Hate the Sin, Love the Sinner

I just had an interesting conversation with a fellow Christian, although I hesitate to say “fellow” here because we don’t see eye to eye at all. As with nearly every conversation I have with another Christian, it wasn’t long before this one ended up circling around to homosexuality. Why that is, I couldn’t tell you. It’s like we have this hangup about gay people that is so overpowering that it blocks out every single issue we could be talking about.

Anyway, as many Christians tend to do, this individual summed up his stance on the existence of gay people by saying (rather magnanimously), “It’s like God said: hate the sin but love the sinner.”

WHOA. Stop right there. You’re wrong.

I don’t remember God telling me to hate the sin. What verse is that, exactly? And is that King James edition, or NIV? I do remember God saying a lot about not judging, though, about planks and specks in people’s eyes, about prodigal sons and sinful kings and loving my neighbor as myself and a host of other things that I’m supposed to worry about long before I ever get around to hating what activities people engage in when I’m not looking.

God never told me personally to hate anything. More important, he did tell me not to hate. And therefore, I refuse to.

Is not hating someone’s sin the same thing as condoning it? Of course not. It is entirely the same thing, though, as saying, “God didn’t put me in charge of you. He’s got this. He does not need my input on this situation. Amen.”

When Christians finally understand that the rest of the world thinks we’re assholes for that very statement about hating sin, then we can finally start to move in the right direction towards being good ambassadors for the Lord. Until then, it’s just another pretty way of saying, “I hate something about you, and God said I could.” We’re wrong, of course, but that’s what we’re saying.


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