404 Love The Sinner, Hate The Sin?

Love The Sinner, Hate The Sin?

Have you ever said this phrase? I know I have. On the surface it sounds nice but it’s not as loving as we might think.

The more I think about it, the more I believe that Ghandi got this one wrong. I’m sure his heart was in the right place but bumpersticker theology too often over-simplifies an issue.

Think of the last time you really struggled with some kind of sin. Remember how it began to define you? That’s because when we’re stuck in that place, what we do becomes our identity. Now picture someone coming up to you saying that they hate what you do.

They may as well have just said, “I hate you.”

Part of my job as the communications director of my church is to manage our social media accounts. I’m on it every day for the church and also for my own personal accounts. If someone came up to me and said social media is evil and I hate it, I might take it a little personally. Not because it defines me but because I believe in it and use it every day. Now imagine if I DID let it define me!

In an effort to be truth bearers, we have a tendency to minimize the value of love. It becomes an afterthought. The most important thing that others know is how right we are. Then once that has been established, we can also let them know that we love them.

Most people don’t hear anything past hate.

What if we loved people right where they were? What if the most important thing wasn’t being right but extending love? How much more would people be transformed?

When we love with an agenda, we come off as used car salesmen. But when we love for love’s sake, hearts can’t help but to be transformed.

Maybe we should let God hate the sin and stick to loving people.

What are your thoughts on this phrase? Do you use it? 

Comments

  1. Donald, I was not offended in the least by your comment, and my reply to Tony was not based on your comment at all. I simply mixed up two different stories when I replied late at night. My comment was neither snipey or out of offense. I do believe the kind of Christians who are on a crusade to correct everyone else do so out of a place of pride rather than love for the person they are correcting – which is something Jesus never did. He taught truth but did it out of a place of love, even when he turned tables over in the temple. Yet his main method of speaking truth was to show people they are loved and speak the truth. There is a huge difference between that and just trying to prove people wrong.
    Jason Vana recently posted..Authoring Hardship

    • Jason,

      As you say, then.

      Yet when Jesus turned over the tables, do you honestly believe those who witnessed it were saying, “Oh, He’s dong this in love for us. It’s all good.”? Of course not. He hurt their businesses, He challenged their impudence, and He did it all because of His Holiness. We read it all in retrospect and through the lenses of believers, but when it occurred, Jesus would have fallen into your dynamic that correction without love is bad. All you would have seen was a man yelling, making a whip, and flipping tables.

      However, *shrugs* as you say, Jason Vana. The Spirit is our witness.
      Donald Borsch Jr. recently posted..Friday Is Go Be Gay At Chick-fil-A Day

  2. I haven’t read the majority of these posts… For the reason I want my thoughts as they come. I have recently started going to church again -thanks in part to your blog, Tony j. Alicea. I love your sermons (for better lack of words) in my email once or twice a week. Meanwhile, this latest post has really touched me; one of my best friends (and her husband) are going through really tough times right now. I love her, I love him, and I love their children. But right now, I feel her husbands side of things in their relationship. I doubt the choices my friend is making, but I love her none the less.
    Faith, Charity, and Love, the Greatest of these is Love. The Lord teaches us that, no matter what. I feel my friends sins more than she does, and I am trying to love her through out her trials. I do hate her sins, but I can’t help but still love the sinner. God forgives all, no? I pray for her daily, and hope she will come to reckoning.

  3. At what point do we cease being sinners like everyone else and become allowed to judge sin? If the argument is that we are not allowed to call sin out, since we are yet filthy sinners ourselves and this would be hypocritical, then when oh when are we able to actually confront sin?

    The spiritual man judges all things, and rightly so. http://bible.cc/1_corinthians/2-15.htm But of course, none of us can make the big judgment of Heaven and Hell for anyone. That rests in our Father’s Hands alone.

