Summer Mix Tape Part 7: Love Does Not Equal Acceptance (1 Corinthians 13:4-8)

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Sermon Notes

Let’s talk about love. But not love like in ahhhh, but love as in like… hmmm. To explain what I’m talking about let’s look at the love chapter; 1 Corinthians 13:4-8. Love is patient and kind…. blah blah. Love is all nice and polite and will do anything for you and accept you no matter what right? Well hit the brakes cupid. Look at verse 6 again. Love does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Did you get that? Love is kind, not arrogant, not rude, not irritable or resentful. Love will make you feel accepted but love doesn’t accept all that you do because true love does not, cannot rejoice at wrong doing!

And it is this issue, this point, that may be the fulcrum of the current spiritual war which is raging in our culture. As believers we must place our faith in Christ above all, yes? And our faith in Christ is in accordance with a belief in the scriptures, yes? And our scriptures tell us that true faith is exhibited through righteous living, right? And our scriptures, the Bible, tells us how to live righteously, correct? So what happens when we are faced with a choice to either appear loving by accepting someone’s sin or appear unloving by neglecting to accept one’s sin?

For the longest time, the church answered this dilemma through the mantra, “hate the sin, love the sinner.” But today we are confronted with so many changing cultural norms that in order to hate the sin, we must hate the very thing by which people find their identity. For example, I can easily tell an alcoholic that I hate their sin of drunkenness and dependency on alcohol, and they will most likely agree and not be offended by it. Why? Because being an alcoholic is not something anyone wants to be celebrated for. But in the last decade it has become mainstream for certain other sins and the people who indulge in them to be celebrated for those sins, because those sins define them. And if you dare tell them that the sin which defines them is sin, and that you can’t accept their sin or their lifestyle as right, according to scripture, then you are considered intolerant, a bigot, a phobe, and you are othered by society. We are told that if we don’t accept someone’s lifestyle then we are not being loving and we need to change our stance or be canceled. And we are left wondering? When did telling someone that we can’t accept their sinful lifestyle become unloving. In fact, according to 1 Corinthians 13:6, aren’t we being loving when we do not rejoice at wrong doing, but rejoice in the truth?