Why ‘Love the Sinner; Hate the Sin’ is Opposite to Jesus’ Teaching

Have you heard believers say they ‘Love the sinner but hate the sin’? At least you likely have heard of them. In fact, they don’t love the ‘sinner’ at all—at least not the way Jesus loves people. As we read Jesus’ teachings and interactions with people, it becomes clear that Jesus’ focus is on Love. As we listen to haters of sin and watch them interact with others, it becomes clear that their focus is on Sin.

These are opposite approaches and do not represent the same love.

love-t-shirt

How Jesus Loves People

When we read about Jesus we see that he is tender and accepting of people; he accepts them as they are—broken, hurting, and alienated. He accepts them and heals them; he accepts them and speaks to their pain and restores them; he accepts them and replaces their feelings of alienation with peace and reconciliation.

Jesus doesn’t say much about sin, but his most characteristic reference to sin is, ‘Your sins are forgiven.’ Jesus’ focus is on people—not their sins. Jesus’ love is a broad love—a deep love—a personal love, and people feel that. When people met Jesus they felt the love.

Someone will certainly ask, ‘Yeah? Did Jesus love the Pharisees?’ Well Yes! Of course he did! Certain self-righteous Pharisees disdained Jesus’ message to the common people whom they looked down upon, condescended to, and disparaged. These Pharisees rejected Jesus’ acceptance of all people and accused him of consorting with sinners himself. And Jesus called them on it.

But Jesus loved the Pharisees just as he loved everyone else. Witness his touching discussion with Nicodemus in John 3; how can you demonstrate more empathy, compassion, and concern that this? Witness the Pharisees in Luke 13 who warned Jesus to escape the area because of Herod’s plan to kill him; Jesus must have won their respect.

So Jesus loved everyone; and he did not focus on their ‘sin’. In fact, among his last words he demonstrated love toward his killers: ‘Father forgive them for they know not what they do.’

Recently, we talked about Jesus’ statement that we should love others as we love ourselves, and we suggested 48 short, simple suggestions on how we can go about doing that. But those who love the sinner and hate the sin don’t show love that way.

How Haters of Sin Show Love

Those who love the sinner and hate the sin do not love as Jesus loves. Jesus openly accepts people, but haters of sin typically reject people unless they ‘get saved’ and stop ‘sinning’. Jesus speaks to people’s pain and heals them; haters of sin accuse them and badger them. The love of those who hate sin is terribly distorted. They claim to love the sinner; but it is a restricted, shallow kind of love much different from Jesus’ love. There are three primary applications of their love.

‘Love the sinner’ means ‘I don’t want to see you burn in hell forever’. This is laudable but misguided; the loving God does not punish people in hell. For haters of sin, it is far more important to ‘save’ people from ‘hell’ than to love people personally and with empathy as Jesus did.

‘Love the sinner’ means exposing and judging their ‘sins’. Jesus didn’t do this. He reached out to people in love and with good news to make them whole; and when people are whole they are better able to avoid destructive behavior, live better lives, and love others appropriately. Healing and reconciliation change behavior from the inside—not from the outside as legalism does.

‘Love the sinner’ means calling them to embrace certain ‘right beliefs’ and to observe God’s many rules. But Jesus never asked people to follow religious rules; religious rules were a major area the Pharisees got wrong. Jesus shared the good news and taught a few principles instead, and Jesus never required people to subscribe to any detailed doctrinal creed.

In my opinion, the perspective of ‘Love the sinner; hate the sin’ is terribly inadequate and does not reflect the teaching, attitude, or practice of Jesus. It falls far short of the love Jesus teaches and, in fact, runs counter to it. It also alienates people from Christians and the church—and sometimes even from Jesus.

What is ‘Sin’ Anyway?

One of the biggest problem with ‘love the sinner; hate the sin’ is that you cannot separate the ‘sinner’ from the ‘sin’. Attacking ‘sin’ is attacking the person. Hating the ‘sin’ feels just like hating the ‘sinner’. Jesus never approached people as ‘sinners’ but as people. The answer to ‘sin’ is healing, reconciliation, and genuine love; hating ‘sin’ leads to further alienation.