    Are we sinners? Of course. Does this prohibit us fro speaking out against sin, or calling sinners to the carpet? God forbid! If this were true in and of itself, then none of us would be saved lest Jesus Himself appeared to us to give us The Gospel. For who among us did not learn about Jesus and our sinful lives from just another sinner?
    Donald Borsch Jr. recently posted..REPOST: Jesus Loves Everyone, Even His Enemies: His Love Is Not All-Inclusive

  4. I agree with this that hate the sin and love the sinner. Since people are the sinner we must still need not to judge them yet we must know how to forgive them because every people have the chance to change their bad things they did. We are just human being and a sinner as well but there is always a time for change.
    Leah Cron recently posted..How to Get a Beautiful Smile with a Teeth Whitening

  5. I can’t stand that phrase and never use it myself. Yes, we are to hate sin. Yes we are to love sinners. But that phrase makes loving others seem more begrudging than true love. Jesus gave us the example of how to treat those in the world: love them, build relationship, then point out and help them out of their sin. The only people he confronted head on about their sin were those who supposedly knew Him. Even the woman caught in adultery he defended! He protected her from the present day church people. He stood up for her, protected her from condemnation, THEN pointed out her sin in private and challenged her to leave that sin and follow Him. We tend to point out sin first, then call it love. If we haven’t made the effort to build relationship with people, we haven’t earned the right to challenge them.
    Jason Vana recently posted..The Lord Will Fight

    • “He stood up for her, protected her from condemnation, THEN pointed out her sin in private and challenged her to leave that sin and follow Him.”

      No He really didn’t. He saved her from death at the hands of those who followed The Law, then told her to ‘Go and sin no more’. He didn’t tell her to follow Him. He merely rescued her and showed the faintest glimpse of His upcoming New Covenant confronting The Law.

      http://biblos.com/john/8-11.htm
      Donald Borsch Jr. recently posted..REPOST: Jesus Loves Everyone, Even His Enemies: His Love Is Not All-Inclusive

    • We forget that everything about our faith is relational, including sharing the Gospel. It’s easy to spew our views against a particular people group or organization because it doesn’t line up with our beliefs. Then we have the audacity to call it love because we’re telling them the truth.

      Truth isn’t a doctrine, truth is a person. Jesus was never more concerned about being right. I believe that part of his “follow me” wasn’t just about come and be like me…but come after me and let’s have a relationship. That’s the only way we can truly love, teach, disciple, rebuke and restore. That’s something we all could learn from.

      • I couldn’t agree with you more, Tony. There are “Christians” out there who are more concerned with being right than they are about being like Jesus. Yes, we need to speak truth into people’s lives, but when it’s done out of a desire to show others how they are wrong more than a desire to love people, that’s pride. Christ spoke truth to people in love, not out of some insecure need to be right so he felt better about himself, like many Christians today.

        I forget who said this quote and forgive me, but it’s too late to search for it, but someone said:

        Truth without love kills. Love without truth lies.

        That is how I try to display thhe balance of love and truth in my life.
        Jason Vana recently posted..Authoring Hardship

        • Jason, don’t be upset you were wrong. You spoke out of your narrative, and not His, and I called you on it. I am silent where He is silent and I speak where He speaks, and that’s it. You spoke into His Narrative out of zeal, or perhaps you were trying to prove something, and you were caught. No worries. If you are a man of God, then shake yourself off and carry on. When your zeal outruns your knowledge, that is when you stumble. No shame in that. Just remember who you are and who He is.

          You’re offended and snipey about my correcting you, yet it is The Scripture that is correcting you and not I. Didn’t you read The Scripture where this story is from?
          Donald Borsch Jr. recently posted..Friday Is Go Be Gay At Chick-fil-A Day

  6. I am seeing people say that hate will overcome love. How is this possible? I mean, does darkness ever overcome light? Darkness, being the absence of light, is hate in the absence of love.

    I firmly believe Love never fails, to be sure. But our version of that, unfortunately, is not our Father’s meaning. Love can never be overcome by hate. Jesus proved that on The Cross, and Stephen proved it as he was being stoned. They yet both died, but consider their hearts as their death was looming victorious.

    Just a thought or two.
    Donald Borsch Jr. recently posted..REPOST: Jesus Loves Everyone, Even His Enemies: His Love Is Not All-Inclusive

  7. THE ABOVE IS JUST A COUPLE OF EXCERPTS I FOUND from this Outline: http://www.christinyou.net/Outlines/love.pdf

    The reason I post is because it goes so much deeper than we have it at the moment. It requires a lot more than just ignoring sin.

