This subject has come up so often and has caused much debate, anger, resentment, confusion, and separation, even amount Christians.
Recently I heard of a young man who had spent a year on a missions trip. He seemed very committed to loving Jesus and preaching the gospel. Recently he revealed that he was in a homosexual relationship but still very much a Christian and loved God.
Some other young people who were on the mission trip are defending his homosexual relationship with another man. The arguments began with trying to separate vile and or perverse sexual passions, which they agreed were sin, with what they said was “genuine love”. These Christians defending the young man said it's different because they genuinely love each other. So since God is love, if their love is genuine, then they can’t see God judging them for it.
The debate when on and on about homosexuality being sin on one side and on the defenders side it kept coming back to “genuine love”.
As I was brought into this debate from afar I immediately identified the problem. The debate isn’t really about whether homosexuality is a sin or not, it is a complete misunderstanding of the phrase “God is Love”.
The entire defense of the “Christians” homosexual lifestyle was built upon the two verses in 1 John 4:8 and 4:16. We take these verse all by themselves and set aside every other declaration of Gods nature. We have decided that Love is the only thing God is,. When then have allowed the world to even define what love is. In essence we have created God in our own image of love. We have created a false God.
John also declared earlier in 1 John, “This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all.” So is all light God? Is the sun GOD. A lightbulb GOD, the brightness produced by fire, is the light of the fire GOD? Should we worship the sun, the fire, the lightbulb? Of course not. God is light but light isn’t God. This is the same John that said, God is Love but that doesn’t mean Love (especially mans concept of love) is GOD. We don’t worship Love, we worship God.
Again, “the Lord your God is a consuming fire”. Is the Fire GOD. Of course not. God is all of his attribute perfectly and completely operating simultaneously. The failure to see God as righteous, just, loving, holy, pure, faithful, true, a God of wrath, one who executes judgements, an all consuming fire, living in unapproachable light, full of mercy, and on and on, is the root of this problem.
Psa 89:14 Righteousness and justice are the foundation of Your throne;
Mercy and truth go before Your face.
Love is NOT the foundation of Gods throne which is His authority and kingdom.
Pro 21:3 To do righteousness and justice
Is more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice.
A.W, Tozer said it this way.
“The apostle John, by the Spirit, wrote, “God is love,” and some have taken his words to be a definitive statement concerning the essential nature of God. This is a great error. John was by those words stating a fact, but he was not offering a definition.
Equating love with God is a major mistake which has produced much unsound religious philosophy and has brought forth a spate of vaporous poetry completely out of accord with the Holy Scriptures and altogether of another climate from that of historic Christianity.
Had the apostle declared that love is what God is, we would be forced to infer that God is what love is. If literally God is love, then literally love is God, and we are in all duty bound to worship love as the only God there is. If love is equal to God then God is only equal to love, and God and love are identical. Thus we destroy the concept of personality in God and deny outright all His attributes save one, and that one we substitute for God.
The God we have left is not the God of Israel; He is not the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ; He is not the God of the prophets and the apostles; He is not the God of the saints and reformers and martyrs, nor yet the God of the theologians and hymnists of the church.
For our souls’ sake we must learn to understand the Scriptures. We must escape the slavery of words and give loyal adherence to meanings instead. Words should express ideas, not originate them. We say that God is love; we say that God is light; we say that Christ is truth; and we mean the words to be understood in much the same way that words are understood when we say of a man, “He is kindness itself.” By so saying we are not stating that kindness and the man are identical, and no one understands our words in that sense.
The words “God is love” mean that love is an essential attribute of God. Love is something true of God but it is not God. It expresses the way God is in His unitary being, as do the words holiness, justice, faithfulness, and truth. Because God is immutable He always acts like Himself, and because He is a unity He never suspends one of His attributes in order to exercise another.
From God’s other known attributes we may learn much about His love. We can know, for instance, that because God is self-existent, His love had no beginning; because He is eternal, His love can have no end; because He is infinite, it has no limit; because He is holy, it is the quintessence of all spotless purity; because He is immense, His love is an incomprehensibly vast, bottomless, shoreless sea before which we kneel in joyful silence and from which the loftiest eloquence retreats confused and abashed.”
If you separate God’s love from God’s holiness you will always end up with wickedness.
Believing something doesn’t make it true. “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” 2 Tim 2:15
Homosexuality is absolutely a sin. Defending it because its our friend, it seems like they love each other, or you don’t want to judge is to fail to know who God really is. There is mercy and deliverance for all who depend and surrender to the lordship of Jesus Christ. We cannot redefine God into the image of our modern culture. We cannot superimpose our concept of love onto God and then separate him from all his other attributes. We cannot make a God in our own image. That my friends is called IDOLATRY.
Dr Steve Foss