3 Reasons I Quit Loving the Sinner and Hating the Sin

I can’t do it anymore.

I can’t Love the Sinner and Hate the Sin.

In fact, I haven’t done that for years.

I’m writing as a Jesus follower to fellow Christians here, and also to, oh, whoever else wants to listen in, fly-on-the-wall style, as I put down my fork at family dinner and stare at the table and wipe my mouth and swallow the lump in my throat and whisper, “Enough.”

And say a little louder, “Hey, guys? I don’t really buy what we’re selling.”

And sigh with a giant “ppffffttt” to be mature.

Because, enough already. It’s time to lose this phrase. For good.

But how shall we do it?

I know! Let’s turn it into a flea – a harmless little flea – and then we’ll put that flea in a box and then we’ll put that box inside another box, and we’ll mail that box to ourselves, and when it arrives? WE’LL SMASH IT WITH A HAMMER.

Yes?

Yes!

Oh. Not that easy?

SHOOT.

Alright, then. I’ll explain myself.

See, once upon a time, a long, long time ago, I believed in Love the Sinner, Hate the Sin as though it was the Gospel Truth. And the Word of God. And the Obvious Way to Love People while holding fiercely and unapologetically to the Path of Righteousness. To the Narrow Way.

But then I noticed that Love the Sinner, Hate the Sin had the opposite effect of what I intended. That, rather than feel loved, the folks at whom I was aiming it felt belittled. And judged. And hurt. And excluded.

So for a while, in good ideological, rule-following fashion, I tried to make that their problem.

I mean, knew I was being loving. It’s right there at the beginning of the phrase, for God’s sake: LOVE. So if they were intent on misinterpreting my love, was there really anything I could do about that?

But something about my friends’ hurt stuck in my heart and something about my insistent defensiveness caught there, too, and, although I tried, I couldn’t dislodge or ignore them. I kept imagining Jesus on the night before his crucifixion, on the night he was betrayed by one friend and abandoned by others, and I kept thinking about the way he used his time to give just one instruction: Love one another.1 That’s what Jesus felt was the Most Important Thing to drive home the night before his death. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.

I kept wondering, when we say we Love the Sinner and Hate the Sin, do they know we are Christians by our love? And the answer I kept circling back to was No. A sad, aching Definitely Not. A certain No Way.

So I began to explore my increasing discomfort with Love the Sinner, Hate the Sin. To examine why I felt more and more ashamed when I held it as my rigid standard of love. To wonder where I was right and where I was wrong and where I needed to make amends. And to ask Love, which is God’s other name,7 to guide me.

And then, as always, Love changed everything, starting with my heart.

Along the way, I realized 3 things about Love the Sinner, Hate the Sin that made it impossible for me to parrot it any longer. Here they are:

3 Reasons I Quit Loving the Sinner and Hating the Sin

1. Love the Sinner, Hate the Sin isn’t in the Bible. It’s a quote from St. Augustine, actually, “cum dilectione hominum et odio vitiorum,” which translates roughly to “with love for mankind and hatred of sins,” and it has morphed over the centuries from Augustine calling himself out and hating his own sins, which he describes in depth in his Confessions, into something we use to point fingers at others.

And although he and I don’t agree on everything, Tony Campolo spoke my heart when he said, “I’m always uptight when someone says, ‘You don’t understand. I love the sinner. I just hate his sin.’ And my response is: That’s interesting, because that’s the exact opposite of what Jesus says. Jesus never says, ‘Love the sinner but hate his sin. Jesus says, ‘Love the sinner and hate your own sin, and after you get rid of the sin in your own life, then you may begin talking about the sin in your brother or sister’s life.2‘”

2. “Love the Sinner, Hate the Sin” is made of 25% Love and 75% Sinner, Hate and Sin. And that ratio should tell us something. In fact, that ratio is the antithesis of Jesus’ life, Jesus’ words, Jesus’ actions, and Jesus’ friendships.

Does it really come as a surprise to us Christians that a phrase made of 1 Part Love and 3 Parts Sinner, Hate and Sin has failed rather spectacularly to deliver a love message? Because it’s not a love message, of course, despite what we tell ourselves. It’s a Standards message. A Moral Code message. And a big, giant BUT. We will love you, it says, BUT we will call you Sinner and watch you carefully to determine which of your actions are Sin so we can call you out and Hate those things.