    (1) Love not a virtue, value, ideal, moral principle
    (2) Love not a feeling, sentiment, impulse, passion
    (3) Love not romance, benevolence, amicability
    (4) Love not psychological predisposition, physical
    genetics, social habit
    (5) Love expressed only as derived from God – ek theos
    (6) Love is spiritual character of God in Christian
    d. Love commanded of the Christian -Jn. 13:34; 15:12; Eph. 5:2
    (1) Freedom in the receptivity of His character
    (2) God is the dynamic of His own demands

  8. I completely agree but this is easy to do quite frankly when the sin has nothing to do with you. When someone sins against you though it changes from a saying to a chance to operate in supernatural.

    • That’s so true, Tripp. I’ve written about supernatural forgiveness before. Way different than this…which should be so much easier. It breaks my heart when we demonstrate a completely lack of love.

  9. My mom used to say to me, “I love you, but I really don’t like you right now.” whenever I would get in really big trouble. You don’t have to like someone’s actions to still show them love and compassion.

    I think to often we are caught up in our judgment of others actions, that we often equate a person with their “sin”

    As a non-religious person, and someone who fights for equal rights, I hear this phrase a LOT. So much it is nauseating and often sounds more like an excuse to deny love and acceptance (and equality)to people that don’t conform to what we find acceptable to love.

    As long as someone’s sin isn’t hurting anyone else – it’s between them and God. It is none of our business.
    Cam recently posted..The Tao of JLo

  10. I agree. Anytime we bring hate into the equation, it’s going to overwhelm love. Because we’re human, and it’s easier to hate. So we’ll inevitably get more caught up in hating the sin than in loving the sinner, which is never good.
    Nikki Weatherford recently posted..FIVE parenting battles I will not pick, and ONE I will.

    • Even if we were able to truly hate the sin and love the sinner…that’s not the message that will draw anyone to God. Many people are already terrified of God based on how we portray Him. If we portrayed Him as He truly is (love), so many more people would want more of Him.

  11. this is interesting, yes Tony i think you are on to somthing here. what i have found in my own life is that people can not tell the difference of the sin and the sinner.. they seem to put you in a box because of the sin you have done, and even though they see you change you will always be the person who use to do____.
    walking that out everyday is tough. Christ never said you sinner your sin is this.. he just looked at the person and said go and sin no more.
    when we become one with Christ, we die,, so we have no oppinion,because we are dead. we are to see and live as Christ and love as he does. too many time i have been judged on my past and they dont even know me.
    but if we are to really reach a dieing world. we have to ask God to show us how he loves. taking me out so that they only see Jesus and his love.
    the more we judge, point fingers and make us seperate from, the more we will drive a wedge between them and us… when its should be us,, and no them.. we all are sinners even in our perfect little world while serving Christ.. so they are us before we came to know truth… WE ALL HAVE SINNED AND FALLEN SHORT OF THE GLORY.. note the word all..
    thanks Tony.. love ya

    • Great thoughts, Paul. I TOTALLY agree. I know I’ve made my own mistakes and driven a wedge between me and others. Thank God for revealing the truth of His grace. My heart now is to love…period.

  12. I think people who want to tire out this argument forget that someone loved them in their sins enough to draw them close and cleanse them.

    We are all in process, and not one of us is perfectly holy. We all require the fresh mercy of God, every single day, that’s why they’re new every morning.

    As I recall, it was the religious leaders with their laws and parameters that constantly attacked Jesus and the disciples and apostles for coloring outside the lines and mixing it up with the real people.

    When Scripture shows sinners repenting, it is always Jesus who has said nothing, drawn the person with love, and sent accusers away with stones unthrown. He contrasts the legalism and hatred with openness, meeting of needs, and a quiet restoration that indeed, turns them from this SIN we can’t seem to quit concentrating on.

    Tony, thanks for weighing in on the topic. Always appreciate your voice, and Katie, yours too.
    Christy McFerren recently posted..Prodigal Travel Series: The Summer I Learned About Revolution

    • The ironic thing is that while people want to protect God’s holiness and justice, they completely overlook His solution to it. I absolutely believe God is holy and justice, but He doesn’t need us defending it for Him.

      The Good News is that Jesus came and paid for it all. There is no fear of God’s wrath because it’s already been satisfied. That blows my mind how offensive that is to so many.