With all this emphasis on sin, we must ask: What is sin anyway? Haters of sin understand sin in two ways. First of all, it is something we are born with because of what Adam did in the Garden. To haters of sin, we are all born sinful and depraved. Jesus never taught this.

Secondly, haters of sin understand sin as transgression of God’s commandments—and those commandments are endless. ‘Don’t do this; don’t do that; and if you do then you are a sinner. Sinner! Sinner! Sinner! Listen to me. I am trying to help you here because I love you; but I hate your sin.’

Jesus never suggests that our problem is not following religious rules, nor that we were born sinful and depraved. Jesus saw people in pain, unloved, and alienated. So Jesus healed them, loved them, and brought reconciliation.

Jesus focuses on love, while haters of sin focus on sin. Let us be like Jesus. Let us love as Jesus loves.

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This entry was posted in alienation, Jesus, legalism, love, Pharisees, sin, sinners and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

71 Responses to Why ‘Love the Sinner; Hate the Sin’ is Opposite to Jesus’ Teaching

  1. intangibl3 says:

    Wow that is powerful… And just what I needed actually. I’ve been struggling with my faith but this, I believe, has helped me tremendously. Thank you so much and God bless!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Donald John says:

    Excellent. Psalm 5:5. The Lord God hates all workers of iniquity.

    Also, “Jesus; friend of sinners” is not biblical. A friend is someone who runs with you. A friend of a sinner is another sinner. Jesus knew no sin. Yeshua actually said in Mark 9 that it was better to cut off your hand, foot or pluck out your eye rather than sin and be cast into hell fire.

    The wages of sin is death. Jesus Christ is the resurrection & the life.

    God hates sin and if you are given away to a reprobate mind because of your love of sin…well then Jehovah hates you. Bible.

    God is love. John 3:16.

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    • Anthony Paul says:

      Donald: Thank you for reminding us that “God hates all workers of iniquity”, “God hates sin”, and that “…because of [one’s] love of sin… well then Jehovah hates you.”

      You punctuate all this with the well-worn cliche “God is love” and yet (as I see with too many christians) I suspect that you feel separated and above the human element of sin; I fail to see any element of compassion and caring for the sinful plight of mankind in your post as many have found in the work and ministry of Jesus. Sadly, the world is indeed populated by sinners — each of us at one time or another either struggling against it or giving in to its destructive tentacles… knowing that the world has fallen into a pit, and knowing that Jesus, loving the world, did not come to condemn it, should keep us from the pride of the Pharisee who was grateful for not being like the others… knowing that the world is such a fallen place in the face of God’s eternal love for us all should make us weep.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. God is love. Jesus said love God and love others. Love is the way of God. We are not told to judge or condemn, but to love. Great article.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Anthony Paul says:

    Great post!!! I never really gave the phrase much thought until now. What you say makes a great deal of sense and it also may offer a possible answer to a question that has been bothering me for quite some time: If christians have so much love and compassion for their fellow man, why are they so often rejected, and, though not necessarily in all cases despised or hated, they still find themselves marginalized and cast aside as “haughty” or “judgmental” by those of us who live in the real world.

    I would like to offer a quick anecdote; about a week ago my wife received a card and a personal note from an old college friend from whom she had not heard in about 30 years. Along with other interesting news, that friend wrote that she and her younger son are estranged from and lack any sort of communication with her older son and his family… she simply goes on to say, “He and his family are christians.” How sad that this lady, now in her seventies, should find herself alienated from her own blood while those who claim to live their lives in accordance with the teachings of Jesus should find themselves under indictment as “christians”.

    Many here will agree, I’m sure, that far from being a single isolated incident many can point to similar cases in their own experience. I know of a family member who is a Bible quoting evangelical who mixes a certain quality of “humility” and compassion but, in fact, exudes an undeniable air of pride in being among those who are “saved”; I just can’t help getting the feeling that her agenda, like so many like her, is to judge others through their sin, feign concern for their souls, and then keep themselves at a distance from the muck and mire of every day life as a way of separating themselves for “God’s work”, always under the false banner: “Love the sinner. Hate the sin”.

