Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Hate the sin, Love the sinner

Really?  Can you tell me where it says that in the Bible?  I couldn't find it.  Maybe that's because it's not a quote out of the Bible at all, but a quote from Mahatma Gandhi, a Hindu.  How about that, huh?  Reason enough to start reading your Bible for yourself so you know what it says?  
It actually says quite the opposite from that quote.  I mean, really, how do you hate something inanimate, while loving the agent of the act?  Do you hate rape but love the rapist?  There would be no rape apart from the rapist.  No, God's wrath abides on the rapist, not some kind of abstract idea.  

Here's what Charles Finney said:
"God is not angry merely against the sin abstracted from the sinner, but against the sinner himself. Some persons have labored hard to set up this ridiculous and absurd abstraction, and would fain make it appear that God is angry at sin, yet not at the sinner. He hates the theft, but loves the thief. He abhors adultery, but is pleased with the adulterer.

"Now this is supreme nonsense. The sin has no moral character apart from the sinner. The act is nothing apart from the actor. The very thing that God hates and disapproves is not the mere event—the thing done in distinction from the doer; but it is the doer himself. It grieves and displeases Him that a rational moral agent, under His government, should array himself against his own God and Father, against all that is right and just in the universe. This is the thing that offends God. The sinner himself is the direct and the only object of his anger."

You can see how it appeals to our sinful nature, though, can't you?  Ah, God hates lies, theft and fornication, but when I commit these acts, He doesn't hate me, just the acts themselves.  Ridiculous, isn't it?  Who's going to be punished for those acts?  
We do what we are.

Good trees produce good fruit.  
A good person that does bad things?  If you're a good person, why on earth would you do bad things?  
It's like this:
I'm an apple tree.
"Do you make any apples?"  
No, I make oranges.
 "Guess what you are - you're an orange tree!"  
Duh! Why is it any different when it comes to spiritual things?

What you do is a reflection and echo of what you are inside - you're not deep down a really good person.  You're a really bad person.  

Matthew 15:19
For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander.

God hates that, and WE'RE the object of His wrath!  

Psalm 5:5
The arrogant cannot stand in your presence; you hate all who do wrong.

That's the bad news, and we all fall into that category.  There is not one righteous on the earth, no not one!  

The good news is that there is forgiveness available.  But there is only One Way!  It is the narrow path and there are few that find it.  But wide is the road to destruction.  
Jesus Christ paid the fine for you!  But that's not some kind of free ticket to sin - quite the opposite!  

Hebrews 10:26-29
If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God.
Anyone who rejected the law of Moses died without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses.  How much more severely do you think a man deserves to be punished who has trampled the Son of God under foot, who has treated as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctified him, and who has insulted the Spirit of grace?

If you loved Him, you would follow His commands.

1 John 5:3
This is love for God: to obey his commands. And his commands are not burdensome

Now, don't fall in the ditch on the other side of this issue, either. We are not to hate sinners but to warn them. After all, weren't we just like them at some point before conversion?

1 Corinthians 6:11
And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.

Ephesians 2:3
All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature objects of wrath.

Colossians 1:21
Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior.

God will judge and His holy, righteous wrath abides upon the sinner.  
So what are we to do? Here's our job description: 

Ezekiel 33:7-9
"Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel; so hear the word I speak and give them warning from me.  When I say to the wicked, 'O wicked man, you will surely die,' and you do not speak out to dissuade him from his ways, that wicked man will die for his sin, and I will hold you accountable for his blood.  But if you do warn the wicked man to turn from his ways and he does not do so, he will die for his sin, but you will have saved yourself.

And it's repeated in the NT by Jesus Himself in the Great Commission. 
We are commanded to witness to people, sharing the Gospel.  Only God will make an actual  conversion, we just need to be obedient. Go and tell the Good News.


The Old Geezer said...

I didn't know that came from Mahatma Gandhi.
But one thing I do know, since I first heard Christians start using it, I've always thought it was just something to say so they ( church leaders ) would not need to deal with practicing sinners in the church. Sad to say, most churches today do not practice biblical discipline in their congregations. Of course if you stand up against evil in the church you are the one branded as unloving. No wonder our churches are so weak today. Good blog, keep up the good work. If you ever want to dialog with me, we can do it by email. Ron, ronj1946@gmail.com

AL said...

I don't remember where I heard that - I think it was from Paul Washer - he's got some powerful sermons out there.
Thanks for the compliments!