As part of Sandlin’s commentary, he referred to Jesus Christ. He opined that Christ loved and welcomed everyone equally. To explain his views further, Sandlin mentioned Rob Bell’s provoking book on love (Love Wins), not by name but by its emphasis. Bell and Sandlin agree that love always wins (see my thoughts on Rob Bell here).
Frequently, the LBGTQ community mischaracterizes Christ and attacks Christians with these false narratives. The homosexual community then verbally accuses them of failure to act like the erroneous Christ they have portrayed. These denigrations divert attention from the truth as revealed in the Bible regarding Jesus and homosexuality. Sadly, verbal assaults upon Christians have increased in frequency and fervor. They dominate the discussion instead of conversation on Biblical truth.
The homosexual community despises the phrase, “…hate the sin, love the sinner.” Yet, Jesus, whom they love to quote out of context, proved this statement in his ministry. Take, for example, his encounter with the rich, young man recorded in Mark 10:17-22.
This young man came to Jesus with a question: “What must I do to inherit eternal life?” Jesus replied by quoting several provisions from God’s law as recorded in Exodus 20:1-17. The young man responded that he had kept each of those laws from his youth. Next, the text says that Jesus looked at him and loved him, (Mark 10:21). Then, Jesus described a plan of action for the young man that identified his sins that God hates and prevented him from obtaining the eternal life he sought. Jesus loved the sinner but hated his sin, which condemned him.
On other occasions, Jesus combined compassionate love for people and correction for their sins. For example, he forgave the woman taken in adultery but warned her to go and sin no more, (John 8:1-11).
Again, Jesus met a man at the Pool called Bethesda. The crippled man had suffered his infirmity for 38 years. He sat near the pool where the infirmed sat waiting for a healing movement in the pool from God. The first person into the pool received healing. He could never get into the pool first. Jesus came to him and healed him of his malady. Later, Jesus met him in the temple and warned him to sin no more lest a worse condition befall him, (John 5:1-14).
At other times, Jesus, who loved his disciples, rebuked them for their sins. When crowds gathered, Jesus identified their sins and called them to repentance.
Jesus loved sinners, which he proved constantly. He also hated their sins, rebuked them for them, and called them to forsake them. Jesus commanded his disciples to follow his example and love their neighbors.
The Bible also instructs the spiritual leaders of the church to adopt the pattern of Christ. Paul exhorts the leaders in Ephesus to speak the truth in love, correcting Christ followers from following false teachers and doctrines. Their teaching would help believers to become increasingly like Christ, (Ephesians 4:1-16).
In like manner, Paul taught his protégé Timothy to lead his Church with love and compassion, yet at the same time to rebuke and reprove those under his care, (2 Timothy 2:22-26; 4:1-4).
Contrary to what the homosexual community proclaims, the Bible declares by the example of Christ and by exhortation the need to love sinners but hate their sin. Granted, this combination does not come easily. It can result only in a life completely committed to Jesus Christ in reliance upon the Holy Spirit to enable someone to fulfill these difficult terms.
Christ followers have a difficult responsibility to love others as Christ loved people. We must seek God’s supernatural ability to treat all people, not just those in the homosexual community, as Christ loved them and compassionately corrected them.
To those readers who long to experience the love of Christ as he demonstrated it, I urge you to trust him as he frequently called people to believe upon him, (John 3:16). Jesus called unto those in distress to come unto him, and they would find comfort and rest. He promised relief from their burdens and sins to all who come to him, (Matthew 11:28-30).