Stridergorn
08-18-2006, 04:44 PM
Sooo, I've been doing a bit of thinking (which is scary) about tolerating sin versus tolerating the sinner. We're called to love people, right?
As an example: homosexuals (touchy, I know, but it's the only example I can come up with for now). Homosexuality = totally wrong. We know this. In the Bible it's right there with the really bad stuff.

"These laws are for people who are sexually immoral, for homosexuals and slave traders, for liars and oath breakers, and for those who do anything else that contradicts the right teaching."
- I Timothy 1:10

But the whole homophobe (in an intense sense of it) thing going around is screwed up too. God also says to "love your neighbor as yourself."

Where do you draw the line between loving the sinner and tolerating the sin (or desensitizing yourself to it)?

(I don't mean for this to be just about the homosexuality movement, it's about sin stuff in general.)

aliengurl7
08-18-2006, 04:58 PM
We don't have to tolerate someone's sinful ways but were not suppose hate them either. I draw a line. I wouldn't attend a gay parade because that would be putting myself in a sinful situation I don't need to be in. I don't hate gays or anyone for that matter. Its in the bible not to be unequally yoked with unbelievers. Just as I wouldn't go to a party where there is beer and crap. Its just asking for trouble.

Jesus freak_14
08-19-2006, 11:25 AM
I don't mean to go back to the "gay" subject, but I'm glad someone brought this up, cuz i was thinking about it earlier this week. I have a friend who's gay. I don't know where to draw the line either, because he makes me feel uncomfortable sometimes, but he's still my friend. Everytime I'm around him I feel like I should talk to him about his problem, but then again I feel like I would lose my friendship with him. I'm not sure how long I can put up with him asking about my brother and stuff. So it's like what stridergorn said, where do I draw the line between loving the sinner and tolerating the sin?

Gryphenix
08-19-2006, 01:58 PM
Ahh, this is a touchy subject, but here is my take on it. 1st off, homosexuality as a lifestyle is sinful, no two ways about it. However, we as Christians have to lovingly correct those who struggle with this sin. After all, do not all of us deal with sin on a regular basis? The problem I see with homosexuality is that it is viewed so often as a lifestyle, one which is accepted by some denominations, and this view leads those who may deal with homosexuality to wallow in it, feeling it is alright for them to do so. We have to love these people. I can't tell who how angry the God Hates F-gs movement makes me. These people need to get a life, and a new revelation of Christ. As for those of us who love those who struggle, we must not ever accept the lifestyle. Love the person, but try to help them see what a better life Christ offers for them.

Stridergorn
08-19-2006, 02:48 PM
Yeah, I've got an ohnline friend who's bisexual and struggles with depression stuff, so I really have no idea how to deal with it. I think along the way I've become a little too supportive. So that's mostly where my questions are coming from. I'm glad to see people responding.

Jesus freak_14
08-19-2006, 02:55 PM
I think along the way I've become a little too supportive.

You completely brought into words my emotions (if that makes sense)!! That's what it is, I've become too supportive, and I've accepted the fact that my friend is gay. That's the problem with me. Lately, when i started talking to him he's been talking about my brother and asking about him and stuff and this is when i realized I need to stop accepting his sin as if there's nothing wrong with it, I need to talk to him about it. Although going from one extreme to the other (going from accepting his sin to talking about his problem) may be disastrous, and i might lose my friendship with him completely.

skynes
08-21-2006, 12:47 AM
If you say you love someone, yet do nothing while they condemn themselves to hell, you are a liar.

I don't think you even need to MENTION homosexuality's sinfulness.

Give them the 10 commandments instead. Show them they are condemned regardless of their sexual behaviours.
Show them that they are a lying thieving blasphemer in desparate need of God's grace.

Gayness needn't come up at all.

dawn of light
08-21-2006, 05:43 AM
Being gay or straight doesn't make a difference if they're not a Christian. Someone who doesn't have Christ in their life is going to hell regardless of their "sexual orientation". Instead of trying to teach them the right way to live, teach them about Christ and what He did for us. Once they have Christ in their heart, that's the time to lovingly confront them about their lifestyle (whether it be homosexuality, premarital sex, or uncontrollable lying).

