I’m deeply sorry for any Christian who proclaims another Gospel—not that there is another Gospel—that leaves us in our sin. This is not love. This is not compassion. Yes, God loves us just as we are. But He doesn’t want to leave us where we are. God wants us—all of us—to turn from our sin. The biblical writers call this repentance. God is patient toward us, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance (2 Pet. 3:9).
Last week I was sent a video titled Confessions of a Christian Nation – LGBTQ Discrimination. The short, six-minute video features Brian McLaren, Greg Boyd, Brian Zahnd, and Bruxy Cavey taking turns apologizing for the mistreatment of the LGBT community by the Church.
I want to begin by echoing that I, too, am very sorry for the genuine mistreatment of those individuals who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender, especially by those who claim to be followers of Christ. If you have been cursed at, maligned, abused, unjustly discriminated against, or treated as subhuman, then I sincerely apologize. This is unacceptable, and there is no excuse for that kind of behavior. Period.
I want you to know that every member of the LGBT community is made in the image of God. Therefore, you are intrinsically valuable and should be treated with the utmost dignity and respect.
I also want to apologize for those Christians who have given you the impression—by their words and actions—that God doesn’t love you. Let me say unequivocally that God loves you. In fact, He gave His life for you.
But this video fails to accomplish its intended goal. It’s an apology that itself needs to be apologized for. That is, in its attempt to apologize for the sins of the Church, it commits further sins that ultimately hurt those whom it’s trying to heal. So, in all sincerity, let me apologize for this failed apology.
I want to apologize for some Christians who refuse to speak difficult truth in the name of love and compassion. Compassion divorced from truth—even hard truth—is not compassion at all. Yes, love is patient and kind. True, love is not arrogant or rude. But, as Paul goes on to say, love does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth (1 Cor. 13:6). Truth and love are inextricably linked.
Pastor and author Tim Keller writes, “Love without truth is sentimentality; it supports and affirms us but keeps us in denial about our flaws. Truth without love is harshness; it gives us information but in such a way that we cannot really hear it.” If you have experienced the latter, I’m sorry. But I’m equally sorry if you’ve only experienced the former. Sentimentality might feel good. After all, everyone wants to be affirmed and supported. But this is equally dangerous, because it puts feelings above truth. No, truth and love must be presented together. I’m so sorry for any Christian who would mistakenly give you one without the other.