Is it any wonder to us that the love message gets lost in there? Or that we’re missing the mark when we’re more concerned with holding people to a high moral standard than we are with loving them?

It’s OK, though, we say, because we call ourselves Sinners, too! See? We’re not saying we’re any less sinful. THAT’S THE JOY, we cry. That Christ has saved us from our sin. And don’t get me wrong, friends. I believe absolutely that I’m BOTH created in God’s own image,8 worthy of Divine Love just the way I am,9 AND that I sin. But here’s the problem. We act like the redemption message is predicated on being pulled out of the Sin Pit, and that it’s our job to make sure people understand they’re in the Pit, even if we have to pull them down and squash them into the mud for a while to make sure they get it. But what if we believe that the redemption message is predicated on Love? Divine Love. Selfless Love. Gracious Love. Love, love and only love? A Love so big and wild and free it embraces us as we are?

What if we, I don’t know, call people Beloved instead of Sinner? You know, as if we believe that “God SO LOVED the world He sent his son” instead of “God so despised sin…”

3. Jesus taught us to call people Neighbors,3 not Sinners.

Now, it’s not like Jesus was against name-calling or anything. He slung around Hypocrite, Fool and Brood of Vipers with the best of them.4  But I find it fascinating that Jesus reserved his name-calling for the religious community and never for the broken down or broken hearted. Never for the excluded. Never for the lonely. Never for the outcasts.

Interestingly, Jesus doesn’t tell us to love the sinner; Jesus tells us to love our neighbor.3 And then Jesus goes on to define our neighbors as those who are despised, rejected, excluded, ignored, and bullied.

Instead, time and time again, Jesus invites sinners to dinner,5 and accepts the offerings of prostitutes,6 and defends the most marginalized,3 and scatters the crowd that is intent on making the convicted woman pay for her sins.2

Now, at this point, some of you may be thinking, “But wait! The woman who was about to be stoned was told ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ but Jesus also told her to, ‘Go and sin no more.’ So what about that? What about repentance?” And, in fact, when I wrote recently about Sanctuary – about finding rest in little bits of Love that fall as steadily as rain but only hit us drop by drop – I received 4 separate messages from folks along these lines, all of whom noted this. “You’re not sharing the whole picture,” they wrote. “Jesus said to sin no more!”

And that’s true. That’s what happened.

[The crowd] said to Jesus, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. [The Law] commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?” They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him.

But Jesus … said to them, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.”

At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there.

Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?”

“No one, sir,” she said.

“Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.” 2

And here’s what I think we Christians keep missing in this story:

Jesus defended the woman from the crowd. Dare I say it? Jesus defended the woman from us. The Righteous Stone Throwers. Jesus sent us away. And then Jesus – and only Jesus, without the crowd there at all – told her to sin no more. You know why? Because it’s Love’s job – and only Love’s job – to change people’s hearts. Jesus never – not even once – tells the crowd to tell the woman to go and sin no more. Because it’s not our job, folks.

At no time are we, the crowd, instructed to point out the woman’s sin.

At no time are we, the crowd, encouraged to exclude the woman.

At no time does Jesus beckon the crowd back and say, “I told her to sin no more, now you go tell people not to sin, too.”

The only instruction that we, the crowd, receive from Jesus is to examine our own lives for sin.

We usurp Love’s place and screw it all up when we pretend it’s our job to identify others’ sins and take it upon ourselves to tell them to knock it off.

the-good-samaritan-ferdinand-hodlerYou know what Jesus does tell the crowd over and over (and over and over) again? Throughout all of the Gospels? Jesus tells us to Love each other. To Love our neighbors. And that everyone is our neighbor.

This is no time for calling out sinners and sin. This is the time to call out Neighbor! And Friend! And to love on each other with extravagant grace. This is the time to create Sanctuary and to be the Good Samaritan who had no standards when he helped the man by the side of road.3 Just none. Except generosity and love.

And so, you see, it turns out I cannot love the sinner and hate the sin, because it’s not my job to root out either one in anyone’s life but my own. But I can become a home for Love, and I can Love my Neighbor, who, it turns out, is every single one of us.

And that is exactly what I plan to do.

……….

UPDATE: I’ve written an update to this essay. You can find it here.

………

Alright, friends. What do you think? Is this on the mark? Or did I miss it by a mile? Agreements and disagreements welcome. I’d truly love to know your thoughts.

