Is it possible to hate the sin but love the sinner? If so, is it hard and is the

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  1. Charlu profile image77
    Charluposted 11 years ago

    Is it possible to hate the sin but love the sinner? If so, is it hard and is there a cut off line?

    I've heard so many times to hate the sin, but love the sinner? Do you agree and how hard is it?
    Being able to love someone who has committed what one would consider an unspeakable act seems almost to be an impossible task for me sometimes, especially when it comes to acts committed against a child or animal.   Do you have any advice on how to make this any easier and is there a cut off point?

  2. calynbana profile image77
    calynbanaposted 11 years ago

    There is not a cut off point. We are to love people as we want to be loved. Would we want God to stop loving us for our sins? It is very hard to love people sometimes, but remember loving them does not mean liking them, or their choices. My advice is to read what the Bible says about love. You may want to use a concordance there is a lot on the matter :p it paints a very clear picture of love, love that is very different than the popular conception of love. It also describes how to love.

    The best example of loving sinners was murdered by the sinners he loved and continues to love.

  3. abbykorinnelee profile image46
    abbykorinneleeposted 11 years ago

    Yes, you love everyone...its not your job to judge their sins.  You pray for them and love them in hopes they find their way to God and his forgiveness.  God doesn't stop loving us, we shouldn't stop loving others just because they sin...we all sin.

  4. renegadetory profile image60
    renegadetoryposted 11 years ago

    Just remember that love is not a warm fuzzy feeling, it is an action (although love does make us feel happy of course) and therefore to love someone is to want them to come to a point of repentance for the bad things they are doing and to pray for them constantly. It does not mean blindly accepting what they are doing. Showing you love and care for someone is to do what you can to help them, even if all you are able to do is pray for them.

    1. Charlu profile image77
      Charluposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Thank you and prayer is a great solution, or beginning.

  5. ReneeDC1979 profile image60
    ReneeDC1979posted 11 years ago

    Absolutely Charlu - it is possible to hate the sin and love the sinner.  I think it is easy to draw the line, but depending on the relationship it may be difficult to stick to it.  I say that from personal experience.  A good "friend" of mine is supposed to be doing some musical work for a play I wrote and has not completed his tasks as of yet.  But, when I ask how it's coming along he makes up these lies everytime.  Each time I have found out the truth and called him out on it.  Then I say okay that's it.  You're done - I'm going to go with someone else.  But, then when I had to meet with him I gave him chance after chance.  Finally, I drew the line.  It was hard at first.  But, i found I was more stressed and frustrated with the situation and he didn't care.

    1. Charlu profile image77
      Charluposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Thanks Renee.  Depending on what the sin is most of the time I'm ok, it's just sometimes I find it hard to believe that there are some things that are forgiven.

  6. profile image0
    JThomp42posted 11 years ago

    Yes, as Christians we are to hate the sin and love the sinner. What we must realize is in God's eyes no sin is greater than another. But, by human standards it is so hard to accept this because we are thinking like humans and not like God. And also just because we hate the sin and love the sinner doesn't mean that we must associate ourselves with them. Jesus says in the Bible to "Love one another." I think this is the type of love that overcomes malice. Not the same kind of love we have for our loved ones, friends, etc.

    1. Charlu profile image77
      Charluposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      If no sin is greater than another then I have a lot of work to do smile  Your right that's just the way it is written and what we should try and adhere too.

    2. profile image0
      JThomp42posted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Thank you Charlu. smile

  7. peeples profile image94
    peeplesposted 11 years ago

    I think most of the saying is just a way of making people feel better about their judgments and justify their ways. Quite often I hear people who are against gay marriage say that they just hate the sin not the sinner. Followed by the same person voting against equal rights for gays. Seems to me if we loved someone we would treat them as equals. On another side people claim to hate the sin of murder. They scream for them to be executed. Sound like love? No. People need to accept the fact that it is ok not to like someone or something and stop trying to make everything so politically correct.

    1. Charlu profile image77
      Charluposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Hmmmm  sounds a little hypocritical to me and yet people do it all the time claiming judgement while still lying, eating pork etc.  Thank goodness none of us are perfect.

  8. PlanksandNails profile image81
    PlanksandNailsposted 11 years ago

    ".... to hate the sin, but love the sinner", is a quote from Gandhi from his autobiography. It is not Scriptural. On the surface this phrase seems good, but is misleading and confusing.

    The reason it is so hard to understand, or walk out this phrase is that it is very hard to make the distinction between a sin and the person who commits it. Even under your best intentions you will be inclined or drawn to hate the sinner. Even applying it to yourself, you may end up hating yourself because of it.

