Intolerant Toleration – Part 4 – The Chick-Fil-A Saga

Definition of TOLERATE

2 a : to allow to be or to be done without prohibition, hindrance, or contradiction

b : to put up with

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tolerate

Definition of INTOLERANT
2 a
: unwilling to grant equal freedom of expression especially in religious matters

b
: unwilling to grant or share social, political, or professional rights : bigoted

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/intolerant


Chick-Fil-A president Dan Cathy made the following statement recently in a radio interview on the “Ken Coleman Show:”

“I think we are inviting God’s judgment on our nation when we shake our fist at Him and say ‘we know better than you as to what constitutes a marriage’ and I pray God’s mercy on our generation that has such a prideful, arrogant attitude to think that we have the audacity to define what marriage is about.”

Dan Cathy

The entire interview can be heard here. The quote above is found about 31 minutes into the interview.

First, notice what was not said: Cathy did not say same-gender marriage should be prohibited. He does not say homosexuals cannot work at Chick-Fil-A, nor does he say homosexuals are not welcome at Chick-Fil-A. He does not say homosexual marriage should not be put up with, permitted, or allowed. He says nothing about taking away freedom of expression, or taking away rights.

What does he say? He says he believes God will judge our nation for our pride and arrogance in disregarding what He says about marriage. He also prays for God’s mercy.

By definition, Cathy’s statement was not intolerant.

What have those opposed to Cathy’s statement said?

The mayors of Washington, DC, San Francisco, Boston, and Chicago have all stated that Chick-Fil-A will be prohibited in their cities. DC mayor Vincent Gray called Chick-Fil-A “Hate Chicken.” Mayor Edwin Lee of San Francisco tweeted, “Closest #ChickFilA to San Francisco is 40 miles away & I strongly recommend that they not try to come any closer.”

Philadelphia City Councilman James Kenney told Cathy in a letter to “take a hike and take your intolerance with you. There is no place for this type of hate in our great City of Brotherly and Sisterly Affection.” He plans to introduce a resolution at the next council meeting condemning Chick-Fil-A.

College students are using online petitions to demand the chain is removed from campuses including University of Illinois, Ball State University, College of Charleston, University of Kansas, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, Wichita State University, and Minnesota State University.

Websites like boycottchickfila.com have been popping up, along with multiple Facebook pages calling for boycotts and banning Chick-Fil-A.

Who are the intolerant ones? Which group advocates prohibiting opposing views? Which group wants to hinder the other? Which group is “unwilling to grant equal freedom of expression especially in religious matters?” Which group is trying to ban the other?

Those who call for boycotts of Chick-Fil-A and the politicians who want to take away Chick-Fil-A’s right to do commerce in their cities are the intolerant ones. It’s one thing to disagree with a position, like Dan Cathy has done. It’s another thing to call for sanctions, boycotts, and legislation against those who disagree with you. In the name of tolerance, people like Vincent Gray, Edwin Lee, and James Kenney spew their intolerance of anyone who disagrees with them.

Intolerant toleration.

Bigoted anti-bigotry.

Hypocrisy.

Again, it’s apparently not intolerance to be intolerant of Christianity.

But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away! ~ 2 Timothy 3:1-5

Pushing People Out of the Church – Part 2

Skeptic Valerie Tarico wrote an the article, “8 Ways Christian Fundamentalists Make People Convert — to Agnosticism or Atheism,” for the left-wing, anti-religion, news-and-commentary website Alternet.org. While I find most of the articles on this site either offensive or just plain ignorant, this article caught my interest, because it contains some truths that Christians need to understand.

While people who reject Jesus Christ ultimately do so because they choose to suppress the truth (Romans 1:18-19), there are also things that many in the church do to push people away. As Tarico states, “if you read ExChristian testimonials you will notice that quite often church leaders or members do things that either trigger the deconversion process or help it along.”

As a Christian, I can learn a lot by listening to what skeptics say about why people leave the church. This series looks at the eight reasons Tarico highlights.

