Love and Mercy

Alongside the commands that are cited to justify judging and ostracizing the homosexual are many calls in both the Old Testament and the New Testament for love and mercy.

Hosea 6

6 For I desire mercy, not sacrifice,
and acknowledgment of God rather than burnt offerings.

Micah 6

8 He has showed you, O man, what is good.
And what does the LORD require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
and to walk humbly with your God.

Zechariah 7

9 “This is what the LORD Almighty says: ‘Administer true justice; show mercy and compassion to one another. 10 Do not oppress the widow or the fatherless, the alien or the poor. In your hearts do not think evil of each other.’

Matthew 5

The Beatitudes

3“Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4Blessed are those who mourn,
for they will be comforted.
5Blessed are the meek,
for they will inherit the earth.
6Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they will be filled.
7Blessed are the merciful,
for they will be shown mercy.
8Blessed are the pure in heart,
for they will see God.
9Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they will be called sons of God.
10Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

11“Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. 12Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

Matthew 5:43-45

43“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.

Matthew 22:36-40

36“Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” 37Jesus replied: ” ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38This is the first and greatest commandment. 39And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

See, also, Mark 12:28-31; Luke 6:27-36

Luke 6

Judging Others

37“Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. 38Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”

A Tree and Its Fruit

43“No good tree bears bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit. 44Each tree is recognized by its own fruit. . . . 45The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks.

Romans 13:10

10 Love does no harm to its neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.

Romans 8:28

28And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

Romans 8:34-36

34Who is he that condemns? Christ Jesus, who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. 35Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?

1 Corinthians 2:9

9However, as it is written:
“No eye has seen,
no ear has heard,
no mind has conceived
what God has prepared for those who love him”

1 Corinthians 8:3

But the man who loves God is known by God.

1 Corinthians 13

The greatest of faith, hope and love is love.

Colossians 3

12Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.

Discuss

Is hating the sin compatible with loving the “sinner?”

Can one do both well?

What does it mean to love the homosexual?  How would that show in the way we talked with the homosexual?  The way we interacted with him or her?  How we would treat him or her in our organization or church?

What does it mean to love the trans-sexual?  Would it make a difference to you that the trans-sexual person was a hermaphrodite and simple selected to accentuate one gender characteristic and to enhance the other?  If so, do you have the right to inquire as to the basis for that decision?

How is the surgical treatment of the hermaphrodite different from the surgical separation of Siamese twins?

If it were acceptable for the hermaphrodite to surgically enhance one gender trait and eliminate another, what about the individual who for one reason or another had sexual characteristics of one gender but had non-sexual characteristics of the other sex and identified with that other sex, despite the most obvious physical manifestations, such as a genetic make-up of XXY?

Are we justified in determining for another that person’s proper gender identification or sexual orientation?

 

Next blog post: Spiritual Gifts and Love                   https://wordpress.com/post/lovejudgenot.wordpress.com/81

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Love and Mercy

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