"Everyone Who Does Evil Hates the Light"

Sometimes the true test of a conviction comes when defending that conviction — or merely explaining it — causes someone else to view you as an enemy. When simply stating what the Bible says about an issue leads others to call you mean, repressive, or even un-Christ-like. When your efforts to teach someone the truth cause them to weep, not tears of regret or repentance, but the tears of someone who feels he is being treated unfairly. When a person paints you as being responsible for others’ heartache and suffering just because of what you believe.

That hurts.

Think of what may happen when you defend the Bible’s teaching about sex and marriage. Jesus said, “Everyone who divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery, and he who marries one who is divorced from a husband commits adultery” (Luke 16:18; cf. Mark 10:11-12; Matthew 19:9). But no matter how kindly and lovingly you try to explain this, many people will see you as a villain who wants to keep people apart or even wreck happy marriages.

The New Testament says that sex outside of marriage is sinful, period (1 Corinthians 6:9). It says that the practice of homosexuality is sinful (1 Corinthians 6:9; Romans 1:24-27). But no matter how kindly and lovingly you say so, many people will see you as a hateful bigot who wants to deny others their happiness.

Certainly, we should do our best to “speak the truth in love” — and sometimes disciples have failed on the “in love” part (Ephesians 4:15). But understand that no matter how graciously you present the truth, some people will still decide that it makes you the bad guy. In those moments, remember God’s words to the prophet Samuel: “They have not rejected you, but they have rejected Me” (1 Samuel 8:7). Remember what Jesus said to Nicodemus: “This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil. For everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light for fear that his deeds will be exposed” (John 3:19-20).