Tarico’s second reason:

2. Prooftexting. People who think of the Bible as the literally perfect word of God love to quote excerpts to argue their points. They often start with a verse in 1 Timothy: All scripture is given by inspiration of God (as if this circular argument would convince anyone but a true believer). They proceed to quote whatever authoritarian, anti-gay or anti-woman verse makes their point, like, Whoever spares the rod hates their children…Blows and wounds cleanse away evil, and beatings purge the inmost being or Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination. In doing so, they call into question biblical authority, because the Bible writers so obviously got these issues wrong. Literalists who prooftext are a tremendous asset to those who would like to see Bible worship fade away – because prooftexting on one side of an argument invites the same in return, and it is easy to find quotes from the Bible that are either scientifically absurd or morally repugnant.

Many liberal or modernist Christians see the Bible as a human document, an attempt by our spiritual ancestors to articulate their best understanding of God through the lens of imperfect human cultures and minds. Suppose such a Christian is confronted with a verse that says, for example, Now kill all the boys. And kill every woman who has slept with a man, but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man (Numbers 31:17-18), or No man who has any defect may come near [to God in the temple]: no man who is blind or lame, disfigured or deformed;  no man with a crippled foot or hand, or who is a hunchback or a dwarf, or who has any eye defect,…(Leviticus 21:17-23). He or she can simply shrug and say, “Yeah, that’s ugly.” A couple of years ago a group of liberal Christians even kicked off an Internet competition to vote on the worst verse in the Bible. Their faith doesn’t stand or fall with the perfection of the Bible. Biblical literalists, on the other hand, give someone like me an excuse to talk about sexual slavery or bias against handicapped people in the Bible – in front of an audience who have been taught that the good book is uniformly good. For a wavering believer, the dissonance can be too much.

First, let’s define the term Prooftexting. Prooftexting means to pull a Bible passage out of context and to use it to justify a doctrinal position. Unfortunately, Tarico is correct; many Christians grab verses out of context to justify bad theology and sin. The ironic thing is that Tarico pulls the verses she quotes out of context to justify her conclusion that “the Bible writers so obviously got these issues wrong.” Prooftexting works both ways; skeptics are at least as bad about ignoring context as the Christians they rant against.

It’s also ironic that Tarico gives the answer to the problem of prooftexting: All scripture is given by inspiration of God… (1 Timothy 3:16). All scripture means ALL scripture. It means we can’t just grab the verses that seem to support our pet belief while ignoring the rest of the Bible. At various times in its history, the church has used prooftexting to justify slavery, inquisitions, and witch hunts. Today, some Christians use prooftexting to justify protesting the funerals of United States servicemen, racism, and hating homosexuals. Tarico is right – many Christians latch onto Leviticus 18:22 Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination, but ignore John 8:11, “…And Jesus said to her, ‘Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more.'” And, Tarico is also correct in pointing out that such bad theology and quoting the Bible out of context is “are a tremendous asset to those who would like to see Bible worship fade away.”

In my blogs, I make it a point to link to the Scriptures I quote, usually on BibleGateway.com. I do this in order to make it easier for my readers to check out the passages, in context, looking at multiple translations. I want to give my readers the opportunity to check out the context for themselves, to see that, in context, the passage agrees with the point I’m trying to make. And, if the reader disagrees, and feels I’m prooftexting, I want them to point out my error. Context is the most important element to correctly understanding God’s Word. One must not only look at the immediate context of a passage, but also how the passage fits with other related passages. When we fail to do this, we risk believing bad theology, and in turn, we risk living our lives contrary to God’s will. We risk sin, and sin will destroy us. Bad theology can destroy a church, and can drive away those who are teetering between belief and unbelief.

Tarico compares the approaches of “liberal or modernist Christians” and “Biblical literalists.” She concludes that the “liberal” approach is better, because the Bible contains errors, and those errors don’t create problems for Christians whose faith doesn’t “stand or fall with the perfection of the Bible.” She believes that for “Biblical literalists,” the “dissonance” of conflicting passages drives people away from the faith.

