The Practice of the Love of Jesus Christ
By: Alfonso Maria De' Liguori

The Love of Enemy and Nonretaliation in the New Testament
By: Willard M. Swartley

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What's Love Got to Do With It?

by: Jennifer Felix

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?

Personally I can not think of any instance in where Christ would or did say or imply this. Not with the Samaritian woman. (Jn. 4:1-31 ) Not even with the adulterous woman (Jn. 8:1-11 ). Even though on the surface, there seems to be an implication of it in His comment, "Neither do I condemn you, go away and sin no more," I don not hear it or feel it that way in my walk with Him.

To me "I love the sinner, but hate the sin," is a cop out.

Let's not deal with the real issue here . . .

The real issue is that we're like the parable in Matthew with the speck and the board. We don't wish to acknowledge our own sin. Our own separation from God or the separation we cause when we've called ourselves Christian and been inhospitable. (Possibly to an angel in disguise as was illustrated in Hebrews.)

We're also so afraid of the different; of the outcast that we forget that those are the very ones that God sent Jesus into the world to bring home. Instead of calling them to Him, He went out to them. Lived with them in their best and worst moments. Loved them the whole time, warts and all.

May be I am wrong. May be the other side of this issue is right. Who knows? Who can judge? There's only one answer:


We become so enthralled and entwined in the idea of what we think God wants done that we try to do God's job for God. We take on more then what God has in store for us. More importantly is that we try to do God's job without consulting with God first.

We forget to call out. "Here I am God," when God calls. We yell out our plans or goals and assume that our timeline will be the one that God will chose.

"Of course He will. He's on my side . . ."

Divisions and splits are a dangerous thing. We begin to believe that God has no place with the other and that we own exclusive rights to God's glory and gift of Grace. That somehow we've been given the task and duty to decide who should receive this gift of grace. And how much or little that they should receive. When should they receive it? What manner shall they receive it in? What wrapping paper? Size? Portion? As a popular rap group of the 90's , Salt-n-Pepa put it in their song "None of Your Business:"

"Who are we to have the right to judge? Just chill and let my Father do His job."

Or in a little more of a biblical vein, I encourage you to read Ephesians 2:8-10 where you can find these words:

"For it is by Grace that you have been saved, not of your own doing, so that men (and women) may boast. It is a gift from God . . ."

Jennifer Felix is a junior at the University of North Texas. She is involved in a campus ministry and her church, Trinity Presbyterian (USA). She will be attending this June's General Assembly for the PC(USA) and will be working with That All May Freely Serve to personalize the issue of ordination rights for GLBT people. Upon graduation next year she will be attending seminary.

Copyright © 2002 by the author
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