Volume 6: Issue 6
Love the Sinner,
Hate the Sin
Table Of Contents
Cover Story: Love the Sinner, Hate the Sin:
Nowhere in the gospels do we find Jesus hating anyone for anything -- instead, we find him forgiving everyone, even his executioners. This is not a model of "loving the sinner and hating the sin." Indeed, this is a model of "loving the sinner and forgiving the sin."
To move beyond the fear that we will be "too much" or "not enough," and be shamed and shunned because of that, we have to drop our judgments about others who we may have felt are "too much" or "not enough." We don't get the luxury of asking people not to judge us, and then expect the right to judge others.
Jesus himself when challenged by the Pharisees replied, "I did not come
to invite the 'righteous' but the 'sinners.'" Those who use the cliché
about loving the sinner but hating the sin place themselves among those
who have not understood these words of Christ.
... if we are to show the world that God is truly in love with
us, I think we must take the difficult step of loving
our enemies -- delighting in them, letting them see
just how crazy God really is about them. And fighting
to ensure that nothing separates them from God.
And that means saying NO to their sin.
Being called a sinner for being gay goes against everything that I know God is. If "you" really loved me the "sinner" why don't you befriend me, get to know who I am and what I stand for? Listen to me? Walk a mile in my shoes; face the problems that I face all of my life.
If I get hung up on someone else's shortcomings, I can't see my own. It is that simple. I could tell the person who criticizes me that I hate the way they are acting but I really love them. Do I? No, because love never notices when others do it wrong.
Even if sin is not separable from sinner, we are still inseparable from God. In his typical hyperbole, Martin Luther remembered Paul's reassuring words of Romans 8: "No sin can separate us from God, even if we were to kill or commit adultery thousands of times each day." Yet one sin has indeed sought to separate many from God: the sin of casting judgment.
Christians who believe in the concept of "love the sinner, hate the sin" may, in fact, "mean well." However, in most cases, I have seen it used as a very cleverly disguised way to preach intolerance, homophobia, and a way to deliberately create internalized shame within LGBT people in an attempt to make them feel distant to God.
'Love the Sinner, Hate the Sin,' is comprised of two clauses. One we know
and that is hate. We as the homosexual people are hated by a great many
so-called Christians, with a vengeance. If you hate only my sin, do you fire
me, take my house from me, snigger behind my back? Do you beat me to death?
It has never been a matter of only the sin - moreover, even that is
debatable - it is downright hate.
It appears to me that Jesus is telling us that it isn't our place to decide
right and wrong for anyone. We decide for ourselves. We must make
decisions about what to do in any situation. We can refer back to Jesus'
instructions in a nutshell, and say, "does this action show love to my
neighbor or not?" But as for what our neighbor does, it is none of our
business. We are supposed to love them anyway.
Homosexuality (or bisexuality or transgenderdness) goes beyond something that you do. It is a part of your makeup. It is not like my teenage son's blue hair, or his dog collar with the exaggerated spikes, both of which can be removed at a moment's notice. So, when someone tells you that they can love you as a homosexual while they hate your homosexuality, it is a contradiction.
Homophobic Christians have been in the vanguard of fomenting hate crimes against homosexuals and they offend Christ when they give their pious platitudes of hating the sin but loving the sinner. The fact is that they hate homosexuals and hate homosexuality!
What does it truly mean when someone says, "I love the sinner but I hate the sin?" Can you do this without harming the other person? Is this really possible? Is this really Christian living? Is it really Christian loving?
The decision to stop living a lie and to accept that God loves him
as he is, is one that John is still walking out a step at a time. A
great part of the difficulty is that loving his family was not a lie --
he truly did love his wife and children and always will.
I beg you, your elders, your pastors, and your congregations in this correspondence to
please make the necessary, long overdue, rightful, Godly, Christian (Lutheran)
decision to accept our GLBT brothers and sisters, and their families/friends, into the
Lutheran Church as equal and fully participating members, both lay and religious,
deserving of all the love, respect, and acceptance that any one else receives in
Lutheran Churches, as I am sure Christ Himself would do if He were here this day.
Sick religion is like many other forms of human sickness in that the
sufferers of sick religion often do not recognize or admit that they are
sick. They see nothing wrong with the abusive destructive religion that
infects their lives at every level. After all, God is the source of
religion, and how could that be bad?
We were contacted by Multnomah Press (publisher of the "Prayer of Jabez") regarding us featuring the book on our Web site. They accused me of not being an "authorized" dealer of the book (which I am, they simply didn't do their research to find out the truth about that). They threatened legal action if we refused to remove the cover of the book from our Web site.
Beyond the mythical framework of Biblical literalism, I found a Christ far greater than the
one that I'd known in the past. This Christ is one that relies not in working physical
miracles to spread his message, but by working miracles with his almighty ability to give us
the love that comes from God.
In cultures where gender is rigidly bi-polar, rituals of gender crossing remind us of our continuous common humanity. The moment I heard that line, I knew it was my personal mission statement -- to be how God made me and remind people of how spirit connects all things.
Bible Study and Inspiration:
When you and I can move beyond the gnawing sting of past hurts and thoughtlessness, and, however tentatively, reach out to knock at the door of God's heart, trusting in him and the goodness of his will for us, we will then experience the amazement of the crowds who first heard Jesus' good news. An amazement that comes from being touched not only by the truth, but by being caressed by Truth itself.
She had gone there as the first light showed in the east, to anoint his body. Some say she had gone with the other Mary, and some with Mary his mother, and some say that Joanna was there, and some say Salome. But this Mary came in all tellings of the story.
I've been going through some stuff lately, and I know that the reason I am going through it is because God wants
to get me to the point where I can do what He wants me to do. God wants to remind me that it is all about him.
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