Thank you for keeping the focus on the real problem--sin. If Scripture says it is sin then the focus should be about being rescued from my sin. Paul says it best in 1 Cor 6:9-11-they used to be this way but now because of Christ, they are no longer.
Thank you for reading and commenting, Rick. And thank God for the grace of repentance.
Allow me a little latitude to address some points your friend made. "I know scripture tells us that it is a sin, but on the other hand it says to 'love thy neighbor'. "Can you exhibit Christian love for someone, even if they're sinning? Sure. Does your Christian love extend to justifying their sin? Absolutely not. If you brush off the sin with a casual "Oh, well...." does that constitute implied acceptance? People can differ, but in my view, it does.Because people must see their sin (and therefore understand that they as sinners) before they will be able to see their need for a Savior, condemning sin goes hand in hand with bringing people to Christ. That being the case, love requires us to condemn every evil, including adultery and homosexuality, while those who tell the guilty that they have no need to repent are guilty of satanic hatred. When Jesus railed at the Pharaisees in Matthew's gospel, was he being hateful? No. It was the most loving thing he could do. He knew that saying, "You know, you guys are a little off track" would not do the trick. The only way was to confront them with their sins, make them see them obviously, laid bare for all to see and heart. There is no record that any of them confessed their sin, but Christ was absolutely right to force them to make a choice. And I know that we don't have the authority Jesus did, but we are still commanded to oppose sin wherever it crosses our lives. "If you are not with me, you are against me."Often these people will push back with the comment, "I thought you Christians were supposed to be all about love." To which I would reply, "But I do love you. That is why I am pointing out the scriptures to you. If I didn't love you, I would ignore what you're doing, and let you pay the penalty yourself. But believe me, that's one debt you will not want to face alone." (Continues)
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"So for me, if someone want to lead this type of lifestyle who am I to judge?" To quote Paul Washer, "Twist not the scriptures, lest ye be like Satan." This type of expression is used and misused so often I sometimes wonder if it was created during a focus group conducted by Satan to justify just about anything. So the implication is that we can't judge because we are not qualified to do so by our sins. But one simple defense is to say, "Scriptures teach that is a sin. I believe the Bible." Ideally you'll have a specific scripture at hand to quote. And as soon as you get the inevitable push-back asking you who made you the judge of others, smile and say, "I'm just telling you what the scriptures teach." The logic is inescapable. The Bible says X is a sin. Someone commits X. Therefore they are sinning. If pointing out the obvious is offensive to them, they need to shift their objection to the source, not to the messenger. But of course it's much easier (and, let's face it, more fun!) to respond to the person, than to say, "Well, I don't believe scriptures are true." If they do that, they're much more lost than you can imagine. Most won't go that far. But they will resort to all sorts of defenses. You've heard some of them:"That was overturned by later teachings" (denial of fact) "It doesn't mean that" (denial of interpretation) "That was Old Testament thinking" (denial of relevance) "Jesus never said that; it was just Paul..." (denial of authority) Or they'll use other such semantic tricks to avoid the issue.Do I think homosexuality is a sin? I believe the Bible is inerrant and it states that plainly, so yes. Do I think it is more heinous than other sins? Greater than some, less than others. But the degree of the sin isn't the issue here. What is at play here is an effort (led by Satan) to allow tolerance to over-ride truth. If we can get the church to tolerate homosexuality (not the world - the CHURCH, no less!) then by what logic can they stand against other sins?This is why it is so grievous to see whole denominations voting to allow gay pastors to serve. At what point do we draw the line? If they are thieves, stealing from the collection plate? If they engage in blatant lying? Slander? How about denying the truth of all scripture - "some parts of this I just can't agree with."? Where does that leave us in a few years? Nothing to stand on, no defense. That's what they want. That's what Satan wants.The net effect is to diminish the absolute authority of scripture, and to deny Christ's words in Luke 16:17 "And it is easier for heaven and earth to pass away than for one tittle of the law to fail "
Thank you for reading and commenting. Indeed, the Bible commands us to love, and the Bible defines in word and example what love entails.And also, "judging" is unavoidable. To think is to judge. Our duty before God is to judge righteously. We've been given the righteous standard for judging: God's word. May we continue to recognize the Bible as our rule for faith and conduct: sola scriptura.