Many churches today have embraced the new sexual revolution in the name of love.
“As long as people love one another and are true to themselves”, is the new battle-cry.
These LGBT-affirming churches say that they are very loving and caring to affirm same-sex relationships, same-sex marriage and the notions of transgender and gender fluidity.
Churches and church leaders not affirming LGBT relationships are lampooned as bigots, homophobic and hatemongers.
In stark contrast, the letter of 1 John in the New Testament (the letter of love!), says that the LGBT-affirming churches and leaders are not acting in love, but rather in hate, because they are not telling those in their care the truth about sin.
They are endangering people’s eternal well-being and joy.
Back in the days of 1 John, false teachers claimed to love their followers. The Apostle John said that they actually hated those in their care because they didn’t tell them the truth about sin.
“If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.” (1 John 1:8)
“Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.” (1 John 3:18)
You may claim to love someone, but if you don’t tell them the truth about sin: how sin offends God and how sin separates us from God, you certainly don’t love them – you hate them.
John loved his readers enough to tell them the truth about sin. cf. 1 John 1:5-2:3 He warned Christians not to be deceived by the false teachers who proclaimed a “new” version of Christianity that was untrue and deceptive – a “Christianity” that’s so prevalent in the world today.
I write these things to you about those who are trying to deceive you. (1 John 2:26)
Little children, let no one deceive you. (1 John 3:7)
How much must you hate people not to tell them the truth about sin?
Imagine you’re in a forest and there is a very deep pit, hidden from plain sight, filled with venomous snakes.
You see two children happily skipping straight towards the hidden pit.
Is it loving to think: they are so happy, I don’t want to disturb their happiness by stopping and warning them?
Or is it loving to think: they may be happy, but I must disturb their temporary happiness and tell them the truth because I’m concerned about their long-term happiness and joy and life?
Of course, the latter is loving; the former is – by comparison – hating.
At our church we love people and, therefore, we want to tell them the truth about sin – whatever sin that may be: homosexuality, greed, anger, sexual immorality, pornography, gluttony, stealing, murder or pride.
We welcome everyone. We tell them that God hates sin and must judge sin. We tell them the good news that Jesus came to save sinners. We tell them that they must turn from sin and turn to Jesus for forgiveness and new life.
We love people enough to tell them the truth as God has revealed it in the Bible.
The Apostle John wrote 1 John in love to warn against the deceptions of the false teachers who didn’t talk about sin and who advocated a new brand of Christianity. The false teachers are called deceivers and liars.
The message of 1 John is sorely needed in churches today: if you love the people in your care, you don’t lie to them, you tell them the truth about sin.
The letter of 1 John calls Christian leaders, and all Christians, to speak the truth in love.