Posted by: ramonamom | July 30, 2008

Loving the Sinner More Than the Sinner Loves the Sin

I recently read a question and answer exchange which dealt scripturally with a very difficult question.  Although there may be few, if any, adoptive parents reading this blog who are dealing with this particular sin, the answers are applicable to many, many sins which our children may be involved in, now or in the future.  As one person commented when granting me permission to post his answer, “…the principle would carry over into other aspects of interacting with unbelievers whether they be within or outside of our families.  I know there’s a time and a place to separate and make clear dividing lines, but sometimes it’s easy to choose those lines out of convenience and comfort instead of from genuine biblical understanding of what God requires of us.”

As you read the following exchange, consider if there are any sinners in your own life whom you need to love more than they love their particular sin:

This is a difficult question to put into words. Here’s the scenario; a family has a homosexual grandson. He lives with another man. Should the son be included in family functions? How should they treat him? He knows how they feel about the situation.

Answer#1: If the grandson is a professing believer living a homosexual lifestyle and has been confronted about his sin and has remained unrepentant, believers should not have any sort of Christian fellowship with him.  But I see no biblical basis for excluding him from general family functions.  In 1 Corinthians 6 Paul corrects the Corinthians’ overzealous separationism by telling them that when he wrote in an earlier letter that they shouldn’t associate with immoral people, he didn’t mean immoral people of the world but rather professing believers living immoral lives.  If we were to disassociate ourselves from all immoral people in the world, we’d have to leave the world (Paul’s argument).  So this family can invite their grandson to family functions.  Obviously there may need to be some awareness of who he’s with and perhaps some clear communication about homosexual expressions while among the family, but simply to invite him wouldn’t be unbiblical.  If the family can love him and his partner and treat them kindly while also clearly communicating that they are deeply in sin and need to repent and find the forgiveness of Christ, that would be ideal.

Answer #2: I agree that we usually don’t have a good biblical argument for separating from homosexuals at family gatherings, work, etc. Often we will tolerate an adulterer or fornicator who is heterosexual, but not if they are homosexual. Some have attributed this to what has been called the “yuck” factor. For more on that in an excellent review of a chapter written by Al Mohler, see Tim Challies’ blog post here. I would add that there can be appropriate situations where separation is appropriate (as previously mentioned regarding an unrepentant professing believer). But we are often too quick to avoid them when they need the gospel as much as any sinner.

End of quotes.  Be sure to read the linked blog post, as it is quite helpful in this discussion. 

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