Monday, June 3, 2013

Hating Sin... And Sinners?


We must hate error, we must abhor falsehood; but we must not hate men, for God's warfare is against sin. May God help us always to make that distinction. -- Charles Spurgeon

That is the quote which not only inspired this blog post, but also started an in-depth discussion between myself and several of my friends.  The discussion came about because one of my friends said that he was surprised that even Spurgeon fell into this heresy, by which he meant the heresy of love the sinner hate the sin.
My friend’s comment surprised me and, to be honest, I didn’t really address it much.  My other friends were far more involved in the discussion than I, who merely sat on the sidelines and gave an occasional comment.  But, the longer I have thought about this, and the more I have conveyed my thoughts to others in discussions about the discussion, the more I feel like I need to actually say something and give my opinion on the matter.
Which is why, my poor blog readers, this post is now before you. 

Are we called to both hate the sin, and the sinner?  I believe not.
My friend’s stance was that God is a holy God because He hates sinners and that we therefore, who are called to be holy as God is holy, ought to hate sinners and their sin.  And, while he did not site either of these verses, I did do my homework and came up with these two verses from the Bible that many people would probably use to back up his statements. (please note I will be using the KJV only for the scripture verses I give, as my friend is a very strict KJV only)
 For thou art not a God that hath pleasure in wickedness: neither shall evil dwell with thee.  The foolish shall not stand in thy sight: thou hatest all workers of iniquity.  Thou shalt destroy them that speak leasing: the Lord will abhor the bloody and deceitful man.  Psalm 5:4-6
 The Lord is in his holy temple, the Lord's throne is in heaven: his eyes behold, his eyelids try, the children of men. The Lord trieth the righteous: but the wicked and him that loveth violence his soul hateth.  Upon the wicked he shall rain snares, fire and brimstone, and an horrible tempest: this shall be the portion of their cup.  For the righteous Lord loveth righteousness; his countenance doth behold the upright.  Psalm 11:4-7
Now, the verses that immediately sprang to my mind were as follows:
Romans 5:6-8 For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
And finally, in one of the most beautiful verses in the bible, 1st John 4:10, John writes, “In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins”.
Based off of these scripture verses we see that in Romans, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us, and we see that in John 3:16 God loved us, despite the fact that at the point in time which He loved us, we were yet sinners. 
So, because our sins separated us from perfect fellowship with God, the Salvation plan was put in place in order to redeem mankind.  In essence, God’s love for sinful man necessitated that our sins, which He could neither condone nor overlook, be paid for in order to absolve us so that we might once more be in fellowship with Him. 
In addition to these verses, the story of the rich young ruler also comes to mind.  In the narrative of the rich young ruler, Jesus explained that the young man lacked something necessary to be pleasing to God. Yet even though the young man was lacking and lost, the Bible says that Jesus “loved him” (Mark 10:21).
So how is that possible, if he were a sinner?  I mean, doesn’t it seem like the Bible is contradicting itself here? How can we possibly reconcile the verses that seem to suggest that God hates sinners, with the ones that say He loves them? 
One of the most plausible solutions is that the Bible writers are using a figure of speech called metonymy when they write that God hates sinners. Metonymy is defined as: “A figure by which one name or noun is used instead of another, to which it stands in a certain relation”.
Now you all think I have really flipped my lid, right?  No, not really.  In fact, we have examples of scripture where metonymy is actually used.  For instance, in Luke 16:29, the text says: “They have Moses and the prophets, let them hear them.”
Now, we know that in reality they don’t have Moses or the prophets, but they did have their writings. The name Moses is a metonymy that stood for his writings, since he was the cause of the writings.
Let me give you a modern example.  If I were to say I hate Jules Verne (which I don’t in any ways shape or form) would that mean that I hated Jules Verne’s person?  No.  It would mean I don’t like his books, not that I hate the brilliant literary author himself. 
