Love the Sinner, Forgive the Sin

My lovely wife pointed out a mistake that I made the other day (something she just hates to do). In the post Love Check for Evangelicals, I quoted her as saying that the expression “love the sinner, hate the sin” is not only un-biblical but really nothing more than a Christian cop-out.

I had forgotten to share the most important part of what she said; whereas Jesus does not compel us to hate, he does compel us to forgive, no matter what the sin and as often as necessary.

Love the sinner and forgive the sin.” Now, that’s more like it.


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  1. #1 by BuddyO on November 20, 2008 - 2:24 pm

    Man I thought I was cynical…. 😉

  2. #2 by b4dguy on November 20, 2008 - 3:01 pm

    Cynical and/or a realist. If there’s a difference.

  3. #3 by Christian Beyer on November 20, 2008 - 8:04 pm

    Hi everybody, this is Bev, Chris’s wife I think we’ve strayed from the original topic. The compelling and consistent message in the gospels is of love and forgiveness. I don’t believe there is a single scripture verse in Math. Mark, Luke or John ,correct me if I’m wrong where Jesus showed anything but love, total acceptance, forgiveness, compassion and love for the sinners. All he said was “sin no more”. I can’t even say he hated the pharisees although he showed anger. I get pretty angry at my children and yes even Chris sometimes but I love them dearly. As a Christian I take my cues from Christ. Christ loves perfectly and this is what he asks of us. In my opinion a heart that has any room for hate has left a void where the Holy Spirit should be residing. Love to you all. Buddy please say hi to Kathy, Bo and Rachel, I miss you guys!

  4. #4 by Christian Beyer on November 21, 2008 - 12:35 am

    Ladies and gentlemen, the boss has left just left the room.

  5. #5 by BuddyO on November 21, 2008 - 10:06 am

    Hey Bev!
    I agree with you 100% regarding Jesus and His message.

    My point is that those 4 books, while they may be the easiest to wrap our heads around, are only a fraction of what God (aka Jesus) wants us to know about Him. I also believe that He will never contradict Himself. So the fact that Jesus tells us you cannot hate your brother and love Him has to be in concert with the passages where God hates evil or even evildoers.

    The word “sane’ ” in Hebrew which means hate is used over a hundred times in the Old Testament and several times attributed to God hating evil and sin. Jesus Himself DOES tell us to hate. In Luke He tells hating ourselves and our families is a prerequisite to being His disciple. Jesus tells John in his vision that He hates the deeds and doctrines of the Nicolatians.

    I think the problem is that the word ‘hate’ has been hijacked in much the same way as the word ‘love’ has been… or ‘tolerate’… Modern society has changed the definition of what those words mean.

    The phrase “Love the sinner hate the sin” is not one that I tend to use, however I think the sentiment is that we are not what we do. We all are children of God at heart, we all are endowed by the Creator and this damn sin keeps getting in the way of us reaching the full potential that God has for us… I hate sin for that…

    It’s another phrase that I think a a very cool and deep meaning that has been hijacked to connotate condescension and judgment.

  6. #6 by BuddyO on November 21, 2008 - 10:07 am

    BTW: I’ll pass the message. We miss you guys too. (which is pretty weird considering we only live like 3 minutes away…)

  7. #7 by Christian Beyer on November 21, 2008 - 10:52 am

    The way you and Kathy drive, yes.

  8. #8 by b4dguy on November 21, 2008 - 4:01 pm

    so Christian…you were going to plan a get-together for the ECB…

    I agree with Bev and Buddy’s last comments, but stand by my cynical assertion that not all Believers will agree with you.

    I sum it up like this: It’s not about sin yet it’s absolutely about sin.

  9. #9 by brenda on December 31, 2008 - 5:03 pm

    Are you excusing the SIN when you forgive the sinner?

  10. #10 by Christian Beyer on January 1, 2009 - 3:50 pm

    Welcome, Brenda.

    No, of course not. If there were an ‘excuse’ then it would not be sin, right? For example, to be picayune about sin then we might make an issue out of the sinfulness of telling lies. But if I lie to protect someone from harm (such as those who harbored Jews from the Nazis) is that a sin at all? No, there was a good excuse. But if someone lies for personal gain then that is altogether a different matter.

    I think that the intentions of someone’s heart is needed to know more about their ‘sin’.

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