Love the sinner but hate the sin

Forgiven_200x300You know? It’s in the “bible” next to “God helps those who help themselves” and several other catch-verses. These are verse bits from different parts of the Bible that gather as catch-phrases. Catch-phrases are only good as mnemonic devices…memory tricks to solidify ideas in people’s minds. As active philosophies they tend to leave bills unpaid, both for Christianity and for Christians.

We would do best to apply George Washington’s fire analogy to hate. “…And like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearsome master.” As concepts, love and hate are deeply ingrained in the human psyche as feelings. These are the warm and cold fuzzies we have for others. That’s why people talk so much about feeling love or hate for someone or some thing. The idea that these are choices and acts…something we do instead of feel is very difficult to understand. We also tend to be lazy creatures. So what we do we tend to base on how we feel.

There is a very thin membrane, a veil, between sinner and sin. It’s barely discernible most of the time. And human beings are never very good at the delicate balancing act of hating one and loving the other. Hate usually ends up being the thing we do while telling ourselves that we love a person. We’re deceiving ourselves when we do that. Hate tends to overpower love. It’s louder, burns brighter and is quite deceptive. It will always try to shout down whatever love is in our hearts. The thought that we can manage it alongside love like diet choices is part of our self-deception. It isn’t working. It never works.

So how about we just love people? That’s all Christ did. And it seems that was the message in the first place.


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