Love the Sinner, Hate the Sin Redeemed

Love the Sinner, Hate the Sin Redeemed

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If you’re like me, you cringe when you hear the trite phrase, “love the sinner, hate the sin.” Depending on who who says and hears this, this can be interpreted a multitude of ways. A liberal leaning might mean it as, “love the sinner, accept the sin.” Another way that someone might take this is “love the sinner, accommodate/tolerate the sin.” Of course, whenever this subject comes up with professing Christians, it tends to lean more toward, “love the sinner, don’t talk about the sin.”  In other words, love them as they are, and simply share the love of Christ (whatever that looks like these days). But then you have the more dreaded extreme by which certain people love the sinner, by showing the maximum amount of hatred toward the sin. That is, they show that they “love” the sinner through harshly expressing their extreme hatred for the sin.

Other than this phrase becoming a mantra for pragmatic church goers who don’t really understand the gospel, and the relationship between God’s wrath and His grace, one of the greatest reasons why this phrase should be offensive to any Christian is that it is attributed to God. Before this idiom was clipped into a nifty little catch phrase for practical application in talking to homosexuals, prostitutes, drug addicts, etc., it was originally stated that “God loves the sinner, but hates the sin.” Meaning that when God looks at a person, His love for them seems to be disconnected from their crime. In essence, God loves the criminal, but only hates the crime.

I would love to go into why the Bible doesn’t truly say this about God. But this subject has been greatly dealt with by mainstream writers. My intent here is to ask another question. “Can this phrase be redeemed?” Regardless of how people may feel about this phrase (myself included), is there a way in which we can twist this quaint phraseology to our advantage to start a biblical conversation and get down to the nuts and bolts of what the gospel is really about? I think we can.

I attended a men’s Bible study about two weeks ago with my church. We were discussing a chapter in Jerry Bridges’ book, The Joy of Fearing God, and this subject of love the sinner hate the sin was brought up. I thought this would go in the direction it usually goes. People getting offended and drawing strong pragmatic lines, and eventually parting ways. However, that was not the case. Every man at that table delivered some pretty informative concepts concerning the kind of theology this tiny phrase insinuates, and the cautious approach we need to have in accepting/stating this phrase. The most interesting part was how we were able to dissect the phrase in our favor to discuss the biblical model of how God, and how we, should deal with sin. Although this was not their intention in the discussion, it opened up my eyes to the possibility that I can now use this phrase in my favor to preach the gospel.

As I mentioned above, when people use “love the sinner, hate the sin” it can mean several things to different people in various contexts. But from this point on, if someone tells me “love the sinner, hate the sin” I will respond in one of three ways:

1. Yes but, do you really love the sinner? If you do, then why won’t you talk to them about their sin so that they might know about salvation. Jesus, Peter, Paul, James, and all Christians in church history mentioned, exposed, and unashamedly condemned sin when they preached the love, mercy, and grace of Jesus Christ and His redemptive work on the cross. And they didn’t just lightly gloss over it. So if you really love the sinner, but hate the sin, then you should at least talk about their sin(s) so that they might come to know Jesus, and why they must be born again!

2. But do you really hate the sin? Think about this, if you really hated the sin, you would talk about it. People are prone to talk about what they are emotionally pleased and disgusted with. This doesn’t mean we turn Westboro Baptist on someone when we preach the gospel, but it is a valid question to ask someone if they lob this phrase at you. If you truly hate the sin, and know that sin is the reason for which Christ died, don’t you think God hated it too? So much so that Christ endured the wrath of God so that guilty sinners can be set free?

3. Love the sinner, hate the sin? Only if it’s biblical. This was one of my favorite points in our men’s meeting (my most favorite is below). If a professing Christian tries to persuade me that I should be more loving toward the sinner, and simply express hatred toward the sin, I would then simply respond, “only if it’s biblical.” This will hopefully spark a conversation about how God both loves and hates the sinner, and that He expresses both anger/wrath just as much as He does mercy/grace. Only God is able to love and hate sin and sinners, and do so equitably, with balance, and without contradiction. I would love to show how the work of election is a crucial puzzle piece that helps us to understand this concept of God’s love/hatred better, but that is beyond the scope of this article. For now, “only if it’s biblical” is a great way to retort in order to get a discussion going.

I might not have been able to “redeem” this phrase, but responding in one of these three ways is best when someone decides to press this practical dogma against you. Regardless of how we respond, the idea that we must grasp is that asking the right question(s) about what someone means when they say “love the sinner, hate the sin” will hopefully lead to a conversation about the gospel and God’s greatness to redeem criminals to Himself. God’s hatred and love were both fully expressed on the cross when Christ was being punished on our behalf for sin. God unleashed His holy fury on Christ, who became sin for us. His love was equally poured out by demonstrating in that while we were still sinning, Christ died for us. If we trust in that sacrifice, and repent of our sin, God’s holy hatred and wrath that abides upon us, is propitiated. And although God loves us in the general sense that we are His creation, only His beloved, those that are born again, experience the fullness of His grace, love, and mercy.