    Well, I’ve said more than enough… your article has given us all a great deal to think about, for sure.
    Thanks! Great post!!!

    Liked by 2 people

    • jesuswithoutbaggage says:

      Anthony, you have just described the world I lived in for perhaps 30 years. Haughty, judgmental, proud to be among the ‘saved’. It is really sad. I think they genuinely wish to serve God, but they are so bound by harmful baggage (angry god, legalism, penal substitution…) that they come across as judgmental, unpleasant, and offensive.

      Christianity has become so much associated with intrusive, alienating, and judgmental behavior that I rarely use the word ‘Christian’. Instead I usually refer to myself as a believer or a follower of Jesus.

      Many (I mean MANY) people DO avoid and reject aggressive, condescending ‘Christians’, but then the rejected Christians begin to talk about Jesus saying that his followers would be persecuted. Pushback against this kind of assault is not persecution.

      I really wish these folks who try so hard to represent Jesus would find his good news message and lose the baggage.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Anthony Paul says:

        “I really wish these folks who try so hard to represent Jesus would find his good news message and lose the baggage.”

        I will gladly add my own “Amen” to that, Tim.

        Jesus was a revolutionary and Christianity was supposed to bring revolution as an instrument of change based on the freedom which God’s love and grace brings to all who are ready to appropriate it within their lives. Instead, the church has become a place of business… it is little more than a corner within the temple where the money changers and the hawkers of sacrificial beasts offer their wares to anyone who comes to worship. In short, church today is just another business, an institution where everyone who joins is expected to think and act just like everyone else. And that is why, in my opinion, the church is now struggling to remain relevant in a world where, to quote Jesus Himself, it has merely become, like the Pharisees of His day, “blind guides of the blind.”

        Liked by 1 person

        • jesuswithoutbaggage says:

          Anthony, you said “Christianity was supposed to bring revolution as an instrument of change based on the freedom which God’s love and grace brings to all who are ready to appropriate it within their lives.” I think you are talking about the kingdom of God on Earth.

          I fully agree, and I think this revolution is continuing apace, though it is not the same as the growth of the visible church. In fact, as you say, the church has often seriously compromised the objectives of the kingdom; but that does not mean the kingdom movement no longer spreads and grows throughout the Earth. It is done, not so much visibly, but as properly oriented kingdom citizens influence others in an almost invisible way all around the world.

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          • Anthony Paul says:

            Yes, Tim, I do believe that you and I are in agreement on these points. To further emphasize what you have said here, I must admit that all the time I physically spent in any of the churches I attended never had the same beneficial effect as that occasional passing contact with someone whose life was a reflection of Christ’s compassion and love for others. Such a man was Father Kelly, a priest who attended one of my high school retreats back in 1962; he was a man with a wonderful sense of humor who spoke out of a sense of spiritual freedom and God’s unconditional love for us all as he also lived out this belief in his own life and work. I am 71 years old now and I will always hold him near to my heart for the caring and love he showed us as young men who were struggling with so many issues of our time. The closest I have come to Father Kelly today are the writings of Father Henri Nouwen (deceased), author of The Return Of The Prodigal Son… A Story Of Homecoming, and many other works whose theme can best be summarized in Henri’s phrase, “We are all God’s beloved.” If you are not familiar with Father Nouwen’s works, Tim, I highly recommend them to you as your own writings seem quite in tune with his and I am sure that you will find them most uplifting.

            Liked by 1 person

          • jesuswithoutbaggage says:

            Anthony, I would like to have met Father Kelly. I am aware of Henri Nouwen but have not read much of his work.

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  5. Donald John says:

    Jesus was criticized by the religious hypocrites of his day. The Pharisees could not understand why Jesus wined & dined with notorious sinners. Yeshua came to display the love of YHWH in that when we were still sinners, he died for every sin praying “Forgive them Father…”

    To me, a “sinner” is someone who lives an active lifestyle of sin without repentance or concern for God’s ultimate sacrifice. Jesus is pleading with us to come to the cross and “Go and sin no more” so as far as “standing” with the sinners…well, blessed is the man who standeth not in the way of sinners…

    Those who are sinners are of the devil who sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested to destroy the works of the devil. Sinners crucify the Son of God afresh bringing Yeshua to public shame every day.

