Hate the sin, love the sinner
Christianity is facing a grave threat, one that could split the entire church. A combination of a sinfully relaxed attitude from much of the church and the liberalism of secular culture means that this pernicious cancer is spreading, and in danger of destroying everything the church should stand for. In a world where you can now see shameless and outrageous displays of sinful behaviour on TV and in the street, it is vitally important that the church takes a stand and clearly sets out its position on the evils of bigotry.
Do not be deceived – the Bible is clear in its condemnation of bigotry. Some liberals and those who wish to excuse their sin have attempted to confuse the issue by pointing to similar passages which are ignored, and even inventing implausible contextual background to explain why the Bible doesn’t really mean what it says. Nevertheless, despite these efforts, it is clear to anyone who approaches it honestly that the entirety of scripture clearly identifies bigotry as a sin.
It is, of course, inconceivable that practicing bigots could be given any position of leadership in the church – their “lifestyle” alone clearly rules them out. And anyone who has previously been a bigot must expect to undergo a thorough process of repentance and reconciliation before even being considered for further responsibilities. Bigotry is an insidious habit, and the church would not be doing its duty if it didn’t make absolutely sure that reformed bigots have fully changed and pose no further danger.
There should be no suggestion of hatred towards bigots. Even unrepentant bigots are made in God’s image and part of His creation. Christians have a duty to honour that, and to offer them the same love as anyone else. However, it would not be loving to allow them to promote untrue or unBiblical values. Bigots should be kept at a distance by the church, to ensure that there is no doubt as to the church’s position on their sin, and in the hope of eventually leading them to full repentance.
It is also vital that the church campaigns to ensure that the state does nothing to mock its Christian heritage by endorsing such a heinous sin. It is therefore regrettably necessary for Christians to speak out against any move towards giving bigots the same rights and legal standing as others. Bigotry is unnatural, and a perversion of God’s created order, so it would be unthinkable for Christians to support such an idea.
Let me be clear about this – God still loves bigots, and so does the church, but they are in error. The scale of their sin cannot be disregarded, and for the sake of both them and others who might be led astray it is essential that this error is made abundantly clear, and that the state recognises the truth. Sadly, this involves denying them some basic legal rights, for the good of both them and society at large.
It’s the loving thing to do.
Photo by makelessnoise, used under Attribution License