True Love

True love

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Love is not contained within the narrow definition of tolerance and acceptance. Yes, it is at times the reason for tolerance and acceptance, but it is richer and broader. True love “does not rejoice over unrighteousness but rejoices with the truth”. The truth is God loves the entire world but does not tolerate sin indefinitely. Why would He? Why would anyone who genuinely loves another?

Sin or wrong doing has negative consequences. If you don’t believe it, lie to your best friend continuously while monitoring the strength of your friendship. Lying, sin, will destroy the gem and joy called friendship.  God’s plans are to prosper us, not to harm us. He cannot overlook sin because it is not in our best interest. Because Jesus came that we could have life to the full, He tells us the truth.

Jesus credits God with the idea of marriage when he speaks in Matthew’s gospel, “He who created them….said” in Genesis 2:24 “’Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh’? So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together let not man separate.” The truth is God’s plan for marriage is one man and one woman for a lifetime. Nothing is said about same sex attraction.

The story of Sodom and Gomorrah is regarded as the classic Bible account about homosexuality. The story may not deal directly with consensual homosexual relationships, but many go to far when they argue the story has little or nothing to do with homosexual practice; that, instead, the story is only about inhospitality or rape. It may well be that inhospitality and social injustice constitute the overarching them for the story, yet what makes the name “Sodom” a byword for inhumanity to visiting outsiders in later Jewish and Christian circles, is the specific form in which the inhospitality manifests itself: homosexual rape.

The prophet Ezekiel thought the inhabitants of the city became “prideful” and “haughty” as a result of the city’s prosperity, and in their prosperity they both neglected the poor and committed a particularly abominable act of sexual immorality. The two evils are linked by a flagrant disregard of God’s own priorities, putting the human self at the center of the cosmos, i.e. pride.

Pride is the rejection of the Creator and the divinely sanctioned order of creation. Genesis 1-3, Lev. 18:22; 20:13, and Romans 1:26-27 all suggest that same-sex intercourse was rejected on the grounds that it constituted a violation of the anatomical and procreative sexual complementarity of male and female in creation for those called to marriage. This is pride; a supplanting of God’s design in creation for sexuality in favor of one’s own design.

It is understandable that many proponents of same-sex relationships put a positive spin on the silence of Jesus as regards homosexual behavior. Although not explicit, Jesus was not silent. First, in the context of first-century Judaism and His approach to the Mosaic Law, it is unlikely Jesus would have adopted a fundamentally different stance toward same-sex intercourse. Second, Jesus’ appeal to Genesis 1:27 and 2:24 in his discussion of divorce confirms his embrace of an exclusively heterosexual model of monogamy. Finally, when Jesus taught the Apostles about what constitutes sin He said it was not unwashed hands, but things that originate in the heart such as “evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander”. The Disciples knew what the Old Testament meant and society then understood “sexual immorality” to include.

True love includes telling the truth, not just what someone wants to hear because you want the best for them based on the Creator’s wisdom and plan for His creation. True love is kind, not proud. It is not easily angered, but always hopes the best and perseveres until it comes. True love means to love God and love others kindly speaking the truth to build them up.

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