    I hope this clarifies my point of view on the matter, sir. Shalom.

    Liked by 1 person

    • jesuswithoutbaggage says:

      Yes Donald, it does help clarify. And I appreciate the clarification.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Chas says:

      Donald, responding to your sentence: ‘to me, a “sinner” is someone who lives an active lifestyle of sin without repentance, or concern for God’s ultimate sacrifice.’ My definition of sin is for someone to do something that they know might lead to suffering (so far, no-one has argued against this definition, or offered a better one). If a person is leading a lifestyle that is causing suffering, but is not aware that it is doing so, then they would not be sinning and would have no reason to turn away from their behavior (repent).

      Liked by 1 person

      • Donald John says:

        Chas,

        “sin” is an archery term meaning “to miss the mark” so you wouldn’t be wrong with your definition. All have sinned and fallen short of God. Let us remain repentant with the blood sprinkling of Jesus Christ the Lamb of Jehovah Elohim.

        Bless You.

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        • Chas says:

          Donald, I do not believe that my personal relationship with God depends on the blood of Jesus, neither do I believe that Jesus was the Anointed One. He could not be that , since it would have required him to be a direct male-line-only descendant of king David, which he could not be, since he was the Son of God. There is no evidence, independent of the Bible, to show that Saul, David or Solomon ever existed. Similarly, there is no evidence, independent of the Bible, that the state of Israel ever existed before May 14 1948.

          Like

  6. Charlotte Robertson says:

    Oh, I love this. But what when Jesus says: Go and sin no more? I suppose Jesus knew that that is impossible anyway, though.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Anthony Paul says:

    Charlotte, I believe you are right on point here… Jesus could do no less than call each of us to a place of perfection (“Be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect”); the difference being that so many believe that they can reach that impossible goal in this life whereas Jesus understood that this would be a work that only God Himself would complete sometime perhaps in the cosmic realm of eternity.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Chas says:

      Anthony, if that goal was not to be achievable in this life, why would it have been given as an order. It has also been written: “nothing is impossible WITH God.”

      Liked by 1 person

      • jesuswithoutbaggage says:

        Chas, do you subscribe to the holiness doctrine of perfection? In any case, what is your definition of Christian perfection?

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        • Chas says:

          Tim, I have no idea what the holiness doctrine of perfection is, but doctrine is a concept that denotes religiosity to me. In regard to perfection in matters relating to God, I believe that it is possible to be perfect in obedience to God.

          Liked by 1 person

          • jesuswithoutbaggage says:

            Chas, then what do you mean by ‘perfection’? How do you describe perfection in this context?

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          • Chas says:

            Tim, the definition of being perfect in obedience to God would be to do exactly what He asked us to do.

            Liked by 1 person

          • jesuswithoutbaggage says:

            Chas, this is too vague for me to understand. What is perfect obedience to God? I doubt you mean legalism. You say by doing what he asks us to do. What does he ask us to do? I am very skittish of any claim to perfection; it has been abused by so many and tends to degrade into the twin attitudes of arrogance and condemnation.

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          • Chas says:

            Tim, I cannot see how what I have put can be too vague. It is a short and unambiguous. What is too vague? What God asks us to do is individual to each of us and it varies from one occasion to the next. I do what I become aware that God wants me to do. Whether I do that perfectly, only God knows.

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          • jesuswithoutbaggage says:

            Okay.

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          • jesuswithoutbaggage says:

            Chas, after your last comment I was going to let the discussion drop, but I have one more question. Perhaps I am dense, but I have difficulty with undefined terms. You said, “What God asks us to do is individual to each of us and it varies from one occasion to the next.” Can you share some examples of what sorts of things this might include? If I try to imagine what they might be, I would just be guessing at what you mean.