As I hinted at above, there is a statement that better expresses what should be our reaction toward the lost, and has become my new, favorite rebuttal. If you are a Christian, and you know the true, unadulterated gospel, let this be your mantra: Love the sinner, preach the gospel. (Thank you Sam Young for this quote).

 

– Until we go home

When Christians aren’t Afraid

Reposted by permission from Stephanie, who is a friend of DefCon. Her words accurately reflect where we should be when addressing what is taking place around us. You can follow her blog Memoirs of a Blogger Saved By Grace.

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I am not a fan of Duck Dynasty. I have no hidden motive for going to bat for a man I have never met. All I know is what I’ve seen buzzing on my news feed all day and from what I can tell, it’s only further evidence of just how mad this world has truly become.

I live in a country where it’s okay to be a hate-filled, raging bigot as long as you’re not a Christian. It’s okay to sling false accusations, apply false labels, and vilify anyone who doesn’t say what you want them to say. Especially if that statement involves the word “homosexual”.

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God isn’t sacred anymore but apparently same-sexual attraction is. Anyone else see something wrong with this picture?

Remember when Chick-Fil-A was put on the spot and forced to make a statement that the media knew well beforehand would turn into a frenzy? It’s called “ambush journalism” and the media loves to use this very topic to stir up hostility between people by demanding that someone they know is a devout Christian admit they don’t support homosexuality and then crucify them mercilessly for it.

Remember all those people who showed up outside Chick-Fil-A’s restaurants to picket, make out, yell at, curse at, and otherwise harass anyone who walked into their doors looking for a good meal to eat? Remember how those people were treated by the Chick-Fil-A employees they were blatantly showing religious discrimination against?

The dissenters were offered free lemonade to cool them off as they picketed in the hot sun and even though these repeated peace offerings were rejected, the Chick-Fil-A staff simply turned the other cheek and went on serving delicious food and providing the same excellent customer service they always had.

Dear LGTB community — meet honor.

I want to be clear. I have absolutely no lack of love for homosexuals even though I don’t bare a shred of approval for the act of homosexuality. People should not define themselves by what they do in the bedroom to the point that they call that thing so hallowed and wonderful that if anyone so much as breathes a word in opposition to it, they are viciously attacked and publicly humiliated. That is not what freedom was meant to do to my country.

To believers:

If you are a Christian who doesn’t know how to love people — all people — then you have no right to speak about sin. Any sin. But if you are a person who resents and attacks a Christian who even respectfully disagrees with your choices based on the God-given right to their religious and moral beliefs, then you are absolutely no better than a loveless Christian and should not expect to be taken seriously.

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Tolerance is not a one-way street. If you cannot show tolerance to those you disagree with, then you are in no position to demand tolerance from those who disagree with you. It’s not a religious thing. It’s not even a moral thing. It’s a common sense thing and a respect thing — those two — and you either have them, or you don’t.

I defy any person of any “orientation” who deigns to demand respect and tolerance from others, regardless of their religious convictions, if they cannot themselves show equal respect and tolerance.

Many, many Christians have succumbed to the peer pressure. They’ve allowed themselves to be bullied, filled with guilt and media-brainwashed into silence to the point that they actually have developed a form of Stockholm Syndrome with popular opinion. They identify with it now, even condemning those who aren’t afraid to stand by the Word of God on matters of morality.

Despite what you’ve heard, homosexuality is not special. It is not a special occurrence and it’s is not even a special sin. It’s simply one more reason that Jesus had to died in order to rescue fallen men and a thing that He is most assuredly mighty to save them from.

If they choose not to accept that gift, it’s not a Christian’s place to force it on them. If they choose not to believe that what they do is sin, it is not a Christian’s place to convince them of it. The Holy Spirit is the only One who can convict a heart of its sin but if you ask a true believer what their position is on any matter of morality, you will hear exactly the same thing, every single time so let me save any future public “outrage” right now and tell you what their statement will basically be:

“If God’s Word calls it a sin, I also call it a sin.”

My dear brothers and sisters in Christ. Never be afraid of being called a bad name for speaking the truth. Take your stand with the Word of God, let the world reject you for it and do something that they will most assuredly never do for you in return.

.. Love them anyway!

