Later this afternoon, I will head to downtown Lafayette for OUTfest. It’s been on my calendar for quite some time. I’ll be joining friends (and mabye some colleagues) to spread a little bit of love with those gathered.
Yesterday, someone asked me a simple question, “Why would you go to OUTfest?”
Sadly enough, due to my line of work, this question did not come as a surprise.
My answer was fairly simple. I am going to OUTfest because the love of God in and through Jesus Christ does not discriminate…God loves all. God’s love is not withheld from anyone. God’s love does not discriminate due to age, race, nationality, gender, sexual preference, political party association, religion, socio-economic status, etc. God is love. And, God loves all.
Therefore, as a Christian, my call is to love. My call isn’t to judge (I’m still working on getting the plank out of my own eye). My call isn’t to hate (pretty sure Jesus said something about even loving our enemies). My call is to love…to love God…to love my neighbor…to not withhold my love because I may not see eye-to-eye with you on any number of issues. My call is to see beyond that…because each person I come into contact with was fearfully and wonderfully made in the image of God. So, I need to see beyond our differences and simply see a loving Creator inside all people.
I believe that our love falls short when we cling to statements like, “love the sinner, hate the sin”. Too often, we make statements like this and do a great job of hating the sin…and a poor job of loving the sinner. And, have you ever noticed that the “sinners” are always people who struggle with things we don’t struggle with. I haven’t heard “love the sinner, hate the sin” used in reference to gluttony.
As a Christian, I believe that love wins. And, in my view of Christian love…there is no room for all of the -ism’s we’ve created (racism, sexism, ageism, etc.). There is no room for bigotry and hatred. There is only room for love.
And, when I speak of love…I believe in a love that has no room for “buts”. You know what I mean…the, “I love you, but ________” statements that we too often make. When we qualify our love with a “but”, we run the risk of making our love invalid. Once we say “but”, we take the risk of the person failing to experience our love and only experiencing our judgment (because that’s usually what follows the “but”).
So, no matter what your view of homosexuality may be, it is my prayer that our words and deeds will communicate the love, grace, mercy, and compassion of God.
If you’re in the Greater Lafayette area today, meet me downtown and share God’s love with all of our brothers and sisters!