by Olivia Perkins

When a coach tells her student that they’re doing something wrong, does she hate the student?

No!

When a mother fusses at her child for doing something inappropriate or dangerous, does she hate her child?

Of course not!

When a Christian disapproves of someone’s behavior and speaks up about it, do they hate them?

No.

In all these cases, one person wants something better for the other person. In the midst of controversy about LGBT rights, many are offended when Christians refuse to support same-sex marriages. They call Christians haters, but I don’t believe that disagreeing with someone makes people haters.

The Southern Poverty Law Center has published an online list of ‘hate groups’ in the United States and there are many large churches on this list for being “Anti-LGBT”. After exploring many of the websites of these churches, I found no evidence of hate or even prejudice towards the LGBT community. Their home pages did not have “DEATH TO GAYS” written all over it and their event calendars didn’t have organized protests to LGBT rights.

Why are they on this list of hate groups next to Nazi support groups and white supremacists?

They are considered haters because they believe homosexuality is a sin and they don’t hide it.

Faith Baptist Church, an organization on SPLC’s Hate Map writes in their statement of beliefs, We further engage to watch over one another in brotherly love; to remember one another in prayer; to aid one another in sickness and distress; to cultivate Christian sympathy in feeling and Christian reconciliation and be mindful of the rules of our Savior to secure it without delay.”

That doesn’t sound hateful to me.

They believe that they should love everyone but that they should make a point to follow and promote what God has said. Many verses in the Bible talk about the sin of sexually immoral behavior including homosexuality. Faith Baptist Church sees this behavior as a sin, however they aren’t promoting a mass homicide of homosexuals or even prejudice against them. They disagree with their decisions, period.

Providence Road Baptist Church, another church on SPLC’s Hate Map, also has no evidence of hate, prejudice, or violence towards the LGBT community. Their statement of faith says that they believe Jesus Christ died on the cross to save ALL men. They didn’t exclude the LGBT community from that belief.

A ‘hate group’ is commonly defined as a group that shows hate, hostility, or violence towards another group of people based on their race, religion, sexual identity etc.

The Bible clearly says in the New Testament, “ If anyone says, ‘I love God,’ and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God”.

Christians who have any hate towards the LGBT community are not behaving like Christians should. I am not saying that Christians don’t hate, I am saying, they shouldn’t and that most Christians don’t. There is a fine line between disagreement and hate and I don’t believe that those who disagree with the major consensus should be classified as haters.

As a Christian who believes homosexuality is a sin, I would like people to understand that I don’t hate them even when I disagree.

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