So, if we apply that same figure of speech to the passages about God “hating sinners,” we can see that the sinner is put in place of the sin. Thus, when God says He hates “a false witness who speaks lies” (Proverbs 6:19), if metonymy is being used, then God hates the lies, and the one who is doing the lying (the cause) is put in place of the lies (the effect). It is interesting to see how clear this can be in other contexts. For instance, Proverbs 6:17 says that God hates “a lying tongue.” Does that mean that God hates a physical tongue, made of muscle and whatever other nastiness a tongue is made out of?  Of course not. It means God hates the sin that a tongue can perform. In the same context, we learn that God hates “feet that are swift in running to evil” (6:18). Again, does that mean that God hates physical feet? No. It simply means that God hates the sin that those feet can perform.  In essence, the nouns are put in the place of the things they cause—sin.
Furthermore, I think it is poignant to note that we are all sinners.  Saved and unsaved alike.  So, I find it difficult to believe that the Lord, who calls me to love my brothers and sisters in Christ, even when they drive me crazy or wound me, would turn right back around and call me to hate them.  To me the argument makes more sense if you say we are called to hate the unsaved and love the saved (which I still don’t think is biblical based off of the above defense) then for someone to say we are called to hate the sinner, which encompasses all of us.
Now, I know the argument is often brought up in these kinds of discussions that James 4:4 states:
Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.
I want to point out here, though, that enmity with someone does not necessarily translate into hating them, though that is often implied.  See, an example of an enemy of God who was still loved, and even called friend, is Judas, one of the twelve disciples.  No one can argue that Judas was not the enemy of God, for he was literally working against Him.  He sold the Son of God for silver.  He actively sought out the demise of Christ.  And yet, as Judas hands Him over, Christ calls him friend.
And while he yet spake, lo, Judas, one of the twelve, came, and with him a great multitude with swords and staves, from the chief priests and elders of the people. Now he that betrayed him gave them a sign, saying, ‘Whomsoever I shall kiss, that same is he: hold him fast.’ And forthwith he came to Jesus, and said, Hail, master; and kissed him.  And Jesus said unto him, ‘Friend, wherefore art thou come?’ Then came they, and laid hands on Jesus, and took him.   Matthew 26:47-50
So, if Jesus hated the enemy of God, why would he then call him friend?  To me that makes no sense.
To be honest, I am not fond of the phrase hate the sin, love the sinner.  It is often used in reference to greasy grace as well as in the seeker friendly movements.  However, just because I don’t like the phrase because it has been ill used, doesn’t mean that I don’t think the phrase, in a biblical sense, is accurate.
We should never condone sin.  Ever.  And we should always be careful in our associations with sin, but this does not mean that we should turn our backs on the sinner.  Had Christ done so, He would never have eaten with the sinners and tax collectors (Mathew 9:10). 
If I hate the out of wedlock mother, the substance addicted teen, or the man who has done time that comes to church to hear the word of God, then how on earth will they see the love of Christ living in me?  If I hate them, what on earth would make them want to even look at Christ? 
There is a Casting Crowns song which states:
A traveler is far away from home
He sheds his coat and quietly sinks into the back row
The weight of their judgmental glances
Tells him that his chances are better out on the road

This is the product of hating the sinner.  If all the sinner feels amidst the body of Christ is judgment and hate, he’s not going to stick around to find out about Christ.  Why?  Because if those hate-filled Christians are an example of Christ, why would we want anything to do with them? 

To be honest, I have walked into churches before and been repulsed by the judgmental attitudes of Christians.  And I was saved.  If it turned my stomach, what do you think it does to the hurting, unsaved sinner?  And if we feel that bad over someone being judgmental, how much more will we feel unwanted if they are hating on us? 
To hate the sinner and the sin means to hate not only your fellow brothers and sisters in Christ, but also yourself.  For we better than anyone should know the sin that dwells in our sinner’s heart.
So I say with Spurgeon, our warfare is against sin.  May we always remember that. 