The problem with her argument is that she presupposes that the Bible contains errors and contradictions.

It’s true that there are many Biblical passages that, on the surface, seem to contradict each other, or seem to make God into an evil being. The problem is that most people – Christians and non-Christians alike – tend to prooftext these passages, pulling them out of context. The reason Bible passages seem to contradict each other is because people ignore the context in which they are given. Using Tarico’s example, when confronted with a verse like Numbers 31:17-18, “Now kill all the boys. And kill every woman who has slept with a man, but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man,” one needs to look at the immediate context of the entire chapter of Numbers 31. In this case, the Israelites had ignored God’s command to destroy the Midianites. Digging deeper, one would need to look at 1) why the Israelites disobeyed God; 2) why God wanted the Midianites destroyed; and 3) how this event fits into God’s overall plan of the redemption of humankind. When I look at a passage like this in the context of God’s love, holiness, omniscience, and sovereignty, I conclude that God had reasons I cannot fully understand for commanding the destruction of the Midianites, and that those reasons were based on His mercy and love. Perhaps in His mercy, He didn’t want more Midianites to be born, knowing that all of them would reject Him and choose Hell instead – leading others away from Him as well. When I look at the whole context of Scripture and the nature of God, I can begin to understand how a loving God can hate sin, and why He would use genocide to keep more people from ending up in Hell. I arrive at a different conclusion than the skeptic or the liberal Christian about this passage because I presuppose the Bible is true and take the passage in the context of the entire Bible.

The answer to prooftexting is not to simply ignore apparent contradictions. The answer is to begin with trust in God’s goodness, love, and mercy; to examine difficult passages in context, starting with the assumption that the Bible is the true Word of God; to allow the Holy Spirit to give insight and wisdom; and to dig deeper into the Bible to understand the big picture of God’s plan for the redemption of humanity. For a person teetering between belief and unbelief, the answer is not to water down the Bible; the answer is to dig deeper into the context and “give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you” (1 Peter 3:15).

Islam: An Apologetic Analysis and Critique

This was originally a paper I wrote for a class at Liberty Theological Seminary.

Introduction

Islam is the second-largest religion in the world, behind Christianity, and is growing rapidly. There has been a long history of ignorance, intolerance, and resentment of Muslims by Christians in the United States, which has increased greatly since the events of 9/11. Yet, Christians are commanded to preach to all nations (Matthew 28:19), which includes Muslims. In order to reach Muslims with the Gospel, Christians must better understand Islamic thought, and use appropriate apologetic methods. This paper will examine basic Islamic beliefs, analyze the flaws within the Islamic worldview, and suggest apologetic arguments that capitalize on these flaws in order to present the Biblical worldview.

A Summary of Islamic Beliefs

Islam, founded by Muhammad in Saudi Arabia in AD 610, teaches that Judaism and Christianity have become corrupted, and that Islam corrects these religions.

Absolute monotheism is the core axiom of Islam. The doctrine of tawhid states that Allah is utterly transcendent. He is not just monotheistic, but wholly distinct, a completely separate Being.1 The Islamic view of transcendence is more strict than the Christian view; it “implies that to all intents and purposes God is unknowable; Christians believe that God can be known (John 1:18; 14:7; 17:3, 6).” 2

The term Islam means “surrender.” The Muslim surrenders to Allah by following the Five Pillars of Islam: the creed (shahada), prayer (salat), almsgiving (zakat), fasting (sawm), and pilgrimage to Mecca (hajj).

In the Qur’an, “the greatest Islamic sin is that of shirk—the illicit ‘association’ of a creature in the honor and worship that belongs to God alone.”3 To the Muslim, the concept of Jesus as the Son of God is shirk.

Flaws within Islam

There are many flaws inherent within Islam. As Christians, we accept the premise that the Bible is the perfect, infallible, inerrant Word of God. Therefore, any worldview or religion that contradicts the Bible must logically be false and irrational.

