I think that we all understand that it is God’s will for us to love one another. The Bible is clear in this regard and it is something that all Christians would agree on.
In theory it is an easy concept for us to understand. We know what love is and how to practice it but to apply the concept of loving everybody is very challenging.
We are living in an imperfect world that is affected by hate. We get angry, jealous and proud, we gossip and discourage.
But we must not Judge
We can all identify times when we have not shown love to someone. It is easy for us to know when we are not being loving but it is not so easy for us to identify when we are judging.
Love without judgment is what God wants from us, only God can love with judgment.
Gays in the Church is a topic where I think we as Christians have struggled to show love without judgment.
This is clearly a topic of much controversy. I think it is, however, a very simple topic to deal with biblically.
Someone who is gay should obviously be welcomed and treated by the church as any other person should.
For sin is sin and like Jesus has said, he who is without sin cast the first stone. As the church, we too are all sinners and we have no right to judge the sin of another.
The distinction between loving the sinner and accepting the sin
It is important though, that by loving the sinner we do not fall into the trap of accepting the sin. We should revoke the sin of homosexuality as we should with all sin.
We can see with the example of the Uniting church that accepting the sin as a result of trying to love the sinner is an easy trap to fall into. To ordain gay ministers into the church is contrary to biblical teaching and is not simply showing love as it is perceived to be.
The justification for this is that if you do not accept a gay minister then you are choosing to judge what sins are unacceptable because all ministers in the church sin. It is, however, not the committing of sin but rather the acceptance of the sin into their lives that makes a gay minister unsuitable to lead a church.
Love is being supportive of deliverance from the flesh, not supporting the desires of the flesh.
A Christian who struggles with same sex attraction should revoke this as they should with all sin. It is not to say that the desire for immorality will not exist for them.
All Christians are tempted by sin, but we must turn and run from our wickedness, not embrace it as a birth right and excuse it as who we are.
If the church is to show love to someone who is gay without judgment then they are to embrace them. They should show love by supporting them in resisting the temptations of their affliction.
Agreeing with a lifestyle and giving support to the immorality of homosexuality is not love.
Love without judgment
Loving one another as God intended us too, is to love unconditionally. It is all too easy for us to either be unloving to others or to simply display a loving nature toward them whilst still passing judgment on them.
We must also remember that showing true love for others can at times require us to be seemingly unkind. It is not judgment to lead a brother or sister away from sin and encourage them to live in the covenant of God.
Matthew Fryer is a professional seafarer with a love of the ocean. After a career working on merchant ships Matthew has recently ventured into the mission field, most recently serving with YWAM onboard their medical and training vessel the ‘YWAM PNG’. When Matthew is not working away at sea he resides on the Gold Coast with his wife Clara and their two children Harold 6 and Jane 5.