 

  
 
 

18 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Thanks, Tim! I appreciate you stopping in and letting me know. :D

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  2. I have more things to say, but it would be best to do it all in smaller pieces.

    Just to let you know, the verses from Romans 5 were not from the King James version in the post.

    " Romans 5
    6 For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.
    7 For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die.
    8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

    John 3:16
    For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

    And finally, in one of the most beautiful verses in the bible, 1st John 4:10, John writes, “In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins”. "


    I would ask: what did Christ’s death on the cross do for unrepentant sinners?
    It only gives them a lower bunk in hell.

    If you are actually saying that God loves sinners in the same way he loves the righteous because of these verses, then you are saying that everyone will go to heaven and no one will go to hell.

    God shows his hatred for sinners in these very verses, in that he blocks all sinners from receiving eternal life:

    “Whosoever believeth in him”

    He only grants life to those he loves: the righteous, that is, repentant sinners.

    Thus, in love, he gives sinners a way to life: through ceasing to be sinners. By continuing to be sinners they reject his great love in dying for them, and provoke greater wrath and hatred.


    Thus Christ’s death on the cross makes the hatred of God for sinners that many times fiercer.

    28 He that despised Moses' law died without mercy under two or three witnesses:
    29 Of how much *sorer punishment*, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?
    Hebrews 10


    As long as they remain sinners they are remaining in rejection of the love God has towards repentance.
    By not having repented yet, they have not yet accepted this love, thus receiving the hate until they do repent.

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    1. I know how you feel on this topic, Patrick, and I have read through the scripture verses you give, but the point still remains that in my blog post I brought us Metonymy and the fact that the saved are still sinners. We will never reach perfection until our glorification. You sin every day. I sin every day. Every human being sins every day. If we judge God's love based off of our "good works" which are like filthy rags, then people like Mother Teresa should be nearer to heaven than either you or I.

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  3. Yes, I was only addressing the verses: I will have another piece soon.

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  4. " In addition to these verses, the story of the rich young ruler also comes to mind. In the narrative of the rich young ruler, Jesus explained that the young man lacked something necessary to be pleasing to God. Yet even though the young man was lacking and lost, the Bible says that Jesus “loved him” (Mark 10:21). "

    The rich young ruler was legitimately following the Lord and seeking to please him. It was when it came to the point that he had to choose between God and his wealth that he turned away from God.

    Will Christ look on him and love him when he comes to destroy him? No. The bitterness that rich young man caused by his betrayal will be punished in eternal fire.

    Adam was in the same case: he was very good, as God said, until it came to the point that he had to choose between God and the temptation of his wife.

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    1. The Bible doesn't say he was a believer and then turned his back on God. There is no evidence in scripture that we can lose our salvation. And if we could, what a puny God we would serve. He can't even keep us with His love?

      The rich young ruler was trying to work his way into heaven through works. That was what the story was about, as well as the fact that there are many obstacles in the path of Christian living and often times it is easier to be a Christian with less, than it is to be one with more.

      As for Adam, are you saying that Adam turned away from God and therefore will not be in heaven?

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    2. "The Bible doesn't say he was a believer and then turned his back on God."
      He said, "All these have I kept from my youth up."
      The Bible says:
      If ye know that he is righteous, ye know that every one that doeth righteousness is born of him.
      1 John 2:29

      "There is no evidence in scripture that we can lose our salvation. "
      The Bible says:
      When I shall say to the righteous, that he shall surely live; if he trust to his own righteousness, and commit iniquity, all his righteousnesses shall not be remembered; but for his iniquity that he hath committed, he shall die for it.
      Ezekiel 33:13

      "And if we could, what a puny God we would serve. He can't even keep us with His love?"
      Power and glory cannot change what someone would choose if they are given the choice. If God could keep us after we deny him by our works then he never needed us to confess him in the first place.

