Today I took a bold stand. I said that, I do not give my money to a company that *to my knowledge* openly supports sin. It’s impossible to know 100% for certain about all the practices of every single company I buy from, but when I know for certain that a company is using their influence and money to promote sin, I don’t support them. I try to buy locally, buy from Christian companies or, at the very least, buy fair-trade (or an equivalent) in the hopes of *not* supporting child labor, sex trafficking, employee abuse/neglect and similar sins. No, I can’t know everything and do it perfectly, but I do my very best.
Although that stand upset many people, what really got the nasty comments going on Facebook (and, yes, I do delete nasty comments) was the specific sin that I’m choosing not to support with my money. Homosexuality. Yes, I said it. I agree with God that sex between two men or two women is sin. You know what, though? I also agree with Him that hating is sin. I agree with Him that murder, lying, stealing, adultery and coveting are also sin. I agree with Him that I AM A SINNER. So are all of you. Jesus is the only sinless person who has ever lived. He is the only way for us to find forgiveness from our sins and He is the only one who can pardon us from our sins.
Does that mean I hate sinners? No! We are all sinners, myself included. Calling my sin “good” doesn’t make me any less of a sinner. It wouldn’t mean you loved me more if you excused my sin. Real love is doing the absolute best for the person. If I was choosing to live in sin, it would not be loving for you to approve, support and condone my sin. Love would be sharing truth that would set me free from my sin. Love would be calling sin, “sin” and telling me about the One who paid the penalty for my sin. Love would be telling me the way to find forgiveness, healing and hope that wouldn’t leave me wallowing in my sin. Love would be speaking God’s truth, no matter what anybody says.
My intention when I chose not to support companies that condone or engage in sin is to have a clear conscience before God. It would break my heart to have people who look up to me (such as my sweet girls) being encouraged to accept and eventually participate in a sin because they saw me directly or indirectly supporting it. Yes, each person has their own responsibility before God, but I would never want to be a stumbling block for somebody just because I like to have Starbucks mocha!
Yes, I lost a lot of Facebook “likes” and I’m sure I’ll lose more. That’s okay with me for several reasons. The first is that my choice had nothing to do with trying to make people “like” me. 😉 My choice is the one that leaves me with a clear conscience before God. His opinion is the one that matters most. The second reason is that followers of Christ are supposed to shine light in dark places. It isn’t something that makes us popular, it’s simply something that shows people who don’t know God that there is something different about us. We aren’t supposed to hide at home and pretend that sin is okay. We are supposed to live differently and share truth. If God’s truth angers and offends, that means it has touched a nerve. It means that the guilt under the surface has been prodded and the discomfort has caused a reaction. No, it won’t gain me many “likes”, but people’s souls are so much more important than my Facebook stats!
I have absolutely no feelings of hate towards people who are living in homosexual sin. That is one of the sins that they struggle with and I have my own sins that tempt me. I am not “judging”, “condemning” or “hating” them in the least bit. I am hoping and praying that they will find freedom and forgiveness from their sins, just as I have from mine. I am hoping and praying that they will find God’s grace, mercy, compassion and forgiveness, too. That is not hate. That is love.