    We must remember that sin is separation from God and walking out love is not always warm fuzzy feelings

    The true Gospel is not feeding into the hatred and judging the world with our self-righteousness. On the other hand, within the church, part of God's love is walking out separation from those who deny Jesus Christ, His power, and His standards by continuing to live in habitual sinful lifestyle. If we are not obedient by walking out what God's righteous behaviour is in the church, then we are not loving the sinner or our brothers and sisters in Christ, and being disobedient to His standards.

    This phrase is a paradox and the principle itself will be impossibly confusing. The apostasy of the church today stems from swaying to far one way or the other. God's Word makes distinctions for each case concerning what sinful behaviours are and walking out what His standard of love is in proper context. If we cannot make those distinctions then we are being disobedient to God's doctrinal standards that He has set forth.

    The love of God is the righteousness of His wrath and abundance of His grace for those who choose to accept Him.

    1. Charlu profile image77
      Charluposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Thank you so much for explaining the differences regarding disobedience, the separation, and making the quote a lot clearer, as well as easier to accomplish, (well hopefully).

  9. profile image0
    Old Empresarioposted 11 years ago

    Yes; but it's hard to answer very general and hypothetical questions like this.The more specific you can be, the better. The world is not so black and white.

    1. Charlu profile image77
      Charluposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      When it comes to most sins I consider myself not only forgiving, but loving also.  The problem comes in usually when it comes to the abuse of children and animals, it just makes my hair stand on end especially when it comes to pedophiles.

  10. kathyjones1952@at profile image59
    kathyjones1952@atposted 11 years ago

    Yes.  That's what we're supposed to do.  I love everybody, myself, but I don't always like the way they do.

  11. Tusitala Tom profile image67
    Tusitala Tomposted 11 years ago

    It seems that animals such as cats and dogs have far more ability to forgive a sin and love the sinner than we do.  For example a puppy will continue to love its master even though it might be beaten, tortured, and put through all manner of pain.   Domestic cats are much the same.  They seem to have the ability to put resentment and feelings of revenge behind them.   They tend to love unconditionally.

    In some respect a human child is much the same.  We all long to be loved.  But in childhood we can suffer an awful lot of indiginities, humiliations and even really bad abuse yet still love our parents even though they might be the perpetrators.
    However, there comes a point in our lives as we move towards adulthood where where something hardens in us.  We will take no more.  The sin is then identified with the sinner.  It is not something he or she does but what he or she is.   That is the cut off point.

    1. Charlu profile image77
      Charluposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Wow, great examples Tom  and I never thought about it in retrospect to cats and dogs, or children.  I guess if they are capable then we/I should be able to find a way smile  Thanks

  12. profile image0
    Emile Rposted 11 years ago

    I suppose it is possible, however I believe it is in direct conflict with the teachings of Jesus. To define the actions of another as sin is to judge another human being. It is casting a stone. Who has that right?

    1. Charlu profile image77
      Charluposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Your right none of us have that right, it just seems it's easier with some sins than others

  13. profile image0
    matama ellieposted 11 years ago

    This question has complex answers, i think.
    We are told not to judge and we are also told not to sin.So what is the sin and who is the sinner.The same Bible that tells us not to kill also says that a person who makes children sin is fit to have a stone tied to their neck and drowned.
    This is my opinion even though not everyone will agree with it:
    I think that judging people who are undergoing personal struggles is wrong but so is standing by and letting people who are doing something wrong continue.
    Is it easy to love a rapist? NO! Yest God expects us to(at the moment i personally think such people should be castrated or killed).
    I think God expects us to preach to all sinners of all kinds no matter how much we do not want to.
    At the same time that same God expects that such sinners should receive justice on this earth for their sins.If we stand by and let in justice continue, then God will hold us responsible.

    In conclusion, we should not be so eager to prove we love even the sinners and hating their sin and forget that justice has to be found for the victims who have been hurt against their will.
    I will say though, that that answer is still not satisfactory even for me.The debate in my head still continues....

    1. ReneeDC1979 profile image60
      ReneeDC1979posted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Matama Ellie - I understand your points - but just because you cut off the point where someone continues to sin and do wrong against you, i don't think that is judging.  You are telling them that you will not continue to treat me this way.

  14. Sherry Hewins profile image92
    Sherry Hewinsposted 11 years ago

    It's much easier if the sinner is someone you already love. Then do you stop loving them if they do a terrible thing? If the person in question is a stranger, then it's much harder to separate the person from the act.

    1. Charlu profile image77
      Charluposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Excellent point and very true.

  15. profile image57
    Lbizzconposted 11 years ago

    You wouldn't hate a person if sin was nt there. So my answer is hate the sin not the person.


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