own nationality and religion. As told in Luke, the Scribe who asked Jesus about the greatest of the commandment wanted justification for that interpretation, so he asked Jesus, "And who is my neighbor?" 29 But he, willing to justify himself, said unto Jesus, And who is my neighbour? Lk 10:29.
In response, Jesus told the famous Parable of the Good Samaritanan. What’s interesting about this story is Jesus’ command after telling it. The lawyer asked, “Who is my neighbor?” Rather than the answer Christ gave telling the lawyer who his neighbor was, Christ showed him the type of neighbor God expects for us to be toward all people. Regardless of their skin color, religious affiliation, sexual orintation, social and political views, Christ taught us to love and care for our fellowman. Christ told of a Jewish man who had been beaten by robbers and left half dead beside the road. Two different Jewish religious leaders passed by but did nothing to help. Finally, a Samaritan man came by and took pity on the injured man. He gave him water, patched up his wounds, put him on his own donkey and took him to an inn where he could rest and recover.
30 And Jesus answering said, A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, which stripped him of his raiment, and wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead. 31 And by chance there came down a certain priest that way: and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. 32 And likewise a Levite, when he was at the place, came and looked on him, and passed by on the other side. 33 But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him, 34 And went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him. 35 And on the morrow when he departed, he took out two pence, and gave them to the host, and said unto him, Take care of him; and whatsoever thou spendest more, when I come again, I will repay thee. 36 Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbour unto him that fell among the thieves? 37 And he said, He that shewed mercy on him. Then said Jesus unto him, Go, and do thou likewise. Lk 10:30-36.
As Paul tells us, If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3 If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing. 4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 8 Love never fails. 1st Cor 13:1-8, (NIV).
Jesus said we should treat others the way we want to be treated. For those of us who are parents we should ask, If the gay person in question was my son or my daughter, how would we want the Christian community to view and treat them? We may not expect the Christian community to agree with the lifestyle choice our son or daughter made, but we would hope that mixed with their disagreement they would show love and compassion. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another. Jn 13:35
TO PLEASE GOD WE MUST SINCERELY LOVE THOS WHO ARE LGBT
Jessie Johnson tells there are several things should do, (compare below).
"1. Have compassion Satan is a hater and a destroyer he hates those who are gay just as much as he hates Christians. Satan’s main goal is to destroy us all. A person shackled to a gay lifestyle is a person who has already experienced profound pain, rejection, and a degree of inner emptiness, (as we all have). Unless we have experienced this, It’s hard to imagine the damage that is caused to someone when they question their own sexual identity. It strikes at the very core of their being. That pain and insecurity is masked by coming out, but it is not taken away. Instead, it leads to a perpetual search for acceptance, and ultimately it leads to a life where there is a lack of inner fulfillment. While we must stand on the truths of God, and call sin, sin (as we had to do with our own sins), we must not go out our way to hurt or harm those of the LGBT community.
2. Demonstrate love to those who are LGBT— We MUST be willing to show the same love and kindness to those who are gay that God showed to us. Develop relationships with co-workers who are gay. Get to know them, pray for them, and don’t shrink back from sharing the gospel with them. While it’s true that we must not back down on what the Bible says about sexual misconduct, it’s equally true that we should avoid saying negative things about those who are gay, out of meanness or spite. My philosophy is if you are gay and hungry I help feed you, If you are gay and naked I will help clothes you. If you are gay and sick I will visit you. Not out of show, but out of a deep seated love for you. Remember that at the end of the day, the main thing we owe to all men is love.
3. Don’t tolerate any divisive or hate speech. As believers we must call the LGBT lifestyle sinful, but we must not resort to name calling. If you manage a secular company, and you have employees that can’t work alongside someone who is gay without being divisive or unprofessional, you have to deal with that divisive and unprofessional employee. Your employees need to work together, and ensuring that this is the case is not tantamount to showing acceptance for homosexuality, but rather is a mark of professionalism, and a sign of Christian maturity. We need to know how to separate our disagreement with all things gay, from the work and business arena, For example, If my child needed a brain operation and the one surgeon who can perform the surgery is gay, my child is having that surgery.
4. Be honest with a gay co-workers by letting him know that although you totally disagree with their lifestyle, you love them as a person. This mindset should apply to all those you deal with in the LGBT community. You can explain that this is the same tension you have with all non-Christians, but that it is even more pronounced with him, and ask for help in trying to find that balance. Explain that it is your desire to see him or her to truly be saved, and if they choose to continue in their lifestyle, that your disagreement is not tantamount to hatred."
"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” We as believers should keep in mind that our disagreement with the gay lifestyle must not translate into hatred for those who are gay. There is no denying the fact that those who are gay have the right to certain civil rights as human beings and citizens.
There is no denying the fact that those who are gay have the right to certain civil rights as human beings and citizens. Dr. R. Albert Mohler Jr. Makes the following observations. “ We as believers should welcome the recognition of civil rights, understanding that the very notion of such rights is based on a Christian worldview and the affirmation that every human being is made in God’s image, and therefore possesses dignity and certain essential rights.
In the words of Bishop Dr. Robert Solomon we find both a call for compassion and a call for holiness when it comes to dealing with the LGBT issues. “In providing for people's basic needs, God shows a loving non-discrimination. We must note that homosexuals are also people and have basic human dignity, and like us, have basic rights such as the right to education, health care, and employment. It must also be noted that just like all humans who are a mixture of sin and grace, a homosexual may also exhibit many praiseworthy character traits in spite of engaging in a particular sinful practice.
(We must also note that while we condemn homosexual practice, we must likewise be prepared to condemn with equal strength and conviction the other sins listed in, say, 1 Cor. 6:9. Sins such as stealing, greed, drunkenness, slandering, and idolatry, or the more deadly sins such as pride.) We must be careful in not outdoing and contradicting God by rejecting people or denying them their basic needs as God-created individuals because of their unrighteous acts. This applies to homosexuals too. What we must oppose, however, is the active and aggressive promotion by gay rights groups of a gay lifestyle in our society. We must raise strong objections when there are attempts in the arts, media and other places to endorse, normalize or idealize the gay lifestyle.”
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UNDERSTANDING THE LGBT AGENDA