The core doctrine of tawhid, the absolute transcendence of Allah, is self-refuting. Tawhid teaches that Allah is unknowable, yet the statement that Allah is unknowable is itself a statement of knowledge of Allah – we know that Allah is unknowable. How can one know anything about something that is unknowable? Islam also teaches that Allah has ninety-nine names. These names describe various aspects of Allah’s nature. If Allah is unknowable, then how can we have ninety-nine names describing his attributes?

Tawhid also teaches that nothing – no person or entity – can be compared to or analogous to Allah. Therefore, he can neither be a person, nor any other entity. He cannot be something. If he cannot be something, then he must be nothing. Therefore, Allah cannot exist.

The Qur’an teaches that the Bible is the word of God (Suras 34:31; 35:31; 48:29; 66:6, 12). The Qur’an affirms the Bible’s teaching, but the Bible contradicts the teaching of the Qur’an. Therefore, the Qur’an is self-refuting and cannot be true, because it contradicts the book that it cites as the word of God.

Islamic theology teaches that Allah is both just and merciful. William Vandoodewaard suggests,

The problem is that in order for Allah to remain perfectly just and righteous, sin must be punished. If all men are sinful and have committed sin, and Allah is infinite and perfect in his attributes, there can be no mercy. For mercy then would function as a negation of his justice. This leads to the inevitable conclusion that in order for Allah to be both merciful (in the Quranic sense of ignoring the sins of some) and just, he must be an arbitrary and changing being.5

Unlike the cross of Christ in Christianity, Islam has no mechanism for satisfying both the justice and the mercy of Allah.

Allah is indeed described in the Islamic theology as arbitrary. He is “a fickle, capricious, untrustworthy being that is inconsistent, irregular, and has a mutable will. He can tell falsehoods and hoodwink men.”6 If Allah is arbitrary and changing, then Islam cannot account for the laws of logic, physics, and mathematics, which are absolute and unchanging. If Allah can lie and change his mind, then how can the Muslim know that Allah was telling the truth when he gave Muhammad the Qur’an?

The Qur’an teaches a distorted view of the Christian doctrine of the Trinity. Islamic theology states that the God of the Bible is three gods: God the Father, Jesus, and Mary. The Qur’an states, “GOD will say, “O Jesus, son of Mary, did you say to the people, `Make me and my mother idols beside GOD?'”7 Islam also instructs that the Bible teaches that Jesus was the result of a physical relationship between God and Mary. Both of these claims are blatant misrepresentations of the Bible.

Nowhere in the Qur’an is Allah described as a god of love. The absolute oneness of Allah implies that Allah could not have loved before he created the world, because love requires an object. Since Allah was alone in his existence, there was nothing for him to love. If love is not an attribute of Allah, then from where does love come? If Allah is not a god of love, then he could not have created love. Why does love exist, if it did not come from Allah?

Sharing Christ with the Muslim

One of the first considerations when sharing the Gospel with a Muslim is his belief in greatest Islamic sin, shirk – the offensive, blasphemous placement of anything on par with Allah. Edward Challen believes that Christians should refrain from using the term “Son of God” when describing Jesus, stating, “it is not wise to use the term, for it immediately offends.”8 He further suggests that we must first explain what the Bible actually teaches about the Trinity – one God, in three Persons – and then refer to the Trinity and to Jesus as the Son of God.

Caner suggests several cultural principles that would be offensive to the Muslim, which Christians should avoid when witnessing. These include shaking the left hand, calling a Muslim “Brother,” refusing hospitality, serving alcohol, pork, or shellfish, interrupting worship, or speaking to a member of the opposite gender.9

A two-fold apologetic is an effective way to share the Gospel with a Muslim. One side of the argument is a polemic against Islam, capitalizing on the inherent flaws within Islam. Demonstrate that the absolute transcendence and unknowability of Allah are self-refuting concepts; that the Qur’an affirms the Bible, but the Bible contradicts the Qur’an; and that the arbitrariness and inconsistency of Allah means that Islam cannot account for the absolute laws of logic, physics, and mathematics. By pointing out these and other logical inconsistencies within Islam, the Christian can help the Muslim understand that Islam cannot be the truth.

