If we really want to help other people, we must do it God’s way:
If we care about others we of course want to help them when and where we can. But not everything we do may be helpful. We may in fact cause more harm than good by not doing that which is really in the other person’s best interests. Here I speak more to this, coming from a biblical point of view of course.
Consider this: You will take a stand for biblical truth and morality, and you will get plenty of opposition, resistance and angry reactions. This is to be expected of course from non-Christians. But the really worrying thing is how many folks calling themselves Christian will have the same negative reaction. And so often this happens because the believer has a close friend or relative involved in some harmful or sinful behaviour.
So you will often hear something like this: ‘I have an X (sister, brother, spouse, cousin, niece, relative, friend, etc), who is involved in Y (homosexuality, transgenderism, fornication, adultery, etc), so I will not judge them or call out their sin. I care about them and therefore I cannot speak against what they are involved in. I would rather defend them than go with what Scripture might say on this issue.’
Sadly this is so very common among some Christians. Sure, we can all understand wanting to support a loved one or relative and be there for them. But when you end up siding against God and his Word to do so, you really are not helping these people – you are actually hurting and damaging them.
I am sure many of you have encountered folks like this as well. Because they have a loved one who is involved in some sin or some activity or lifestyle that the Bible clearly condemns, they will stand with them and reject what the Bible says about it. In their mistaken sense of ‘loving’ the person, they prefer to tell God that he is wrong.
They have made a choice. They can either keep agreeing with what God has said on these matters, or they can reject that and instead seek to validate and justify the activities and behaviours of their friend or relative. Of course we should seek to obey God and seek to help others, but that always involves telling the person truth – biblical truth.
When the Bible says without equivocation that no adulterer or homosexual will enter the kingdom of God (see for example 1 Corinthians 6:9-11), then we either agree or disagree. Here we have a choice to make: we either affirm what God has said about these matters, or we run with a fake love and tell God to butt out. And that is exactly what too many believers do.
As I say, I see this happening all the time. In one situation someone took me to task for writing on a recent case on transgenderism that had made the news. An Anglican priest had fully embraced and defended this and was causing all sorts of mischief in the churches. But this person said he had a relative who was trans, and so I needed to stop being judgemental and show some compassion. What follows is a version of how I sought to respond to this person:
Sadly you have completely missed the point of this article, and really about everything I have ever written on this and related subjects. And I have written hundreds of articles on this – even books – to carefully make my case. So let me try to once again explain things in a brief and simple fashion.
-I of course knew nothing about your situation in this regard. I did not write this piece with you in mind. I had no awareness that you might have a relative involved in this. This article is about a vicar in the UK and the damage he is doing, as he twists the Word of God in diabolical ways to justify his lifestyle.
Did you actually read the whole article, or did you instead just run with an emotive knee-jerk reaction? Moreover, did you think the priest was right in what he was saying and doing? If not, why not? It would be interesting to hear your views on the topic that I actually wrote about.
–I always have a real problem when someone comes along and says that we cannot comment on something unless we have experienced or encountered it directly. That of course is the standard line used by folks to justify all sorts of things.
How many times have pro-lifers heard it said for example that we cannot speak out against abortion unless we are female and unless we have had abortions ourselves. This is obviously just plain foolish. I can and should denounce things like rape, even though I have never experienced it personally. Some things are wrong, full stop, regardless if they have been personally experienced or not.
–It goes without saying that as believers we are to have compassion on others and pray for them. And I did speak of the need for prayer in my article. Prayer and compassion is for everyone, whether the person is a Sunday School teacher, a homosexual, a trans person, a drug addict, or a bank robber. But obviously we are to love them in the biblical sense of the word.
And that always means willing the highest good for the other person. Loving a homosexual means wanting to see them set free from a risky and dead-end lifestyle. Thus the most loving (and truthful) thing you can tell a homosexual is ‘You don’t have to be gay.’
It is the same with those caught up in the trans agenda. Loving a trans person is not catering to their delusions and not being happy with them lopping off parts of their body and causing irreversible physical damage to themselves. Instead, loving them means wanting them to get the mental, psychological and spiritual help they really need.
-As I have often said, if we have a person who is anorexic and identifies as being overweight, and is close to dying because she is so underweight, is it really compassionate and loving to go along with this harmful delusion and encourage the person in that?
How can anyone claiming to be a Christian just pretend everything is fine in this situation? How can we say God is wrong when he clearly said he made us male or female? It is always tragic when concern for someone we know causes us to jettison Scripture. Doing that will not help the person we are concerned about – it will harm them instead.
-In this article I was NOT talking about some person that you might know, but an Anglican priest who is misleading many. Approving of those who are twisting Scripture and misleading people into a lost eternity is hardly a loving or compassionate thing to do.
If a loved one comes out in any sinful lifestyle, we still love them of course, but we love them enough to want them to be set free, because Jesus is in the transformation business. That is what the gospel is all about: turning peoples’ lives around and freeing them from the clutches of the devil.
All this is just basic Christian teaching. How anyone claiming to be a biblical Christian can not understand all this is a mystery to me. It really is. We have simply ditched Scripture and basic Christian ethics when we think the loving thing to do is affirm and encourage a person who is living in a sinful, ungodly lifestyle.
It should be clear that I am not picking on just one individual here. As I say, I come across folks like this all the time. Often they are strong Bible-believing Christians, but because some situation like this arises in their personal circles, they may start to waver or weaken in their beliefs.
Again, it is understandable that a person wants to support and stay close to a friend or loved one. But there is a basic biblical reality that we must always keep in mind: when a conflict arises between a personal experience (our own, or that of another) and the clear teachings of Scripture, then the latter should always trump the former.
But way too often we allow experiences we have had – or others have had – to determine how we run with the Bible. This is not only doing things backwards, but it is sinful and idolatrous. God and his truth must always come first. Otherwise we demonstrate how little we care about him and his Word.
And as I keep saying, if we really want to help and love other people, we will do it God’s way, and not against God’s way. When we run with a humanistic, sentimental or worldly ‘love,’ it is NOT going to help the other person. It will simply harm them further, as well as send them to a lost eternity. There is certainly nothing loving about that.