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          • Chas says:

            Tim, There are many examples that come to mind. One that stands out was when I was sent to a church in a nearby part of town with a specific message for someone, but I did not know who that was (especially as I had visited that church only once or twice before, and so did not really know any of the regulars). Anyway, I went along and sat through the service. At the end, I was speaking to someone when I noticed a lady who was a former member of my regular church, so I waited until she had finished talking to somebody and then went over to her. She was not the person to whom I had been sent, but she told me that her daughter was there, and pointed her out. The message was for her, so I gave it to her and found that God had already prepared her to receive the message, so she had no difficulty in accepting it.

            Liked by 1 person

          • jesuswithoutbaggage says:

            Chas, the example really helped. Thanks for the clarification.

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      • Anthony Paul says:

        I happen to believe that our mortal lives are but a small part of our total existence as we travel through eternity. When Christ said “Be ye perfect”, He never suggested that anyone would ever reach that state of perfection in the short time that we are clothed in this physical garb on Earth. Christ spoke a great deal about The Kingdom Of Heaven as an extension of life on Earth (“The Kingdom is among you”) and so I don’t know where people get the notion that we are supposed to attain to a full knowledge of wisdom, understanding, and perfection while on this short journey called “life on Earth”. Life continues after death, in my opinion, and knowledge and personal growth continue as well.

        Secondly, I don’t know why Christ commanded us to be perfect unless it’s because if He had said “Be ye mediocre” it might not have played so well in The Bible. But I do know that I have never met anyone who could say that they were perfect; I believe we could say the same of anyone throughout the annals of history.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. tonycutty says:

    Re the Pharisees, some of them actually did come to believe in Jesus. See Acts 15:5ff. And note that they were still up to their legalism tricks! 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  9. luckyotter says:

    I wholeheartedly agree. Some Christians give love lip service, but act anything but loving. They focus on legalism, condescension, and hatred, but call it “love.” I don’t believe that kind of “love” is what Christ had in mind. They conveniently forget that Jesus counted among his friends the sinners, the “unclean,” the unwashed, the whores, and the lepers. He loved them unconditionally. That doesn’t mean he approves of sin, of course, but the way he treated these sinful followers was way different than the ways certain “Christians” treat those they think are “less than” they are. They are full of hubris and pride, and don’t see the sin in themselves.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Great post. For me it helps to think about both love and sin in terms of relationships. Love has to do with reconciled relationships while sin has to do with broken relationships. It goes far beyond the actions in that way.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. sheila0405 says:

    As I mulled this over, I’d prefer Christianity based on the Gospels, scrubbing out references to outer darkness. Toss out Revelation, the OT and the Epistles, too.

    Liked by 1 person

    • jesuswithoutbaggage says:

      Sheila, I understand your sentiment; my focus is on the gospels as well, and for some people it might be better to avoid the rest of the NT if they don’t understand the context. But I think the entire NT is rich if we approach it appropriately.

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  12. We are also told to abhor what is evil, and that includes the sin in our own hearts. Jesus came to save people from sin not to love the sin or condone it. Sin is rebellion against God. How can he love that? How can we? The greatest way to love people is to point them to Jesus, love unconditionally, show grace, serve them, and pray for them. Jesus came to free people and heal people and save people. Sin binds people and breaks relationships. How can any follower of Christ love that? Hating sin and judging people are two very different things. There is only one judge and we aren’t Him. Sin put Jesus on the cross. Sin in us and in everyone else. That should sicken us. To truly love others means to want them to experience freedom in Christ. Condoning sin in ourselves and in others is the opposite of love. Jesus never did it and neither should we. We can be kind, gracious, hospitable, and serve others. We can lay our lives down for other sinners and still despise sin. Sin brings death, love brings life. By hating sin we don’t place ourselves above anyone else. It’s no different than hating cancer. We are all infected by the cancerous sin which is why we have to point people to the cure…Jesus.

    Liked by 1 person

    • jesuswithoutbaggage says:

      Ground, in challenging what I believe to be a harmful and misguided attitude perhaps I left the impression that I ‘love and condone’ what you and others call ‘sin’. This is not the case. My point is that loving and accepting people is much more important than addressing their negative behavior and failures.

