We Are All Sinners
Before we get started, this post is not specifically about homosexuality. Though homosexuality fits the context of this post, this could be written about many of the culturally appropriate sins of this day and age.
The above passage from Romans 1 should send shockwaves through all who read it. This passage follows one of the Bible’s most powerful and dreadful descriptions of all humans (Romans 1:18-23). Yes, that includes you. We have all known God yet not honored him as such. We have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). We have all exchanged the glory of God for things of this earth. We are all under sin, whether Jew or Greek, black or white (Romans 3:9).
In light of the Romans 1 passage above, God didn’t look at sinners and say, “ah… well… since I made them that way, I better just accept them as they are.” He “gave them up” to their sins (Romans 1:24). He gave us up to our sins. He didn’t do it out of hatred. He didn’t do it because he wanted humans to die and burn in hell for eternity. He did it because he is holy and we are not. God created Adam in his image on the “very good” sixth day of creation, but sometime later, Adam sinned and brought death to all mankind (Genesis 1:31; 3:1-24; Romans 5:12). Now we can’t be in God’s presence because we are sinful.
What Is Tolerance?
I say all that to say this. Tolerance, as defined by Webster’s dictionary, means “sympathy or indulgence for beliefs or practices differing from or conflicting with one's own” (1). If tolerance means sympathy, then, by all means, sympathize with people who struggle with homosexuality, gluttony, lust, porn addiction, fornication, or any other sin! God did this throughout scripture. However, if tolerance means “indulgence” in sin and changing your beliefs to fit social norms, it is unloving to do so.
True Love Must Have Truth
Jesus is the perfect example of love on this earth. He is God. He is man. He showed love to sinners. He showed love to the adulterous woman (John 8:7), the woman from Samaria (John 4), and the thief on the cross (Luke 23:32-43). He showed love in rebuking the self-righteous Pharisees. He didn’t do it by redefining sin. He showed his love by recognizing sin for what it is and pointing people to have the Living Water. He showed ultimate love by dying for his enemies (Romans 5:10).
The essence of love is not accepting sin as good. It is recognizing sin for what it is and pointing people to Christ. Love is not trampling others or being run over by them. Love is calling sin what it is and pointing to the cross.
Sometimes the truth is painful (John 8:44, Matt. 21:12), but it is always necessary if we are to love others. Love your neighbors, love your enemies, but never forget to love God.
Image Source: Fernandez, Aia. “Coexist.” Flickr, February 1, 2017, https://www.flickr.com/photos/oasenita/31801413804, https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/.
Chrys Jones is a Christian, husband, father of three, pastor, and teacher. He is also a recording artist and producer for Christcentric Records and a book briefer for Accelerate Books. In his free time, Chrys loves to spend time with his family, roast coffee, read good books, and listen to beat tapes and jazz.