  13. Great thoughts, Tony. I wish everyone would love and listen without an agenda. When we’re in relationship with someone and we have loved them well, I believe we can and should confront areas of sin- so long as we’re willing to receive the same input. But apart from that relationship, we are called to love.
    HopefulLeigh recently posted..What I’m Into (July Edition)

  14. Oh my gosh, twinsie. Did you see my tweet this morning? I hadn’t even seen this!

    I vote to strike down “LTS, HTS.” It is only used, let’s be honest, when referring to one or two select groups of people. I’ve been in church 40 years, and never has anyone said (or even inferred), “Hate your temper, Cathy…but love you!!”

    Never heard anyone say, “Hate your gluttony, Susan…but love you!” “Hate your gossiping, Travis…but love you!”

    Christians have a BAD habit of calling out other people’s “sins” while ignoring our own. How many fat (sorry) people have you seen on stage at churches? Lots. The world sees this sort of thing, hears us parrot, “love the sinner, hate the sin,” and they dismiss us (once again) as hypocrites. Because they know we’re only referring to one or two specific sins that we’ve decided are the deal breakers with God.

    We are responsible to excise our own sin, as the Holy Spirit and the Scriptures reveal them to us (and of course, we will never entirely do this, on this earth.) We are NOT called to catalogue and excise other people’s. I am so tired of us leading the conversation with “Your sin! Your sin! Your sin!” It’s so arrogant.

    All humans should be humble…Christians most of all. As Paul said, “sinners, of whom I am chief.” Not “was” – but, humbly “am.”

    It even rings false when pastors bellow from the pulpits about how you have to remove sin from your life or you won’t get into heaven (yes, I’ve actually seen this posted on FB in the last week, after the Chick-fil-A crap.) That’s BS, and non-believers, who see the glaring faults in our own lives even better than we do, see right through this.

    I do think we Christians should always be striving to overcome our own sins, and this should be encouraged (humbly) from the pulpit. This is our love-compelled task, as people who love Christ. But the whole “you must remove your sin or you won’t go to heaven” line is always directed towards non-believers. Mostly those from the one group whose behavior we’ve decided is the sword that the conversation about Christ has to die upon. We don’t believe that our sin will keep us out of heaven, because we know that grace makes a way. And “the world” sees this double message as hypocrisy.

    Anyway. You don’t have to agree. Just venting here. 🙂
    Cathy recently posted..In Defense of Paper Pages

  15. Great post, Tony. Thank you. I’m reminded of the prodigal son story, yet again. For some reason it all comes back to that for me. But, it’s the picture of the Father, with his outstreched arms, recieving the rebel son with unbridled, uncomfortable grace and love that simply shatters my mind. It is the kindness (grace) of God that leads the rebel to repentance. Only grace can break the rebels heart! Only His grace and radical love restores the community we lost with Him. You said, “when we love for love’s sake, hearts can’t help but be transformed.” Yep. It is kindness and love that leads to repentance and change and transformation.

    • –You said, “when we love for love’s sake, hearts can’t help but be transformed.”–

      If that were true, then there would be no need for Hell, since God so loved The World already, how can His Love fail?

      And, yes, hearts can help but be transformed by love. Love never fails, I hear you say. If only it were that simple: we love others and they get saved and since God loved The World, we all go to Heaven.

      No.

      For God so loved The World. Past tense. Not, For God is loving The World. We strive to change The World and make it better for Jesus, but what makes us think He wants The World?
      Donald Borsch Jr. recently posted..Other Blogs and Various Fun Stuff

    • The Prodigal Son is such a life-changing parable. I too, find myself coming back to this one again and again.

      When we’re afraid of sin, we try to control it. We feel the need to constantly point it out and make sure that people know what we think about it. But when we lead with love, there is no fear.

      We don’t have to be afraid of loving people right where they are because we know that true love always changes people into something better.

  16. Wow, thanks for this post! That is a totally new way to look at a phrase that I think so people use way too often. Although I have heard this phrase used a lot it has never been one that I used. Thanks for the insight!
    Quinton recently posted..Compromise

  17. Tony, I completely see where you’re coming from in your view but I think perhaps you’re allowing one of the current spins of the world to influence your thinking.