      However, I think we may think differently on what sin actually is. You state: “Sin is rebellion against God.” No! Sin is brokenness, pain, and dysfunctional behavior that hurts our self or other people. God does not judge us for sin but heals us of it. As we follow Jesus and learn of him, the love of the Father takes away our fear and alienation so that we can begin to love ourselves and then to love others as ourselves. This love arises from within us.

      We come to Jesus as we are and begin to grow; we do not have to become ‘good enough’ for him to accept us. This is a problem with ‘haters of sin’; they focus on the sin instead of sharing the good news of God’s love for people.

      You state: “We can lay our lives down for other sinners and still despise sin.” But people are not separate from their sinful dysfunction. The dysfunction is part of the person, so when we despise sin we are despising the person. I agree that we should point people to Jesus but not as the cure to sinful behavior. We point people to Jesus because of the good news of God’s love and peace, freedom, and happiness of the kingdom.

      Perhaps our difference of expression is more semantic than theological, but I still believe the attitude of ‘Love the sinner; hate the sin’ is severely misguided. Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us.

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      • Chas says:

        Tim, it is not clear that there is any difference between the views of ForCommonGround and yours. If sin is defined as doing something that we know will cause suffering, then it would follow that God would not want people not to do it. For someone to go ahead and do it, knowing of the suffering that it might cause, could therefore be defined as rebellion against God. This definition of sin is consistent with the latter part of your statement: ‘Sin is brokenness, pain, and dysfunctional behavior that hurts our self, or other people’, but it is the inclusion of the suffering within the definition of sin that has caused the division.

        Liked by 1 person

        • jesuswithoutbaggage says:

          Chas, perhaps you have a point. There may be common ground between the way I talk about sin and the way CommonGround talks about sin. However, the language seems very similar to those who, in my opinion, have a misguided view of sin. The two views of sin–that sin is primarily against God vs. being primarily against people–are not at all the same thing. The one leads to legalism and the other to reconciliation.

          Of course, everyone has the right to their own beliefs and words can be misunderstood, but I believe viewing sin as infractions against God’s commandments leads us to unhealthy understandings about God and alienation, and it also prevents us from a proper approach to behavior, peace, and reconciliation.

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          • Chas says:

            Tim, as I mentioned, in the definition of sin that I used, a sin against a person would also be a sin against God.

            Liked by 1 person

          • jesuswithoutbaggage says:

            Chas, I take your point. In fact I say almost the same thing in an earlier post: “Offenses against others are offenses against the Father in one sense: the Father does not wish us to experience this pain and alienation; he does not want people to be hurt. But he cares equally for the offended and the offender. So, absent our offenses against others, all offense against the Father disappears.”
            https://jesuswithoutbaggage.wordpress.com/2016/03/21/are-sins-primarily-sins-against-god/

            I can say the words, ‘God hates sin’, but the common use of such language among millions of believers is a judgmental and condescending one. A bit more than 10 years ago, I learned that I had cancer–a bad one! For two years I was in treatment and chemotherapy, and to everyone’s surprise I went into remission. I had a number of doctors during this time and not a one of them said, ‘Tim, I really like you but I hate your cancer.’ Instead, they said, ‘You have cancer, let us work to try to heal it together.’ Even though the cancer was part of me, they did not make me feel as though it was an essential part of who I was.

            It is not the words, ‘God hates sin’, that bother me but the way the words are usually used to judge and reject us. God comes to me as a healer of sin, and through his love he works with me to heal my brokenness and dysfunctional behavior; and I cooperate with his work in me just as I did with the cancer doctors.

            Yes, ‘God hates sin’; but why even mention it? What is the point? God’s focus is not on hating our sin but on loving us. God brings us peace, healing, and reconciliation which modifies our dysfunctional behavior from the inside.

            In today’s religious environment, ‘God hates sin’ smacks of angry god, legalism, alienation, and penal substitutionary atonement–all extremely harmful understandings of how God relates to us. Part of the reason for my responses to Common Ground is that his/her initial comment seems to imply those same beliefs. I wish Common Ground would clarify their statement so I could understand more clearly where it is coming from.

            Chas, thanks for being a reconciling middle-man. This is good dialog.