      To say that those who turn to God will never turn away is to say that man is infallible. To say that it does not matter if we turn away is to say that no one will go to hell.

      "The rich young ruler was trying to work his way into heaven through works."
      He was keeping the commandments, for the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God. He did not say he was trying to justify his sins by his righteousness.
      Then, when he disobeyed the command of Christ, he walked away unrighteous.

      "As for Adam, are you saying that Adam turned away from God and therefore will not be in heaven?"
      I believe he repented of his sin, though the Bible does not say. But beforehand he had nothing to repent of. He was more innocent than a newly conceived child.

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  5. Let me start out by saying that was well done yet again, kiddo!

    Now, some things worth thinking about. If we hate both the sinner and the sin, what is the point of Christ? Why would we need or be offered grace, love, or even hope? The sinner would get none of these. Common grace shouldn’t even happen. Hate is no small thing, especially the hatred of God!


    Also, who is the sinner? John 8:7 "He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her". Who was left standing there? Christ. Christ is the ONLY man without sin. If we live under "hate the sinner and the sin" we all have no hope. We all are on a one way street to Hell. I am not without sin on a great day, much less a bad one.

    Why save a man that doesn't need saved? Why show mercy to a man that doesn't need it? Why give grace if we don’t need it? We do need it. We are all in need of grace, love, and hope because we all have sin.

    Something else to think on:

    Not only am I called to love my brother (1 John 4:20), but I am also called to love my enemies, as it says in Matthew 5:44, which reads, “But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you".


    I have a hard time thinking these people are not in sin, and yet, I am told to love them.

    I personally cannot find one scripture in the Bible that tells me to hate anyone for any reason. God loves whom He chooses and hates whom He chooses. I, however, am called to love my brother and my enemy, both of which have much sin. Christ always spoke in love—He often said hard things in truth—but what was the point? To bring them to repentance.


    All of that said, I would like to point out that sin is NEVER ok. We should NEVER wink at it, or make light of it. But if we hate both the sinner and the sin, we hate everyone...including ourselves.

    As Christian's I think we need to be careful not to place ourselves so high that we forget who we were and that we were "drawn with bands of love". If God's word says he drew me with bands of love, why should I try any other method?

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    1. *is simply ecstatic that you posted!!! *

      I heartily agree. We are all sinners. We all commit sin every day. Only Christ is sinless. Praise God He loved me enough to redeem this vile heart of stone and turn it into a heart of flesh that desires to serve and follow Him, though imperfectly and often with much stumbling.

      The only difference between us and the unsaved is not our sin, but the grace and mercy of Christ.

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  6. The definition of hate against sinners is, for example, to have no pleasure from them, to curse those that do not love Christ, to curse those who teach a false gospel, to curse those that rebel against God’s law, to pray for their destruction and misery, to long for when God will give them to your sword, to rejoice when God gives them blood to drink, or to rejoice with everlasting joy when at last they find everlasting torment.

    I also do not see how a poetical sense of the word could be different than this. And even so, those who say we should not hate sinners would condemn the poetic use of the word as well. If a modern worship leader started belting out how he hated sinners from the bottom of his heart, as David did, they would lose... all of their audience. If he said, “It was just poetic,” no one would feel any different, and rightly so.

    If a person says we must take the scriptures as a whole, the scriptures taken as a whole do not contradict individual statements. I could say that the scriptures taken as a whole justifies murder, and how would I be dis-proven? By individual scriptures. But I could just toss these aside by saying that they need to be taken into “context” with scripture as a whole. God should only need to say something once for us to accept it.

    If a person says that only God has a right to hate sinners, there are deeds that God does that we do not have the right to do, but his attitudes and the principles he bases his actions on we are required to imitate to the last detail. To love what God hates is as wrong as to hate what God loves.

    To be the friend of the world is to be the enemy of God. Why, if we are not only allowed but required to love those he hates?