    The world does all it can to silence Christians, to void the truth of the Gospel and try to keep people from finding out the truth in Christ. Part of that is spinning words and meanings and definitions to shine Christ and His people in the worst possible light. One of the ways to do that is to try and define someone by their actions rather than as a person because then you can say you’re attacking the person when you’re looking at a sinful action and saying that it’s wrong.

    We live in a culture that uses the push of “political correctness” to try and eliminate any criticism of anything that someone does because it’s “attacking” them. We get all our mistakes pointed out to us and people try to silence/marginalize us because we’re not perfect. The problem with that is the focus is taken away from accountability for bad actions. Sure, we make mistakes. That doesn’t mean the action we’ve said is wrong isn’t wrong. It doesn’t mean we’re not saying it out of love. It doesn’t mean we don’t love them in saying they’re doing something wrong.

    We cannot be a follower of Christ and excuse and justify sin so as not to offend someone. It’s not truly loving someone if we pretend everything they do is perfectly fine because we want to “show them love.” Jesus himself never once said a sin was acceptable to commit and He never once pretended that someone committing a sin shouldn’t seek purity in following His Father. Jesus hated sin. If we are to follow Christ…if we are to reflect Him…then we need to hate sin just as much Christ himself hated it.

    That doesn’t mean we should go around bashing people…although we can look at many times Jesus was pretty darn harsh on those who claimed to follow God. He called out their sinful actions point blank. Again…if we’re to follow Christ…

    This idea of ignoring sin for the sake of “love” is epidemic right now in the Christian blogosphere. There are many people who profess to be followers of Christ who are not only ignoring sinful actions but openly accepting sinful behavior for the sake of “showing love.” That is entirely unlike Jesus. That is nothing more than worldly thought wearing a Christian t-shirt. It’s false teaching. It shouldn’t be celebrated in Christian circles but it’s increasingly being done because we don’t want to “offend” the world and thus we accept their definition that a person is their actions.

    Tony, you have a great heart and I know you want everyone to come to Christ. I want to see the same thing. I just don’t think we’re to compromise truth and hide the whole of the gospel just because we want people to come to Jesus. You can love people and hate actions that they are taking. You can refuse to define people the way the world does by the actions that they’re taking. Jesus never defined people by the actions that they were taking. We shouldn’t agree with the world to do it either.
    Jason recently posted..Sometimes, You Just Obey

    • “This idea of ignoring sin for the sake of “love” is epidemic right now in the Christian blogosphere. There are many people who profess to be followers of Christ who are not only ignoring sinful actions but openly accepting sinful behavior for the sake of “showing love.” That is entirely unlike Jesus. That is nothing more than worldly thought wearing a Christian t-shirt. It’s false teaching. It shouldn’t be celebrated in Christian circles but it’s increasingly being done because we don’t want to “offend” the world and thus we accept their definition that a person is their actions.”
      ———–

      For once, Jason and I agree. The current flavor-of-the-week amongst Christian bloggers who are getting drunk on their traffic numbers, is to spout that The Love of Jesus is all-inclusive, not capable of denying anyone Salvation, and we will all live together with rainbows and unicorns, singing Lady GaGa songs and eating chocolate bob-bons.

      It is not unloving or hateful to confront sin, and it surely is not anti-Jesus to call sin what it is. The World is cozying up too closely with The Kingdom in the name of this false love that makes people feel good, but lacks in salvific power. Remember, Jesus loves even His enemies. Get it? Jesus loves even His enemies. So to crow about how much Jesus loves you is not indicative of Salvation. It merely shows His amazing tolerance.
      Donald Borsch Jr. recently posted..Other Blogs and Various Fun Stuff

      • It’s all about context. I have no problem confronting sin in love with my brother or sister in Christ. That’s much different than my posture towards the world. Even Jesus said that He didn’t come to condemn the world.

        The way we handle sin in our family is much different than how we handle it outside the household.

        • “Even Jesus said that He didn’t come to condemn the world.”

          I’m so glad you said that. Because He didn’t come to condemn, He came to slice, since He brought not peace, but a sword. He is here to slice us out of the mire and mud of sin that is The World and bring us into His Father’s Kingdom. And it is rarely pretty when it happens.
          Donald Borsch Jr. recently posted..REPOST: Jesus Loves Everyone, Even His Enemies: His Love Is Not All-Inclusive

        • Barbara says:

          I agree – LOVE is crucial. I also agree though that dealing with sin is critical. I think the Church has slacked on this too much and winks at sin or minimizes it or even catagorizes it too much. SIN is sin and sin is unacceptable to God. Yes we must love and we must rmember that dealing with sin is a form of love. It is all in HOW we deal with it. We need to eradicate sin but lve the erson who is sinning. And sometimes that means speaking the unpopular truth.

