Saturday, January 03, 2009

Hate Sin, But Love The Sinner: Scriptural?

Where in the Bible are Christian's instructed, encouraged, or exhorted to hate? And if so, hate what?

And where in scripture are we told to love the sinner while hating his sin? When an unregenerate man's sin condemns him to hell, is God only going to send his sin to hell, or that man?! And if the man, than is God guilty of not separating the man from his sin as we think we're told to do when we love the sinner, but hate his sin?

And in looking at the life of Christ, do we see scripture telling us that Jesus separated the man from the sin when confronting the Pharisees ("brood of vipers" [Matt. 23:33])?

So, is "hate the sin, but love the sinner" supported by scripture? If so, where? If not, then what should be our response to someone who uses this phrase?

What say you? Chapter and verse, please.

24 Comments:

At 1/04/2009 6:52 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Psalm 4:5 says: The foolish shall not stand in thy sight: thou hatest all workers of iniquity.

Clearly God hates the workers as well as the work of iniquity. this doesn't mean that God won't recieve a person that changes. When a worker of iniquity turns from that Inquity and asks for forgiveness God forgives becuase God is concerned with reconciliatoin.

 
At 1/06/2009 11:59 AM, OpenID tcblack said...

The Hatred of the sin is clearly a part of hating even the garment stained with the flesh of Jude 1:22-23 "And have mercy on some, who are doubting; save others, snatching them out of the fire; and on some have mercy with fear, hating even the garment polluted by the flesh."

The love of the sinner is clear also throughout the Scriptures. We are told not merely to love our enemies but also our bretheren.
Somewhere in between is it conceivable we are not to love sinners?

Will you find all of it in one verse, perhaps not. But the doctrine does fit.

 
At 1/07/2009 2:55 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have a brother (physical) who lived a lie - at the same time as fathering 5 children he was also secretly a practicing homosexual (now HIV positive). He finally up and left his family, left the church and seemingly has left the Christian faith. Yes I hate the sin of homosexuality and on the one hand I still love my brother. On the other I despise him for what he has done to his children and how manipulative he still is. I have little relationship with him as I find I cannot love the sinner as well as hating the sin. I really dislike being in my brothers presence, but I know other Christian brethren who by grace have tried to minister to him over the years.

 
At 1/09/2009 2:06 PM, Blogger Puritan Lad said...

If those who promote the idea of "love the sinner, hate the sin" mean to say that we should express out own love toward those who sin through the preaching of the gospel, I agree. But to suggest that God loves the sinner whom He does not redeem is not only unscriptural, as you have rightly pointed out, but it also draws an unbiblical distinction between the sinner and his sin. For what is there in a sinner except sin? What in a sinner could move God to love him should God not be pleased to do so?

In the end, God casts the sinner into Hell, not just his sinz.

 
At 1/09/2009 5:27 PM, Blogger J. K. Jones said...

Question for you guys:

God's common grace / mercy is expressed every day. After all, many of us do not go to the hell we deserve.

What motivate's God's common grace and mercy?

 
At 5/02/2009 8:37 PM, Anonymous LawJoc said...

I am without words... but i can think of this "For yet I was a sinner, He loved me so much that He died for me". I am a warrior, literally. A cop and over the years back to Active Duty and the Air National Guard services three times. The way is narrow, though many are called few are chosen. Ask your self ARE YOU REALLY A BELIEVER! Search your own heart. Fight the good fight and preach the gospel. If you know it. Thanks Rambling's of a MAD MAN

 
At 6/16/2009 5:56 PM, Anonymous Gabbers said...

Is it not also a doctrine of Christianity that no human being is perfect, that all os uf are sinners? Didn't Jesus Christ die on the cross to rid us of our sins, ALL of us? How much does a sinner have to sin to be considered a sinner? I think it is very Christian indeed to love all of humankind and not to judge our fellow man; it is not our place to do so, but God's. And I think it is also clear from all holy writings that, though God may want us to live according to His commandments, He also loves us all unconditionally - which is why we are here.

 
At 2/07/2011 7:10 PM, Blogger alterego aka blessed-be said...

i agree with Gabbers... "it is very Christian indeed to love all of humankind and not to judge our fellow man; it is not our place to do so, but God's."

i like the phrase "Love the sinner... Not his sins" i'm not big on hatred. Hate is such a strong emotion and sparks ill thoughts and actions towards others. we have to remember that a sin is still a sin... it does not matter what sin is greater... if you have sinned even the smallest of sins... you are still a sinner. however, even the sinner can have a change of heart and seek redemption and for me... a believer that Jesus Christ is my Savior... I cannot condemn the sinner according to his sins but help him find his way to redemption with Jesus himself.

