CultureWatch

Bill Muehlenberg's commentary on issues of the day...

No, Warning Is Not Hate

May 17, 2015

I get this all the time, not just from the activists on the other side, but from rather confused believers as well: ‘Bill, you are being hateful when you speak against homosexuality,’ or ‘Bill, you are showing hate to others when you warn them about what they are doing’.

The homosexual activists parrot this “hate” foolishness all the time. I guess we expect them to do so. But it is quite woeful when clueless Christians say the same thing. They really ought to know better. To warn a sinner about his ways and to plead with him to avoid the path of destruction is the height of love, not hate.

warningThe opposite of love is indifference, not hate. When you are loving in the biblical sense, you cannot be indifferent to the lost, to the plight of those heading the wrong way, to those on a one-way trip to hell. To love such people means you will warn them, you will wave the red flag, you will do everything in your power to get them off the road to ruin.

It is only when you hate someone that you will not think of their welfare – both temporal and eternal. Thus the Christian who pleads with the homosexual to be set free from his dangerous and dead-end lifestyle is acting out of love.

We are to do this with all sinners of course. Whatever the sin, we are to seek to alert them to their peril, and point them to the saviour. That is always the loving thing to do. Saying nothing is not loving at all. That simply makes you complicit in their sin and makes you complicit in their fate.

People will claim we are making people feel guilty when we point out their sin. They say this is hateful and leads to self-loathing and so on. But what does self-loathing have to do with offering biblical warnings? The truth is, all sinners deep down feel this way – and well they should.

Sin of course leads to guilt feelings and the rest – that is how God made us. There is no salvation until we first see ourselves as God sees us: sinners under his wrath who need to repent and flee from our sin. So speaking biblical truth may well stir up guilt, anger and other responses – that always happens when sinners are confronted with biblical truth.

Equally unhelpful is the line about the church making homosexuals feel guilty. Well of course they feel guilty – because they are guilty. They, like all other sinners, know what they are doing is wrong, and they get angry when this is pointed out to them. This is basic Christianity 101. If you are uncertain about this, try going back to Romans 1 for starters.

And these mixed-up believers will also make a false and unbiblical distinction between speaking the truth about homosexuality and winning their hearts over to Jesus. But they should both go together – there is no other way in fact. To win any sinner to Christ, they first must realise they are sinners separated from God heading for a lost eternity.

That is why Christ came. If we don’t speak of sin first, we have no reason to speak of grace and salvation later. The latter depends on the former. Until the sinner realises the gravity of his sin and the seriousness of his situation, then he will not see his need for a saviour.

Sure, it is the job of the Holy Spirit to bring conviction to the hearts of the sinner. But it is the job of the Christian to share biblical truth with them. The Holy Spirit always works in conjunction with the preaching of the Word. So to really love the homosexual or any sinner is to share biblical truth, regardless of any negative reactions on their part.

And these folks should also spare us this baloney about ‘hating on homosexuals’. As mentioned, how is telling the truth about what the activists are up to – or anything for that matter – hating? To warn of the dangers of, say, drug addiction does not mean you hate the addicts. You can rightly hate the drugs which are destroying people and sending them to an early grave, while loving the individual trapped in this mess.

We all can hate the damage alcoholism does to a person – while still loving the alcoholic at the same time. And what is hateful about telling individual homosexuals that their lifestyle is dangerous, high risk, and possibly life-threatening, and that they need to flee from it?

What is hateful about telling any sinner that their sin is something they must flee from if they want to get right with God? That is a primary task of the Christian. That is why Jesus appointed the first disciples: to preach the gospel to all nations.

Those pushing this line might as well say opposing the criminal gangs wanting to hook kids on drugs is being hateful. They might as well say Wilberforce was “hating on” the slave owners as he stood up for blacks. Sorry, but to love people means resisting what enslaves them.

By this unhelpful advice, Wilberforce should have just shut up about abolition, and not make people feel guilty about their sinful activities. Loving people always means telling them the truth. Loving homosexuals means telling them they don’t have to be homosexual.

