Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Love Does No Harm To Its Neighbor

When I was on the Equality Ride, I received a wonderful shirt from some students at Messiah College, it's basically a "Support Love" or "Love Equality" type of shirt. The picture on the shirt is shown here. Well, I love wearing it, I really do. I'm actually wearing it today. Well I went to Target today (by the way, Target is like one of my favorite stores, just in case you need a gift card idea) with my wonderful shirt on. As I was leaving a delightful older woman looked at my shirt and told me, "Do you know your shirt represents something sinful?" I smiled and replied, "Love is sinful?" She defensively responded, "That's not what I meant!" and stormed off.

Just as a side note: Merced, CA is a lot more conservative than I remember, or maybe I just had far more liberal friends.

Well I wasn't too offended by her comment, I've gotten used to such things. But what hit my mind was the word love. I began thinking about what I have grown to know about the word "love" since coming out and through my ex-gay experience.

"Love" has become a word so widely used in Christianity, but yet there is never any consistency in what it means, or what it should look like. So what is love? Well I've learned from Romans 13:10 that "Love does no harm to its neighbor. Therefore, love is the fulfillment of the law." I know we are commanded to love God with everything and to love our neighbor, because all the laws and prophets hang on those two commandments. So it seems simple, but as Christians are we missing the mark?

Being a gay Christian, I've endured, "Love the sinner, Hate the sin" countless times. Does that fall in line with Romans 13:10? "I love you, but I hate your homosexuality." Let's translate that into what that would mean for my life, "I love you, but I hate that you have fallen in love with another Christian and have built a marriage through God..." Sounds kind of crazy doesn't it?

So as Christians, let's demonstrate REAL love. When God commanded us to love in Deut. 6 he never added conditions to that love. Therefore, don't do harm to your brothers and sisters by adding conditions to the love you have for them.