……….

40DaysofGraceLogoYou can see all of the 40 Days of Grace posts
here on the Five Kids blog and here on Facebook.

……….

1 John 13
2  John 8
3 Luke 10
 Matthew 23
5 Mark 2
6  Luke 7
1 John 4
8 Genesis 1
9 Romans 5, 8

Art Credit: The Good Samaritan by Ferdinand Hodler (1853-1918)

……….

UPDATE: I’ve written an update to this essay. You can find it here.

Next Post
Previous Post

ABOUT BETH WOOLSEY I'm a writer. And a mess. And mouthy, brave, and strong. I believe we all belong to each other. I believe in the long way 'round. And I believe, always, in grace in the grime and wonder in the wild of a life lived off course from what was, once, a perfectly good plan.
674 comments
  1. This isn’t followed anymore anyway. If you look on Facebook, it’s all about whether you’re voting for Clinton or Trump, that’s how we Americans decide whether we’re going to love one another or not these days.

  2. […] don’t believe it’s my job to point out anyone else’s sins. I read this post yesterday and it pretty much sums up my beliefs on how we should love one another. It’s a […]

  3. […] Dumping the phrase “love the sinner, hate the sin”: http://bethwoolsey.com/2013/10/3-reasons-i-quit-loving-the-sinner-and-hating-the-sin/ […]

  4. […] the phrase “love the sinner, hate ths in”: http://bethwoolsey.com/2013/10/3-reasons-i-quit-loving-the-sinner-and-hating-the-sin/ (And a […]

  5. Interesting article. Love. What about the convicting work of the holy spirit? John 16:8 “and he, when he comes, will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgement. Does the holy spirit not live inside those who believe? And therefore speak through us? What about proverbs 8:13 to fear the Lord is to hate evil… Ect. Did they not want to kill the apostles in the book of acts? Did not the holy prophets become the targets of wicked men because they pointed out sin and lawlessness? Yes I agree love is crucial to authentic Christian belief, but in all things of God there is a balance. Loving your neighbor may include correction and reproof, but doing so in a spirit of gentleness and concern is important. It depends on how filled with the holy spirit you are and what the guidance of the holy ghost has given you in each situation. Some need kindness and loving care, sanctuary if you will, and others may respond to to a well placed correction or reproof. Why did they kill Stephen as his face gleamed like the sun if his only words were to love one another? Why did Jesus say we would be persecuted for righteousness? Insulted? And even killed? If the message is only one of love in ignorance of the sinful state… What about iniquity? Transgression? Evil.. And our confrontation with evil spirits, powers and principalities and the like? Comfortable, safe, risk free Christianity… Now the norm. What about giants of faith like Wesley and wigglesworth where the preaching of the commandments brought many into the kingdom? Although you thoughts on the subject are thought provoking.

    1. Whoever wrote this article is on the right track. Paul did instruct us to “correct, rebuke, and encourage”. Paul was not however correcting Christ, so his writings are interpreted by what Christ (who is greater) taught us. Jesus said, “When you have removed the beam out of your own eye, then you might see clearly enough to remove the splinter in your brother’s.” He said, “For judgement I have come into this world, that those who say, ‘I see’ might be made blind. And that those who are blind, might see.” He said, “Clean first the inside of the cup, and then the outside will be clean also.” We all are born into, and remain in, the same flesh that calls for self-confirmation, and that agreed to drive nails into His hands and feet. (John 17:15)

      He said of the Holy Ghost, “He will convict the WORLD concerning sin and righteousness and judgement.” He said, “of sin, because they do not believe me”. The cross proved that all flesh is blind to God. “Flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but my Father, who is in heaven”. We believe the flesh in it’s understandings and follow where it leads us, trusting what it teaches us. He hung on a cross at the hands of the most righteous among us, bathed in scriptures.

      He said, “Of righteousness, because I go to the Father”. The flesh refused and witnessed it’s confirmation on the cross, but God confirmed the Truth and refuted their error when He raised Christ, condemned by their wisdom. He said, “Concerning judgement, because the prince of this world is judged.” The cross bore witness, because in the flesh we follow the declarations of the judgements of flesh, by which the prince of this world proves us in the darkness. Satan moves us by the light of flesh and bone, which is the darkness in which we stumbled and Christ hung on the cross.

