“Love thy neighbor as thyself”

February 18, 2014

In reference to the letter, “Gay marriage should not be accepted,” which appeared Feb. 13, and similar letters that have appeared in the past by avowed “Christians,” I feel compelled to finally write this response.

Several years ago, I had the honor to advise several parents while attending a meeting of our Washington chapter of Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG). As they were Christian in belief and practice, attended area churches and parents of children who were gay, they were very distraught when they approached me. I feel I offered them very sound and solid advice, after which they walked away much at ease and truly accepting, not only of their children but also of my counsel.

It seemed rather simple to me then as it does now. First, I reminded them that we are all created in God’s image. Then, I asked a question of them to confirm their belief. I sternly asked: “Are you a Christian and is Jesus Christ your Lord and your savior?” On each occasion, they answered with, just as sternly, “Yes.” Of course I added a shared belief in the Holy Trinity, and reminded them of the shared teaching that Jesus, their Lord and savior, is indeed God made flesh who came to teach and save. I next reminded them that “if Jesus is your Lord and savior, God made flesh, remember what your Lord and God said in Holy Scripture: “And one of them, a doctor of the law, putting him to the test, asked him, ‘Master, which is the great commandment in the law?’ Jesus said to him, ‘Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with thy whole heart, and with thy whole soul, and with thy whole mind.’ This is the greatest and the first commandment. And the second is, ‘Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.’ On these two commandments depend the whole law and the prophets.” That’s it, it’s that simple, to love the Lord with your whole heart, soul,and mind and to love your neighbor is the fulfillment of the law and prophets. Then, borrowing from Jesus, I ended with, “Go and do the same.”

The Rev. Joseph S. Lewandowski



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