“Hate the Sin, Love the Sinner” – Disgrace to Grace #5

Love the sinnerIt’s been a while since I’ve done one of these. You can find the other four here. There’s no order or focus here, that is, except for a series of articles debunking Christian beliefs/dogma that are in fact very un-christian. Here’s number 5:

“Hate the sin, love the sinner.”

In theory, this works. But we can’t live in the theoretical la-la land of what should work. Every now and then we need to get real and face the music. This mantra of ours, is not working.

This phrase is usually used in the context of homosexuality. We talk about “loving” homosexuals while hating their sin.

There’s two thoughts I have about this. To begin with, let’s flip this around and try it on ourselves. I’ll be the guinea pig.

I’m a writer. I align myself with that title, and I’m proud of it. But what if you read something I’ve written, like my book, and you tell me you hated it. My book was an utter abomination to you. It was bad theology, horrible logic, etc, etc.

Now, no matter how much you try to “love me”, I doubt I would want to hear much more from you. It’s hard to separate something you are so passionate about, to the point of wrapping it up with you identity, from yourself. In other words, I take criticism seriously. There is an emotional element involved. I may tell myself to separate myself from my work, but that is really difficult.

Am I my book? No. But I put my heart in soul into my writing, and that makes it really hard to hear “I love you” in the midst of “I hate what you’ve written.”

Now imagine that standing before you now is a homosexual. You may “hate the sin and love the sinner”, but what if for them, that’s the same thing? What if they are their “sin”. It’s not for them just what they do, it’s wrapped up into their DNA. They were born this way!

How deep do you think it hurts? How painful are our words? They may be well-intended and honest, but the sharp reality is that our words can kill.

The fact of the matter remains: we can’t “hate the sin” without hurting the sinner. This is especially true when the sinner identifies themselves with what they do, the very thing you “hate”. They don’t feel your theoretical “love” all they feel is cold, hard hatred.

Do they feel loved?

A good question we should ask ourselves is not “do we love”- because our answer will always be a subjective opinion. We must instead ask: “do these ‘sinners’ feel loved?”

Do you think the people we’re talking about who we supposedly “love” actually feel loved from us? If you asked, would they say so?

That matters, therefore, far more than whether or not you think you love people.

Stop trying to “hate the sin, love the sinner” and just love. Period. No further comment. Just love, as Christ loved: selflessly, radically; genuinely.

Now what do you think? How can we love those we disagree with? Leave me a comment below!

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