      Having said all that, I do not agree with the author that the phrase “Love the sinner, hate the sin” was not offered by Christ. Sin should be recognized and resisted, hated by those that love Him, because we love Him and because we love each other. It begins within. When it is accomplished within it will be seen without. But every one of us have sins we defend and refuse to condemn, only to point with condemnation and pull out shackles for another. We haven’t shackled ourselves. Every one of us will bow before Him and He has our sins in His grasp to do with as He sees fit. He did speak of loving the sinner and hating the sin. He said, “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father, mother, wife, children, brothers, and sisters, as well as his own life, he can’t be my disciple”. You surely can’t understand this if you don’t hate the sin within you. That acknowledgment and pervasive sorrow tempers your willingness to condemn others. Therefore, “correct, rebuke, and encourage” is toward the hope of the same recognition of Him for those who have not seen that Light shining in their darkness, and toward that same hate, toward the same understanding of grace that we all will fall upon. It is written, “Remember, that you were once a stranger in a strange land.”

      This article is in the right direction, lest we blind ourselves and unwittingly place Him on a cross again when He offers correction and grace.

  6. Christ has told us to be perfect even as He and Father in heaven are perfect, in response to His own question about what manner of men we should be, he answered, “Even as I am”. He has said ye shall be judges of this people according to the judgement which I shall give unto you, which shall be just. He has commanded all His followers to persuade all men unto repentance. This does not mean we are better because we have different sins; however,if the woman taken in adultery were taken to us to decide what to do,in Christ’s absence,would Christ not want us to make the same judgement that He made? I don’t believe you can truly love someone if you let them act in sin and not say anything to try to help them overcome it and abandon the sin. If someone is addicted to pornography or drugs or alcohol, if you truly care for them, you will try to help them abandon the destructive and sinful behavior. No loving parent would say to their drug-addicted child ‘it seems to come naturally to you, so whatever makes you happy, who am I to judge’.No, a loving parent would help that child align their life with God’s teachings- and they would accept help and criticism of their own flaws if that criticism helped them better follow their Savior.

  7. Most people’s trouble is that they think God stopped talking after the bible was written. You don’t serve a living God then.

    1. I agree with Eddie. I receive visions that show things coming, both small and great. He teaches me about scripture, Himself, us, and the creation. He showed me, and confirmed it through His knowledge of the future (John 16:13), that this error (saying that He has given us all He is going to) is believed because He will not confirm their error and they find themselves having to explain why prophets are missing, without exposing their doctrines. Jesus showed me, they do not perceive His help because they test His prophets by what they “know” rather than how He said prophets would be known. They devise testes that force the prophet to regurgitate what they teach, or else. The Holy Ghost is greater than your understanding of scripture. The Holy Ghost is our hope to understand. The truth remains with God and His Christ. We receive it, it is not defined by human wisdom — Christ hung on a cross. Without Him we are destined for error and error upon error. (2 Timothy 4:3)

  8. […] room at the inn. I was OUTRAGED over the outrage, friends — of course I was — and, as a Crazy Ass Liberal Christian (Let ’em all in!), I was disheartened my conservative Christian colleagues continue to […]

  9. “Jesus defended the woman from the crowd. Dare I say it? Jesus defended the woman from us. The Righteous Stone Throwers. Jesus sent us away. And then Jesus – and only Jesus, without the crowd there at all – told her to sin no more. You know why? Because it’s Love’s job – and only Love’s job – to change people’s hearts. Jesus never – not even once – tells the crowd to tell the woman to go and sin no more. Because it’s not our job, folks.
    At no time are we, the crowd, instructed to point out the woman’s sin.
    At no time are we, the crowd, encouraged to exclude the woman.
    At no time does Jesus beckon the crowd back and say, “I told her to sin no more, now you go tell people not to sin, too.”

    I love this article. I especially love the explanation of this parable. The revelation of it stopped me in my tracks and really made me think. I am a strong believer / doer of loving people, of edifying others, finding their strengths and building them up and letting God work on their sin, on their weakness. Thank you for putting this together and sharing it.