And those who claim that talking about a “cure” for homosexuality is harmful and hateful are also unbiblical and unhelpful. They might as well tell a murderer: “Hey, Jesus loves you, but I certainly won’t try to cure you of your desire to kill. Feel free to keep on doing it. I don’t want you to feel guilty after all, or feel hated on.”

Clearly we don’t love homosexuals or any other sinners very much if we don’t give a rip about them staying trapped in their dead-end and sinful lifestyle. We want them to be set free. That of course is exactly why Christ came, to set the captives free.

And these folks are wrong to say that we are too focused on sexual immorality. Not only did Jesus speak much about this, but he made it quite clear to the woman caught in adultery that in order for her to receive the forgiveness of God, she had to “go and sin no more”.

There was no cheap grace there – no saying she could just remain in her sin and her sinful lifestyle. Jesus never tolerated sin, he never minimised sin, and he never sidestepped sin. He dealt with it head on, knowing that until a sinner sees his need and repents, he is heading for a lost eternity.

All of these rather lame criticisms I get all the time from the homosexual activists. But they should not be coming from those calling themselves Christians. It is time for these believers to start thinking biblically here, and not embrace the dodgy ideas and faulty mindset of the world.

We must love people enough to warn them about their sin and their fate if they remain unrepentant in it. That is not being hateful but loving. The only haters here are the activists who want people to stay trapped in an unhealthy and deadly lifestyle, and the confused Christians who reject Scripture for worldly wisdom.

In a few hours I will be boarding a train to head east. If a bridge down the line has been washed out in a storm, the most loving thing anyone could do would be to warn the train driver of the danger ahead. These loving folks would do anything and everything to make sure he was alerted to the danger and took evasive action.

It is the same in the spiritual arena. We are all sinners heading to a disastrous end. We sinners who have found Christ and have been redeemed by his grace are called to warn others. Not to do so is in fact to hate others, and not love them.

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23 Responses to No, Warning Is Not Hate

  • Dear Bill

    I have just read a book review from the 1840’s which puts it so well,

    “the bitterness of sin, and the awful peril of an immortal soul at enmity with God.”

    That pretty much covers it I would say.

    Blessings
    Naomi

  • It’s testimony to how effective the demonic talking points of the Left have been, with the help of the constant repetition in the media, social media, etc. People, even normal people, confuse hate with truth now. It’s so obviously not true, yet… lots of people do know what is going on. But it’s just like in the book Animal Farm, those darned bleating sheep do have a confusing effect on the foolish and the unwary. Thanks again for being a voice of reason Bill.

  • Silly fools, do they not realise that it is the homosexual lobby that is being hateful?

    Telling the truth is not hate, inciting violence, or inciting others to violence is hate. Bill and many other Christians have never done the second, just telling people the truth.

    Jesus wants EVERY person to be saved, but he can’t save people IN their sin, he saves them FROM their sin. Big difference.

  • Hi Bill,
    When we discuss homosexuality, should we not be discussing the ‘practise of homosexuality’? I’m sure in the pews of the church there are many homosexuals who do not act on or practise. I worry about tarring everyone with the same brush?
    I’d be really interested in a response on this question if you are able.
    Many thanks for your insightful articles, I look forward to reading them.

  • Absolutely but it is a very clever lie is it not. If homosexuality is immutable then of course it is pointless and detrimental to point out the sin because the “poor homosexual” can’t do anything about it. This is, of course why it is so imperative for them to shut down therapy because just as the studies with separated, identical twins proved that homosexuals are not born that way, the numerous successes with therapy prove that homosexuality is not immutable. Just as the data show that gender “reassignment” surgery actually has a detrimental effect on people’s psyche the data is starting to emerge that redefining marriage has zero effect on the psychological problems with homosexuals but a huge effect on it’s effectiveness in heterosexual relationships and the increase in STDs that has occurred is very strong evidence that marriage redefinition has zero effect on homosexual fidelity… and of course, there is much more evidence.

  • The accusation of hatred in this way is either a sign of the woolliest possible thinking or a device to avoid discussion when clear thinking is not to be endured lest the case be shown to be empty-null and void.

  • Thanks Debra. I discuss that issue in detail in my book Strained Relations.