    • I understand what you are saying, Jason, but Tony isn’t suggesting that we ignore sin or accept sin. Love doesn’t equal “go do whatever you want”. Loving someone despite their sin isn’t compromising the Gospel. It IS the Gospel.

      When I was living a sinful life away from God (which was most of my life), there would be people who TOLD me the truth about my sin and about Jesus, but the thing that ended up changing me were the people that LIVED the truth of Jesus in front of me and loved me right where I was without feeling the need change me.

      The fruits of the Spirit that come from abiding with the Lord is what people are attracted to in us. We don’t need to fear sinful actions in those around us. When people hated my sinful actions, I could tell. But when people showed me the truth of Jesus through their own joy, peace, and love….I was so hungry for what they had.

      You can’t love and hate at the same time. How do you look at someone’s sin and hate it, but still sift through your hate of their sinful actions and love the person? I imagine that would be a heavy burden to bear. We are to bear Jesus’ burden that is light and easy. Love is light and easy. Hate is a heavy burden.

      If we feel hate towards someone’s sin, then how will we ever get to know their heart, their story, their dreams, their joys, etc?

      It’s my desire to love others as I have been loved. I have to look past the sin that keeps them away from God and see into their heart. I speak kind and loving words to that sin-hardened heart, I lift them up, and I leave the rest to the Holy Spirit. I can’t convict. I can’t change hearts. That is for the Holy Spirit to do.

      Jesus’ affection towards those that sin against him is apparent here: “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing! (Matthew 23:37).” I want to look to people with affection and a desire to see them be the person Jesus created them to be before the foundations of the Earth.

    • I totally relate to what you’re saying. However, I never once said that we should ignore sin. That’s not something I condone.

      I’m talking about the context of that quote. If we lead with hate, then people will never get past that. When we lead with love, it causes people to lower their guard and be open to what love really means. It’s God’s kindness that leads to repentance.

      If we lead with love and kindness, people can’t help but be transformed.

  18. I never knew it was Gandhi who coined the phrase. You learn something everyday.

    I don’t necessarily think it’s wrong to hate the works of evil. I hate abortion, hate the shedding of innocent blood and many of the other stupid stuff us humans do.

    But these works reveals our constant need for our Savior. And God, who does hate sin and the works of the flesh, came to rid us of our sins.

    Hate is an ugly word and it is one that causes people to pay attention. But I think it’s important to reveal the disgusting nature of sin. Only when sin is revealed for what it is, do we get to truly understand grace.

    When I was lost in my sins, I had no idea how awful my sin was. Only when the Spirit made me aware of my lost state and the disgusting nature in which I lived did I really hunger and thirst for a savior who can make me clean.

    God’s love is best reflected when we know how awful our nature is and how patient He is to not annihilate us from this world.

    To be fair, I have never used the phrase. I’m very skeptical of popular cultural quotes and phrases, especially from us christians. We have become experts in making up sticky quotes.
    Moe recently posted..The Shining

    • I agree that pure and perfect hatred isn’t wrong. Our skewed demonstrations of hatred with all kinds of anger, fear and self-righteousness is the ugly stuff.

      It’s also the context. No one was ever drawn into a healthy relationship with God by feeling the sharp hatred of their actions by others. After all, it’s God’s kindness that leads us to repentance.

  19. Tony,

    Great post!

    This phrase is one I hear often but not one I have ever used. Honestly, I think it’s easier to ‘hate’ the sin, condemn ourselves, and others than to love them.

    Loving others takes work. Hate is easy.

    Being able to extend love the way Jesus did isn’t something that I believe we are fully capable of. Extending love towards others where they are, meeting them where they’re at regardless of their sins requires us to look past our own.

    How can we extend love to others when we’re too busy condemning ourselves or worse hiding our sins from the world?

    Honestly, I wish more people were open about their sins. Maybe if we weren’t so busy condemning and hating, we’d be able to build a community where others could admit where they struggle, understand that we all fall short, and it’s okay to struggle. More importantly, that they’re not alone.