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  13. jeffreyreum says:

    Very good, I was worried when I read the title, suppose that is the old programming kicking in.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Having just left the Pentecostal denomination, I heard that phrase all the time and recently began thinking how Antichrist it was. Your article is a breath of fresh air.

    Liked by 1 person

    • jesuswithoutbaggage says:

      Dividing, thanks for the kind words. I was Pentecostal for about 25 years and I also heard it all the time–and it was almost always said in judgmental terms.

      Like

  15. Seeking says:

    Using your perspective, how are people to respond to abusers and murderers with loving them, keeping safe and desiring reconciling with them when the abusers and murderers don’t think their actions were hurtful, that the victim deserved it or that it was their right to abuse or murder innocent people?

    Liked by 1 person

    • jesuswithoutbaggage says:

      Seeking,

      I don’t think people should respond to abusers and murderers with hate; hate will just eat us up inside. Neither should they respond out of revenge; that just increases the violence. Instead, I think it is better to respond in practical ways to hold them accountable and protect one’s self and others.

      Especially with abusers, I think it best to always report them to the police (not just the church) and prosecute them. Forgive them, whether they ‘repent’ or not, in order to release the toxic hate, and get a restraining order against them. Always report them and do not give in to their pleas for reconciliation–abusers almost always continue abusing.

      Also, the victim should be prepared (especially in churches) to hear or believe that you (the victim) caused the abuse by your own actions; this is rarely true. Abuse is not the victim’s fault.

      See articles and resources on abuse:
      https://jesuswithoutbaggage.wordpress.com/books-and-resources/books-and-resources-on-todays-fundamentalism-patriarchy-home-schooling-purity-culture/

      Like

      • Seeking says:

        God has made it clear that we are to love others and hate sin:

        (1 John 4:20 NIV) Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen.

        (Hebrews 1:9 NIV) You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness; therefore God, your God, has set you above your companions by anointing you with the oil of joy.”

        (Isaiah 61:8 NIV) “For I, the Lord, love justice; I hate robbery and wrongdoing. In my faithfulness I will reward my people and make an everlasting covenant with them.

        (Jeremiah 44:4 NIV) Again and again I sent my servants the prophets, who said, ‘Do not do this detestable thing that I hate!’

        (Ecclesiastes 3:8 NIV) a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace.

        (Psalm 97:10 NIV) Let those who love the Lord hate evil, for he guards the lives of his faithful ones and delivers them from the hand of the wicked.

        (Proverbs 6:16 NIV)
        16 There are six things the Lord hates,
        seven that are detestable to him:
        17 haughty eyes,
        a lying tongue,
        hands that shed innocent blood,
        18 a heart that devises wicked schemes,
        feet that are quick to rush into evil,
        19 a false witness who pours out lies
        and a person who stirs up conflict in the community.

        (Romans 12:9 NIV) Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good.

        God hates sin because it robs people of the love that He designed each of us to give to each other in His name for Him to be glorified through us. And when we fail to love, but sin instead, people don’t like this God whom we say that we follow and lives in us.

        Having said that though, the hardest thing about loving abusers and murderers and hating their sinful choices is trying to explain to them that they are not their choices, but they, just, chose badly based on faulty thinking; and it is hard for them to understand that they are loved unconditionally as they are, but their destructive behaviors need to stop immediately and sometimes using legal action because they chose not to heed the warnings leading up to the legal step. The abusers and murderers think that the victim is being is unloving and unfair to them setting these limits; and the abusers and murderers feel rejected and angered that they cannot continue their destructive behaviors since they do not see them as wrong.

        Even with explaining that they are loved no matter what (not rejected), but their destructive behavior is being rejected and that they need to understand well why their destructiveness is wrong, repent and make changes over a long period of time before any emotional relationships or relational privileges could be revisited. But, a separation and legal action are the appropriate steps to take until then. They don’t understand how love can be unconditional for them and yet privileges and emotional relationships are conditional based on their ability to respect others and be committed to treat others in a way that protects others’ emotionally and physically safety. Not everyone who is loved unconditionally understands that tough measures need to be taken against them until their thinking is realigned to the point that they, too, can at least live in the presence of others without harming them, even if they don’t understand how to love others unconditionally themselves….

