I don’t think we’re done with this “love the sinner; hate the sin” thing. Friday we got it down to “Love the sinner,” but now I‘m realizing that’s not far enough.
By removing “hate the sin,” I’m not suggesting we love someone’s sin, I’m saying that we can’t let sin get in the way of love. Nothing can get in the way of love. If you love somebody, you love them, not part of them.
If you believe that homosexuality is a sin, then how do you love a homosexual and hate their sin? How do you do that? You love the part of them that isn’t gay? It’s what my wife calls a push-pull relationship. You want to love someone but you are hating their sin so you keep pulling them in, and pushing them away. No wonder that person feels rejected.
All I’m saying is that love embraces the whole person. That means I accept them along with their sin just as I have been accepted by God along with my sin. Loving the whole person is an acknowledgment that sin has been dealt with on the cross.
I believe this is what it means that love covers over a multitude of sins. It’s like a tsunami that envelopes everything in its path. As one of my favorite hymns states it: “O the deep, deep love of Jesus, vast unmeasured, boundless, free, rolling as a mighty ocean in its fullness over me.”
Your sin is no longer a barrier to God so neither is anyone else’s. God’s love on the cross has enveloped my sin — it has made it a non-issue. It’s done the same thing for everybody. Like another hymn says: “Love that is greater than all my sin.” That means the love God gives me for others is the same. It’s greater than all their sin, too.
“But John,” I know some of you are thinking, “How do I love the sinner without condoning their sin?” All I can say about that is: I’m glad God doesn’t have that problem.
Yesterday I got it down to “Love the sinner.” I don’t believe I took it down far enough. We’re still not quite there yet.
I love what Steve sent us. In his comment, he sent a link to a T-shirt with the following inscription. The first line was “Love the sinner; hate the sin,” and “hate the sin” was crossed out. The second line was “Love the sinner,” and this time “the sinner” was crossed out. The last line was simply “Love.” I think that’s it. That’s all we need. There are no conditions on it. That’s the whole thing right there …