Friday, October 24, 2008

Loving the Sinner, Hating the Sin

As I said a few days ago in this blog, I have been musing a lot lately about intercessory prayer -- which has inevitably led to some musing about loving the sinner and hating the sin. It's so very easy to let our anger about sinful behavior spill over toward the person, instead of stopping just at the action.

Jesus calls us to love. The Bible calls us to love (see 1 John 4:7-8).

Hate the sin and love the sinner. But we don't. We accuse, we label, we call people names (like we're still on the grade school playground), we condemn them to hell, we threaten them with bodily harm -- all in the name of Christ!? It's sick. And completely un-Christlike.

People engage in sin -- every last one of us does it -- but people are still God's creation. To diss on them personally is to diss on God. (And I mean all people are God's creation - not just believers.)

There's a line -- and it's not all that hard to see, actually -- between hating the sin and hating the sinner. Think about the words and descriptions that you use when you talk about others. It's perfectly possible to come out against sin and still love the sinner (and sound like you do!).

Another interesting John Fischer article can be found at:

Sorry if I sound a bit snarky today. I'm fed up with the uncivil discourse that passes for discussion in this culture. We have become a hateful people. And we demean ourselves every time we demean someone else on a personal level. Go ahead and decry the sin -- but remember that the sinner is still loved by God.


Nostalgic for the Pleistocene said...

For me it all keeps coming back to Ephesians 6:12. We keep fighting each other and other people are actually not the true enemy. The true enemy, in fact, delights when we target each other instead of putting the ax to the root.

Catherine said...

That's the truth!

"For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places." - Ephesians 6:12

Carolyn, A Jersey Girl said...

Catherine~I am so in agreement with these statements. I long ago came to realize that disagreeing with someone does not mean we need to disparage them. Christ calls us to love everyone, no matter, their race, creed or religion. I can love someone who thinks I am wrong in my political beliefs without considering they are unintelligent or misinformed.

Catherine said...

Sing it, sister!!