        It seems that loving the sinner, hating the sin still can apply, just in a loving way as good boundaries are set for the benefit of protecting the victim and for redirecting the fallen destructive ones back to a better path…

        Liked by 1 person

        • jesuswithoutbaggage says:

          Seeking, I am not suggesting that we advocate ‘sin’; I believe we should love all people and treat them with empathy, compassion, and care. My point is that many of those who claim to ‘love the sinner and hate the sin’ actually act as though they hate the ‘sinner’ by judging and condemning them. This does not feel like love at all to the ‘sinner’.

          Like

          • Seeking says:

            Yes, this is true. Our motivation for confrontation and boundaries is not to use our anger to condemn or boink anyone over the head with their wrongful actions, but to kindly, gently, and lovingly call them back to a more loving path and righteously in Christ resolve a true wrong. Using anger to confront is no different than the wrong that others did to us.

            (1 Corinthians 10:12 NIV) So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall!

            We need to learn to distinguish between addressing the bad action of the person and not attack the person.

            (Ephesians 6:12 NIV) For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.

            But, Jesus is Truth and Grace.

            John 1:17 For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.

            Hate the sin, love the sinner BUT in his spirit of Wisdom, Truth and Grace so that He is made known with his word and actions becoming flesh through us.

            (John 1:14 NIV) The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.

            That are some of the hardest parts of our journey here in Christ: dying to our flesh by replacing (with God’s Truths in Scripture) the learned lies and old ways, unlearning bad messages that were taught and demonstrated to us and believed by us as truth about how to communicate missteps to each other; they were, really, destructive lies that end up damaging and break relationships, among other things….

            (Romans 8:13-14 NIV) 13 For if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live. 14 Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the flesh.

            (Philippians 2:12 NIV) Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling.

            I am grateful that God has opened my eyes to His better ways. I, only, wished it were sooner for learning and sooner for living. But, in His mercy, I am being given a chance to be made new as I, too, learn how to love unconditionally in His Truth and Grace with His leading, addressing sin in myself and others as God directs, but loving the sinner, including myself! What a wild and wonderful journey! And I am glad there are people who desire God’s will as well to encourage others to remain on His path and being others to Him as well!

            Thanks for allowing me to bounce ideas back and forth with you, encouraging each other and sharpening each other.

            (Proverbs 27:17 NIV) As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.

            Christ’s Love, Peace and Joy to you!
            Pleased 🙂

            Liked by 1 person

          • jesuswithoutbaggage says:

            Seeking, I am glad you feel comfortable expressing your thoughts here. As I read your comment just now I find that I agree with your intent, though I would use different language. I think that in our journey of following Jesus we do continually grow in correcting behaviors that get in our way of doing so most effectively–we are being transformed (being made new, as you say).

            And the longer we follow Jesus and focus on his teaching and example the more we will be transformed. As we allow God’s love to change our fears, brokenness, and alienation to trust, healing, and reconciliation, we can love ourselves better and leave behind behaviors and attitudes that are actually harmful. In doing this we also find we can love others more by seeing them as God sees them–with unending love–and by treating them with empathy, compassion, and care.

            Yes we should abandon harmful behaviors (‘sin’), but I don’t think it is helpful to beat other people up for their harmful behaviors in a judgmental, condemning way. They may be on a journey with Jesus, too, and being transformed–but maybe not as far along the journey as we are.

            Like

          • Seeking says:

            I am not sure where the translation is being lost; but, I think we are on the same page agreeing that it is motivation of the love of Christ that leads all as we, all, grow in his character and address issues that are troublesome with ourselves or others. No judgment or condemnation is acceptable as we encourage each other regardless of where they are on their journey, just a gentle reminder that the better path is a different way…
            🙂

            Liked by 1 person

          • jesuswithoutbaggage says:

            Seeking, I also think we are on the same page.

            Like

  16. Alex Piper says:

    Hahahahaha

    Oh wait, you’re serious!

    Let me laugh even harder

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

    Liked by 1 person

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