 
At 3/15/2011 10:09 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

How does scripture support this? Are you serious? Jesus spent his lifetime amongst and loving the sinner(which would ential ALL OF US), and judging not! Satan is the creator of these things....and wants us to argue and dispute and question. God is a loving and merciful God. How do you hate the sin, and love the sinner. You quite simply love and embrace all the children of God, and you PRAY that the end of Satan's reign will come to an end. Satan and Satan alone is the creator of "SIN"...an we all are guilty of, and born of sin. Pray...Love, and have deep FAITH in the one who created you. Love Thy Neighbor.....

 
At 4/20/2011 3:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Heb 1:9 and Psalms 45:7 says that God loves righteousness and HATES wickedness. Hate is a strong emotion. Paul said in ephesians to be imitators of God. God hates wickedness, so do I.

 
At 5/11/2011 11:26 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

‘Love the Sinner Hate the Sin’is from Mahatma Gandhi - a man that never accepted Christ and even spoke out against Christianity

 
At 7/25/2011 1:50 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jesus said the exact opposite. He said that I am to love the sinner - Hate my own sin - and when I've dealt with my own sin then I can have a conversation with my brother or sister about their sin.

 
At 10/04/2011 7:30 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

1 John 3: 13 - 15 and 1 John 4: 7 - 21. Clearly these verses are all about loving one another. Can we be selective in our loving? If our neighbor is a sinner, does that negate the 'Love your neighbor as yourself' clause? Romans 3: 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. We are all sinners yet he still loved us enough to allow us to follow him into eternity. Of the aforementioned verses one truly sticks out to me. 1 John 4: 19: "We love because he first loved us". First the phrase 'We love' gives the very definition to the action of loving, something even non believers do. Secondly the word 'first' usually means he did it before we did. Thus he taught the world how to love by first showing his love to the world, sinners and the saved. In conclusion, God hates sin, not the sinner.

 
At 1/19/2012 7:42 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe I'm way off, but it is not our place to judge someone who is sinning, because we ourselves, by human nature, also sin. You can love a person and not love what they are doing. That doesn't mean you hate the person they are inside, you just despise the actions they're performing. You can try to steer them to God, but you can't make them believe. Some may say if you are around them, you are going to start doing the things they do. In some cases, this may be true. But if you are strong in your faith, this shouldn't be an issue. And we all have something we do that would fall short in God's eyes. I have gay friends. I love them for who they are, but I don't participate in their lifestyle. I show my faith outwardly around them and if they choose to believe, so be it. In the end, it is not my choice to make. They have to make that choice for themselves. Call it cliched, but it's the old "lead the horse to water" adage. I will continue to love people for who they are so much as they aren't trying to force their opinions/actions on me.

 
At 2/06/2012 4:59 PM, Blogger pennmartkd said...

This kind of statement is dangerous. It's not about whether or not we should embrace sin. That's a no brainer. The issue is the arrogance that goes along with the statement. Scriptures such as "he who is without sin cast the first stone", "don't point out the splinter in another's eye when there is a plan in your own", and "Christ died for us while we were yet sinners" all point to a combination of grace and humility. Every one of us has sin in our lives we are blind to, and will die with those sins unrepented. To argue otherwise is amazingly prideful. And so we all trust in God's grace to be far more abundant than we are as humans. The problem with folks who bandy this doctrine about as a badge of personal holiness or public spirituality is that they are automatically alienating a huge group of people for whom that statement is the equivalent of calling them worthless and unloveable. There is semantic games we can play, but the reality is that the baggage to that statement with Christians is that the tone of the statement is dripping with an offensive judgement that is reserved for God alone. If we want people to hear the gospel we need to model Christ and love them unconditionally in the midst of whatever sin is going on(just as we hope others will do for us) and trust that the relationship that develops will give opportunity for Christ to be seen and revealed in a truly healing and saving manner. Just my two cents.

 
At 2/26/2012 12:42 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here is my post on this very subject. Please brethern - love one another and show kindness and love towards those to sin against you. http://formysavior.wordpress.com/2012/02/25/does-god-forgive-murders-rapists-molestors-serial-killers-and-drug-dealers-do-you-forgive-them/

 
At 2/27/2012 12:55 PM, Blogger Zane said...

There is no verse that says hate the sin, love the sinner.

 
At 3/20/2012 9:13 AM, Blogger Ronnie Stew said...

Ok . . . Hate the Sin and love the sinner is not a biblical quote. It’s just not there. Neither is the word Trinity, neither is gambling, nor . . . wow a slew of other issues that plague us today (adiaphora). But when we read the Bible we must not only look at the literal wording we see, but we must also look at the concepts displayed in the words we see. For example, if I tell my child to ‘go the store and get me some detergent’ I’m not telling them play outside awhile, do what they need to do and then go, although I never said that. Likewise, Jesus did not say ‘hate the sin and love the sinner’, but he did spend most of his time with sinners, directing them not to sin. In John 8:11, there was a woman caught in adultery, he didn’t condemn her, but instead told her to go and sin no more. It happens again with the crippled man at the pool in John 5:14. In each occurrence he does not condemn the sinner, but also does not condone the sin. His goal is always reconciliation (getting us back to God through Christ - 2 Cor. 5:18-20a).

