"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?


What do you think Jesus is striving to teach when he tells us that God gives good things and loves those enemies (even the publicans), even when they don't love Him in return? Why do you think Jesus stresses loving our enemies who persecute and do evil towards us, and then turns around immediately and says, "...Just like God in heaven loves?"

As much as we yearn for simplicity, God is complex. Obviously. So to say, "Well, David says God hates God's enemies..." overlooks the complexity of God. God hates the fact that they ARE His enemies; if they cease to be His enemies, the situation would change; it's not their nature, but their position or stance that God is rejecting.

Isaiah talks about God loving and saving people WHO AREN'T of Israel, slapping Israel in the face for thinking they're particularly special among the nations; they're not special; God's selection of Israel is a reflection of GOD'S uniqueness, not Israel's special qualities. Isaiah's the guy who makes the "All are children of God," argument, which Jesus seems to pick up and run with.

HOWEVER, there are children who are on better terms with the Father than the other children. Think about the Prodigal Son. He was a child, he just wasn't at home with the Father. When Paul talks about those who aren't children of God, I think we can assume that he's talking about people who aren't one with the Son, the Body of Christ...

"Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me. And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life." John 5.39-40