"Love the sinner, hate the sin" - is this Christian?

George Nickens's picture

Dear Brothers in Christ,

I heard that "Love the sinner hate the sin" mantra was initially uttered by Gandhi to expound on some principles of Indian non-Christian religious systems. I wonder whether it corresponds to the teaching of Jesus Christ?

michael_legna's picture

Men should love because we cannot judge

aroyalpriest said -
I do not think that God's Hatred needs to reconciled with His Love.

I wasn't asking you to do that, I was asking you to reconcile your interpretation of the verses you suggested with the ones I had suggested for consideration. We know because scripture is inerrant that if our interpretation cannot be reconciled with all of scripture then it must be wrong, that is why I suggested that test.

aroyalpriest said -
God does both. However I do believe that God's Love for the elect is greater than those who are condemned.

Another interesting verse to note in this discussion is John 14:21 "He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him."

This doesn't say He won't love those who sin. In fact if God stops loving us when we sin, He would be pretty fickle as we all fall in and out of sin.

1Jn 1:8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.

aroyalpriest said -
The problem with this statement is "hate the sin and love the sinner" is that it is a cliche. There is so much more to be thought about,

I agree but aren't all short summaries cliches? That doesn't mean there is not some truth to them.

aroyalpriest said -
In a deep sense we are to love sinners, but because they are enemies of God we are to in fact hate them. God will be glorified when all wickedoers will have their place in the Lake of Fire and Brimestone. If this is such a hard doctrine, study the depravity of Man and it will be made clearer.

Of equal value might be a study of who is really able to judge this issue. The cliche of love the sinner hate the sin is direct to men, not to God. God can see into the hearts of men so He knows their true state, their true faith and whether they are just or evil. As men we cannot do this and so we are told to judge not lest we be judged. Yes, we can choose not to associate with someone we think may lead us down the wrong path, but that is far different from judging their state of salvation.