    Saying that hatred is wrong condemns hating sin as well as condemning hating the sinner, or it condemns neither. Hatred, in the context of a sin, is causeless hatred. It also should be pointed out that to call a sinner your brother is as if to say a child of the Devil is a child of God.

    God’s heart is broken by the rebellion of sinners, and comforted by their punishment. His heart is not broken by their punishment, it is broken by their treachery and rejection of his love. The more his heart is broken the more fiercely he will torment them. Nowhere does the Bible say that God allows men to go to hell; they are sent, they are _cast_ into hell.

    God could easily allow sinners into heaven if he loved them, but instead he chooses to cast them into hell, because he hates them.

    It is a basic tenet of Christianity that at the end everything will be made perfect and set to rights, and there will be no flaw. For those who weep because sinners are dying and going to hell, those same sinners will be in hell when God wipes those offensive tears from your eyes, and takes you for a walk through your beloved sinners ashes, and teaches you a very new song indeed.

    You should be weeping because they are sinners. Unless you do not actually hate sin.

    If one argues that we cannot hate sinners because Christ died for them, did he do anything for sinners by his death? He specifically denied sinners any benefit from his death. When sinners are before him he says, “Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire...”

    The scriptures specifically say that Christ never intended to benefit sinners by his death.

    But if, while we seek to be justified by Christ, we ourselves also are found sinners, is therefore Christ the minister of sin?
    *God forbid.*

    Galatians 2:17

    It is plain if you read the scriptures that God loves his children and hates the children of the Devil. A belief to the contrary is as plainly at fault as Calvinism is at fault.

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    1. My dear Patrick, first of all, I maintain that to hate SINNERS is to hate your brother and sister in Christ. To hate sinners is even to hate yourself. We are all sinners, whether saved or unsaved. The difference is which of us is a redeemed sinner rescued from death and torment.

      Now, your definition of what it means to hate a sinner is something I do not agree with. You gave me no scripture verses to back up your statements (the only scripture verse you gave was at the end). I see nowhere in Scripture where I am called to actively pray for the demise and misery of a sinner. We are called, by God, to be a light to this world. To minister not only to the sinner, but also the unsaved sinner. We are called to throw pebbles of truth on the icy surface of the sinners’ heart and pray that one day the Lord would choose to thaw the ice of their hearts and allow those pebbles of truth to sink in. We are not called to actively seek out their destruction or to desire the Lord cast them away from Him. We Christians aught know better than anyone else the devastation and terror of hell. And if we know what hell is and will be, then our hearts aught break for the lost and the unsaved sinner and proclaim the Word of God with boldness to a world lost.

      A great example of sinners being shown mercy and grace by God, and being hated by one of His children, is the story of Jonah. Now, I know I don’t need to reshare this whole story with you, but the highlights are that Jonah didn’t want to go and preach repentance to the Ninevites because of his hatred towards them. They were sinners, and they deserved to die. So, because of his hatred towards them, and his lack of grace, Jonah disobeyed God in order to not go and preach what God commanded him to preach. Fast Forward and we see Jonah preach about God and great repentance occurs because God showed these terrible sinners grace, mercy, and love. And what did Jonah do? He was angry that God saved them because of his hatred towards them, as opposed to hating the sin they were leaving behind. And Jonah is rebuked for this. To me, Jonah is a perfect example of just what you are talking about, and his behavior wasn’t condoned.

      Also, Jesus was clear in the fact that we should not revel in the sword. He never said we shouldn’t use it, but if we delight in the idea of running the unsaved sinner through with the sword, then we are living by the sword.

      David did not belt out that He hated sinners from the bottom of his heart, Patrick. He did cry out for God to no longer allow his enemies to do wickedness, but he didn’t belt out that he hated sinners. In fact, David was “chief” among sinners, by human standards. He committed adultery, murdered a man, practiced polygamy, allowed his children to run rampant and unchecked—these are only a handful of the sins committed by David. For him to hate sinners would require the hatred of himself. Furthermore, David loved King Saul, despite the vast wickedness of his sin and his blatant disregard for the Lord and His ways.

