Nice Landscaping vs. Real Human Beings

Nice Landscaping vs. Real Human Beings

Last week I came across an article on about a “baptist” woman who says “God hates fags.” My blood began to boil as I read and then watched the video archive. She ranted to Hannity and Combs about how God caused 911 because his judgment was being poured out on America for its consent to homosexuality. I was stunned to watch her sit there and twist Scripture and fashion God into a giant emotionless mass of uncontrollable wrath (I’m holding my tongue so I don’t sound like her).

This whole week I’ve sat on it, wondering what to do with it. Then, last night I read chapter 19, “The God Who Loves Without Limits” in Celebrating the Wrath of God by Jim McGuiggan. He nailed it.

Warning: This may get lengthy because it’s so poignant. He said,

“Ironically, those who have made a stone-hearted God in their own image have a theology similar to Nietzsche’s philosophy (the death of God and the “superhuman”) . . . Those who read their Bible, obsessed with the sins and failures of others, can only gravitate to the darker passages. Stringing them together like beads on a string, they distort the grand drift of Scripture.”

He continues,

“Human sinfulness obliterates, for them, the wonder of humans; it obliterates the astonishing nature of a man or woman, a boy or girl. People who have made God in their image ooh and aah over a lovely landscape and turn up their noses at a human who doesn’t share their theology. . . They miss the fact that God really does love sinners. God doesn’t love people because we’re good; he loves people because he made us. But it isn’t true that he loves simply because we exist. We exist because he loves us.”

Wow. God forbid that I should ever see Him more in a manicured lawn than I do in a beautiful human being who is made and fashioned in His very likeness and image. Saved or unsaved. Gay or straight. Obese or fit. Does God love sinners? Absolutely. Does He hate sin? Absolutely. Are those two notions contradictory? Absolutely NOT.

A few years ago in my college chapel, the speaker actually interpreted the parable of the prodigal son as praising the son who remained home with his father. With much enthusiasm, he prodded my colleagues by exulting, “Let’s hear it for the son who stayed home!”

He missed the point. God rejoices when one sinner repents. He loves sinners. He hates sin. There’s no contradiction.