31 October 2010

RANT: "love the sinner, hate the sin" Part II

Perhaps you've heard enough on this subject, if so- feel free to skip this post. A friend emailed me a response to this argument that reminded me of a whole other issue that relates to this phrase. Let me post it here:
"Still this does bring up a difficult question. The question of how do we love and respect others without compromising our own values and morals? In other words, at what point do we stop showing appropriate love to the sinner and start condoning the sin?"..."I cannot condone that course of action as righteous or just as I know it is wrong and spiritually harmful. Because I maintain this stance and express genuine concern for those who have chosen a path other than the Gospel path I have been accused of not respecting others' choices and of propagating hatred."
Okay. I've heard this argument a lot.  "Well, where do we draw the line between loving them and condoning their actions?" I believe that the point is, it isn't our place to even think about whether our love will be interpreted by the other person as condoning their actions. It is like the argument, "Well, if I give the bum money, I am just supporting his alcohol and drug addictions." By saying, or thinking this, we judge what the other person will do with the gift we give! You are not going to be held accountable for what the receiver of the gift does with his gift. You will be judged on whether or not you gave what you could to this person and from where your heart was. The reciever will be held accountable for what he did with it. Remember the parable of the talents?  Saying that you are not giving love or whatever gift it is you wish to give because you don't want to condone the person's actions is an excuse to free yourself from showing love and giving service.

Christ said to love. He didn't say love as long as the person you are loving doesn't think your love is supporting his sinful ways. There is no conditions put on the love we are supposed to have for others. So I would argue we stop putting conditions on our love. We don't get to draw the line in the sand where love should stop.

I came upon another blogger who has addressed this issue and I think he brings out some important points: Young Stranger


J G-W said...

We both came to the same conclusions... I think it's pretty clear what the scriptures teach about judging others and about loving others.

I also agree with one of your other commenters that folks tend to use that "love the sinner, hate the sin" formulation mainly to deal with homosexuality. That says something too...

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