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Truth and love

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  • Truth and love

    Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

    John 14:6 ESV

    Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.

    1 John 4:8 ESV
    These two statements show that both truth and love are part of God’s character. We need to express both of them when telling others about God.
    Speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ.

    Ephesians 4:15 ESV
    We must always speak the truth and what we say must be motivated by love. But what will happen if we speak truth without love or try to practice love while ignoring truth? We can find out by looking at two organizations in Topeka, Kansas, that do these things.

    You have probably heard of the Westboro Baptist Church. They are well known for their hatred of gays and of anyone who supports them. They often stage protests in which they carry signs that have slogans such as “God hates fags!” They like the phrase “God hates fags” so much they use it as the name of their website.

    Although they express hate instead of love, some of the things they say are true. God created Adam and Eve and united them in the first marriage. He has prohibited any kind of sexual activity except between a man and woman who are married to each other. Anyone who engages is sex with another person of the same sex or joins with another in a same sex “marriage” is committing a sin. Yet God has not abandoned those who sin but has made a way for them to be forgiven. He sent Jesus Christ to earth to die as a sacrifice for sin and then raised him from the dead to show that his sacrifice was accepted.

    We must speak the truth to gays and tell them that they are sinning, but we must also show love to them by telling them how their sins can be forgiven. Westboro only gives them half of the truth. Because Westboro claims to be Christian, many gays who hear their message assume that all Christians share their beliefs. This prevents them from being willing to listen to any Christian who tries to help them.

    Across the street from Westboro is a house called Equality House that commits the error of showing love for gays without knowing the truth. Here is what Wikipedia says about it.
    The Equality House is a rainbow-colored house situated across the street from Westboro Baptist Church, an anti-LGBT hate group in Topeka, Kansas. The house was purchased by Aaron Jackson, the founder of nonprofit organization Planting Peace, after he saw a “for sale” sign on a nearby house when looking at the community on Google Earth. Through Planting Peace, Jackson purchased the house for $81,000. In March 2013, a military veteran agreed to paint the house the colors of the rainbow flag in tribute to the gay pride flag, and it was dubbed the Equality House. It was reported that a representative of Westboro said she loved the paint job because it kept the eyes of the earth on the church’s message. The house became a place for volunteers of Planting Peace to live.

    Equality House
    Planting Peace, the organization that owns Equality House, is dedicated to helping people throughout the world.
    Planting Peace is a global nonprofit organization founded for the purpose of spreading peace in a hurting world. Our projects focus primarily on humanitarian aid and environmental initiatives, including our multi-national deworming campaign, Equality House LGBTQ rights advocacy, a network of orphanages and safe havens, and conservation effort in the rainforests of Peru.

    plantingpeace.org/about
    Most of the work they do is good, but when it comes to how they treat gays they are actually harming them because they don’t realize that they are encouraging them to live in a way that God has forbidden. Paul said about Israel, “They have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge.” We could say regarding Planting Peace, “They have a zeal for good, but not according to knowledge.”

    Most see Westboro Baptist Church and Equality House as on opposite sides of the struggle between good and evil. If we look at them from a Biblical perspective we see that both of them are tools that Satan uses to keep people from believing in Jesus and being forgiven. He uses Westboro to convince people that Christians are haters and he uses Equality House to convince them that it is possible to do good apart from God.

    If you are gay and want to live a life that is obedient to God or if you care about helping gay people you may find these sites helpful. They achieve a Biblical balance between love and truth.

    Born That Way
    Is it possible to have compassion on a sinner without condoning their sin? Yes!

    No man stood more strongly against sin than Jesus Christ who died to conquer sin, yet He showed grace and compassion on the sinners He encountered (Luke 7:36-50). God demonstrated His love toward us while we were still sinners and His enemies (Romans 5:8-10), yet His love did not excuse our sin (Romans 8:3).

    At the risk of being misunderstood by fellow believers, we are thrilled—actually beyond thrilled—to follow Jesus in His kind, gentle, patient treatment of men and women who, by virtue of their spiritual battles, are deemed hopeless. There is no excuse for any sin, including the sin of withholding grace from other sinners.

    Born That Way Ministries was born out of a genuine desire to help those dealing with unwanted sexual conflict and to enlighten those who are gifted to serve Christ without the burdens of matrimony. We believe that Satan has used many “good” well intentioned ministries and political activist to distract Christ’ church from providing an adequate, Christ-centered biblical response to persons struggling with unnatural temptations.

