The easy answer to the question is because Jesus does, but that can seem trite. I do not mean this to be trite, but to be in stark contrast to some who think God hates homosexuals. It is also appropriate to state this in light of the Interfaith Rally for National Coming Out Day this month.

Truth and love &/or compassion play major roles in our understanding of Christianity and Jesus and how those words need to inform our life and our behavior as we live life in friendship with Christ. This is illustrated very clearly by the contrast in approaches towards homosexuals by the Westboro Baptist Church and the Interfaith Rally for National Coming Out Day.

It seems to me that the Westboro folks major on being right that homosexual behaviour is wrong  and miss the bit about loving your neighbors. The folks behind the Interfaith Rally are majoring on the loving your neighbor bit (including advocation and performance of “marriages” for same sex couples), but missing in this equation is the truth that Paul speaks of in Romans 1:26-27 For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural, and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error.”

It is a shame that we tend to swing to one extreme or the other. We either focus so much on the truth that homosexual behavior is wrong that we forget the people who practice this behavior are individuals that were knit together in their mother’s wombs by God the Father and made in His very image. They are individuals for who Jesus died and who He loves with a righteous and truth filled love.

The other extreme seems to be that we see them as wonderful creations of God the Father who loves them, just as they choose to live, with a deep and real love, that we forget that God the Father did not create them to practice homosexual behavior. He has greater plans for them than to be identified as homosexual. He sees them as potential new creations in Christ just as He sees us all.

How do we do this right? How do we show love and compassion while not surrendering the truth of the scriptures? Proverbs 27:6 says “Faithful are the wounds of a friend, but deceitful are the kisses of an enemy.” I think we can find words of guidance and instruction here. The kindest and most loving and compassionate thing we can do is to speak the truth (wounds) to those who are perishing. Does that really include validating the behavior by performing marriage ceremonies?

The truth is that we have been made in the image and likeness of God, but that all have sinned and fallen short of the Glory of God and the Glory that God intended for us to live in. It is a great sadness to God that our sin (rebellion) has separated us from the fellowship with Him that He created us to enjoy. This would be a great sadness to us as well if we actually understood what we were created for and why we are separated from it. We would grieve and morn 24/7 if we truly understood, but alas most of us are blissfully ignorant of our loss and so do not pursue a relationship with God.

The good, actually great, no super news is that God pursues us. His pursuit included having to pay the price of our rebellion against Him through the death of His Son, Jesus. The pursuit does not end there, it continues through out our lives. He wants us to realize what we are missing and find that we can have that all restored if we repent of our sin and rebellion and cling to the sacrifice of Jesus as the atonement or payment for that sin and rebellion. This super news is what the “wounds of a friend” refer to. It is wounding to hear that we are rebels and that our lives are sinful and separating us from God. We want to hear that God loves us, not that we are separated from Him and not that we are deserving of punishment for our rebellion. God does love us, but it is the “kisses of an enemy” to tell someone they are loved by God even while they continue to live in rebellion against Him.

There are different kinds of “kisses of an enemy” such as when our approach to applying the truth of scripture is to say that “God Hates Fags”. A foundational scripture for the Westboro Church is Leviticus 20:23 which states “Moreover, you shall not follow the customs of the nation which I will drive out before you, for they did all these things, and therefore I have abhorred them.” This scripture in and of itself would be out of context, but Westboro makes it worse by only including “therefore I have abhorred them” on their web site. Regardless of the misuse of the scripture, it is a harsh verse to read. But, with its lack of context it is difficult to make a universal judgment for all sin for all time. This verse was spoken for a specific time of judgment for specific people who had lived in rebellion for quite some time. It is also important to point out that verse 23 of Leviticus did not refer simply to homosexual behavior and it is not at all clear that homosexual behavior was the definitive reason for the judgment falling on this nation. There was quite a list of sins that this nation was involved with, so the “abhorred” comment was not reserved to homosexuals only, but to a whole people who were steeped in sin of all kinds and had filled the bowls of Gods wrath.

Contrast God’s view of this nation with how He dealt with Nineveh centuries later. God does not use the harsh term, abhor, with the nation of Nineveh that was also in serious rebellion against God. I think it is inaccurate to use the phrasing in Leviticus to apply to all sinful behavior for all time as the Westboro Church has.

In addition to the example of Nineveh, it is clear that God does not hate sinners. In Romans 5: it says that “….God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” It is therefore true that although God hates evil, it does not follow that He hates the evildoer.  He does not hate “Fags”, He loves them and so do I.  

So for me it is extremely important to understand the truth of God and the love of God and how they work together to inform our faith and response to God and the world around us. We can do this well, especially in the area of the homosexual. We can be the “wounds of a friend” and not the “kisses of an enemy”. We may be reviled, but we will be in good company.  In John 7:7 Jesus says “….it (the world) hates Me because I testify of it, that its deeds are evil.” And in John 15:18 “If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me before it hated you.”

There are a number of ministries that specifically reach out to different sub-sets of the lost world trying to rescue those being led to destruction. There are ministries for the drug addict and the prisoner and the aged, the drunkard and tribes of people who have never heard the gospel. In the same way there are ministries that focus on the homosexual world and I laud those that do it well and I want to cite Exodus International as a responsible and biblical organization that stands for the truth of God’s word and the love and compassion God has for those who want to find peace with Him. Check them out and learn to love the homosexual like God does!!