On the topic of sin vs. the sinner, my pastor uses this analogy:

If you're sitting on an iceberg and it's melting, stay on. If you're sitting on an iceberg and you're getting cold, jump off.

Your relationship with God is the most important thing in your life and if spending time with someone jeopardizes that, it's probably better not to. But if you're able to teach them things about God, show them the love of God etc, continue to hang out with them. I think we should be very clear about what we feel is wrong or right with our non-Christian friends but always remember to tell them that you care about them no matter what choices they make and that you don't think of them any less because of what they do. We all sin, after all. It's just how we handle the sin, that makes the difference. (asking God for forgiveness and repenting vs. doing nothing at all).

NightCrawler
08-21-2006, 05:58 AM
Bringing up my own need for a Saviour is also a good witness, because a lot of people see me as a goody-two-shoes or a straightedge. Pointing out that everyone needs God kinda makes them put the pieces together.

DarkestRose
08-22-2006, 09:07 AM
I think the main point of following Christ is to simply love as He loves.

The whole argument of sin vs. sinner is something that really ignites my heart. I really feel for people that are lost because I want them to have hope. I want them to know just how beautiful and fabulous God is and just let them bask in all of that. I really feel that non-Christians, more than anything, just need to know love, compassion and tolerance from Christians.

"Love is patient, love is kind. It is not jealous, (love) is not pompous, it is not inflated, it is not rude, it does not seek its own interests, it is not quick-tempered, it does not brood over injury, it does not rejoice over wrongdoings but rejoices with truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails." I think this verse is almost a guidance for evangelism. (I’m not gonna go through the whole thing though.) Love is patient. I think it would help if we as Christians were patient because sometimes it takes years to bring people over to the Lord. I believe that we should be there with a stubborn kindness, always ready to speak of the Lord, but never condemning.

Love is not pompous, inflated or rude and, but many times Christians are, in fact, just that. I believe it is foolish in the strongest sense of the term to believe that if you start pounding someone down with every broken commandment, mortal sin, blah and blah… that they would ever look at love to Trinity God. To call someone pond scum and then end off with, “but Jesus loves you,” in hopes that they will seek God’s grace is preposterous. They will believe Christians are hypocritical, judgmental and condemning, that we are working off a show of guilt and fear and threats of hell. If someone to me and said I’m damned if I don’t convert to their faith, not believing in their faith to begin with, I would just feel annoyed because it shows a complete sanctimonious holier-than-thou attitude. But the main (and beautiful) point that Jesus loves so much that He came to die for all those sins is lost in all the feelings of denunciation.

I believe Christians are called to be living personifications of Christ’s compassion for people. It really touches me in Isaiah when it is written that a smoldering wick He will not put out and a bruised reed He will not break. There are so many bruised reeds and smoldering wicks that need compassion. They need forgiveness, mercy and grace not condemnation. I think so many Christians believe we need to open the wound, let them know that they NEED forgiveness, but most non-Christians I know already long for redemption because everyone has regrets. We can point to God’s grace now. Helping people in kindness and leading people towards Christ does so much.

Christ saw into the heart of sinners. He knew what they would become. Like the Samaritan woman said, He knew all they did wrong, but loved them anyway. I think many non-Christians get the sense that we know what they’ve done wrong, it’s the love that’s missing. I think Christians have to be able to find the beauty, the good, the light and the best in non-Christians and help that grow. We are called to adamantly accept people for who they are, not to agree with all their views or approve of all they do, but to love. I firmly believe that love does not rejoice in wrongdoings, therefore Christians do not just rejoice in the sins of others. Nor should be tolerate it. I believe that one should be honest and willing say, “you shouldn’t do that” in a way that conveys being concerned for someone. We are not called to coerce or antagonize people into faith though.

More than ever, I find that everyone is broken in some way and everyone is struggling in some way. I have had so many wonderful friends, some Christian, some not, who have been struggling through mental illness, suicide, family problems and it's just heartbreaking. I just find that with so many battles being fought, Christians really need to be light in the darkness and healing for the pain.

somasoul
09-04-2006, 04:45 PM
People always point out the gay thing as if it's somehow a worse sin...........