The Hypocrisy of the LGBT Community

A few thoughts to consider for the thoughtful reader of DefCon –

1. Ok, for those who think to the contrary of the Bible, I would like to call your bluff in no uncertain terms. Please provide indisputable PROOF from the scientific and medical communities that people are born transgender or as homosexuals or lesbians, etc. THEORIES or PRESUPPOSITIONS based on psychology does not count. It must be based on DNA, genetics, things that can be proven in a lab or research facility.

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2. For those who think that God “MADE” a mistake when He made you, I would encourage you to read the truth of Scriptures. The same holds true to any who think that ALL or ANY sexual activity outside the bounds of marriage between one man and one woman is acceptable. John 3:36 makes it clear as to God’s perspective on those who willfully abide in their sin and abomination. “He that believes on the Son has everlasting life: and he that believes not the Son will not see life; but the wrath of God abides on him.” Those who are children of God will obey the commands of Scripture, but those who choose their own paths are clearly bent on destruction AND the wrath of God does abide on them until salvation takes place. The bottom line is that God does NOT make mistakes and He does not create that which would contradict the principles and truths found in His Word (the Holy Scriptures).

3. I share with those who read that there is no hatred for any who live in a lifestyle that is contrary to God. It is NOT up to me to bring condemnation of eternal punishment. If I am to follow the truth of Scripture, I must learn to 1) love God with all my heart, soul, and mind, and the 2) is to love my neighbor as myself. However, it is NOT loving if I fail to warn you that there is a high price to pay one day for choosing a path or lifestyle that is in contradiction to the character of the Holy God. Some who read might PRESUME upon my character and belief that I hate you and others who do not live like I do. That is unfounded and is based purely on the speculation of how you THINK others should believe and how you THINK others should allow you to practice with no lack of tolerance apart from intolerance towards “bigots” and “hate-mongers” like me. I look forward to seeing your “PROOF.”

4. So, just to clarify, a person can HATE the actions of those who choose to pray aloud to God in school or a public place but that person probably would say nothing if it was a Muslim student doing it. Further, you can hate prayer and find it an affront or grievance to you, but you would have NO problem fully endorsing that same person’s right to speak if they choose to spew filthy, vulgar language or even speak aloud of his or her ability to practice deviant lifestyles. Absolutely amazing! So, you can HATE as long as you get your way, but if I HATE that which is contrary to the Scriptures, I am condemned as a bigot and I am judging others. So, exactly, how does this logic work again???

5. The problem is that the world is trying to dictate new standards of morality based on what suits the depravity of the human heart. You cannot have morals without the God who gave and created the morals to begin with. It is the same God who created one man and one woman and instituted marriage between those two. The reality is that the LGBT agenda is an abomination before God and will always be so. Sadly, a small very vocal minority are trying to bully the world into accepting perverted lifestyles. By the way, Disney has long sought to subtly and now openly promote the homosexual agenda. The homosexual agenda will never be content with “marriage” between two of the same sex. They are after our children. We are headed the way of Rome and will be brought to our knees just as Rome was for her wickedness.

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6. By the way, if homosexuality or lesbianism is “normal” and supposedly created by God, why in each relationship do you have one that acts the part of a male and one a female? God created one man and one woman and commanded them to multiply and fill the earth. Interesting that God did not give the ability to procreate between two men or two women, and biology and science cannot change that. Notice I did not mention “gay” sex. I spoke of the irony of how in any relationship between two men, one will seek to be effeminate (or the wife), while with two lesbians, one will seek to dominate and play a masculine role.

7. God states that ALL AND ANY sex outside of marriage between one man and one woman is an abomination before Him. God also tells us that the hearts of ALL men and women are evil. Romans 3 states that there is nobody who is good, not even one. They have all gone out of the way in their depravity. There does not need to be any additional verses regarding a person who thinks they were born in the wrong type of body. To hold to this is ultimately stating that God makes mistakes. Further, the Bible is clear that it is not a particular sin that will send people to hell, but the one of unbelief. Belief in God resulting in salvation only comes when a person repents and confesses their sin to God and then places their faith in Christ alone for their salvation. That belief then is followed by a willing obedience to the commands of Christ.

8. Despite the fact that many will studiously avoid my thoughts and questions, I will share that God commands all men to repent. The need for repentance is not dependent on one’s choice of sex or lifestyle. It is based solely on the fact that man is separated by his very nature from a holy God. What would God say to a transgender person? He tells them to repent and that today is the day of salvation for all who come in faith in Jesus Christ. The transgender equality issue is one that seeks to erode what God has created. To force those choices upon the general public, particularly within the education system, is foolishness and stupidity at best, and at worst, only further undermines the differences between male and female as created by God.

