hateful?

hateful?

From a Christian blog I read:

General Peter Pace’s comments calling homosexuals acts as immoral, and Senator Sam Brownback’s comments backing the General up are nothing less than hateful …

Grace is not about an indifferent acceptance of everything, but about an unconditional love for everyone. Peter Pace, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, came under fire this week for his characterization of homosexual behavior as “immoral.” The remarks may indeed have been ill-advised and unnecessary, and probably unwise and unloving to pin the “immoral” label on a group of people with a public statement like that. But I would not call the remarks “hateful.”

I would not hesitate to label acts of pride or envy or greed or bias or abuse as immoral, when in facts our churches are full of people who are prideful and envious and greedy and biased and abusive. To say so is not to be hateful, but to witness to the kind of life God desires for all people. The purpose of grace is not to condone but to transform.

All this is to say that well-meaning and humble and faithful Christians disagree about the “immorality” of homosexual acts. Some in good conscience and with love for their neighbors and with a genuine desire to follow Jesus affirm the expression of same-sex love as acceptable in the sight of God. Others in good conscience and with love for their neighbors and with a genuine desire to follow Jesus believe that obedience to God means that the only acceptable expression of sexual intimacy is between a woman and a man in marriage.

The issue is complex and, to state the obvious, is tearing our churches apart. I believe we need a healthy dose of charity and a whole lot of love and patience in dealing with each other as we work this through and try to do our best to follow where Jesus leads. We need to listen to each other, try to understand each other, acknowledge each other’s conclusions, even where we disagree, so that the church and its witness will not be destroyed by disagreement over this issue. To brand someone who disagrees as hateful doesn’t help …

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