Yesterday I published three articles all pertaining to homosexuality in America.
- The first dealt with the lead singer of Jars of Clay and his foolish comments on gay marriage.
- The second was a video from a man who’s attracted to men and his admonition to Christians.
- The third was the fulfillment of a prediction concerning the diversification of “alternative lifestyles” in our culture.
I’ve posted such things before and have been veritably crucified on social media for it.
I’ve been called a homophobe, hater, intolerant jerk . . . and plenty of other more colorful variations.
But is that true?
Am I afraid of homosexuals? Do I hate them?
I believe this article will answer those questions permanently.
Is it a Sin for a Man to Love a Man?
Is it wrong for men to love men or embrace with affection the men they love?
The biblical answer is, “no.”
I have a brother-in-law and a number of friends who live homosexual lifestyles. In fact, I recently held hands with one of them on stage. I was playing a dog, and he was playing my owner. I held his hand, cuddled up to him like a puppy would, and laid my head on his shoulder. “But that’s a play!” you say. Well, in real life I’ve hugged him and put my hands on him in affectionate ways too.
In fact, I use public displays of affection with nearly all of my male friends (gay or straight). I touch them, hug them, and generally have no problem whatsoever with putting my hands on them. I love each one with all of my heart.
And all of this is biblical.
Let me say categorically that it is not wrong for a man to love another man. We simply need to understand what love is as God defines it. Jonathan and David loved each other in this way. Paul loved his Christian brothers in this way. Christ loved His disciples this way and commanded them to love each other the same way. Verily, I say unto you that any Christian man who doesn’t love like this is sinning.
What Biblical Love Is:
- Christian love is God focused. My love (along with the rest of my life) must be a willing sacrifice to God (Romans 12:1). My love must always conform to His will, be lived out in His Way, and ultimately be shared with others for His glory. Any “love” that does not conform to Who God is, is not biblical love (John 14:15).
- Christian love is others focused. Because I love God will all my heart, soul, mind, and strength, I will love my neighbor as myself (Matthew 22:39). I will prefer them above myself (Romans 12:1). I will do what’s in their best interest; even if it means sacrificing my own desires. This love wants God’s best for people. It wants others to love God and be conformed to His will as they should.
- Christian love shows itself. You cannot love someone without showing it. Yes, the Bible tells us to greet each other with a “holy kiss” (Romans 16:16), but I don’t really think it’s appropriate to dictate how much (if any) physical contact we use to show our love. I will say, however, that Jesus touched people. I’ve played Jesus on stage many times, and every time I felt the need to touch more and more people because A. that is what He did and B. that is how most humans show genuine affection.
- Of course, I don’t want to tread on the feet of those families who aren’t “touchy.” I know that culturally, some people-groups differ greatly from each other in this regard. But, generally speaking, people who love each other touch.
- Beyond that, though, true love shows itself in that I will genuinely do what is in the best interest of the person I love. Sometimes that means not touching someone. God has made it very clear that sexual relationships outside of the bonds of marriage are a sin. If two young people truly love each other, they will do everything they can to avoid any touch that would break God’s Law. They may even forego other physical contact that may not be a sin in order not to tempt each other to sin.
This is biblical, Christian love. This is the love I have for my wife, my cousin Mark, my son, my parents, my students, my daughter, and my brother-in-law. I want God’s best for all of them. I regularly put myself out to put them first. I love them because I love my God.
But here’s the kicker. If this is what love is . . . what isn’t it?
What Biblical Love Isn’t:
- Christian love is not sexual. Do you realize we are never commanded in Scripture to be physically attracted to anyone? We are never commanded to engage with anyone sexually outside of the bonds of marriage. In fact, we are repeatedly admonished to abstain from any and all forms of sexuality outside of marriage. It is not sin for a man to love a man. But it is a sin for a man to engage in sexual relations with a man. It is also wrong for a man to lust after another man in a sexual way, but the same goes for lusting after a women who you’re not married to. Actually, this is true of having sex or lusting after anyone who isn’t your spouse. The issue with homosexuality is not “But they love each other!” The issue is the “sexuality.” Sex is not love. Sex is lust acted out. It’s not sinful when done with the right person, but sex is not love in and of itself. God is love (I John 4:8).
- Christian love does not ignore sin. If love is wanting God’s best for the person I love, then how can I accept their sin? If you had a friend playing Russian Roulette, and I knew about it – but did nothing to stop them – and they killed themselves . . . you would be livid with me, and rightfully so. I showed through my actions that I did not love them because I allowed them to participate in that foolish, lethal activity. It doesn’t matter how mad your children get, one way you show your love to them is by not letting them play in the street or touch the hot stove. In the same way, Christian love doesn’t want the loved one to participate in sin that God will judge! Allowing a friend to continue in unrepentant sin is not love . . . it’s hate! The most loving thing we can do is show them their sin, encourage them to repent, and rejoice with them when they do (Galatians 6:1, Matthew 18:15-20).
Bible believing Christians must accept that sex and lust outside of a monogamous, heterosexual marriage is in defiance of God’s Law. This is clearly taught not merely in the OT Torah, it is preached throughout the totality of Scripture both in direct command as well as in principle. For this reason I post articles like I did yesterday. I want to help them see the error of their way. But I don’t address homosexuality alone, I deal with sins of all sorts (sexual and not).
On the other hand, we must deal with the fact that men are commanded to love men and women are commanded to love women. We are to seek each other’s best interest, be linked in the bonds of biblical love, and be affectionate to each other in ways that communicate we want to glorify God in our relationships.
Therefore, I love homosexuals, and I love men . . . the way God commands me to.