JE Logo - Avatar

Sharing Truth in Love

Share This Post

Christians often receive criticism for holding beliefs that are inconsiderate or oppressive to those outside the Church; skeptics see things such as Christians labeling homosexuality or abortion as morally wrong behaviors as Christians hating those who practice such things, but that is not the case. Rather, Christians believe things like homosexuality or abortion are morally wrong just like many parents – whether Christian or not – see some actions of their children as morally wrong, but that does not mean that we hate those who practice them, much like parents with children who act out.

I believe the leap skeptics make from thinking something is wrong to Christians then must hate those people is unjustified. For example, a Christian can see that abusing narcotics like heroin is wrong but that does not necessitate that the Christian hates the person using heroin; disapproval for this kind of behavior is made out of love for the person committing the action – a desire for the highest good for that person rather than a behavior leading to a destructive outcome. The same can be said concerning Christianity’s disapproval for homosexual behaviors or the committing of abortion; the Christian is seeking the highest good for the people engaged in such activities, not their destruction.

I live in the “Bible Belt” of America and all too often see people in my community saying things like, “We should just put all the X people on an island and let them die,” or “I wish God would just kill Y people.” This kind of behavior concerns me and is not the behavior which our God expects us to exhibit, as this is not sharing the truth of God in love, but in hate.

There’s actually an instance of something like this in the Gospel of Luke where James (son of Zebedee) and John (who later wrote five New Testament books) insisted that Jesus approve of their desire to kill those who did not accept Jesus as the Messiah in a village of Samaria.

51 When the days drew near for him to be taken up, he set his face to go to Jerusalem. 52 And he sent messengers ahead of him, who went and entered a village of the Samaritans, to make preparations for him. 53 But the people did not receive him, because his face was set toward Jerusalem. 54 And when his disciples James and John saw it, they said, “Lord, do you want us to tell fire to come down from heaven and consume them?” 55 But he turned and rebuked them [1][and said, “You do not know what kind of spirit you are of; for the Son of Man did not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them.”] 56 And they went on to another village.
(Luke 9:51-56 ESV – emphasis added)

The zeal of these two apostles caused them to kindle a fire of hatred for those who did not receive Jesus as Messiah and Jesus immediately rebukes them because that is not how he expects his followers to act. Rather than demanding that the non-Christian die, Jesus continually tells his disciples to spread the Gospel message for the sake of others (Matt 28:16-20), not insisting that they “turn or burn” as many evangelical “leaders” insist today.

So when you speak to others concerning the truth of God and the redemption of Christ’s blood and expectations of our lives, do it in love and in a desire to see the greatest good for those people, not in hate and in hope of their destruction if they do not accept. Remember the love that Jesus had for you before you came to faith in him; he certainly did not hate you.

7 For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die— 8 but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
(Romans 5:7-8 ESV)

[1]  Early manuscripts do not contain the bracketed portion.

More To Explore