    We believe in a biblically Christian sexual ethic: that God created human beings male and female, and that any sexual intimacy outside of a faithful, lifelong marital union between a man and woman is contrary to His plan. But we also believe that marriage is not the only way of life God calls us to, and so we seek to explore different ways of serving God in Christ-centeredness. And we further believe that godly, covenant-keeping friendships is essential to that task.

    In trying to educate others in this area, we have studied Scripture, investigated historical testimony, and explored the dynamics of many different programs and ministries. We believe we are taking part in one of the greatest mission fields anyone has ever embarked upon. To God be the glory!
    True Freedom Trust
    True Freedom Trust (TfT) is a confidential Christian support and teaching ministry that holds to authentically biblical teaching on sexuality. We offer support to individuals who experience same-sex attraction, but who choose not to embrace a gay identity or to pursue a same-sex relationship because of convictions of faith. We also support families, friends and church leaders of those who experience same-sex attraction.
    Clyde Herrin's Blog

  • #2
    It is interesting you mention the Westboro Baptist Church because of the number of the younger generation who were raised in that church and have walked away from it. It seems hate without love cannot keep a church together. Every one of the ones who have left have condemned the church for its lack of compassion, like Megan Phelps-Roper below.

    Planting Peace confuses me because on the front of their website they talk about countries where homosexuality is punishable by death, (which is something I don't agree with. After all if you kill people for sinning we're all in trouble), but most of their LGBT advocacy seems to be aimed at the US where homosexuality isn't illegal far less a capital offense. If I gave money to stop people being killed in one country, I'd be quite annoyed to find it had been used to paint a house rainbow colours in another.
    The granddaughter of the founder of Westboro Baptist Church has given a powerful TED talk explaining how she learned to love her enemies, and how this led her to leave the church.
    Comment>

    • #3
      Originally posted by ChatterBox View Post
      most of their LGBT advocacy seems to be aimed at the US where homosexuality isn't illegal far less a capital offense.
      They do some work in other countries to protect gays.

      Planting Peace Launches 'Uganda Underground' Safe-Housing Initiative For LGBT Community | HuffPost

      Unfortunately the good they do in saving the physical lives of gays is offset by their approval of a lifestyle that will lead gays to eternal death.
      Clyde Herrin's Blog
      Comment>

      • #4


        Originally posted by ChatterBox View Post
        After all if you kill people for sinning we're all in trouble), but most of their LGBT advocacy seems to be aimed at the US where homosexuality isn't illegal far less a capital offense...

        After all if you kill people for sinning we're all in trouble), but most of their LGBT advocacy seems to be aimed at the US where homosexuality isn't illegal far less a capital offense.
        Why shouldn't the government enforce sexual morality? What about bestiality, pedophile, and adultery, if so, why not homosexuality? Obviously, many do not believe in the Biblical role of Government and think there is no room for biblical teaching in today's Gov. People in Uganda must look at U.S. based Missions and think these people do not even believe nor act upon the very thing they teach. I'm sure evangelizing in Uganda or rather to a God fearing peoples is tough for Liberal theologians and organizations that promote "compromise".

        Originally posted by theophilus View Post
        They do some work in other countries to protect gays.

        Planting Peace Launches 'Uganda Underground' Safe-Housing Initiative For LGBT Community | HuffPost

        Unfortunately the good they do in saving the physical lives of gays is offset by their approval of a lifestyle that will lead gays to eternal death.
        Uganda's punishment is not killing, but life in imprisonment. I question both the organization Planting Peace, and the Huffington Post's motivation, because in general they're anti-Chrisitan (though they do promote an unorthodox perspective of Christianity). Just a note, I discourage people from posting links to Huffington Post on the forum.

        God bless,
        William
        Comment>

        • #5
          Originally posted by William View Post
          Why shouldn't the government enforce sexual morality? What about bestiality, pedophile, and adultery, if so, why not homosexuality? Obviously, many do not believe in the Biblical role of Government and think there is no room for biblical teaching in today's Gov. People in Uganda must look at U.S. based Missions and think these people do not even believe nor act upon the very thing they teach. I'm sure evangelizing in Uganda or rather to a God fearing peoples is tough for Liberal theologians and organizations that promote "compromise".
          Love the sinner hate the sin. Enforcing sexual morality should not mean killing someone. Would you also execute teenagers who have premarital sex? Or those who have affairs (we'd lose a few pastors that way)?

          I take it you are a death penalty supporter, but I am afraid that in any case beside murder I am not. If someone is dead, they can never change or repent or atone for their sins (murderers took that chance from their victims).