  • Once again, the scourge of political correctness has a lot to answer for. We are only now seeing the harmful effects of what started decades ago. When sin became an unacceptable word, and kindergarten and primary teachers were told not to use the ‘no’ word, there ceased to be moral absolutes. All things became permissive, provided they didn’t affect others negatively – and if they did, then the ‘others’ were being too sensitive. Today we are reaping the effects of the moral relativism that became a prominent philosophy in the 20th Century..

  • This is very interesting

    Brian Gerrish

    Beyond Authority

    Election Fraud & the Rush to Communitarianism

    Brian Gerrish

    “I never for a moment imagined that Big Money and Big Lies could so successfully scare, cajole and diddle the UK electorate of this country. I grew up in a Britain both better-educated and more honest than the one we have today. Perhaps that is why I could not see this possibility. I have not seen, in my lifetime, an election campaign so dishonest, so crude, so based in fear and so redolent of third-world and banana republic political tactics …”

    These are not my words but those of journalist Peter Hitchens. He is right with one exception. The General Election campaign 2015 was certainly not crude. It was the outcome of years of conspiring to build a common purpose in which those whom we trusted to lead, govern and protect us were carefully chosen and groomed to act beyond their authority and betray us.

    Just how did Julia Middleton CEO of the political charity Common Purpose know way back in 2007 that “Downing Street [was] always wondering whether people have sufficient “guile” to be brought into an evil coalition the government is building?”

    The reality is that the UK 2015 election has installed new shiny Conservative icing on an established communitarian political cake. The cake itself contains the same ingredients – perverse political will, self-interests, fraud, corruption, sexual perversion, blackmail, big business and big money.

    The mix has been moistened with behavioural change and baked with propaganda. It looks good, but is really very poisonous. People are eating it and dying. We need to throw it away, and we can, but the Westminster cake is very heavy and very sticky. We need knowledge and many hands to make light work. Join us.

    Website: www.ukcolumn.org

  • To warn someone is to care enough about them to stick your neck out and risk them hating you.

  • More warnings from Ireland and help them out if you can:
    citizengo.org/en/23113-atlantic-philanthropies-stop-meddling-irish-politics

  • Absolutely, warning is not hate. The following is a quote from “CULTS:Secret Sects and Radical Religions” by Robert Schroeder “…(Maddalena) Stradavari is a member of I Spiriti Liberi, … a cult that carries out its rituals in remote caves to the south of Rome. Under the tutelage of her grandmother, Stradivari claims to have lost her virginity at the age of 16 to a satanic high priest. She holds the view that sexual intercourse is an essential ingredient of satanic ritual, although she asserts that anal rather than vaginal sex provides a more positive stimulus to raising the darker spirits.”
    After I read this, I remembered a talk at a church in Townsville given by an ex-homosexual who discussed the demonic drivers of the homosexual lifestyle. If this is true, and I don’t doubt that it is, the sexual deviants don’t know what they’re playing with. Spiritual warfare, no? But will they listen to the warnings?

  • Dear Bill,

    Thank you for the article. I couldn’t agree with you more.I have been buying the English Woman’s Weekly magazine quite regularly now for 6 decades. As long as I have been married in fact. I always thought of it as traditionally English, a link for me with the old country, my birthplace and one of the few magazines I thought were wholesome providing its readers with lovely knitting and crochet patterns, cookery recipes and interesting tips and pictures on health,travel and gardening. Imagine my disappointment then when I picked up the 12th May issue with a delightful strawberry design beanie and bootees for a baby on the front, opened it and saw an article with the headline “I didn’t realise I was gay until I was 34” virtually promoting same sex marriage through a confused lesbian couple’s experiences. I say it was promoting it because there was a blatant commentary on the side which said my belief that ‘being gay was wrong’ but these were ‘negative beliefs’. I wrote to the magazine as a Catholic Christian reminding them that homosexual acts are unnatural and degrading. That God made Adam and Eve to be companions to each other, to complement each other and for the procreation of children something a homosexual couple would never be able to do. I said Jesus had raised marriage to the level of the sacred by performing His first miracle at the Marriage Feast of Cana even before He had started His official Ministry. That was the importance He had attached to marriage. I said that we humans would all face the same end and those who wished to confuse would be judged as much as those who practised homosexuality. I ended by saying that I would not be buying their magazine anymore, no matter how much I enjoy it otherwise. I also urge any of your English readers or others who buy it to write in and complain.The e-mail address is Womansweeklypostbag@timeinc.com Only by standing up and being counted will we make a difference.