 
At 5/23/2012 8:18 PM, Blogger Elbell said...

Sorry but Satan did not create sin. He tempts us into engaging in sin and yes we are born sinners but God gives everyone a free-will. It is hard to reason this out in our human minds but if we had no free-will and God controlled our free-will then we wud all be robots. God wants relationship with us and we are reconciled as sinful children to a Holy God through Jesus Christ. He took the punishment so we are made right and can have relationship with the Father. That is the Gospel! Satan walks around like a roaring lion, waiting to devour and divide and he is good at it but Adam and Eve choose to sin. God gave them instructions (His perfect plan just as He gives us through His Holy scriptures), He knew, in His soveriety, we wud sin so He sent His son for ALL who choose to believe. We repent of our sins and come to Christ and it is through Christ alone, we then come into relationship, willingly to the Father.

 
At 6/04/2012 10:56 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

All have sinned, all have fallen short of the glory of God. Remember we are not good by our own nature, but by His forgiveness and grace. We are to shed light on what is wrong and expose the Truth. Those that sin are to feel guilty, then feel the redemption of the Almighty God. If God didn't love the sinner he wouldn't love you or me. It doesn't make it ok to sin, because if you truly love God, you will listen to His words and you won't sin.

 
At 6/04/2012 10:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

All have sinned, all have fallen short of the glory of God. Remember we are not good by our own nature, but by His forgiveness and grace. We are to shed light on what is wrong and expose the Truth. Those that sin are to feel guilty, then feel the redemption of the Almighty God. If God didn't love the sinner he wouldn't love you or me. It doesn't make it ok to sin, because if you truly love God, you will listen to His words and you won't sin.

 
At 7/29/2012 11:31 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Love the sinner, hate the sin" as a phrase makes it sound like you are judging. Calling someone a sinner and saying "but I love you anyway" seems very pointed and judgemental. I do believe the idea is valid, though. Jesus showed us how to live by loving everyone, not in the least by dying for everyone who would accept Him. So rather than saying "love the sinner" I would say "love everyone." Hate is a very strong word, but I would say it is the appropriate word to apply to sin. Sin separates me from God. I hate sin. Paul recognizes his sin and he hates it. "What I hate I do." Rom 7:15. So I believe the idea of "love the sinner, hate the sin" is valid, I don't think it's the most proper way to state it. I believe we should simply say "Love everyone, hate sin."

 
At 5/02/2013 6:11 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have always thought of this matter this way. sin is an action. or a behavior, some thoughts even. it is entirely possible to hate those things without hating the person doing them. For example lets say you have a brother whom you love dearly and confesses to you that he is a meth addict. do you hate your brother because he is addicted to meth? of course not. you know that the behavior is wrong and could cost him his life. you feel sorry for him and you will do everything that you can to help your brother overcome his addiction. this could be applied to the vast majority of sins. also this is how i measure a sin. Either a thought, a word, or an action that causes either yourself or someone else some measurable amount of either physical, emotional, or psychological pain. I am a sinner, i screw up all the time, do i believe that i am better then those that believe something different from me? of course not. I am the same as them. i have simply chosen to believe in God. Whose has given me true and blessed freedom. We are not called to hate, "teacher, what is the greatest commandment?" "Love the lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength, and the second is like it, love your neighbor as yourself" Who is my neighbor? my fellow christians? the people who live across the street from me? or another member of the human race? I choose to believe that i am called to love not to hate. it is so much harder to love then it is to hate. "vengence belongs to the lord" so i will leave that up to him. The last thing i would like to discusss is this i will say foolish notion the God sends people to hell. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Those that will reside in heaven with God almighty will know that they have chosen to be there. Not because they were a better peson but simply for saying. God i am so sorry for causing all this pain to fellow people. please forgive me. i believe that your son died on the cross to save me from eternal torment. please welcome me home when it is my time to die. that sincere belief is all that it takes. Its simply a choice that we all make in our lives to either accapt or reject the God of all creation and then we will have to suffer the consequences of those actions. Where do you choose to go?

 
At 5/27/2013 2:27 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hosea 11:8 ESV
How can I give you up, O Ephraim? How can I hand you over, O Israel? How can I make you like Admah? How can I treat you like Zeboiim? My heart recoils within me; my compassion grows warm and tender.

Does this sound like a God who hates sinners? How can church goers be so self rightous and hateful. We wonder why evangelism is at an all time low in this country. People cannot stand to be around people who hate them people were attatracted to Jesus because He loved them. The Pharisees hated Jesus because they thought He was a friend to sinners! Which of course he was and He loved even the Pharisees who hated Him because He loved them and others. People who don't know God often become consumed with hate and then they turn on Jesus and anyone who would follow Him.

 

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