To an extent, yes.
There seems to have been a shift in Christian culture that it’s unloving to call sin what it is, sin. You will hear things like “Jesus said ‘Love your neighbor as yourself’ and you wouldn’t want someone to make you feel bad, so you shouldn’t say things that could hurt other’s feelings.” This is the most idiotic thing I have ever heard in my life. What has happened is some Christians have equated speaking truth with hate speech. Jesus spoke the truth out of love. He declared the truth whether people liked it or not. Did it make them uncomfortable? Yes, but he did it anyway because He knew that people’s souls were at stake. But what seems to have happened in today’s Christian culture, especially with preachers, is that God’s love has been redefined to mean that He is accepting of all things, no matter if it goes against His Word. It has turned God into a god of peace and unity at all costs. Now don’t get me wrong, God does love everyone, but that doesn’t mean He is all of sudden accepting of sin. A God that doesn’t hate sin isn’t the God of the Bible. God is still a Holy God and will one day pour His wrath out on the sin of this world. Mike Winger once said, “if hell is bad, then sin must be really bad because God doesn’t overreact.” The thing is, God doesn’t send the sin to hell; He sends the sinner. That’s how serious our sin is.
The real question, is it loving to call sin, sin?
Is it loving to speak the truth even when there is likely to be push back? Yes, but I express this with the utmost importance; it MUST be done with a loving heart. If it isn’t done with a loving heart, if it isn’t done out of compassion for the other person; then we aren’t like Jesus. We then become like Pharisees seeking to elevate ourselves. Speaking the truth out of love is to love. Look at it this way, if a blind man was heading towards a cliff, would you not cry out to him, “stop! There’s a cliff there that will harm or kill you!” You wouldn’t go “I don’t want to bring up it because he’s blind; it may offend him.” NO, you say “I don’t care if it offends him; his well being is at stake.” You do it because you care. It’s the same with us a Christians. Not to cry out is not to love. Why? Because people’s souls are at stake. The well being of others is at stake. This idea that “it’s not loving” to bring up uncomfortable topics and situations isn’t biblical. It’s cultural, and the church is failing the culture if we don’t speak out. But that’s my opinion, and my opinion doesn’t matter if it is not backed up with scripture. So let’s look at some scripture of Jesus lovingly pushing back on someone’s sin.
One passage that I feel is the best at showing this from Jesus is in John 4. In John 4, you have Jesus on his way to Galilee, and He passes through Samaria, and as He is on His way, He stops at a well while His disciples go into to town to get some food. As He is sitting there, a Samaritan woman walks up seeking to draw water from the well, and Jesus asks her for a drink; he’s just getting the conversation started. She’s like, “Sir, how is it that you, a Jew, is asking for a drink from me, a Samaritan woman.” We know from the text that Jews have no dealings with Samaritans. Jesus talks about living water, and she thinks He is talking about real water and says, “Sir, give me this living water, so I don’t have to come to draw water from here again.” And then Jesus does something strange. Jesus has her hooked, She’s asking for this living water. All Jesus seemingly has to do is explain it a little more, and she understands salvation. She accepts this living water if Jesus explains it a little deeper. But Jesus goes in the complete opposite direction. He randomly asks her, “go call your husband and come here.” And she answers, “I have no husband.” And Jesus goes even further and says, “you have correctly said, ‘I have no husband.’ For you have had five husbands, and the one whom you now have is not your husband; this you have said truly.” Jesus has just confronted this woman with her sin. He has brought up her sin to her face. Some people would say Jesus is almost anti-evangelistic at this point. He had her wanting living water, and he brings up her past and present sin. She changes the subject, and a few moments later, Jesus tells her He is the Messiah. So we know she doesn’t get completely offended because she didn’t rail at him or storm off mad. Jesus lovingly confronted her about the problem of her heart. But why did Jesus do this? Because Jesus is about fixing the heart. He doesn’t want superficial surrender, He wants total surrender, and He knows if he doesn’t deal with the sin of the heart, then there is no total surrender.
Jesus lovingly pushed back against her sin, and so should we as His followers. We are to speak the truth out of love and at the same time share the truth of the gospel and the hope that is in Jesus. We are to share the good news of Jesus to the hearts of those in darkness. Sin leaves people in darkness, and if we don’t shine a light on those issues, then we are failing those around us. Is this always easy? No, in fact, it’s hard. The gospel is offensive, and it exposes the darkness that is in the unbeliever. But we were just like them before we came to know Christ, living in complete darkness, and the gospel turned our world upside down. We should want that same hope for others. We should want others to come to the saving knowledge of Jesus. That starts with speaking truth into the culture, not agreeing with it to bring peace and unity. A church that doesn’t speak truth into the culture out of love is a church that is failing the culture. We can’t be that church. We must be a church that exposes the sin of this world out of love. So in the end, speaking the truth is loving.
“He sent His word and healed them, and delivered them from their destructions.”