The second side of the approach to reach the Muslim is a clear apologetic of the truth of Jesus Christ as the only atonement for sin. Islam provides no method for both justice and mercy; only the death of Jesus Christ on the cross can accomplish both. Since Islam is a works-based religion, the Muslim is acutely aware of his own sin. In order for him to understand God’s grace, he must understand that he cannot satisfy God’s justice on his own.

The Christian must emphasize the differences between Allah and the God of the Bible. Allah is unknowable and unlovable, but our God not only can be known and loved, but knowing and loving Him is the very reason he created us.

Christians must emphasize the differences between the Qur’an and the Bible. Daniel Shayesteh explains that

Muslims need to discover and know whether the Bible or the Qur’an is the Word of God. They need to know which one introduces the real justice of God. They need to ask which one truly cares for the world and provides salvation for humankind? Muslims need to be assured that Jesus can answer their desperate need for salvation and can erase any uncertainty about salvation in their lives. We can prove to them how we now have assurance of salvation in Him.10

Since Islam teaches that the Bible is the Word of God, it is extremely appropriate to use the Bible to show the differences between Christian and Islamic beliefs, and how Jesus is able to provide the eternal salvation that Islam cannot provide.

Conclusions

Due to space limitations, this paper did not explore all of the flaws within Islam. Further study of these flaws, and the logical and Biblical responses to them, is suggested.

Sharing the Gospel with a Muslim can be a difficult task in light of the mistrust and hysteria in the aftermath of 9/11, but with reliance on the Holy Spirit, God can use the Christian to reach the Muslim with the love of Jesus Christ. Every person is created in God’s image, and needs Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. By understanding the basic tenets and practices of Islam and the inherent weaknesses within those beliefs, and by giving reasoned responses to those inconsistencies, the Christian can be more effectively used by God to reach the Muslim.

Bibliography

Caner, Ergun. “Islam.” In The Popular Encyclopedia of Apologetics, edited by Ed Hinson and Ergun Caner, 277-281. Eugene, Oregon: Harvest House Publishers, 2008.

Caner, Ergun, and Emir Caner. Unveiling Islam. 2nd ed. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Kregel Publications, 2009.

Challen, Edward. Love Your Muslim Neighbour. Leominster, England: Day One Publications, 2006.

Robinson, Mike L. One Way to God. Denver, Colorado: Outskirts Press, 2008.

Schlorff, Samuel P. “Muslim Ideology and Christian Apologetics.” Missiology 21, no. 2 (April 1993): 173-185. http://search.ebscohost.com.ezproxy.liberty.edu:2048/ login.aspx?direct=true&db=rfh&AN=ATLA0000863905&site=ehost-live&scope=site (accessed September 13, 2009).

Shayesteh, Daniel. The Difference is the Son. Castle Hill, New South Wales: Daniel Shayesteh, 2004.

Swanson, Mark N. “The Trinity in Christian-Muslim Conversation.” Dialog 44, no. 3 (Fall 2005): 256-263. http://search.ebscohost.com.ezproxy.liberty.edu:2048/login.aspx? direct=true&db=rfh&AN=ATLA0001495658&site=ehost-live&scope=site (accessed September 13, 2009).

Vandoodewaard, William. “The Necessity of Theology and Practice in Islamic Studies.” Christian Higher Education 4, no. 3 (July 2005): 211-230. http://search.ebscohost .com.ezproxy.liberty.edu:2048/login.aspx?direct=true&db=eoah&AN=7402365&site=ehost-live&scope=site (accessed September 13, 2009).

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Notes:

1. Caner, Ergun, “Islam,” in The Popular Encyclopedia of Apologetics, ed. Ed Hinson and Ergun Caner (Eugene, Oregon: Harvest House Publishers, 2008), 280.

