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Speaking the truth in love

To the editor:

This is a reply to the public forum piece, “Decision on homosexuality in United Methodist Church saddens many people, but love will prevail.” (Independent March 1)

The writer cited Jesus’ words, “A new command I give you, to love each other just as I have loved you. This is how everyone will know you are my disciples, when you love each other.” (John 13:34-35)

A teacher once asked Jesus, “Of all the commandments, which one is the most important?” (Mark 12:28)

“The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this”: ‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ (Deuteronomy 6:45) The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.” (Leviticus 19:18) There is no commandment greater than these.” (Mark 12:29-31)

It saddens me to see and hear of people making decisions, even life and death decisions, without using their ears, heart, soul, mind and strength to do God’s will.

“This is love for God; to obey His commands.” (I John 5:3)

God’s commandments, as given to Moses, teach us first how to love God — loving Him above all things, keeping His name holy, hearing His Word and keeping it. The rest of the commandments teach us how to love our neighbor — honor parents and those in authority, not to hurt or murder, not to cheat or steal, not to dishonor out bodies or our neighbor’s, or try to deviously get what belongs to our neighbor. (Deuteronomy 5, paraphrased)

Does God approve of homosexual relationships?

In Genesis 2:22 and 24 we read, “Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib He had taken out of the man and He brought her to the man. . . a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.” This is God’s plan for marriage.

Jude refers to the “sexual immorality and perversion” of the Old Testament towns of Sodom and Gomorrah and their consequent destruction. (Jude 1:7)

The Apostle Paul lists behaviors denounced by God in his letter to the Romans: “women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones, men abandoned natural relations with women . . . envy, murder, deceit, malice, gossips, . . . the list goes on. (Romans 1:18-32) In verse 32, Paul points out that sin merits death and we should not give approval to things which God disapproves.

As with all sins — and we all are sinners — we can seek and receive God’s forgiveness.

“The blood of Jesus Christ purifies us from all sins.” (I John 1:7) This is the good news that makes Good Friday “good.”

“For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in Him shall have eternal life,” Jesus said, “and I will raise Him up on the last day.” (John 6:40)

Loving your neighbor includes “speaking the truth in love,” (Ephesians 4:15)

Trudy Madetzke

Marshall

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