Loving the Sinner, Hating the Sin
With the ongoing debate concerning homosexuality and same sex marriage, one point has been made clear to me - many supporters of same sex marriage (SSM) do not seem to believe it is possible to hate the sin but love the sinner. To them, to hate the sin of homosexuality is to hate homosexuals and that makes you a 'hater'.
I am not sure how much of this is a result of not being able to grasp the distinction between sin and the sinner, and how much is merely an attempt to intimidate those that hold the Biblical view that homosexual behavior is a sin. After all, one of the prime objectives of the homosexual lobby is not merely to demand acceptance of their lifestyle, but to demand the denial of homosexual behavior as a sin. Given the number of denominations that have gone through contortions to do just that - to deny that the Bible actually condemns homosexual behavior as a sin - they have been remarkably successful.
Years ago, back when I was a member of a PCUSA church, I recall a church member justifying abortion as follows: Jesus loves us, so he would want us to do whatever we feel we need to do. Would she justify homosexual behavior on the same basis? Do we show love for a person by accepting their sin and allowing them to continue - or worse, denying the sin altogether? Biblically speaking, the obvious answer is no.
But rather than focus on the Biblical case against homosexual behavior, what about the secular case? Are we showing love for a person by accepting their homosexual behavior and condoning it? The secular case against homosexuality is strong, which is probably why it is little discussed in the public sphere. Consider health. For example, male homosexuals are not only more likely to contact AIDS, but a whole host of communicable diseases. The life expectancy for male homosexuals is 8-21 years less than for male heterosexuals. And we are to think that we are showing love by allowing or even encouraging people to go down this path? And there is more. If you are interested, go here.
We should definitely show love for our homosexual brothers and sisters - but we are definitely not showing love by condoning continued homosexual activity and denying the sin.