My Dear Friend (who is gay),

I want you to know that I don’t hate you at all. Hating you is the furthest thing from my mind.

I don’t pretend to tell you what you MUST do with your life. God has given all of us our lives to live as we choose. (though, of course, we’re all responsible to Him for how we do that).

It isn’t even any of my business should you marry within your sexual preference.

I wish there was a way that all of us could simply live like each of us prefers, in as mutually exclusive a channel as we each prefer or find necessary. Wherever possible, we all should seek this, don’t you think? You know, I’ll leave you to your way and you leave me to mine? Surely we don’t all have to be required to agree in order to love one another? You don’t have to agree with my convictions and I don’t have to agree with yours to sit together and laugh over a beverage.

There are those times, though, when two divergent views cannot run simultaneously. I know you don’t understand my biblical Christian convictions, and I’m sure it’s true that I don’t truly understand yours. But my most deeply seated belief is that a marriage is exclusively between one man and one woman. Your definition is that any two human beings of any gender may marry. (I know I speak the obvious here, but please bear with me).

In a different kind of world we could just make accommodations for both definitions, agree to disagree and carry on. Yet, to our dismay, in the real world we don’t seem to be able to do that. For if, on the one hand, you find that I don’t believe your marriage is a marriage, then you see me as hatefully bigoted. And then, on the other hand, if I see that you don’t care about my conviction, and insist that I compromise it to agree with you, then I have become one who cannot freely exercise my religious convictions. It’s a real conundrum, isn’t it?  Seems both sides of the issue are calling for unconditional surrender. So it is evident here, from this example, that not everybody at all times and circumstances may enjoy the luxury of “agreeing to disagree.”

Jesus, I think, gave voice to this principle when he declared that light and darkness may have no fellowship (for where one is the other may not be). You will, naturally, feel that your point of view is the light and that mine derives from darkness. Therefore, it may be thought, any whose worldview has been shaped by an historic orthodox Judeo-Christian conviction in this regard, have been wickedly discriminatory all along.

Today, every side of every issue invokes it’s impression of Jesus to stand and endorse it’s cause. “This is what Jesus would do.”  “This is what Jesus would say.”  I do believe, however, that very few of us probably know exactly what Jesus would do or say. However, we may go to what he did in fact do and say and extrapolate.

But if we even do that, we have to be rigorous in taking in ALL that he said and did in the record we have. We can see what he did in one circumstance with a certain subject and make that a template for every one of his interactions. Such a procedure would produce strange results if one did that to the varying contexts and players that constitute our complex relational lives.

One thing rings clear on a careful summation of all the data: Jesus loves sinners and hates the sin that binds them enough to come and destroy it. His last words to those who would be his followers was not to go and be accommodating of everything. No, it was rather to show them that the way to receive Jesus was to turn from the sin he hates and love him instead.

Luke 24:47 “…and repentance for the forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.”

 

The Apostle John tells us that the world hated Jesus then (and they still do) because “men loved darkness rather than light. [See John 1]”  In other words, people preferred their evil deeds in favor of giving them up to choose Jesus instead. The same sources that introduce us to Jesus (and without which we would know very little about Him) also tell us what sin is, what it looks like—including very vivid examples and descriptions. So these convictions we possess that compel us are not our own. We only see and hear and try to obey. When the Christian wants nothing to do with participating in your gay marriage, it is not unlike, perhaps your aversion to participate in our constructs and rituals. I am not compelled to go to a particular church, or to go to church at all. You are not compelled to believe in nor adhere to my beliefs nor I to yours. I will give you the benefit of the doubt that our disagreement doesn’t necessarily mean you hate me.

But now, you may say, that my failure to fully agree with you on THIS point IS different. It constitutes illegal discrimination. It is the same, in principle, you might allege, as denial to serve that black man at a Mississippi lunch counter. That one who would deny service would not have been in sin to have served that woman. In fact, he was in sin NOT to.  Yet, when it comes to a demand that a fervent Bible-believer suspend his trust in God’s Word there is something different happening. At the lunch counter we were all collectively demanding that justice be done by OBEYING the truth consistent with the Bible. In this present issue, we are being commanded by men to do the opposite—to disobey and disregard a clear and ancient precept. This we cannot do, else we deny the One Who called us.

“But Peter and John answered them, “Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you rather than to God, you must judge…”  Acts 4:19

In spite of anything to the contrary you might believe about me, I do not hate you. I have no judgment for you (that’s not my job). Mine is only to be faithful to my Master.

I seriously doubt that I have been able to effectively communicate here. I’m trying though. And I DO love you. There’s no question that God loves both of us. He loves us, indeed, just the way we are. Yet, thankfully, He loves us too much to leave us that way.

Sincerely,

Tim

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