Love should not hurt fellow human beings
Published in the Charlotte Observer July 26, 2003
Spreading the faith should not include passing judgment
And now these three remain: faith hope and love
But the greatest of these is love
-1 Corinthians 13:13
I have officially decided homosexuals are normal people. Not normal people in the “I understand the things you do and accept your right to do them” sort of way but the “I don’t understand the way you are but I accept your right to live your life without my approval” type of way.
There is a difference. I don’t understand gay people - but I don’t understand the Muslim faith either. I accept the fact that there are lifestyles religions cultures and people I don’t understand or relate to. In certain ways I am blissfully ignorant. However my ignorance doesn’t allow me to make moral or religious condemnations on the lifestyles of others. It is not a matter of my lack of faith but rather my devout demonstration of it.
There is a movement in the Charlotte area that seeks to condemn and eliminate abortion homosexuality and Islam. The leader of this organization sounds hateful and spiteful on television - but he also sounds extremely convinced of his beliefs and committed to his cause. He made me re-evaluate my stance on certain issues and question my conviction in my faith. Then I realized it wasn’t simply his message that is repulsive and offensive, his tactics make him contradictory to his own beliefs.
I believe that Jesus is Lord and Savior and that the Bible is divine instruction from God. I also believe that God expects Christians to go out and share our beliefs with the world. I cannot believe however that God intended our beliefs to sound hurtful or spiteful. In sharing God’s truth I do not believe we are to judge or condemn. I do not believe that God intended for us to attack other human beings in sharing God’s love. Somehow that just doesn’t sound right.
There is something to be said for standing up for your beliefs. There is honor and duty in taking a moral and ethical stand against ideas with which you disagree. But people are not things. You can’t crusade against people or their feelings. You can educate. You can be compassionate. You can have intelligent discussions. You can even offer alternatives.
I’m anti-abortion. That is to say that I don't believe abortion is an option for me. It also means that if I had the opportunity to talk to someone considering an abortion, I would attempt to convince that woman to make another decision. I would be as compassionate and reasonable as one could be, but ultimately I would not attack her, whatever her decision.
I am willing to defend the values I believe in. I am unwilling to condemn another woman with hatred and venom to defend my own values. That is contrary to the faith I claim to have. I honestly don’t know whether homosexuality is a biological fact or sexual choice. Either way, it’s not the only sin in the Bible. There are hundreds to choose from: adultery, lust, jealousy, hatred greed, idolatry, etc. Yet somehow the “saints” seem to pick a few sins and crusade against them as though there is some kind of sliding scale depending on the severity of the sin. God has no such scale, we all fall short of perfection.
I'm not a theologian or a fan of religion, but none of this sounds like the ministry of Jesus Christ. And if the ultimate goal is to claim souls for Christ and invite people into the faith, then all of this is counterproductive and sinful in itself. I don’t understand homosexuality or Islam or abortion. But I can’t condemn them. Maybe it’s because I live in an increasingly fragile glass house. But I doubt it. I can’t condemn another human being for any sin, belief or personal choice because God didn’t ask me to. He instructed me to spread the word with the love of Christ. He instructed me to live righteously as an example to other people. He didn’t leave me any instructions on how to judge my fellow man. So I will leave the judgment up to Him.