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Wednesday, January 31, 2018

The Sin and the Sinner

People have famously said we should "Hate the sin; love the sinner." Whether or not that's true, we can all understand the concept, I believe. I mean, we can understand that there is a distinction between an idea and an "idea-er" (yes, I just made that up). In easy terms, a 12-year-old boy may delight in the idea of slaying dragons, but offer him the opportunity to try his hand at it and he'd likely (if he had any sense) refuse. That's an easy concept. There are ideas, and there are people, and we ought not confuse the two.

Now, I do this, even regularly. I oppose what I call "gay mirage" because I think it doesn't exist regardless of what the crowd says, but that doesn't tell you how I will respond to those who are in it. I believe that the Bible is abundantly clear that homosexual behavior is a sin, but that doesn't tell you how I relate to those who practice it. There is a clear distinction to me between an idea and those who carry it out. So it seems obvious to me that we can "Hate the idea; love the idea-er." (You know, using that word more often doesn't make it any prettier, does it?)

This is why I am surprised at the seemingly large and certainly loud number of people who think otherwise. They appear to think that if I oppose an idea or an activity I hate the person engaging in it. Opposition to so-called "same-sex marriage" is declared "hate". If you believe that homosexual behavior is a sin, you are "homophobic" and "bigoted." If I consider it wrong to jettison God's Word in favor of Man's Reason, they think I am "intolerant" of those who do it. It seems to me, from the prevalent furor on this kind of thing, that I may be rarer than I think I am. It looks like the majority cannot distinguish between the idea and the idea-er. If you hate the idea, you must hate the one who carries it out. I know I don't, but my objections generally fall on deaf ears.

It seems to me, then, that there are logical ramifications if what looks to be true actually is. If the majority of people cannot distinguish between a view on a concept and a view on the people that engage in that concept, then I can expect other things. They are hostile to God (Rom 8:7), so I should expect that they would be hostile to God's people. They hate Christ (John 15:18), so I should expect they will hate those who belong to Christ. They despise Christianity, so I should anticipate they will be hateful and bigoted toward Christians. And I think, if you look around, that's what you see.

It isn't a big deal. This isn't a "martyr complex". It was promised by Christ and we shouldn't be surprised (1 Peter 4:12). We aren't at the mercy of those who would victimize us; we're in the hands of the Master. Jesus said it would happen. I'm just pointing out that it likely will. And I'm hoping that you won't be among those who hate the sin and, therefore, hate the sinner. Our call, regardless of what the rest of the world does, is to love our neighbor. Let's just keep doing that. We should "Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven." (Matt 5:16) Even if -- especially if -- they don't like you (Matt 5:43-47).

1 comment:

Marshal Art said...

The whole thing's a sham. To accuse you of hating the person who sins when your comments and objection refer to the sin the person commits is just a way to shut you up. It's far too difficult to defend the indefensible, and far easier to attack those who point out what is true and righteous (or sinful and immoral). Simply ask them what you did or said that suggests you hate the sinner in question. They won't be able to answer without suggesting you did something you never did. I ("we", actually) know one guy who will insist your opposition alone is oppressive or some kind of assault. But the hurt feelings that might result are no more than their consciences agreeing with you. That drives them nuts, so stifling opposition is their prime directive.