Matt 7:15 “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves.
This verse from Matthew is often used to describe people like me who offer apologetics for Christ's acceptance of same-sex relationships. I've been called a false prophet from an assortment of places online, sites in which fundamentalist Christians gather to pick up scripture like a burning brand with which to purge the land of the scourge of gaydom.
The passage continues with this:
16 By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thorn bushes, or figs from thistles? 17 Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.
Galatians 5 tells us more about good fruit:
Gal. 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
In conversations with the folks I mentioned above, verses of scripture spray out like bullets from a Gatling gun, with little skill and no concern for accuracy. Just a scattershot of ammunition designed to destroy or at least frighten into submission.
My prayer for those of us who love God from within same-sex relationships is that we be mighty bearers of good fruit. In all our discussions, no matter how infuriating or repetitious or contentious, may we bear gentleness and self-control. May our behavior stand in sharp contrast with the hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, dissensions, and factions that are listed as un-Godly fruit described in verse 20.
May we return the harsh brutality of scripture as weaponry with a gentle rain of living water.
And may they indeed know us by our fruits.