  10. This is a very well written, encouraging, and clarifying article!
    I do think, however, that a distinction needs to be made:
    we are called to love non-Christians and not try to continually point out there sin
    because they are not held to the same laws we are.
    For fellow Christians it is different because as Christians, they should be following God’s Word and obeying Him. So when fellow Christians are blatantly sinning, there is a point when they have to be called out in that sin. Granted, there are no instructions with exactly how to do that, or who should do that, in the Bible, but we do have to do it, and even expel an erring Christian from the Church in some instances.
    1 Corinthians 5:11-13 says, “But now I have written to you not to keep company with anyone named a brother, who is sexually immoral, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or an extortioner–not even to eat with such a person. 12 For what [have] I [to do] with judging those also who are outside? Do you not judge those who are inside? 13 But those who are outside God judges. Therefore “put away from yourselves the evil person.””

    1. Abby,
      The Bible gives clear instruction on addressing sin.
      Confronting sin in a fellow believer’s life is found in Matthew 18:15-18.

      1. That text is for someone who has wronged YOU specifically,not in open sin.

        The standards for addressing public sin are found in Scriptures such as in 1 Cor 5:11-13 and 1 Tim 5:20.

  11. Haha! You may not want to title your article in such a way that it looks like you stopped loving sinners and stopped hating sin. Although, that’s kind of what you’re saying anyway. How does Psalm 15:4 fit into your thinking? DO you despise the vile person? Don’t you think it’s just maybe possible to despise that vile person (yes, even in ourselves), AND still love our neighbor and our enemy?

  12. Just love the sinner, because we are all sinners. good stuff

  13. You hit the nail smack dab on the head! Why hasn’t this gone viral & why am I just reading it? I mean I have known all that & never followed that, Love the sinner, Hate the sin mentality, I just didn’t think anyone else ever did. You are inspired by God, that’s clear.

  14. WHATS IN A NAME. LIKE BETH WOOLSEY? WELL. I’ll. SEY. SHE PULLS THE WOOL. FROM OVER MY EYES. YOU. BETH. SHE DOES! LET EVERYTHING BE JUDGED FROM THE STANDPOINT OF LOVE. DOES SHE LESVE A GOOD TASTE IN YOUR MOUTH. AFTER READING. YOU. BETH SHE DOES. WOU LD LIKE TO USE. A PARAGRAPH. FOR PART OF A SONG. I AMM A SONGWRITER. MUSICIAN. SINGER. THANK YOU. YOU R GIFTED. GLORY TO GOD!

  15. […] and a widespread call to retire it (for more info on that, see Beth Woolsey’s post here).  As always, your thoughts and comments are […]

  16. Wow! I really love this article! Beth, you are definitely an anointed Saint!

    When Peter voiced his belief that Jesus was the Christ, Jesus replied that it was God the Father that revealed it to him, not the “crowd” (Matthew 16:17) – we really need to leave the work of conviction and salvation to the Lord. That’s His job.

    He did not ever ask us to convict anyone or save anyone. I have not found that in the Bible. He did, however, tell us to love our neighbors and to tell everyone we could about the Good News of salvation and forgiveness and Heaven.

    By the way, just a side note about “Hating the Sin” – it usually means hating what the “crowd” thinks is sin, not what God thinks is sin. For example, it’s a Biblical sin to lend money for interest, and conversely, to take out a loan. Feeling guilty now? Probably not since that is not a “crowd” approved sin. How about it being a sin to shop or drive a car on Saturday. Feeling more guilty now? Again, not a “crowd” approved sin. Anyone want to talk about divorce?

    And, just to be a little on the edge, it’s not a since to marry more than one person… It’s not a sin to be a Muslim, they actually do worship God, and are often very righteous about it. Admittedly, I believe they need to find Jesus. It is, however, a sin to be a Christian and to not show love, “If anyone causes one of these little ones–those who believe in me–to stumble, it would be better for them if a large millstone were hung around their neck and they were thrown into the sea.” Mark 9:42.

  17. THANK YOU!
    to the point.. well thought out, and I so appreciate your sharing your journey with us.
    I LOVE your conclusions.. 100%!

  18. Jesus calls us to be in the world but not of the world. We are to love one another but not approve of one another’s sins. And turning away from the Lord because a church or person hurt you is ignorant. Jesus didn’t okay perple ignorance he offended ppl all the time through his walk because he loved the sinner, he went to the cross for every sinner,but he hated the sin, he said take up your cross and follow me. He said anyone who loves their child, or parent more than they love HIM is not worthy of HIM. God said I am a jealous God have NO other gods before me. That means put nothing before HIM in your life and heart. So yes love the sinner, pray for them fervently, but hate the sin. Don’t approve of it, don’t except it, not hour life and not in the lives of others. And read all of what Jesus said not just what suits your article! He said unless your are born again of the the blood he shed you won’t go to heaven. And maybe instead of focusing on GOD’s love, ppl should start focusing on HELL as a real place of torture and torment. And there is gonna be a whole lot of ppl there that has touted about God’s love but are completely clueless about his commands.

