This morning Franklin Graham published an open letter “To all lesbians, gays, bisexuals, & transgenders.” He talked about how everyone is a sinner, how everyone deserves hell, how everyone needs to repent. In it he wrote, “I love you enough to tell you the truth.”
I see that a lot when folks are singling a group out to reprimand them. It’s not about being better than them. Heck no! We’re all sinners, so we’re all the same! I just got saved, so I’m in the know and because I love you, I’m going to let you in on it. I’m going to speak the truth in love.
If you tack “in love” to your truth telling, you’re golden.
The thing about love is that it’s not really something you can just say.
It’s not that I don’t think that Franklin Graham doesn’t love any LGBTQ people. He very well may. I don’t know who he is in relationship with in his life. It’s very likely that he knows and loves someone who is lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender.
He does not, however, love my son. He doesn’t know my son. He doesn’t know what his life has been like, he doesn’t know what his journey has been, he doesn’t know what his faith is like.
Speaking the truth in love has never happened an open letter.
He can’t love my son enough to tell him the truth because love requires some level of knowing. Love requires some form of action. Love requires a relationship.
If you turn an adjective into a noun and apply it to a group of people, you don’t love them enough to tell them the truth.
If you correct people after only ever spreading fear and lies about them, you don’t love them enough to tell them the truth.
If you tell people how they feel about Jesus rather than listening to them tell you how they feel about Jesus, you don’t love them enough to tell them the truth.
If you ignore the homelessness problem of LGBTQ individuals, you don’t love them enough to tell them the truth.
If you blame transgender people for their own suicides, you don’t love them enough to tell them the truth.
If you don’t actually know the person you’re claiming to love, you don’t love them enough to tell them the truth.