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    2. As for the scriptures and taking things in context, I believe that the Lord gave us His word, and our brains, for a reason. Just because a scripture verse says: “Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart” (Psalm 37:4), doesn’t mean that, because God only has to say something once for us to believe it, that our perception of that verse, when not weighed against the whole of scripture, is correct. God does not err, but man’s interpretation of what He says, does err. You see, we know, when we read other scriptures, that our heart is desperately wicked. We also know that our ways and our desires are not always God’s ways or desires for us. So when we interpret Psalms 37:4, we have to take the whole of scripture into account. This verse isn’t saying if we delight ourselves in the Lord that He will bring about whatever we want. The desire of someone’s heart may be a million bucks in their mailbox, but that doesn’t mean it’s going to happen. The desire of my heart is to hold my baby brother in my arms again and finish reading Self-Raised to him, but that doesn’t mean God’s going to bring Samuel back from the dead because it is the desire of my heart. Instead, when we interpret that verse and look at the whole of scripture, we find that when we truly delight ourselves in the Lord our hearts begin to change and our “earthly” desires begin to fall away. We gain a deep thirst for what the Lord wants for our lives and therefore the desires of our heart begin to align with God’s.

      Saying that hatred is wrong does not condemn hating sin as well as hating the sinner. There is such a thing as righteous wrath. An example of this is when Christ felt righteous indignation because of what the temple had been deduced to. A den of thieves. It wasn’t the house of God. So he began overturning the tables (Mathew 21:12-14). Hatred for their acts began to burn in the bosom of Christ, but we don’t see him exact that hatred on the people. If Christ hating the unsaved sinner is right, then why didn’t he cleanse the temple by killing the wicked, sin-filled moneychangers? The simple answer could be “it wasn’t their time to die and Christ had more important things to do”, which is a sufficient enough answer, but I think the reason is deeper than that.

      Why did Christ die? To save God-haters, for that is what we were before he rescued us from the bondage of our sin. Christ loved those whom He would redeem. He died to save not only sinners, but GOD-HATERS!

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    3. As for you pointing out that to call a sinner your brother is as if to say a child of the Devil is a child of God, I must say absolute balderdash! Patrick, I call you my brother, and you are a sinner. Do you not call me, a sinner saved by grace who will not be freed from this vile and corruptible body in which I live until Christ shall return or call me home, your sister? The saved do not escape sin, I am afraid. We are able, as children of the Lord, to overcome it, but we still wrestle with it every day until the battle is won and Christ gives us the victory in the end. Now, to say that the unsaved are not your brothers or sisters in Christ is, I agree, very true. But a sinner most assuredly can and is your brother or sister in Christ.


      God’s heart is broken by the rebellion of sinners, I agree. In fact, I would agree that His heart is broken by their treachery and rejection of his love. However, the reason why men and women are cast into hell is because of their unrepentant heart. God has that authority. We feeble ignorant humans, however, know not who is among those that will be saved, and who is among those that will not be saved. So how in the world, and why in the world, would God give us the right to pray for the damnation of one of His children? For two years down the road that unsaved sinner you have been praying to drink blood and die at the edge of your sword may very well become your brother or sister in Christ.