          Comment>

          • #6
            Originally posted by ChatterBox View Post
            Love the sinner hate the sin. Enforcing sexual morality should not mean killing someone. Would you also execute teenagers who have premarital sex? Or those who have affairs (we'd lose a few pastors that way)?

            I take it you are a death penalty supporter, but I am afraid that in any case beside murder I am not. If someone is dead, they can never change or repent or atone for their sins (murderers took that chance from their victims).


            Hi Chatterbox,

            To answer your questions and respond to some of your statements:
            1. Not all cases support the death penalty for fornication but biblically speaking they do for adultery. Today this maybe unthinkable when a whore is celebrated. In Israel a woman loses her value when defiled before marriage. The main remedy of the death penalty is do with a woman that committed fornication, that lies about it, and leads another man into the marriage covenant with her. This has dire consequences in the eyes of God.
            2. If a person has committed adultery they are disqualified from the office of overseer, biblically speaking.
            3. In today's no fault divorce system a party that commits adultery is awarded half or more of the assets of the faithful's lifelong assets. Children are awarded equal time if not altogether to the adulteress party. Homosexuals that come out of the closet and divorce are celebrated. Tell me what an injustice is? God said He loved Jacob and hated Esau, and God hates divorce, that is, God hates covenant breakers.
            4. Does God hate the sin but love the sinner? Though God may show "common" grace and is slow to anger during this lifetime, His love is eventually displaced by wrath. It isn't sin in hell, it is sinners.
            5. Darn right I support the death penalty.

            God bless,
            William
            Comment>

            • #7
              Originally posted by William View Post
              Not all cases support the death penalty for fornication but biblically speaking they do for adultery. Today this maybe unthinkable when a whore is celebrated. In Israel a woman loses her value when defiled before marriage.
              As they were in the Bible, in cases such as Rahab the Prostitute? No, I checked and she was accepted by the Israelites despite her past. There are other such cases in the New Testament.

              Sadly the people from the US churches who make it into the news over here are people like Jim Bakker and others. Evangelists having affairs is becoming accepted as a fact, since they are rather expected to be hypocrites and not follow what they preach due to all the high-profile bad examples. Then the line "but it is OK for us because we're forgiven" gets trotted out...
              Comment>

              • #8
                Originally posted by ChatterBox View Post
                As they were in the Bible, in cases such as Rahab the Prostitute? No, I checked and she was accepted by the Israelites despite her past. There are other such cases in the New Testament.

                Sadly the people from the US churches who make it into the news over here are people like Jim Bakker and others. Evangelists having affairs is becoming accepted as a fact, since they are rather expected to be hypocrites and not follow what they preach due to all the high-profile bad examples. Then the line "but it is OK for us because we're forgiven" gets trotted out...
                The reasoning why she is spared from destruction of her own city:
                • Hebrews 11:31 By faith Rahab the prostitute did not perish with those who were disobedient, because she had given a friendly welcome to the spies.
                • James 2:25 And in the same way was not also Rahab the prostitute justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out by another way?

                There are a couple of reasons Rahab was spared, the first is because of her faith which is evidenced by repentance. Her faith was accompanied by works and were evidence of a living faith. She was adopted into the body of the Church (true Israel) through faith (Romans 11), and was given a place of mention among those that the Jews held esteemed and most honored (Patriarchs), much to many a dismay, because the point was that the Patriarchs had done nothing worthy of praise except through faith.

                And as far as the likes of people such as Jim Baker I think nothing about them or their followers when they have rejected Scripture, namely the qualifications for overseer 1 Timothy 3.

                Lemme get this straight, your point of using Rahab is to abolish the death penalty because God exercised mercy towards a prostitute? Following this line of thinking, should the civil magistrates be done away because God spared David from execution, although in all His wisdom took the life of David's son? David murdered Uriah and committed adultery with Uriah's wife Bathsheba. Or is your argument because God adopted a harlot into the body of the Church that she has the right to lead the office of overseer?

                Rightfully, Rahab or David "could of have been" put to death. The world may never know because the Laws requirement was not met; Numbers 35:30 Deuteronomy 17:6; 19:5. Like the adulteress woman brought to Jesus in John 8:1-11, the Law's requirements were not met and no two witnesses were provided to accuse her of crimes.

                In other words, like the pedophile priest that runs the course, instead of providing witnesses some churches sweep it under the rug and do not come forward. If anything this shows further sin, because we fail to live up to God's Just and Righteous standards. And this pertains to the duty of Government - the Judicial or Civil Law where those executing the sentence should not bear "blood guilt".

                God bless,
                William
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