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Love Your Neighbor Authentically: The Courage to Speak Truth About Sin and Act Accordingly

by | Feb 5, 2024

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In the Old Testament, the account of Lot’s escape from Sodom and Gomorrah stands as a merciful, yet unyielding testament to the gravity of God’s judgment against the moral decay that is prevalent in a society that has turned its back on God. This ancient yet timeless narrative casts a long shadow, touching the core of today’s cultural and spiritual discourse, particularly in the face of modern interpretations that often seek to soften or reinterpret clear biblical directives.

The contrast of Lot’s story could not be more blunt when juxtaposed against a contemporary backdrop where so many religious leaders, with a tone of conciliation, advocate for an accommodating, tolerating, and even celebrating practices so diametrically opposed to God’s revelation to us—particularly things such as homosexuality and other aberrant sexual behaviors.

The crux of this observation lies not merely in the divergent attitudes towards aberrant sexual behaviors but fundamentally in the understanding of what it means to embody a life of faith in a world that is increasingly at odds with biblical values. In Genesis, the message was unequivocal—Lot was commanded to flee, to not look back, to separate himself completely from the impending judgment on a society whose actions had reached a crescendo of sexual anarchy and moral bankruptcy. This wasn’t just about physically removing himself from the impending deadly wrath of God. It was a serious and deliberate call to spiritual separation.

Fast forward to today, and we find a landscape where the clear, resounding calls of scripture are often muffled or muted under the guise of “love your neighbor” and the desire not to be seen as “judgmental.” The narrative pushed by many modern church leaders suggests that celebrating such indecency, even attending events—homosexual weddings—or passively affirming sinful sexual lifestyles that scripture explicitly condemns, is somehow a demonstration of love and grace. But is this a true demonstration of the biblical definition of love, or is it a capitulation to the shifting sands of cultural relativism?

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The Bible is not a document of convenience but a covenant of truth, and it minces no words in expressing God’s disposition towards sin. It implores us to abhor what is evil and cling to what is good (Romans 12:9). When Revelation 18:4 calls us to “Come out of her, my people, so that you will not share in her sins,” it’s not a gentle suggestion but a clarion call to radical separation from a world system that is fundamentally at odds with God’s kingdom.

Turning to Romans 1, especially verses 26-27, we confront an arrant depiction of a society given over to degrading passions, with men and women exchanging natural relations for those contrary to nature. The text is unflinching, attributing the proliferation of diseases and societal ills directly to the abandonment of divine order. “Receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error,” as the scripture states, is not merely a spiritual metaphor but a tangible, lived reality for societies that have wandered far from the moral compass of divine intention. Hopefully, you grasp this concept and I don’t need to paint this picture any further.

The challenge today is not merely one of interpretation but of courage—the courage to stand unapologetically for biblical truths in a world that increasingly regards them as antiquated or even offensive. It’s no more “loving” to attend your friend’s homosexual “wedding” than it is to drive your friend to an abortion clinic to have her baby put to death. We must clearly separate from such evil. The call to be set apart is not a call to isolation but to transformation—a heart change effected by the work of the Holy Spirit—that refuses to blur the lines between God’s statutes and worldly preferences.

In this modern era, as in every era, the call of God’s elect is not to conform to the patterns of this world but to be transformed by the renewing of our minds (Romans 12:2). This conversion is not passive but active, not silent but boldly proclaimed, not fearful but filled with the power, love, and sound judgment that comes from God.

As we navigate these polluted waters of our day, let’s do so with the resolve and clarity that characterized the biblical prophets and apostles, men and women who knew that the approval of God far outweighs the fleeting acceptance of man. Remember that our ultimate allegiance is not to the ever-changing shadows of cultural appeasement but to the eternal, unchanging truths of Scripture. And in this commitment to God’s eternal truths, may we find not only the courage to stand but also the grace to point others toward the redemptive love and regenerating power of Christ at the cross. For this is what it truly means to “love your neighbor.”

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