As I mature as a Christian, I am realizing that there is a love versus law dilemma. If we choose to hold to the law too tight, we push people away from God. When we focus only on love, we loosen our own standards and lower the bar for our spiritual health. Which is most important in the Christian faith? Is love more important than correcting sinful behavior? Is someone better off knowing how wrong their actions are, while our very act of informing them drives them away from God?
I read an article today about a homosexual couple who was turned down from being able to foster refugee kids. The organization that turned them down was a catholic organization, and specifically told them that it was because their marriage did not mirror the holy family. This is a situation where I believe we have chosen law over love.
When Jesus was asked which commandments were most important; he said to love God and love your neighbor. He also says to love your enemy. The Apostle Paul says that when we are fully matured as Christians and all of the childish things fall away, what remains is love, faith, and hope. He adds that love is the greatest of these, and without love your faith does not matter. Paul also says that two things are required to be saved, to say with your mouth that Jesus is Lord, and to believe in your heart that Jesus has risen from the dead.
I fear for a brother or sister in Christ who uses the law to push people away from God. Two women were prevented from adopting because of our faith. Now they are prevented from fostering refugee children in need of a home. I fail to see the love and good in this. I also don’t know how they can ever believe in the hope that Jesus Christ offers when his people have treated them this way.
I know that the bible says homosexuality is a sin. Since all of us are sinners, I am left with the question: could a homosexual man or woman who says Jesus is Lord and believes he has risen from the dead be saved? What hope do any of us have if the answer is no? So, I choose to believe they can be saved. Not changed by us, not fixed by us, but saved by our Lord.
I believe what makes an action or thought sinful is the absence of love for God or each other. I hope God shows more mercy and forgiveness to us than what we showed this couple. I hope one day we can find a way to see beyond the sin to show compassion, kindness, fairness, and love in situations involving people doing what we disagree with because of our faith.