Most modern-day Christians have the same goals: live a life according to Christ and eventually be allowed into Heaven. They do this by going to church, giving their 10 percent and reading their Bible. These are all amazing practices of Christianity but one aspect our generation struggles with is having a love for people who are not familiar with the word of Christ.

Many modern-day Christians are quick to completely dismiss the views of the LGBTQ+ community, atheists, different denominations, different religions and even some who have admitted their sins.

The truth is, Jesus tells us to go out and welcome those who don’t know him and to love others as we would love ourselves. Leviticus 19:18 reads, Do not take revenge on others or continue to hate them, but love your neighbors as you love yourself. I am the Lord.”

One of the biggest arguments within the Christian community is how Jesus views the LGBTQ+ community. Many scholars and individuals do believe that you can live a life through Christ while also being part of the LGBTQ+ community. However, modern-day Christians’ closed-mindedness prevents them from listening or understanding LGTBQ+ members’ point of view. Instead, try expanding horizons by looking at verses such as Mark 12:29-31: “The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself. ’There is no commandment greater than these.”

It is believed by many Christians that being part of the LGBTQ+ community is a sin. One biblical story that gets tossed at the community is the story of Sodom, where it is commonly believed that the city was destroyed because of wicked activities. Some interpreters and individuals believe that those wicked activities refer to homosexuality but there’s more to the story. Ezekiel 16:49 states, “Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy.” The city was not destroyed because the citizens participated in homosexual activities but because the people were corrupt, rude and didn’t help the poor. It is easy to see the misconception if the story of Sodom is read on its own but more thought and research needs to be done before modern-day scholars and individuals make assumptions about the meaning of some texts.

Let’s assume that being part of the LGBTQ+ community is a sin. Jesus is willing to forgive everyone’s sin, no matter what it is. Let’s compare sin to the number of hairs on our head. We all have hair, some of us have a lot and some of us don’t have as much but regardless we all still have some. In the same way, we are all sinners no matter what we claim or do. Romans 3:23 states, “For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard”. Thankfully, the Lord forgives all sin. 1 John 2:2 says, “He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.” God sent his only son to the cross, not only to redeem the souls of Christians but to redeem the souls of all sinners.

Another idea that often gets tossed at the LGBTQ+ community is that their sin will or cannot be forgiven since it is an “intense” sin. Again, assuming that it is a sin, there’s no levels of sin because God views all sin equally. James 2:10-11 says, “For whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point has become accountable for all of it. For he who said, ‘Do not commit adultery,’ also said, ‘Do not murder.’ If you do not commit adultery but do murder, you have become a transgressor of the law.” To put in simple terms, let’s say person A has committed murder, person B has committed adultery and person C stole a candy bar from the store, who is the biggest sinner? The answer: none of them, because all sin is equal. There is no scale to sin because Jesus does not view one sin as worse than another.

Seeing that we are all brothers and sister in Christ, we should still love those with opinions different from our own—people who view God in a different way, believe in different gods or goddesses and even those who don’t believe in a god. Remember, God calls us to love everyone with the same love we have for ourselves.

The overall goal for Christians is to live a Christ-centered life and to bring the Word of God to as many people as possible. Though many modern-day Christians believe that these communities will be blocked at the gates of heaven, we can be the generation that loves and accepts everyone.