      You know what? If the Christians who were the tools used by God to bring about the salvation of my parents had had this attitude, and been praying against my parents and hating them because they were unsaved sinners, my parents would not have gone to that revival meeting where they got saved. In fact, my Daddy would never, EVER darken the doors of a church. He hated the church because of their hypocrisy and their more holy than though attitudes. Now, we could say that God is sovereign and my parents still would have both ended up getting saved on the exact same day no matter what, but the fact of the matter is, my family was rescued from divorce and hopelessness because God burdened the hearts of individual Christians to love and pray for my family. To show them the love and grace of Christ. To be a witness and a minister in His name. Praise God for Christians who are willing to get down in the trenches and do the hard work. It is so much easier for me to say “no, I don’t want to help you because you are an unsaved sinner”. In fact, that would make my life a whole lot easier. But instead, I’m called to hold the hand of the cutter, whether they are bleeding or not, and show them the love of Christ. I’m called to minister, just as Paul ministered in prison to men who were not only sinners, but God-haters.

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    4. As for your statement that those of us who weep because sinners are dying and going to hell being cast into hell ourselves, I praise God you are not my judge, but that He is. I wept over the death of someone I loved very much because I knew they were not in the presence of the Lord. They were in hell. I didn’t weep because I felt God was unfair. I wept because I know the terrible suffering that person will undergo for eternity. It is a heart of stone that does not ache for the state in which those people find themselves. I do not think God should have given them a “get out of jail free” card, but I still feel remorse that they will endure an eternity of separation from God with no hope of salvation. And that remorse ignites a fire within me to minister in the name of Christ, showing His love to a dying world that will face that same punishment if they too are not rescued from it.

      As for Christ never intending sinners to benefit from his death, what then were you? Were you perfect before Christ rescued you? And if so, then why were you in need of rescuing? Mathew 9:13 (KJV)says, “But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” And if you back up your earlier statement that God need only say something once for us to believe it, then you should believe that Christ did intend to benefit sinners. He came not for the righteous, but to open up a way of Salvation for the repentant sinner.

      As for your jab against Calvinism… I would much rather believe in the attributes attributed to God by Calvinists, then the attributes being attributed to God by you. For you are saying that God not only hates me and desires that I drink blood, but also that He hates you and desires that you drink blood.

      Luke 11:11-13 (KJV) “If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? Or if a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent? Or if he shall ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?”

      Praise God for a loving Heavenly Father who loved me enough to redeem me, to ransom me, to rescue me from my sin and my bondage, and who loves me even when I stumble and fall. Praise God for a Heavenly Father who carries me when I cannot carry myself. Praise God for loving me enough to die for me, a God-hater and a sinner content with my sin until He changed my life.

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    5. To your blog post and to your comments Kaitlyn, amen, amen, and amen. That's all I need to say. So glad we serve the same God! :)

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  7. Here's something worth thinking about. In Rediscovering Holiness, J. I. Packer quotes Calvin (who says that he in turn is quoting Augustine) as saying that "in a marvelous and divine way [God] loved us even when he hated us." To the extent that I am a breaker of his commandments and a resister of his will, God rightfully hates me, because I am making myself his enemy. But he has also chosen to love me for the sake of his Son. We are "by nature objects of wrath," but by grace "children of God." Similarly, when Peter tried to rebuke Jesus, Jesus said---to his close friend, whom he had just commended for his confession of faith---"Get behind me, Satan."

    Another thought is that when most people say, "Hate the sin but love the sinner," they are thinking of "love" as essentially "tolerance": let the person go on and remain in fellowship regardless of actions you think are misdeeds. But that's actually backwards. There's a quote that I've seen attributed to Napoleon, Woodrow Wilson, and perhaps others: "When your enemy is destroying himself, don't interfere." To let someone go his or her own way down a path that leads to death is not an act of love for that person; it's either an action of hatred (as the quote I just cited indicates) or of apathy and self-love.

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    1. I totally agree, Jonathan! I think there is a difference between tolerating one's sin, and loving them through their sin. Lord help me if I ever tolerate the sins of my troubled teens, but by the same hand, I cannot see Him being pleased with me for turning my back on them because of their sin...

      Love hurts sometimes. I think that is what we forget. Love doesn't mean patting someone on the head. That is actually the opposite of love. Rather, to love often times means to give the hard truth, no matter the consequences.

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