Love the Sinner, Acknowledge the Sin

Jesus loves everyone!

Love the sinner, hate the sin!

That is a slogan we are used to hearing. I have used it myself.

Would it be better to say “Love the sinner, acknowledge the sin”?

I can already hear some people saying “But you can’t call people sinners! It is too offensive!”

My response: “I get offended the way some feminists say “man” or “men”. I get offended when black/dark-skinned-Americans (because, seriously, YOU WERE NOT BORN IN AFRICA! I am not a “European-American” and you are not an “African-American”! Most of your families have been in the United States for generations! I guess this is another offense. “Asian-“, “Mexican-“, “African-“, and any other “whatever-Americans” are those who have immigrated here and earned citizenship. If you are born here, you are AMERICAN.) … anyway, I get offended when blacks call each other (for those who are too sensitive, I will censor myself this time) “the n-word” but get upset when someone says it – even when quoting someone. I get offended the way some people say “Christian”. I get offended by the way some Christians say … a lot of things Christians say!

Therefore, perhaps it is not the word that is offensive, just the way it is said or used or perceived. I know I did not like being called a sinner when I heard “those Christians” say it before I became a believer. When I started going to church, however, it was presented as “all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God” (see Romans 3:23, if you are wondering), and informed every single person who has lived (short of Jesus, but He is also God!) is a sinner. They explained why we are all sinners.

Get over yourself.

Back to the point …

Maybe we should just learn to love others. “But they party all the time!” “But he’s gay!” “But she had a baby outside of marriage!”

What did you do? Who are you?

“But God  demonstrates  His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners,  Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8, NASB)

“Dear friends, let us continue to love one another, for love comes from God. Anyone who loves is a child of God and knows God. But anyone who does not love does not know God, for God is love. God showed how much he loved us by sending his one and only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him.” (1 John 4:7-9, NLT)

I am pretty sure love is important (not mushy feelings, the willful decision to care).

We might also want to tread carefully if a something is the central focus of a person’s life. Homosexuality is not an act, it is a way of life. Alcoholism is not an act, it is either a mental disorder, a way to deal with life, or simply all that is known by them. This also goes for many addictions, habits, and lifestyles. I grew up gossiping, angry, and violent. It was what I saw all around me, it was all I knew, and it took a while to change.

I am not saying homosexuality and alcoholism are the same thing. Read my last post! Perhaps people really can be born a certain way! We do know some alcoholics are born lacking a chemical that alcohol (and sometimes drugs) fill (I read it in an AA booklet from a friend and have seen medical reports on it … I wish I could remember the name!) There are also women in India (I forget what the name is) who have very masculine features (and are considered holy).

Can I get some feedback?! (think black preacher voice for that question: “Can I get a witness?!”-style. I really enjoy their enthusiasm and the way their voices sound!) What are some thoughts? Let’s get some conversations started!

    • sandra pitcher
    • March 25th, 2011

    Sure, I’ll comment! (I haven’t seen/talked to you in forever, Dan! Hope all is going well!) I agree with what you’re presenting, and here are my views on the topic:

    Everybody sins. I heard a sermon once that defined sin as going against God’s will. It went on to say that choices that we make in life (whether obviously sinful or not) can go against God’s will. Perhaps you have a choice to make in life, big or small. One option glorifies God. The other option glorifies our own interests. When you look at your options, you can’t always tell which glorifies God. How many people have gone the wrong direction w/o realizing they chose their path over God’s? According to the definition of sin I presented, a person has sinned if they chose their path over God’s. I guarantee this has happened to everyone in their lives. Not only this, but the obvious ways of sinning have taken over at some point for everyone.

    Therefore, there’s no reason to judge another for something that we are just as guilty for. Even if it is a different sin that we could never imagine ourselves doing, every sin is considered equal in the eyes of God (unless you want to get into the unforgivable sin and all that stuff, which I’m not going to do.)

    In my opinion, the best thing to do is accept that we live in a fallen world, we all sin, we have no right to judge others for their sins (that’s God’s job anyways), and do as God asks us- love. Fill your heart with love, ask God to help you fill your heart with love. Let God do his job (guide us during life, judge us once it’s over) so that we can do ours (follow Him)!

    • It is amazing how forever can be eternity, a few moments, or anywhere in between (like four years)!

      This was definitely one of my main points. Everyone is different. If someone refuses to accept that, they should probably become a recluse! They will never find someone exactly like them (close, maybe, but not exact). Many of those differences are sins. We are all guilty, therefore we have no place to judge.

      Thanks for stopping by, Sandra! It is great to hear from you! Stop by regularly!

  1. August 22nd, 2011

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