Don't love your friends more than you love Jesus (never)

In recent weeks our church has had to deal with some heartbreaking news. A young man who I love ( and his entire family) who is also loved by our church, "came out" as gay on Facebook. It was heartbreaking for me as his pastor but also for another reason: how some of my members reacted. Not the reaction you might expect, but quite the opposite.

We expect people to behave negatively over something like this and that is sin. It is NEVER right for a Christ follower to belittle or name call anyone dealing with this issue. I thank God that hasn't been the case yet. I pray we all deal with this biblically.

The response that shocked me was the opposite, some of you responded positively. That breaks my heart as well and should be very concerning to our church. The Bible clearly and unambiguously condemns homosexuality in both the OT and NT. About that there is no real debate. But affirming same sex relationships reveals something about you, more than your friend. I want you carefully consider Jesus' words:

“If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple.
Luke 14

This constitutes some of the hardest sayings of Jesus. Does He command me to hate my dad and mom? That seems wrong, and anti Christian. But listen to another translation that helps smooth the seams:


"If you want to be my disciple, you must hate everyone else by comparison--your father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters--yes, even your own life. Otherwise, you cannot be my disciple".

Do you see the point? It's about who you love most and best. You should love your dad, but not more than Jesus. You ought to love your mom, but not more than your Lord. In fact if Jesus is your Lord, you'll side with Him over everything and everyone. 

I expect all Christians to deeply love their friends. We should support them and affirm them, but not without limits. You should love your friends even more when they sin, by not affirming their sin. Your love for the One who saved you should prevent that. If you love your friend you will desire their relationship with God be made or even restored, but you will never cuddle them into Gods wrath.

 

28 Furthermore, just as they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, so God gave them over to a depraved mind, so that they do what ought not to be done. 29 They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, 30 slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; 31 they have no understanding, no fidelity, no love, no mercy. 32 Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.

Romans 1

 

Search your relationship with God, and repent with joy. Be certain I love you, and I love Jesus most. 

Posted on July 19, 2016 .