    1. Jesus said you won’t inherit eternal life unless you sell everything you have and give it to the poor.
      Jesus said you must be born again.
      Each of these statements were made ONE time, to ONE (separate) individual, in ONE circumstance.
      ONE, you have made a requisite for salvation.
      ONE, you totally ignore.
      Yet each statement has the exact same “Biblical” basis.
      There is nothing in the above response that at all resembles anything “Christlike.”
      Anytime your Jesus is “nicer” than your God,
      well,
      You’re worshiping the wrong god.
      And THAT god, if there were a hell, can certainly go there.

      1. He also said “bless, and curse not!”

        As far as “Jesus being nicer than God”: though I realize that in the deep theology of “Dreispaltigkeit” (these three are one), it gets kind of murky, I actually address my pleas for mercy and kindness and gentleness to Jesus, Himself…. not to the “Oh, Thou great Heavenly Father” or to “Dear God in Heaven” or any such far away and indeterminable thing.

        And you know the wonderful thing about it, up until now, for all these forty-three years and one month since I began to walk with Him and trust Him for my life, it’s worked just FINE!

        He said “I and the Father are one!” OK, maybe there was a time and a place for the earth opening up and swallowing people, I don’t know, but when Jesus had a chance for doing that sort of thing, He backed off, He didn’t renig on any of God’s promises, but RATHER chose to use His wisdom, power and authority in ANOTHER way… as Paul puts it, “I show unto you a BETTER way…”

        Only fingers Jesus was pointing was at the Pharisees! NOT at the winos and the hookers; they KNEW already that THEY were a mess! It was the self-righteous, religious “sin-bigots” who were blind, because they thought they were GOOD. They even thought they were so good they were qualified to kill Him, no LESS deceived than ISIS!

    2. Those from “the crowd” are exposing themselves here.. as we are to “examine our own selves to see if we are in the faith”, and this article sure brings out the true meaning of the Love of God..and how different that is from the judgmental way of the world. Any time we “feel good about ourselves” when we point out the sins of others, then we are wrong. It is pride and human nature to feel that way, but it is Not the love of God shining thru but more like wanting to shine the light on ourselves and how good and righteous “we” are.. “there is none righteous,no,not one”. So dig a bit deeper in your “examining of yourselves” and see your self as God sees you, a sinner that needs forgiveness and constant cleansing, just as everyone does, but each is choosing their path and it will take only the Love of God to straighten it. One must use the saying, “What would Jesus Do?” before judging any one or thing, and then you might come down from your high horse and be more like Jesus than the crowd.

  19. Im not sure if I understand your stand on sinners. (Btw, I’m not what you call a Christian) The Bible makes it clear that Christians should separate from sinners and the world. It’s logical to think that as well because if a clean rag hangs around a muddy one, the mud can easily get on the clean one. The phrase “Love the sinner, but hate the sin” doesn’t not mean love the person in the manner of being friends with them but look down on them when they sin or for their sin, it means love them enough to be a witness to them, but do not take part in their sinful lifestyle. Many will say “well Jesus hanged out with sinners, why shouldn’t I?” I could reply with “Jesus walked on water, but I don’t think you should try that either,” but that might leave some upset. The reason Jesus hanged out with sinners is because they were the ones he wanted to reach. And even then you don’t see Jesus going on shopping sprees with them, but rather having dinner in a public setting (public as in the places he had meals was at an open home) and teaching them. In John 6:66 I believe, it says that a large portion of his followers (who at that time included sinners) left him. So why did they leave? Because he said something they didn’t want to hear. Christians are supposed to preach to the sinners in a loving manner that they will die and go to hell, but that there is an alternative option which is the savior. I will say this, there is no reason for you not to have dinner with someone that isn’t saved or is out of church, but don’t make it a habbit and find some way to witness to them. To have a friend that lives in their sin is someone who hasn’t not accepted Christ therefore has rejected him. If you are a Christian, you should not be friends with them. You can’t be friends with two sides of the war.

