But we come up with convoluted arguments to justify it. We redefine the word "love" to suit our own opinions.
We take something that's simple, which God clearly commanded, and twist it, and even claim that God supports us.
"Love your neighbor as yourself." But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, "Who is my neighbor?"
Who is my neighbor? Surely it only includes the people I'm comfortable with. People like me. People who don't make me gag.
Love does no harm to its neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.
Deep down, everyone knows its wrong to dehumanize others, to judge and reject them. Deep down, everyone knows this isn't really what love is.
And I hope and pray that more and more people refuse to ignore their conscience, and start actually treating people with love.
But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, "Who is my neighbor?"
Acting like you're always right, like you have all the answers about a stranger's personal life? You know it's wrong.
Judging someone you've never even met, deciding that their love and their family is all a big pile of sin that should never have existed... you have to deaden your heart.
Don't look too closely. Don't read their stories. Don't listen. You might be led astray. But deep down, you know this is wrong. What happened to "love your neighbor as yourself"?
And the tension you feel, as you truly want to love others, but you can't explain why "love" looks like hate...
You want to obey God. And it's tough to fight this fight for God, because you're a human being with compassion for others. "Hate the sin and love the sinner" is a tough line to walk.
You've been led astray by religion. But God gave you a conscience- a gag reflex for your heart. Please don't ignore it.
When you put everything in abstract terms, about "protecting marriage" and "God's ideal" and "sin", when you use these euphemisms, you don't think about what's really going on, what you're really advocating. Human beings, made in the image of God- and you shut the kingdom of heaven in their faces. You teach that they're not good enough for the gospel unless they change. You treat them as an issue, a culture war, an example of how the evils of "the world" are invading the church too. You claim to know their own personal lives better than they do. You say you're the authority on God's will.
Please, please, listen to your God-given conscience. That tension you feel, trying to be kind and loving while preaching a message that hurts others- it doesn't have to be that way. And how you're misunderstood and accused of hate- God offers freedom.
The bible is clear: love. Just love. Without judging, without using the word "abomination", without dehumanizing and excluding people.
Maybe, just maybe, if you have to shut down your heart and your empathy in order to proclaim the "truth", maybe that's not love. And maybe that's not truth.
This post is a response to The Importance of Your Gag Reflex When Discussing Homosexuality and “Gay Marriage”, which said that we should remind people that gay sex is gross, so they realize what they're "actually" advocating when they support gay rights.