Do not hate your brother in your heart. Rebuke your neighbor frankly so you will not share in his guilt. -Lev 19:17
Watching the Episcopal debate for a few minutes tonight on Larry King, it struck me how orthodox Christians so often confront the culture on touchy subjects like sodomy with an appeal to their own unworthiness: “I’m nothing special myself, just a sinner saved by grace! Not trying to pull moral rank on you here, my homosexual friend!”
All well and good, to a point; we are all dreadful sinners. But doesn’t hedging on our obvious unworthiness water down our ability (and in the case of pastors, authority and responsibility) to confront and rebuke sin? We don’t see Paul, the self-proclaimed chief of sinners (1 Tim 1:15), beating about the bush when rebuking the Galatians or the Corinthians.
Why not point out the utter lack of love displayed by those who abet and excuse sin? Enemies of Christ like V. Gene Robinson are deluding themselves and others — destroying souls — by denying the authority of Scripture and calling evil good (Is. 5:20). And that is hatred. So call it that.
We’re so conditioned to speak the truth in love, but isn’t it also good to remember that speaking the truth is love?