American Evangelist Arrested in Europe – A Taste of Things to Come

The following video was posted by my good friend Tony Miano. He has been maintaining a video log of his participation in the evangelism outreach going on at the Wimbledon games in the UK. The reason I am sharing this is I am asking our readers to be aware of what is currently going in Europe, for you can be sure that one day it will be happening here. The question is Christians, are you ready for this? When the time comes, and it is coming, are you prepared to be persecuted for your faith?

UPDATE: The video of Tony’ s open air sermon is now available to view.

SECOND UPDATE: The transcripts of Tony’ s interrogation have been available. It can be read at the Cross Encounters blog at the following link:

http://www.crossencounters.us/2013/07/police-interrogation-of-tony-miano.html?m=1

Coexist.

The following great piece comes from Jake Hunt at WiserTime:

You’ve seen these, right? They make me mad. Why? Because they don’t really mean what they say.

Let’s break it down. We’ll call each worldview by the letter it’s supposed to represent. So:

  • C = Islam
  • O = Pacifism
  • E = “Gender equality” (=the LGBT agenda)
  • X = Judaism
  • I = Wicca / Pagan / Bah’ai
  • S =Taoism / Confucianism
  • T = Christianity

And let’s assume a very broad definition of “coexist”: living together without calling for the destruction of each other. Here are the problems with that:

  • C wants to kill E, X, T, and (by implication) O. If they achieved the world they wanted, I and S would also no longer exist.
  • O doesn’t allow for effective resistance or defeat of C.
  • E stands in direct opposition to C, X, and T, and accuses those who speak against them of hate speech. Also, they’re trying to edge X and T out of public schools in favor of their own agenda. (They’re afraid C will be offended, so they get less trouble.) E is actually very, very intolerant.
  • X’s existence is threatened not only by C but also by O, who invariably supports C over X.
  • I and S are statistically insignificant and are mainly on there to complete the bumper sticker.
  • T is who the bumper sticker is really arguing against, but poses no physical threat to any of the others.

Historically, T has brought about more tolerance– “coexistence” if you will– than any other movement. But the kind of “coexistence” the people who make this sticker envision is one where at least X and T are completely marginalized.

George Barna poll shows Nazarene prophet’s popularity slipping

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(IMAGINATION ALERT!!!!)

After reading Pilgrim’s post below, as well as this post about George Barna’s recent “waffling” and his  growing fascination with ecumenicalism (and this follow-up), I decided to combine the two into one FICTIONAL story.

From Jerusalem Post, c. 33 AD:

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By Mariam Zecharyahu
Jerusalem (JP)–A new George Barna poll has found that the popularity of a certain Nazarene prophet, which had been growing geometrically over the first two years of his ministry, is beginning to show signs of slowing, and, in some cases, the number of people opposed to his teachings is actually greater than those who still favor his doctrines.

Yehoshua Ha’Mashiachah bar-Yusef, whose claims about being the Christ of YHVH have divided people everywhere he has gone, continues to enjoy support from the outcasts of society. But among those in power–especially among the very influential Pharisaical community–his claims to being the only begotten of YHVH Himself have brought about only scorn. As one Pharisee (who spoke to us under condition of anonymity) has said, “He is a blasphemer! I was there when he said that he and YHVH were one. What an outrage to mock the Shema like that! Only YHVH is One!” A scribe, who also wished to remain nameless, said, “The man has a lot of gall! To say what he did, that ‘I AM.’ Does he not know, that is a title reserved for YHVH?” Continue reading

Homo-Nazis do not tolerate dissent

From Slice of Laodicea:

American parents, if you want a vision of the hell that results when those with a moral compass allow the homo-fascists take over a nation, take a look at the terrible state of the UK. (Actually, Massachusetts is already nearly there. Visit MassResistance.org for the latest info.)

Several parents are facing prosecution for removing their children from a homo-pervert version of a school play called “Romeo and Julian.” These are not high schoolers, friends, these are little children who are expected to view this filth without complaint. The heroic parents of 30 children pulled them for the day. The nanny state of the UK, however, says that’s not allowed. You MUST allow nazi-style homosexual indoctrination of your little ones or face legal consequences. This is a vision of statism that our President would like to see implemented in America. But I have news for Mr. Obama: You won’t get it without a revolution on your hands. Children belong to parents, not the state. Hats off to the handful of UK parents that understand that and who are willing to fight to protect their children in the midst of British Sodom.

And the “Tolerant” crowd grows ever more intolerant of those who don’t tolerate sin. Keeping in mind that our current Messiah President has stated, quite confidently, that only the government can solve all of our problems, and that he doesn’t have a problem killing children, and has publicly ridiculed the Holy Scriptures–you can look for this kind of nanny-state totalitarianism to hit these shores within the next four years.He will make sure we accept all forms of sinful deviancy whether we like it or not!