You think I hate you. Maybe people have told you so or maybe someone who claims the same faith as I has hurt you. I don’t know the specifics, but I’ve heard you say it. You think I hate you because of who you are. You say you were born that way and cannot change. In a since you’re right. We are all born sinners, and without the sacrifice that Jesus made for us, we cannot change.
I hate what you do, but not for the reasons you might imagine. I hate it for the same reason that God does. I hate it because I love you. I hate it because it will ultimately destroy you. All of us have a tendency to pursue things that we think will make us happy but that God knows to be death to us. Sexual sin of any sort is particularly destructive. It corrupts the relationship that God intended to be the foundation of all that He would show us of love. All of the relationships that spring from it show us aspects of the loving relationship that He wants with us. From our parents and from our children we learn of the Father’s love. From our spouses we get the smallest taste of what He means by calling us His bride. He is jealous for us and has a right to be so. He gave it all for us. That is why he hates sexual sin. It corrupts the best gift he gave us for understanding and experiencing all of the love that He has for us.
Because we’re all born sinners, often these relationships don’t measure up to the standards He set. Lovers fight. Parents abuse their children. Sexual sin is not the only way we ruin the beautiful things that God gave to us. Perhaps your experience has been thus. For me to speak of love as I have rings hollow for you. It grieves me to know this, and I want you to know that it grieves God too. He did not intend it so, but we made our choices ad did those who came before us.
Right now the country is divided over the meaning of marriage. You may be one of those fighting to be allowed to marry someone of the same sex. We stand opposed, suddenly finding a zeal for “traditional marriage” that too many of us don’t exhibit in our own lives. If you are aware of the statistics, we must seem hypocritical to you. Traditional marriage is not just one man and one woman, but one man and one woman for life. We leave out that last part. The divorce rate among so-called Christians seems to be no better than among those who are not. That statistic is skewed for a number of reasons. I recommend reading The Good News About Marriage: Debunking Discouraging Myths about Marriage and Divorce for some better information. It may not be as bad as we have been led to think, but it’s still a serious problem. We don’t treat marriage as particularly special, so why are we upset because you want to do it too? It’s not an unreasonable question, and I’m ashamed to have to answer it. The best answer I can offer is simply that we are wrong not to place the same value on marriage as God does. I’ve already said that we all start out sinners, but once we make the decision to follow Jesus, things should change. If they don’t, we need to examine ourselves to see if we are really what we claim to be.
But we still must make a stand. My hope is that by this letter you understand why we feel so strongly about it. I do not hate you. I love you. So does Jesus. He wants to free you from the destructive lifestyle you have chosen. He wants to show you what real love is. No human substitute will ever be its equal.