    We’re all sinners and we all need each other.
    Julie (@InciteFaith) recently posted..How to Love Difficult People

    • “Loving others takes work. Hate is easy.”

      Such a great point. Not to mention our skewed version of hate that is rooted in anger. I believe God’s hatred is pure and perfect…nothing like the hate that we have.

      And you’re so right about being open about our own stuff. It’s not until we can talk about it in a safe place that we can really find the healing we need.

  20. I think the whole ‘love the sinner, hate the sin’ thing is for refrigerator magnets and desk top calendars, but it lacks any real Holiness of God our Father.

    I also believe so many of us haven’t a clue as to the totality of what His Love really is, instead marginalizing it to a posture of being so diverse, tolerant, and politically correct, so as not to offend The World lest we ruin The Gospel, that we have rendered ourselves spiritually impotent and worthless, as salt loses its flavor. (Sorry….that was an obscenely blatant run-on sentence)

    God is Holy, first. His Love, (no matter how amazing- and it is!), does not, and shall never, push aside His Holiness or allow us to justify someone’s sins.
    Donald Borsch Jr. recently posted..Other Blogs and Various Fun Stuff

    • LOVE
      I. Words for “love” in original Biblical languages
      A. Hebrew words
      1. Hebrew word ahab – spontaneous, impulsive love (250 times in OT)
      2. Hebrew word hesed – deliberate choice of affection and kindness
      3. Hebrew word raham – to have compassion, brotherly love
      B. Greek words
      1. Greek word eros – get English word “erotic”
      a. Eros was Greek god of love – sensual, sexual, impulsive
      b. Plato defined this love as aspiring for and delighting in the
      value of its object; loving that which is lovable.
      c. This Greek word not found in New Testament
      2. Greek word philia – get English words philosophy, philanthropy,
      philology, bibliophile, Philadelphia, Philip, etc.
      a. Greeks used as love for friend, spouse, children
      b. Ex. of NT usage: Matt. 10:37; Lk. 12:4; 14:12; Jn. 11:3,36
      3. Greek word agape
      a. Seldom used in secular Greek literature
      b. When used referred to selective desire for something or
      someone.
      c. Greek OT (LXX) used over 300 times to refer to God’s
      selective and exclusive love for Israelite people.
      d. Predominant word for love in new covenant (over 250
      occurrences in NT). Invested with new meaning.
      e. Representative Biblical references employing agape
      Matt. 5:43,44 – “love your enemies”
      Matt. 22:36-40 – “great commandment…love God…”
      Jn. 3:16 – “God so loved the world He gave His only Son”
      Jn. 13:34; 15:12 – “new commandment…love one another..”
      Jn. 17:26 – “love wherewith Thou loved Me may be in them”
      Rom. 5:5 – “love of God poured out within our hearts”
      Rom. 13:10 – “love is the fulfillment of the law”
      I Cor 13:1-13 – “…the greatest of these is love”
      II Cor. 5:14 – “the love of Christ controls us”
      Gal. 5:6 – “faith working through love”
      Gal. 5:22 – “fruit of the Spirit is love…”
      I Jn. 4:7 – “everyone who loves is born of God”

      • Sorry I didn’t mean to reply to yours Donald, But I do completely agree with your thinking on this. The real question is…What does Love look like to the American in 2012?

        • Tripp,

          “The real question is…What does Love look like to the American in 2012?”

          My friend, the same as it looked in 30 AD when our Jesus began His earthly ministry according to His Father’s will.

          It is simply that we, as humans, have decided to modify it, reshape it, and try to make Him into our image so we don’t offend or leave anyone out.

          Jacob have I loved, yet Esau have I hated must really bother some believers, but who are we to disagree with our God and King?
          Donald Borsch Jr. recently posted..REPOST: Jesus Loves Everyone, Even His Enemies: His Love Is Not All-Inclusive

          • Exactly… The Key is perspective. And any other perspective aside from the Father’s is, sadly, a lie.

            I believe the Lord let me to Phil 1:9-10 when searching for answers. He writes; “9 And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, 10 so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ,

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  1. […] Tony Alicea started me on the journey with his somewhat unorthodox take on this topic: Love the Sinner, Hate the Sin? […]

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