Faithful are the wounds of a friend — An evangelical response

This post is a response to my friend, Theresa Reichman’s recent column (Ipinion Syndicate) on homosexuality. You can read it here. Theresa is an extremely gifted writer, penning with a fluency and a wit that can make for really fun reading. Many of her reflections I have thoroughly enjoyed. My reaction to this piece is in no way politically geared or driven.  Actually, my reaction is not even inherently focused on homosexuality. Although these things are part of her article, they aren’t my main concern in this post. I’m responding to what I see as a fundamental misconception of love, a mistake that has unfortunately slipped into the church of God (in some cases) and wrecked havoc.

I understand Theresa’s position (it is a common one), and I sympathize with her because I too have “homosexuals” who I call friends, and my interactions with them are not always easy. With that being said, I couldn’t disagree more with the position of her article. There are assumptions behind “Harm None,” and the many editorals out there like it, that must be surfaced. To name a few – There is no such thing as original sin, “love” (the warm and fuzzy kind) is God, the Bible is not authoritative, and there is no absolute truth that we can know (although the concept of human rights does appear in the column –not sure how that works?). Eternity is therefore also done away with and cast to the sea. All that’s left really, and therefore promoted, is moral relativity, blundered love, and a mirror of humanity called “God.” Believers should obviously find fault and error in all of these presuppositions.

According to this column, “not harming” someone, or in other words “loving” him or her, becomes equivalent to making them feel comfortable. And, GOD FORBID you ever step on their toes! In a word – without being too harsh – it’s cowardly. A stroke of the head and a pat on the back — That’s love? That’s not my experience of love. That’s not how I learned it. One might-as-well pass these on as loving statements, ‘smoke away, it’s not unhealthy!’ ‘Gamble away all your money, you’re sure to win this time!’ If that’s love (the article’s ‘harm none’) I don’t want any part of it. This type of love is a deception and an illusion – nothing more than smoke and mirrors and hate in disguise. You cannot severe the ties between love/goodness towards people and truth, believers! Be careful and watch out so that you are not misled. Indeed, without absolute truth there is no true love. This is one reason it is so important to know and pursue truth – it enables us to love correctly!

One likewise cannot write-off the future implications of certain actions as if they don’t exist, especially those actions that have eternal consequences!! The mantra “harm none, harm none, harm none,” in the sense that the article uses it, turns out to be a major, eternal disservice rendered…. hate of the highest order. It’s a gentle, yet damning stroke of the head. Packing a friend’s bags for their trip to a God-less eternity is not love. And, it’s not only true regarding homosexuality. It’s true of lust. It’s true of pride. It’s true concerning any sin that we try to brush under the rug, and consequently accept and promote. Love tells someone what he or she needs to hear, not just what he or she wants to hear. Unwavering compliment, regardless of one’s action, is the mark of an enemy not of a friend. Sometimes you need to “harm” someone to truly love them.

Don’t be deceived, brothers and sisters, better is open rebuke than hidden love. Plentiful are the kisses of the enemy, but faithful are the wounds of a friend….


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