I am going to assume that the title of this post set-off an alarm in your head that caused your heart to drop a little, readying your adrenaline to rush at a word's notice. If so, then good. This means I have your attention. But before I continue I assure you that I am here for you in love. Really.
Back in the Old Testament days it seemed that God hated, well, mostly everyone. He was actually so dissatisfied with the evil ways of man that he flooded the earth to start over.
Remember how God instructed Noah to build an ark? Marched each land creature onto the boat, two by two- you know the story. When it rained 40 days and 40 nights- people died. A lot of people died. In fact, the entire population of earth aside from the Noah clan drowned to death. By doing this God was like, See this? In case you forget, I run the earth. Check it though- you may not understand it now, but I did it to show you how powerful I am. I love you and I promise I won't ever flood the earth again. Then He put a rainbow in the sky as a constant reminder of that promise.
For the next few thousand years people still sucked. Nothing about their sinful nature changed much; they still disobeyed God- lied and cheated; got drunk and made bad decisions; saw someone they liked and made bad decisions; hurt others with their words; hurt others with the thoughts behind their words, and so on. A lot of people genuinely did the best they could but because God enabled humans to make their own decisions based on two choices: a) to obey Him and b) not to obey Him, as individuals they still often missed the mark.
Then Jesus came along. Oh boy, did the world get funny.
People who were addressed by titles of prestige and righteousness were revealed as unrighteous; priests and pastors whose fathers led generations of peoples through religious laws, persecuting anyone who didn't fit within "the law" were labeled "hypocrites". Suddenly, prostitutes, tax collectors and the other people who were persecuted, considered "social outcasts" and unrighteous were not only being accepted and loved by someone representing God their Father and Creator, but were also reassured that by simply expressing their faith in Him they'd never have to be imprisoned by guilt, rejection or failure again; they were forgiven for all unrighteousness and free from anything spiritual, psychological or physical that had otherwise prevented them from experiencing the true freedom of hope, joy and love they deserved. They now had a Savior.
The only difference between that time and now is that rather than Jesus the Man walking the earth and loving on people, He has His followers, the Christian church doing all of that work. Well, that's the intention anyway.
One of the most famous scripture verses in the bible, John 3:16 says this:
"For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life."
To Christians across the globe this scripture is the defining endowment of their faith- salvation. But we see too many of these same people aiming signs- fiery darts that read, "God Hates F*gs", "Sinners' Souls Be Damned" and other abhorring slogans, aimed at others who are doing the best that they know of life.
These "Christians" are forgetting other key verses; Jesus says in John 15:12,13: "This is My commandment that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one but this, than to lay down one's life for his friends."
These verses make it very clear there's a great discrepancy between what Jesus commands of us and what the picketers of the world illustrate.
John 3:17- the very next sentence following our gift of salvation:
"For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved." (underline mine) Condemnation stands in opposition to love; we can't condemn someone and love them- truly love them- at the same time. Logically and spiritually speaking it's just not feasible. Jesus came here for two reasons: to die so that we can be free from the bondage of sin so that when our time on earth is up we have somewhere awesome to hang for eternity, and to teach us how to be genuine ambassadors of the goodness we receive through Him so that people who are around us will be like, wow, sweet- I want to live in grace and joy and spread love everywhere I go, too!
To observe one verse but ignore another is a sin. Mortal sins, schwortal sins- the bible says that if any one commits one sin they're just as guilty if they commit them all. Aside from denying Jesus, no sin weighs more than another. Forget what they taught you at Catholic school. All sin weighs the same because its end result is distance from God. He never leaves us, we leave Him by disobedience to His commands.
To deny Jesus is to be the horse that was led to water but wouldn't drink. The horse needs water and is nearing dehydration but it doesn't feel comfortable drinking out of a pond it's never seen before so it suffers through the desert. Or it's used to drinking out of the algae-filled troughs at home and doesn't trust fresh, clean water so hems and haws and continues on its sweltering and skeptical journey. For whatever reason we deny Jesus, we lose our opportunity to be refreshed and live with the great joy that comes with salvation. And like the horse, no one else can accept Him as our Savior for us. That's a decision we have to make on our own. This is personal and penitence is key.
Getting to the point
Nobody is sinless. We all mess up in lots of different ways, but when we recognize that Jesus wants to help us to sin less, we stop fighting the Lord and start working with Him to make the world a better place.
Like any good parent, God loves us all equally. Jesus is the only perfect man who walked the earth. He died for everyone- Christian or no Christian. Believer or non-believer. So that we can all have an equal opportunity to reap the God-given benefits of salvation. The only thing God hates is sin and that's only because it causes us strife and when we sin the distance between Him and us makes it difficult to experience His love. Our only requirement is that we believe Jesus gave His life to save ours.
As Christians it is our job to share with people the acceptance, love and hope that Jesus offers us, not because we're worth any more, but because as His followers we know Jesus personally therefore should serve others just as He would. On behalf of all Christians who have fallen short to your disadvantage I apologize and am here to show you otherwise. We're all works in progress, Lord knows myself included.
We all have common weaknesses that we're genetically predisposed to; obesity by over-indulging on food and drinks, alcoholism by over-indulgence of alcohol, over-indulgence of sex, drugs, pride, jealousy, wrath, etc and not surprisingly, scientists have recently discovered a gay gene. I think rock & roll is one of them as well. Heh. Bad joke. Because I don't know any better, I'm going to assume these are all true. After all, God made everything perfectly and every minute detail works in His perfect plan.
If we didn't have these weakness genes it would be a lot more difficult for we self-sufficient human beings with superiority complexes to recognize that we need a Savior to fight the good fight for us.
As with anything the bible forbids, if we're acting-out physical relations with members of the same or opposite sex before marriage, that's up to the individual and God to sort out and I recommend you engage in some solid conversation with Him about it. Talk to a genuine Christian Pastor and read what God says to us about it in the bible. Sex is a very sacred gift for man and woman and marriage should be prayerfully considered. God forbids sexual relations of all forms outside of marriage for some pretty good reasons- just think of all the drama you could've avoided all these years had you not hooked up with any of those chicks or dudes. ...not to mention the overall societal breakdown in morality as a result of our nation's broad tolerance of behavioral liberties over the years. But I digress.
Not ashamed to admit I made some questionable choices as a young adult- quite a few, actually- and am eternally grateful to the Lord for turning me on to the Truth. Don't we all have the right to be free?
(Btw, here's a fun little tidbit of info just because it came to mind- you've heard and probably in the midst of baby mama drama or some other annoying situation used the phrase, "the truth will set you free"? That's actually a quote from scripture and "the truth" is actually Jesus. In the bible it says He's "the Way, the Truth and the Life". Google John 14:6 and John 8:31-36 if you don't have a bible. You might have an "aha" moment. You're welcome.)