Like many of you, John Myers is one of my favorite Contributors here on Associated Content. I recently finished reading his latest piece reporting about a group who, in the supposed name of Christianity, feels the need to say things like God hates such-and-such group and God hates America. People can say things like that because God gave us the freedom to say and do what we want, but I just can’t see how hearing that would make Him happy.
Even a casual look at the Bible reminds us: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). “World” is a pretty all-encompassing word. And in all of God’s omniscience, I’m positive he could have picked another if that’s not what he meant. The Bible continues: “For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive” (1 Corinthians 15:22). That word “all” comes up again in Second Corinthians 5:15–“that he died for all.” The Atonement of Jesus Christ is an act of love that will benefit everyone who ever did, and ever will, experience mortality on this planet earth. No individual or groups of individuals can take that away.
While there certainly can be higher levels of God’s love, observable only as we truly let God into our lives, that does not mean there are people which God does not love. “He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love” (1 John 4:8). I don’t see where in Christian texts you can come away with a different message.
The Bible, as well as other scriptures like The Book of Mormon, clearly stresses that (1) God loves sinners, and thankfully so, because (2) we are all sinners–and that’s why we need Christ and His love. “They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick” (Matt 9:12). It was Christ Himself who ate with the drunkards and was friend to the publicans (tax collectors) and sinners (Matt 11:19).
The people who morally oppose homosexuality should be, out of anyone, the ones who know to “lift up the hands which hang down, and strengthen the feeble knees.” (Doctrine & Covenants 81:5). If it’s an alleged loyalty to God that has us tearing each other down, I’d say we need to reevaluate what we’re doing. Even when decisions are made in opposition to the Lord’s Great Plan of Happiness, “his anger is not turned away, but his hand is stretched out still” (Isaiah 5:25). Why? Because God is love.
“Divine Love by Elder Russell M. Nelson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.” LDS.org.
“The Scriptures: Internet Version.” LDS.org.