2. Schlorff, Samuel P., “Muslim Ideology and Christian Apologetics.” Missiology 21, no. 2 (April 1993): 175, http://search.ebscohost.com.ezproxy.liberty.edu:2048/login.aspx?direct=true&db=rfh& AN=ATLA0000863905&site=ehost-live&scope=site (accessed September 13, 2009).

3. Swanson, Mark N., “The Trinity in Christian-Muslim Conversation.” Dialog 44, no. 3 (Fall 2005): 256, http://search.ebscohost.com.ezproxy.liberty.edu:2048/login.aspx?direct=true&db=rfh& AN=ATLA0001495658 &site=ehost-live&scope=site (accessed September 13, 2009).

4. Ergun Caner and Emir Caner, Unveiling Islam, 2nd ed. (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Kregel Publications, 2009), 110.

5. Vandoodewaard, William, “The Necessity of Theology and Practice in Islamic Studies.” Christian Higher Education 4, no. 3 (July 2005): 217, http://search.ebscohost.com.ezproxy.liberty.edu:2048/ login.aspx?direct=true&db=eoah&AN=7402365&site=ehost-live&scope=site (accessed September 13, 2009).

6 Robinson, Mike L., One Way to God, (Denver, Colorado: Outskirts Press, 2008), 89.

7. Surah 5:116 (translated by Dr. Rashad Khalifa).

8. Challen, Edward, Love Your Muslim Neighbour. (Leominster, England: Day One Publications, 2006), 200.

9. Caner and Caner, Unveiling Islam, 223-224.

10. Shayesteh, Daniel, The Difference is the Son (Castle Hill, New South Wales: Daniel Shayesteh, 2004), 294-295.

Pushing People Out of the Church – Part 1

I found a link to an article entitled, “8 Ways Christian Fundamentalists Make People Convert — to Agnosticism or Atheism,” on Facebook. Alternet.org is a left-wing, anti-religion, news-and-commentary website. While I disagree with the vast majority of their conclusions and find much of their content to be just plain irrational, I find some of the articles fascinating, because they help me to understand the thinking behind why many non-Christians reject the Truth.

Ultimately, those that reject the Gospel do so because they suppress the truth (Romans 1:18-19). Yet, there are also things that Christians do that reinforce people’s sinful natural desire to reject God. The article’s premise is that Christians push many people to leave Christianity because of what they say or do. As the author, skeptic Valerie Tarico, states, “If the Catholic bishops, their conservative Protestant allies, and other right-wing fundamentalists had the sole objective of decimating religious belief, they couldn’t be doing a better job of it.”

While I disagree with the premise that the stupidity of some Christian leaders is a rational reason for rejecting Christianity, I found that Tarico makes some valid points about behaviors and attitudes that are too frequently found in Christianity that indeed do push people away. In this series, I will be examining each of the 8 issues Tarico discusses to see what Christians can glean about our own attitudes and behaviors that should be changed.

Reason 1: Gay Baiting

Tarico writes:

Because of sheer demographics, many gay people are born into religious families. The condemnation (and self-condemnation) they face if their families see homosexuality as an abomination can be excruciating, as we all know from the suicide rate. Some emotionally battered gays spend their lives fighting or denying who they are, but many eventually find their way to open and affirming congregations or non-religious communities.

Ignorant and mean-spirited attitudes about homosexuality don’t drive just gays out of the church, they are a huge deconversion issue for straight friends and family members. When Christians indulge in slurs, devout moms and dads who also love their gay kids find themselves less comfortable in their church home. Young people, many of whom think of the gay rights issue as a no-brainer, put anti-gay churches in the “archaic” category. Since most people Gen X and younger recognize equal rights for gays as a matter of common humanity, gay baiting is a wedge issue that wedges young people right out of the church. That makes Fred Phelps a far better evangelist for atheism than for his own gay-hating Westborough Baptist Church.

