Friday, July 3, 2015

Does the Bible say, "Love the sinner and hate the sin?" - Josh Felts

Does the Bible say, “love the sinner and hate the sin?” 

I have grown up my whole life in the church and have heard the statement, love the sinner and hate the sin. I can’t even begin to tell you how many times I have heard people say, “the Word of God says, love the sinner and hate the sin.” While this may be a popular statement to make, it is not in the bible. 

If it did not come from the Bible, where did this statement come from? The statement originated from St. Augustine in a letter he wrote saying, "Cum dilectione hominum et odio vitiorum," which translates, "with love for mankind and hatred of sins." It was later made famous by Mahatma Ghandi when he said, "hate the sin and love the sinner.”

I do want to make this very clear, the bible does not say, love the sinner and hate the sin anywhere in it. Many will then say, “love the sinner and hate the sin means loving someone while not agreeing with them.” If that is what was actually happening where we loved well regardless if we disagreed then that would be fine. However, many use this as a license to condemn, judge, and be hateful and finish it all up with the words, “BUT, I love you.” I have seen this over and over: You are absolutely evil, You are going to burn in hell, and so on…  BUT I am praying for you and love you.” I hate to break it to you, but that is not love. It is exactly what it sounds like, condemning, judgmental, and hateful nonsense.
I believe this would not be as big of a problem if we did not assume it is our job to correct everyone. I will say, if we are in relationship with someone and they trust us then I do believe it is okay to express our concerns. Many will argue saying, "but love corrects.” I believe my friend Caleb Miller answered this perfectly, “Well let Him correct then.” See, God is Love and our job as Christians is simply to love. If God finds the need to correct then He will.