MMP: Hate Has No Home

October 23, 2017
Note: Each week we will have a guest writer who will share a few of their personal thoughts on Sunday’s sermon. Unlike Monday Morning Quarterbacking, from which this series gets its name, we aren’t looking to critique so much as share how we have been personally impacted. This week’s post comes from Al Lewis.

Today’s sermon, “A Wandering World,” covered a few issues pertaining to sexuality and how we, as the church, respond to them. It seems everywhere I look, there is far more conflict than compassion – too much passing of judgement and not enough spreading of the Good News. I was deeply encouraged by the opening remarks of today’s sermon – that members of the LGBTQ community need to hear from our church that they are loved, they are enough, that God gave his son for all people, and that they do not have to change or measure up to accept God’s love. 

The sermon  discussed several pieces of scripture that deal with our penchant for passing judgement on others, which we as believers are not called to do. Ephesians 4:14-15 directs us to be of mature and steadfast faith in our sharing of the truth in love. We are not called to pass judgement, we are called to share the news that salvation only comes from Jesus. In fact, Jesus himself says in John 12:47-48 that his purpose for coming to Earth was not to judge the world, but to save it from damnation, with God the Father serving as the judge. As a church, we must commit our hearts to extending compassion and understanding, while spreading the Gospel – instead of isolating ourselves by letting judgement falsely come from our hearts and minds. If Jesus himself did not pass judgement on others, instead choosing to bring His message of salvation and redemption to people of all walks of life – then who are we to judge others?

Pastor Mark then shared scripture about what God says about our identity and what actions we are called to avoid – Psalm 139:13-16, Genesis 1:27, 1 Corinthians 6:9-11, Romans 1:24-27, Leviticus 18:21-23, Deuteronomy 22:5. God is clear about actions we are to avoid, and equally clear as to our identity – we are made in His image and built to bring glory to God. God created us individually and with purposeful design down to the last details of our being. In the eyes of God, our identity is only defined by our relationship with Him. I am comforted knowing that I am called to care about someone knowing Jesus and having a relationship with God and that I am not called to account for any other aspect of someone’s life .

After some reflection, the scripture I kept hearing in my heart was John 13:34-35, ““A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” Jesus is abundantly clear on our role as believers – we are called to spread the Good News around the world, we were never called to judge others or condemn them for their actions. 

Father, I pray for my family and friends who are members of the LBGTQ community and I pray they would know that You love them and want to have a relationship with them. I pray that they would know abundantly that I love them as they are. In my heart, in my family, and in Your church – hate has no home here. Above all issues of this world, I pray that people of all walks of life would come to know You, and come to accept Jesus as their personal savior. Amen.