LOVING THE UNLOVELY
This post addresses attitudes toward homosexuals and homophobia, specifically about callous and hostile attitudes and unkindness in words and actions to those whom we regard as ‘different’, non-traditional, non-conventional, and non-conforming, from our perspective.
The ‘unlovely’ are those whose lives are not compatible with our life philosophy, religion, value system, or sense of morality of ‘correct and proper’ behavior. Unless you have seen a friend or family member struggling to deal with being misunderstood, being met with disapproval and rejection, alienation, ostracism, or unless you personally know of someone who has been disfellowshipped, disowned, deserted and abandoned by family and relatives, friends, and even their church members, it is hardly likely that you will find yourself sympathetic and ‘loving the unlovely’.
It is a total waste of time and energy to be discussing and debating issues that cannot be resolved with a single solution or answer that will satisfy everyone. Marriage does not mean the same thing to everyone, and who the espoused parties are in a given marriage can include a gamut of possibilities.
A young woman wanted her same sex marriage (SSM) partner referred to as her ‘wife’, not ‘companion or partner’- ‘WIFE’. ‘But’, somebody asked, ‘Are you her husband then?’ Come on now, what kind of answer would you expect?!
The Bible Perspective. In Genesis 1:27, God created male and female. In 2:24, the woman was called Adam’s wife; he (Adam) was next to her when she ate the forbidden fruit and he was referred to as ‘her husband’: ‘she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat’ (3:6). A woman’s spouse according to the Bible is supposed to be a male, a male man; he is regarded as ‘husband’.
Zoophilia But, a male man isn’t always the spouse of a female, I mean, about a woman being wife and a man being husband. An example can be in Denmark, the first country to legalize human-animal marriage, a woman married her 4 year old white stallion named Thorgen. She refers to him as her ‘husband’. Her horse. As you can imagine, the legal precedent has caused a great deal of controversy. (Go to Search to read the story- ‘Danish Woman Marries Horse!’ Oct. 23, 2014)
Getting back to same sex unions between humans- There are various reasons for SSM which are similar for those in civil and other unions, even heterosexual marriages. These may include companionship, financial reasons, tax and beneficiary benefits, benefits which heterosexual unions enjoy that are not granted in homosexual unions. Many couples in SSM are good friends who are compatible, enjoy one another’s company, and find it practical and economical to live and share expenses together. It would seem that this describes what everyone would desire and consider necessary for their happiness in life- love, friends and family, and companionship.
Not all who choose to be in a same sex union are in an ‘immoral sexual relationship’. That may come as a surprise to those who generalize that SSM couples are in a sexual relationship that is ‘immoral, perverted, and unnatural’. From recent news about scandals of pedophilia in the Roman Catholic Church, one wonders if every supposedly celibate priest is also likely to be a pedophile and cannot be trusted to interact with children, youth, in particular.
Many who disapprove of SSM and mistreat and discriminate against ‘homosexuals’ deny them services or benefits that non-SSM couples have no difficulty receiving, for example, ordering a wedding cake or flowers, hiring musicians for a wedding, or reserving a B & B honeymoon cottage. Why should ‘righteous living’ Christians and non-Christians try to decide for others what choices they can or cannot have? The new norm developing today is to accept individual and equal rights with diversity in a society that is changing. Respect for others ought to be the order of the day. Taking responsibility for one’s own life should be the focus; allowing others to make their own choices and decisions, and accepting consequences of their behavior should be the new norm. This to me is what real freedom is about- to make your own choices and let others do so also, in a way that does not harm or interfere with the lives of people around them.
Lack of love and respect for others is at the crux of all of humanity’s problems. Each one of us is uniquely different from one another in our personalities, our likes and dislikes, interests and aspirations, how we think and deal with decision-making, and overall choices in life styles. Even if we have more differences than commonalities, there is one thing everyone desires, which is to satisfy our human need to be loved and respected. That is why we are in the wrong when we try to force others to adopt our values and morals. We should not pass judgement on those who are ‘different’ from us because they chose SSM as their way of life.
As Christians we must show ourselves ‘loving the unlovely’ in our hearts and minds, rather than being unloving, self righteous and poor examples of what Jesus would want us to be. We need to know and put the Bible scriptures into practice, live out our faith than read about it in books, listen to religious DVD’s, hear sermons week after week about loving your neighbor. Hypocrisy and compromise characterize evangelical/Christian churches today who don’t know how to ‘walk the talk’. Many churches don’t preach about sin anymore because they think sinners are outside of the church. That is one of the biggest lies of the devil! Another lie is that warming a pew gives many the assurance of favor with God. What about the once a year volunteer at the city’s Thanksgiving luncheon for all the homeless and elderly, and those who don’t know how to roast a turkey? Good works will count with God, won’t it?! Sorry, NO.
The only thing that will count when we face the Lord at the Judgement is if we shared His Love with others, if we were ‘loving the unlovely’. Paraphrased from 1 Corinthians 13, John 3:16:
One can have spiritual gifts, all knowledge, great faith, feed the poor, even offer one’s body to be burned, etc., all to no avail, without knowing and sharing REAL LOVE which is God’s kind of love for all of mankind. God so loved THE WORLD, that includes EVERYONE, the good, the bad and the ugly, the lovely and the unlovely. God’s love is INCLUSIVE.
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. (John 3:16-17)
If anyone does not believe that God’s love is inclusive, he is not in right standing with God. A Christian who is self righteous, a lover or self, who has made himself his own god, who thinks he can choose who he will be kind and loving to will most definitely be destined for a rude awakening. Such attitudes reflect unrighteous character and are therefore sinful, making whoever that practices them unrepentant sinners.
1John 5:17 All unrighteousness is sin. . .; Romans 3:10 There is none righteous, no, not one. . .
1John 1:8-10 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.
Christendom is filled will non-believers of God’s Word; they are the counterfeit and ‘make believers’ who twist and misinterpret God’s Word to their liking. God is looking for those who hunger after righteousness, seek out the Truth in His Word, who live out their faith and are led by His Spirit, who are truly the light of the world and salt of the earth.
The Bible clearly shows that there is no place for homophobic individuals (who show a prejudice and discriminate against homosexuals) in God’s kingdom. This is what the Bible tells us:
Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love (1John 4:7-8).
. . .If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us. (1John 4:12b)
. . .God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him. (1John 4:16b)