September 17, 2015

Sincere Love Hates Hatred

1 Corinthians 13

Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good.

—  Romans 12:9

What does a healthy body of Christ look like in motion?

Not only may believers hate, but we are commanded to hate anything that interferes with lov­ing other people. One group of people who often find themselves at the edges of society and the object of jokes and hatred is homosexuals. My denomination affirms that sexual expression is biblical only when practiced by a man and woman who are married to each other, and we also affirm the importance of loving all people.

People with same-gender attraction often struggle with shame, identity confusion, and stigma. In a statement on pastoral care for homosexual members, my denomination calls the church to “compassionate ministry [that] seeks to incorporate those with same-sex attractions fully into the body and life of the church, satisfying their need for community, for intimacy, for oneness with others, and their need to serve their Lord. Much of their sexual struggle lies here. What they need and what sometimes gives desperate urgency to their need is . . . to love and to be loved, to know and to be known, to feel worthwhile about themselves.”

Often we see hatred toward homosexuals, even among Chris­tians. Instead, we need to hate this hatred toward any fellow imagebearer of God, and love sincerely.

Loving God, too often acts of hatred are committed in your name toward people with same gender attraction. Teach me to hate such evil and to love people as you do. Amen.

About the author — Mark Stephenson

Rev. Mark Stephenson is the Director of Disability Concerns for the Christian Reformed Church in North America. Previously he served in two congregations in Michigan. He and his wife have four children.

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