    1. You totally miss the point of everything in this article.
      Christianity is not at war with non-christians.
      Your beliefs are very, very religious, but they couldn’t be farther from the heart of God.
      Your “religion-god” is a monster.
      “I have seen the face of the Antichrist, and his name is ‘Christianity.'”

  20. […] This post inspired by Beth Woolsely’s article, which I’m sure is much better than mine […]

  21. After a forty year struggle involving a tome’s worth of reasons, I’ve become an atheist, or at the least, an agnostic. Catholicism has not been kind to me. Logic and reason do not support the religion, resurrections or virgin births. I’m convinced now that religion, any religion, can be and often is very dangerous. It’s a slippery slope, as evidenced by its status as one of three “do-not-talk-abouts” (sex, religion, politics). And in my own life I’ve seen it all, or just about. Trust me on this.

    But I agree with you. And despite myself and all the doubting, Jesus still looms as a real entity. I believe he existed. I believe he was an awesome messenger of good will. I’m not so sure about the resurrection story or his very young mother being a virgin, but I digress.

    I think most “Christians” have distorted the message of Jesus, that religion has become a matter of ego, a competition, and a denial of death. Life is so very difficult, and religion makes it next to impossible to find real peace, real rest within it. But once in a while I run into a sane religious blogger who hits the universal nail on the head. Thank you for correctly (in my humble sinner’s opinion) interpreting Jesus’s words. If only there were more of you…

    1. As a former catholic I can understand the plausible reason for being turned off. The Catholic Church years ago was all about controlling people. The parts about Christianity being unstable or unbelievable or not true stem from your particular bias most probably forced on you by the church. I.E. you were not feeling the love. You were experiencing the work and striving. You got screwed up by the church, not Jesus. I know my experience was screwed up by a bunch of ignorant priest.

  22. […] a Christian who loves Jesus and the Bible and is an LGBTQ ally, my position is, I suppose, clear. And so I was left Friday night with a Now […]

  23. See, here’s the thing that so many of you are missing. It’s the picking and choosing which sins you love and which you hate. Let’s say, for argument’s sake, that you think homosexuality is a sin. Okay, fair enough, that’s your choice. But, what about all those other sins? Do you hate the sin of eating bacon and pork chops? Do you hate the sin of wearing mixed fiber clothes? Do you hate the sin of working on the Sabbath? How do you feel about those that are divorced and re-married? Hate em? My point is, that there are many sins in the bible, and yet most people only focus on that homosexuality thing. If you’re going to hate one, you need to hate them all. Otherwise you’re a hypocrite. And let’s not forget that many of those sins are really bad ones – their punishment is death. Oh, and let’s not forget all of the clergy made-up sins, like masturbation, drinking alcohol, dancing, etc.

    1. Mike, I have read comments like those of yours a lot of times, and I have never been able to figure out if they are sincere or just an attempt to mock religion. If you are just trying to mock, never mind, but if you are sincere, you should know that eating pork, wearing mixed-fiber clothes, etc, are not sins for us. Just because something is found somewhere in the Books of the Bible doesn’t mean that Christians take each thing as directly pointed at them in their own day and age. Christians don’t follow the ancient laws, they follow the teachings of Jesus. As for the rest of your comments, I don’t know, because I don’t focus on homosexuality, it is the least of the things I worry about. You may find some helpful insight from a blog called “Spiritual Friendship”; they talk a lot about exactly what you are talking about. It is always a tendency of people to focus on other people’s sins instead of their own….it is called self-justification. Certainly Jesus spoke more clearly and directly about divorce and remarriage than about homosexuality.

  24. What’s the difference between love and enabling?

    1. Love respects another person’s dignity, integrity, and free will, just as God respects it. Enabling, on the other hand, is an attempt to live another person’s life for them, trying to artificially save them from the consequences of their actions. Love allows room for God to work in the other person’s life, but enabling tries to take the place of God for that person.

      1. No, you’re wrong. Enabling is not an attempt to live someone’s life for them, but removing the natural consequences of a person’s behavior.

        1. These conversations are awesome to see. Yes, we seems to have varying degrees of agreement and disagreement, but having the conversations, giving thoughtful consideration to Christ’s example is part of what is meant by ‘continue to work out your own salvation with fear and trembling’. We are to wrestle with ourselves (not others) to understand Gods word and it’s application to our lives.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.