This is the OP again. I received another message from the pastor further explaining the churches beliefs. He said all are welcome to the church, but their hope is over time sinners will recognize their sins and repent in the love of God. Meaning gays will hit themselves in the head one day realizing they don't want to be gay! Or couples living together will get married even if they're not ready, what could go wrong with that logic? I use those two examples because those are the two things Sunday's speaker was focused on as disgusting sins.
Here's a direct quote from the pastor in his last message “God loves us just the way we are, but He loves us too much to leave us that way!” My first thought reading that is that is exactly why so many relationships fail! You fall in love with a person for who they are but then you start trying to change them into what you want the relationship blows up! Oh and even though God loves us just the way we are if we don't change we are punished for eternity! Seems like a hypocritical message to me.
Cooper, I am not sure if I will be able to explain it very well or not, but I will try.
You likened the words, regarding God's love for us to that of a human relationship. In a way, it is. But it is so much more than that, for those of us who are believers. Yes, He accepts us as we are. Yes, He loves us as we are. That, however, does not mean there is no room for improvement. I would liken our relationship with God to that of a parent with a child. I love my sons and my daughter. I live them as they are. However, I would hope, as their parent, they would adapt as they learn new things. I cannot, and will not, force them to do what I want for them (aside for obvious necessities, while they are minors, under my authority, of course). I would hope they would WANT to change any behaviors that are considered bad, but I cannot make them.
It's the same with God. He won't force us to follow Him, to do as He has requested. That is completely our own choice. But, if one chooses NOT to follow Him, why would it matter, to them, if another chooses the opposite? My point is this... I choose to follow Him, to the best of my ability, and with the knowledge that had been presented to me. I know that some are not at the same point in that walk. Some are farther along, and others are behind. Some will choose to put all into God's hands. Others will not. Some will struggle, some will not.
I would say it kind of fits the parent/child dynamic in this way:
1. The child thinks, "Mom loves me, so I want to do things to make her proud, like getting good grades in school."
2. The child thinks, "I need to get good grades so my mom will love me."
There is a difference in motivstion, which will also change the perception. God loves me, so I want to please Him. I don't try to please Him so He WILL love me.
I hope that made sense to you.
Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G930A using Tapatalk