Note: This post is mainly for Christians, but some non-Christians can take a peek, too. Just a warning, you may be a little bit confused by what you read.
In recent times, I have become a bit annoyed by the whole “love the sinner hate the sin” concept. This may be shocking for some people. And yes, I am a Christian. I was bathed in the blood of Christ and forever forgiven from my sins because I put my trust in Him. How then can I say “love the sinner hate the sin” is flawed?
So let me explain.
I’m not saying we as Christians need to pretend to love it when people do stupid things. I’m saying let’s lose the “us vs. them” mentality.
The reason that “love the sinner hate the sin” is so ridiculous is because the two are not separate entities. Sin is not some sentient piece of black smoke that envelopes a heart when it’s done something wrong like something straight out of Once Upon A Time. Sin is any bad decision that you have ever done. And if you’re not saved by God’s grace, that is the basis of your identity. So when you say “love the sinner hate the sin” in regards to the unsaved, I have no idea what you’re talking about.
But God still hates our sin of course! But since we know that the sin and the sinner are not mutually exclusive, what does that mean?
It means that Christ did not die because of God’s wrath towards our sins. Christ died to save people from God’s wrath towards them.
…Are you seeing what I’m stepping in? I mean it’s probably not what you WANTED me to step in, but here I am, stepping right in it. I’m a rebel like that.
But if God hates sinners, how can He love them at the same time? That’s a fun question. A question for my fellow Christians: when Osama Bin Laden got nailed by the military, were you glad that they got him or concerned that he was going to Hell?
If you said both, now you understand how God works… at least, a little bit. We can be terrified of God’s wrath against sinners and amazed by His intense love for them. It is the world’s greatest mystery and paradox. And I love every bit of it.
And I love every bit of it.
As a gifted pastor once said, “How do we know that God hates sinners? Look at the cross. How do we know that God loves sinners? Look at the cross.”
But when we come to know Christ, we get something of a dual nature. We have the new part of us, the saint, that consistently strives towards Godliness, and we have the old part, the sinner, the one that we are consistently trying to kill, the part that loves its old ways and has no interest in God at all, really. But now that we have this new piece, we are like a buoyant object that even if you push into the depths will always try to resurface.
Isn’t theology fun?
So no more of this “love the sinner hate the sin” silliness. You’re a sinner too. You’re just a really, REALLY lucky one.
And for those non-Christians who decided to read this, you get that chance, too. As a sinner myself I can say that I honestly believe that I deserve Hell. But sometimes in life, we don’t get what we deserve. And I did not get that because I decided to place my trust in my savior Jesus Christ and devote my life to His work.*
*A note, I did not need to do that last part. All I needed to do was accept Christ as Lord of my life. But because I loved what He did for me I decided to do more than sit around with it.
And you get the chance to do that as well. It’s hard to admit that you need someone, but this is the chance to do that. No prayer is going to save you, but belief? That’s a whole different ball game.