"Hate your own sin and do not hate the sins of others"

Love the sinner and hate the sin is odd and strange when you look at it but many of its offshoots are as bad.

It sounds like a command to be passive aggressive.  And even worse we know that you can be very passive aggressive and not even know.  You can thump the sinner you think you love and it is only then you realise your love was fake or  you were working up enough love to produce hate. Hate and love are not opposites and love is necessary to some degree for hate to be possible.

One tip to prevent loving sinner and hating sin is to start with hating your own sins.  Another is to make sure you don't hate the sins of others more than your own.  These tips do not work.

They are advised because love the sinner and hate the sin defines the person by whatever sin it is you have the problem with.  For example, if the person is adulterous that is the sin you will be referring to.  It suggests that you are going to define the person by that sin regardless of what other sins they have or whatever else they are. You cannot hate every sin equally or every sinner equally even if you think you should.  No you pick what sin to hate.  Why are we not being honest enough to say tolerate the sinner not the sin?  Why are we trying to appear so sweet?

If I am bad in x and you are bad in x who cares what sin I direct the hate at first?  It is about the sin not about who is committing the sin.

Starting with hating your own sins is just a crafty way of saying hate your sin and forget about hating the sins of others.  That is not good news for those of us who realise that loving yourself and hating your sin is not going to make you very lovable for if you hate yourself you will start directing it at others and you cannot hurt yourself deliberately without involving somebody else.  You will feel resentful if you feel morally bound to worry only about the wrong you do as if only your wrong is important and matters.  Nobody really worries just about his or her own sins or wrong deeds.

We are told that if the other sinner is a murderer we should not think about that until we search for any anger or hate that is inside us.

We are told that if the other sinner is promiscuous we should not think about that until we see if we envy them in our hearts and harbour lustful intentions or desires ourselves.

We are told that if the other sinner is a drug addict to see if we have any addictions such as television or something that lurk in our own hearts and make us put God in second place.

Notice how God is something extra to worry about.  The atheist may worry about doing wrong but at least he or she does not have that extra burden.

Why do people fail to separate many sins from the sinner?  For example, take child molestation.  People can also be selective in what sins they want to separate!

To declare the two separate is to pretend that a person never changes but only their actions change.  That is absurd.  We feel we often have to get to know people all over again after a big change.

If you say the sinner is the sin you may be accused of saying there is no hope for them. Notice how that accusation judges YOU!  It pressures you to make excuses for the terrible misdeeds of people so that you may avoid judging them!

Some people do see their wrongdoing or sin as part of their identity.  Somebody might say they were born to be alcoholic and will die one.  Some say their genes programme them to steal.  Gay people tend to claim to be born gay and that they know it is natural.   Lots of different kinds of people say that their traits or even immorality is necessary to express who they are and what they are.

None of these people will be impressed if you tell them you love them but hate their sin.  It is possible that they are trying to make you feel you hate them to shut you up.  If they are wrong they are as good as trying to hate you or make you hate!

Severing sinner and sin ignores the fact that you cannot correct or punish or condemn an act except by correcting or punishing or condemning the sinner.  Anything else fails to communicate the seriousness of some evil deeds.  For Christians there is the eternal judgment that awaits if the sinner does not reform and turn to God's mercy.  judging deeds not character only encourages the person who has a problem.  To see your murders as acts and not as showing the kind of person you are means you are neglecting to admit how terrible they are.

To say it is not your responsibility to hold people to account for their evil or harmful actions or to try to correct them is a repudiation of love the sinner and hate the sin.  These people typically say that acts such as murder or adultery or child abuse or bank robbing are only how sin is shown but are not sins.  In other words, sin is already in you and that is how it shows its presence.  That is how it manifests.  That makes one sinner as bad as another thus there is no point in correcting anybody else or even yourself!

Anyway, are you not to blame if you think you can influence somebody to do better and don't use that influence?  The answer is that you can show them they are failing to do much better so that it becomes about missing the mark and not breaking moral rules.

Doing nothing is said to be hating the sin and the sinner.


Because there is nothing wrong with challenging people in the correct caring way.

Because it is saying they deserve to be in the place they are in and can stay in it. 

Because it is saying they are less than human.

Because it is patronisingly saying their feelings are too fragile for you to risk offending them.  Being nice to them matters more than helping them.  Thus you make it about you not them.

The consequences of love the sinner and hate the sin are hideous.  A good principle is not good at all and its flaws will be reflected in the absurd wisdom you end up with when you apply it to life.

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