There are a couple of fallacies with the argument. First, Tarico states that gay people are “born.” She implies that homosexuals have no choice but to be homosexuals. There is no scientific evidence that I am aware of that anyone is born gay. Rather, the evidence I’ve seen is that becoming homosexual is either a choice made later in life, and/or is environmentally influenced. Despite the intense search to identify a “gay gene,” none has been found. Many former homosexuals have completely changed and are happily married heterosexuals. Secondly, she equates Fred Phelps and Westborough Baptist Church with Christianity. It is a logical fallacy to assume that because Fred Phelps calls himself a Christian, all Christians are therefore hate mongers. If this is true, then all Democrats must also be hate mongers, because Phelps is a life-long Democrat, having run in various Kansas Democratic Party primaries five times, although never winning.

Despite the fallacies, Tarico makes several valid points. Most importantly, Christians should not hate homosexuals. Rather, we are to speak the truth in love. Jesus did not come to condemn sinners, but to save them (John 3:17). When a Christian hates gays, it is a symptom of the sins of pride and arrogance in their lives. Some Christians believe God hates homosexuals. God doesn’t hate anyone; He hates sin, but loves people. He sent His Son Jesus to die on the cross to save sinners, including homosexuals. The idea that God hates some people, but loves others, is theology without Biblical basis, and is straight from Hell.

Christians should not agree with homosexually as acceptable behavior, but neither should they think that being gay makes a person worse than other sinners. True, the Bible calls homosexuality an abomination (Leviticus 20:13), it also uses the same word (תּוֹעֵבָה “toebah”) to describe other sexual sins; idolatry (Deuteronomy 27:15); pride, lying, murder, planning evil, and sowing discord (Proverbs 6:17-19); and using false weights (Proverbs 11:1). In other words, the Bible uses the same word to describe homosexuality that it uses to describe a liar or one who sows discord – a person who causes disagreements. In reality, all sin is an abomination to God; that’s why we all need a Savior, to remove the curse of our abominable sin and restore our relationship with a holy God.

Tarico is also correct that many homosexuals feel excruciating condemnation from others and often from themselves for their homosexuality – the suicide rate is much higher for homosexuals than for others. I would also add that many feel the conviction of the Holy Spirit. Our goal as Christians should not be to add to the condemnation, but to help gays come to a relationship with Jesus Christ. There is no Biblical basis for the belief that gays cannot be saved until they quit being gay; in fact, they cannot change without the power of the Holy Spirit, and they cannot receive the Holy Spirit until they are saved. True, the Bible calls for repentance; but, repentance doesn’t mean to stop sinning – it means “to change one’s mind.” Our goal is to share the truth “with meekness and fear” (1 Peter 3:15), and to allow the Holy Spirit to work to bring about salvation. Once the homosexual comes to the knowledge of Jesus Christ and is saved, our goal is to help the new believer to grow in their faith and relationship with Jesus. It’s the Holy Spirit’s job to convict people of sin, not ours. As the new believer grows in their faith and relationship with God, at some point, the Holy Spirit will convict them of the sin of homosexuality. At that point, our job is to lovingly help the person trust in the Holy Spirit’s power to overcome the sin.

Christians must learn to treat homosexuality the same as they would treat any sin. Sin is to be expected of the non-Christian. Once a person is saved, overcoming sin is a life-long process. Homosexuality is a deep addiction that can be a long, painful process to overcome. While the church cannot ignore continued, deliberate sin, it also cannot condemn non-Christians and new believers because they have not yet matured spiritually. Rather, our place is to minister to them, come alongside them, and help them to become mature in Christ. When this happens, the sin of homosexuality will eventually be dealt with by the Holy Spirit, and those of us in the church can help the person overcome their homosexual addiction.

Listening to what non-Christians and skeptics have to say about Christians can give us insight as to where we need to change in order to better reach them with the Gospel. Many non-Christians perceive Christians as hating homosexuals. In order to overcome this perception, we need to allow the love of Christ to flow through us. While we cannot accept the homosexuality, we must accept the sinner. God’s love demands it of us.

Romans 5:8
But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.