I understand the concept of "love the sinner, hate the sin", but trying to explain that to a non-Christian that consistently throws up Leviticus 18:22 and Romans 1:18-32 about God (Christians) wanting to kill homosexuals is increasingly difficult.
NLT - 31 The second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ No other commandment is greater than these.”
For follow-up discussion and general commentary on the topic. Comments are sorted chronologically.
Is homosexuality in itself a sin vs. "practicing" homosexuality? Urges of all kinds can be deemed sinful - we all have them - addictive behaviors of some type. Acting out on such urges is a willful step forward in our self-seeking, and alternately we fight/pursue them. Does a Christian really have anything over a habitual sinner - besides grace? Aren't we all habitual sinners? What is the truly righteous approach vs. The self-righteous? What type of people did Jesus condemn most vigorously?
Damaged people - self-inflicted especially - need to know what the love of Christ is about. He is their way out, if/when they want it - it's the good news.
Romans 1:26-27..says God abandoned them to their shameful desires...1Timothy 1:8-18..says the law was for people who are ungodly & sinful & rebellious & practice homosexuality, liars..Galatians 5:21 & 1Corinthians 6:9-11..says some were once like this but are cleansed...people can change, just how much are you willing to trust God?
As Christians, we all know what the Bible says about homosexuality. The challenge we all face is how to present the Word in an accurate and loving way. In my case, the stakes are especially high because I counsel and mentor teens. Many are new believers who come from Christian homes, so if they are facing their sexuality for the first time. In cases where they are struggling with same attraction, they often feel it is out of their control, so condemnation of what they feel almost always leads to rejection of faith. I often use Galations 5 but emphasize the key word in the scripture, "practice".
When they understand that God did not make them impure, rather suggest that God has given them a struggle to overcome and that he intends to help them overcome it so that He can use them in some powerful way later, they feel a sense of empowerment and a purpose.
Teens who believe the do have a choice and understand God loves them and will help them, are more likely to be open in discussing homosexual feelings. By being willing to listen without condemnation, I can discourage them from giving in to the temptation to put their urges into practice. Sadly, too many feel, as teens can about a wide range of issues, that if they are already condemned for what they believe is out of their control, they will give up. The world makes this all too easy for homosexuals.
In adults, I remember that this started in their teens and will take time, love and patience to help them overcome.
Reading the many responses indicates why we Christians are not in unity and in trouble.
Don't be concerned about how to present the word of God. God turns away from all sin. God has a list of detestable sins.
Homosexual lifestyle is a choice. it is a form of addiction. Also many have been sexually abused as a child. Face the truth and treat it that way.
Have no concerns of how to present the word of God. Read it to them or quote it accurately and let the power of the Holy Spirit take over.
Yes we should be loving by example but be truthfull the homesexual life is detestable to God.
Jesus said you must know Him. Matthew 7:21. You can not be a Christian and live a lifestyle detestable to God. We must repent and turn away.
A lot of our problems as Christians are too many bible translations. Too many Christians putting God in their box instead of fearing the Holy God who created them and submitting and living in His box.
Share the bible; be the best example of Christ and correctly judge one another with the word proverbs 27:17
Leaders and teachers of the word, you are accountable. Be bold be honest.