“Most evangelical churches have remarried leaders. No one speaks of loving these remarried people but hating their sin.” – Ken Wilson
‘Love the sinner, hate the sin’ had for a long time seemed like a fairly inoffensive slogan to me. However, recently while reading C.S. Lewis’ Marriage and the Gay Marriage Controversy, I saw the above quote and it got me thinking; where is the backlash and scrutiny for people who remarry?
A long while back I was surprised to find that Jesus addresses the issue of divorce in Matthew 19:8-9 (ESV) when he says “Because of your hardness of heart Moses allowed you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so. And I say to you: whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery.” Take a minute to think about how many church members, including leaders, would fall into the category of having remarried due to reasons other than sexual immorality. Maybe even you fall into this category, aware or unaware of the sin you’ve committed. Now think about most large churches; surely they contain as many (if not more) members who have divorced for reasons other than sexual immorality and remarried, as they would members who were lesbian, gay, bi or transgender.
It’s also interesting to consider what conditions are necessary within our legal system for divorce. Are they in accordance with what Jesus teaches us? No. But despite this we find no mass protests against unbiblical laws for divorce and remarriage, few sermons being preached about the evils of unbiblical remarriage and it’s not often you hear “Love the sinner, hate the sin” directed at someone who remarried without having established their ex-partners sexual immorality. However, we find all these things directed at the LGBT community, including organizations like the National Organization for Marriage who’s purpose is to oppose marriage equality. Given this, it’s understandable if people from the LGBT community feel like they have unfairly been targeted for criticism. Maybe if people insist on loving the sinner and hating the sin for LGBT folk they can start to practice the same for their remarried family, friends, church family or themselves. Or maybe instead we could lose our obsession with letting our LGBT family, friends and church family know how sinful they are and instead spend some time in contemplation of how we could better treat each other.