  • No-one hates ‘gay’ people more than the homosexual movement: it denies its own members the free and rational choice to ever leave.

    Any other movement that did so would be rightly called a cult.

  • Thanks for this article Bill. It is very encouraging as we have a family member in this lifestyle and I understand much of what you are writing about. Its good to know there are still people like you willing to have these discussions. May God continue to bless you and your thoughtful work.

  • Amen, all very true, but a blind man could see these things. The need to even pen a piece on it is telling of the times we live in, and the sheer amount of false brethren who follow another gospel, jesus and spirit.

    To argue against something so simple is self diagnosis of ‘im a Christian but…I don’t believe the Bible.

  • This may encourage, from the US …

    DefendTheFamily.com Alert
    Friends,

    By nature, conservatives tend to be reactive rather than proactive. Now that the “gay marriage” Sword of Damocles is dangling by a hair over our heads in the US, and the there is almost no hope of escaping homosexual cultural hegemony in America (with all the persecution of believers that will entail as we have seen elsewhere), the church in America is actually starting to wake up. I have never seen so many pro-family articles and opinion pieces on the Internet — and newly minted activists charging into battle with the zeal of the converted (and little else).

    It’s a pleasant surprise and suggests that at the very least we will see a healthy pro-marriage equivalent to the pro-life movement emerge in the wake of the US Supreme Court’s upcoming decision in June, which will almost certainly declare a constitutional right to “gay marriage” (just in time for “Gay Pride Day” — the anniversary of the Stonewall Riot of June 28, 1969 that transformed the homosexual movement from pacifists seeking “the right to be left alone” to uber-aggressive militants demanding control of all social and political institutions so as to remake the world in their own distorted image).

    For almost 20 years our Abiding Truth Ministries has been stockpiling resources to equip pro-family activists to fight the battle for marriage and the natural family. Now, it seems, there may actually be a demand for such materials beyond the shrinking circle of believers who arose here during the mini-revival of the 1980s.

    It looks like there will actually be a new wave of cultural warriors emerging from the pews and its up to us veterans to equip them with knowledge and resources. If they aren’t properly equipped for this difficult topic they will be mowed down like our Christian teens, in their freshmen year of secular college.

    I am urging you to start actively promoting our free resources in every venue in which the ‘gay marriage’ and related issues are being debated by sending people to our website. www.defendthefamily.com and my blog www.scottlively.net.

  • The second verse of “amazing grace” starts with
    “it was grace that taught my heart to fear…”
    How perverse to think that we should now in our endeavour to “love” so much better than we have in the past should be soft and apologetic towards that which kills us, namely sin. Does the bible not say that the wages of sin is death and that through sin death entered the world? Should we not hate sin like God hates it in order to assist Him in restoring human souls to that for which they were created, namely unbroken communion with God their maker and since sin has tainted all of our souls in one way or another, we all need the salvation through the blood of Jesus who said “IF you love me, you will obey my commandments.” To do otherwise is just untrue and insane.
    Many blessings
    Ursula Bennett

  • It appears Disney (of all things) is making a disgusting anti-Christian show. Spread the word to stop them:

    www.lifesitenews.com/petitions/disney-stop-promoting-dan-savage

    Ronald Wong

  • It appears Disney (of all things) is making a disgusting anti-Christian show. Spread the word to stop them:

    www.lifesitenews.com/petitions/disney-stop-promoting-dan-savage

  • All we Catholics seem to hear about is the good news of God’s love – but we never seem to be reminded of the good news of God’s anger? Do we know that God loves us enough to be angry with us for our pursuit of other gods etc. Romans 1:18ff teaches us how to identify the false gods in our lives. God became man to show us the Father – and there are some things the Father hates just as the Son hates those things. Our God is a personal God just as God’s Son became man: ‘if you see me you see the Father’. Those who seek to offend the laws of creation need to remember that the God of creation keeps them in existence – for the time being at least.

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