"These laws are for people who are sexually immoral, for homosexuals and slave traders, for liars and oath breakers, and for those who do anything else that contradicts the right teaching."

I think this includes all of us.

My neighbors are gay. They are two guys.........or are. One of them used to be a woman. Which makes it all very confusing. I think God wants us to love people, to show them His love. To be His ambassadors. I ain't good at it, I'll admit. But firstly let's have people come to Christ first and we'll deal with the other stuff once we get there.

NightCrawler
09-11-2006, 11:01 AM
People always point out the gay thing as if it's somehow a worse sin..........
No, it is just a large contrast now because many people are arguing against Christians over accepting and embracing sin. It isn't because it is worse, it is because we have (in the past) kept a tighter rein on the situation.

Grunge=Fun
09-14-2006, 07:32 PM
homosexuality is a common disease these days. obviously something is wrong with you if you are attracted to someone of the same sex. gross!

see heres the thing. non-believers dont know whats right and whats wrong. everything to them is opinionated. you can tell them they are wrong but they will say, "thats your opinion." i know i have some very close friends that are nonchristians and they choose to not follow God probably because they would like it better if they had no consequences. you've got to let your friends know that their wrong and you care about them. help them through their problems dont just hate on them. its going to be a slow process, but it would surely pay off if they are really your friend.

one problem with sin today is that its socially accepted by the media and promoted all over. thats why people do a lot of things they do

unshakeable15
09-19-2006, 06:20 PM
see heres the thing. non-believers dont know whats right and whats wrong. everything to them is opinionated. you can tell them they are wrong but they will say, "thats your opinion." i know i have some very close friends that are nonchristians and they choose to not follow God probably because they would like it better if they had no consequences.
That's what's called Postmodernism (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Postmodernism). Postmodernism, in a very small, oversimplified nutshell, is the idea that you can't know truth except by your experiences, so your truth is different from everyone else's.

However, we know that to be false, because according to Romans 1, everyone can see through nature that God exists. Also Romans(?) also says the law is written on every man's heart. We all know that killing is wrong, and not just because we've all seen someone be killed. We just know it to be wrong. So when you say "non-believers dont know whats right and whats wrong" that would be slightly off. They know it; they just ignore it or don't accept it as true.

NightCrawler
09-21-2006, 07:46 PM
Mike, your "(?)":

Romans, Chapter 2
14(Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature things required by the law, they are a law for themselves, even though they do not have the law, 15since they show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts now accusing, now even defending them.)

"FTW" -- the late Isildur###

somasoul
09-22-2006, 05:27 AM
That's what's called Postmodernism (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Postmodernism). Postmodernism, in a very small, oversimplified nutshell, is the idea that you can't know truth except by your experiences, so your truth is different from everyone else's.

However, we know that to be false, because according to Romans 1, everyone can see through nature that God exists. Also Romans(?) also says the law is written on every man's heart. We all know that killing is wrong, and not just because we've all seen someone be killed. We just know it to be wrong. So when you say "non-believers dont know whats right and whats wrong" that would be slightly off. They know it; they just ignore it or don't accept it as true.


So maybe, like, eating pork? The "Law" is the law of Moses. I assume you're a gentile, or a non-jew. Perhaps the law hasn't stuck with you or any of us Gentile folk. Perhaps being outside the Jewish laws and customs gives us an excuse. The passage isn't referring to parts of the Law of Moses, it's refering to the whole thing.

In way, that makes you guilty (and I) of 'post-modernism' if the idea you expressed above is correct.

unshakeable15
09-25-2006, 01:46 PM
Not true. There was the greater law, that which encompassed Leviticus, and there was the Big 10, listed in the first section of Exodus 20 (and again within the Levitical law). Every man has written upon his heart a knowledge that stealing, lying, killing, and lusting are wrong (among other things).

Taken otherwise, that passage in Romans would be ridiculous. Everyone on Earth has the knowledge that eating pork is wrong and that every 7 years you must forgive the debts you hold above your neighbors' heads?