Suggested New Year’s Resolution: Never Again Say, “Love the sinner, hate the sin.”

That phrase represents the classic weakness of Christianity, the desire to pass judgement on others.

Love the sinner, hate the sin is, of course, code language for, “I hate gays.”  No one says such a thing about the sins of straight people.  It is only the “others,” gays.

It would especially by refreshing to see those who “love the sinners”, gays, express their love by supporting what gays need to be accepted as full and equal members of society.   Without supporting them, there is no honest way to say there is “love”.

If, as the Bible says, we are all born sinners, the phrase, “love the sinner” makes no sense.  The correct expression would be, ” love everyone,” because everyone is a sinner.

I realize, of course, it is mostly impossible for many Christians to see homosexulaity as just another sin.  The phrase, “love the sinner” is meant to single out this sin for special demonization, an apocalyptic sin.  It says to the homosexual, “Your sin is far worse than mine.”

There is no Biblical basis for believing the homosexual “sin” is worse than other sins.  It has simply become thought of in this way because of cultural values of our time.  That and, as Jerry Falwell admitted, it’s a money maker.

Another suggestion for a Christian New Year’s Resolution is, “Love the sinner, learn more about those I despise.”  Christians might be surprised by the wonderful people they meet.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/micah-j-murray/why-i-cant-say-love-the-sinner-hate-the-sin-anymore_b_4521519.html?utm_hp_ref=religion

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About Jon Lindgren

I am a former President of the Red River Freethinkers in Fargo, ND, a retired NDSU economics professor and was Mayor of Fargo for 16 years.
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44 Responses to Suggested New Year’s Resolution: Never Again Say, “Love the sinner, hate the sin.”

  1. Formerly Fargo Bob says:

    You nailed it in this blog, Jon. A great job of exposing the hypocrisy behind a hollow empty phrase. In addition, it’s incredibly condescending and patronizing. Many Christians dutifully and mindlessly mouth the words “I’m a sinner,” but you can always tell that they think my being gay is far worse than anything they do. This obsession with sin also leads them to believe that people somehow can choose their sexual orientation, since to be a sin being gay must be freely chosen. When you ask them how it’s possible to choose who you’re sexually and emotionally attracted to, they can never give much of an answer. Sometimes I even ask if people get a form in the mail after they’ve gone through puberty that asks them to check a box – men, women, both, neither. Apparently to them, choosing your sexual orientation is that simple.

  2. Michael Ross says:

    1“Do not judge so that you will not be judged. 2“For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you. 3“Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? 4“Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ and behold, the log is in your own eye? 5“You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.
    “24Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment.”(John 7:1-5, 24)

    “Suggested New Year’s Resolution: Never Again Say, “Love the sinner, hate the sin.”

    “That phrase represents the classic weakness of Christianity, the desire to pass judgement on others. ”

    Classic weakness of of the human condition I would say. We all pass judgement. We do it all day long. Its judgement out of self righteousness that Jesus condemned.

    • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

      Michael 2:02 “Classic weakness of the human condition I would say. We all pass judgement.”

      I can’t deny that. I guess what I’m saying is there is the kind where someone admits he is passing judgement because he simply doesn’t like someone or something. Then there is the kind where there is some kind of ostensibly third party’s “objective” stardard is used, the Bible. A more honest judgement would be to admit it’s just me making it.

  3. entech says:

    It also sounds very supercilious:
    “I know it is a sin, and I know that you can never be as good as me because of your particular sin, but I love you anyway”.

    Love is unconditional, doesn’t need any ifs or buts or maybes or in spite ofs. All fellow human beings are my neighbors, we share the same planet, so, love your neighbor as yourself.

  4. Stan Ryland says:

    I don’t know if you were just trying to generate some controversy or not but I think you missed the boat on this one. The first thing that comes to my mind when I hear this phrase is a mother or father trying to make a child understand why they are mad about what a child did but that they still love the child. “I love you but I hate what you did” For adults that have to deal with people that commit crimes they try to tell them that they love them but they hate what they did. I think the phrase is a simple way of summing up a common situation in the human condition. You can always take things and twist them around to make thing appear in your favor but you missed this one.

    • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

      Stan 3:01 Thanks for coming on to post here.

      “… I think you missed the boat of this one.”

      I think you make a good point that there are times when one can like a person/child and dislike what they have done. But, context is important, too.

      In this case we all sin, or so it says in the Bible (I don’t happen to believe this). Sins are not ranked in the Bible so far as I know. There is no passage that says, “Homosexuality is a greater sin than all, or most, others.” So, it is parts of the Christian community that have elevated homosexuality to a lofty standing for no other known reason, than their personal distaste for it. On top of that, there is no demostrated “love” for homosexuals, only efforts to deprive them of rights straight people take for granted.

      My advice is that people don’t use, “Love the sinner, hate the sin” to justify their position on homosexuality. Better they just say they don’t like it.

    • entech says:

      Far from this being like a father/Mother and child, this is more like a distant cousin saying I don’t think your parents would approve! You have no way of knowing, some words written thousands of years ago for a different time and circumstance.

      At the time the Hebrews were a pretty minor tribe surrounded by more powerful neighbours, the Mesopotamians and the Egyptians. Ancient Israel was a tiny country with small towns and population compared to its neighbours. Hemmed in by desert on two sides and the Mediterranean sea on the other, a major route between its neighbours which each had their own territorial ambitions. It was a matter of grow and prosper or perish. Anything that would prevent growth was frowned upon and nothing slows the growth rate quite like exclusively homosexual action.
      You could compare it to the early Mormons fighting their way across the country, losing so many of their young men, in this circumstance with so many unmarried women and a need to grow, it would have been immoral not to introduce polygamy.

      Thousands of years later a bunch of people have adopted the Israelites story as their own, adopted the God that saved them from slavery in Egypt, Egypt a country with its own history of myth and magic that most Christians have no connection with at all, no ancestors that took part in the alleged flight. A bunch of people that have done some savage cherry picking at some of the hundreds of laws, concentrating on 10 the first four relate directly to this God of the Hebrews, the remainder are just common sense and designed to add cohesion to the tribal life and aid expansion.

  5. entech says:

    Bedtime down here, just had a late supper and looked in to see if anyone was up early enough and interested enough to say anything.
    And I got to thinking it is not surprising, everyone must know how completely phony this is. Think of it like formal logic or algebra, sin is just a variable so if you swap something else for “gay” you could get some interesting thoughts:
    Hate murder love the murderer?
    and so many others, and dare I mention abortion?
    If you only use sinner to mean someone homosexual, then it is not valid it is simply code for saying I agree with Fred Phelps but I don’t want to admit it.

    • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

      entech 1:36 “Hate the murder love the murderer?”

      Or, let’s try it on political figures. “Hate what Sadam Hussein did, love Sadam.” Same with Hitler. As you say, abortion Doctors.

      Comparing what parent say and do, loving their children as parent do, with how people react in politics and religion is not valid.

  6. H.P.Drifter says:

    On today’s topic, just another bit of hypocrisy to hurt people feelings and in the Christian mind they get a chance to reaffirm their simple mindedness and lack of sensitivity. Ten to one most of the people that make this statement have never meet or even talked to a gay person knowingly.

    Jon I think I have found the basic difference in our own philosophy of life. You think of the catholic church as the opposition and as a politician you will take what you can get from them to further a point you are trying to make.

    Me on the other hand look at things differently having suffered at the hand of others (including the church) most of my life in one way or another. (learned to make this no be deal, part of life) I feel I have some sort of innate moral standards given to me by nature. Simple stuff really most of which is just common sense oriented.

    One thing I will not do is knowingly comprise my integrity for control of the situation, no matter the circumstances. Don’t shop at Catholic charity thrift stores, don’t shop at Target either, because of there anti gay policy. I treat every body fairly or try to to the best of my ability. I give everyone a chance of any faith, screw me once then no more business. This is why I prefer Costco over Walmart.

    The list is long, but really is it of no importance to anybody except me. But it does make me feel better about myself, I am not doing business with the enemy. Though I do stand up for my rights and protect the family at any cost.
    This philosophy developed over the years, nothing I just thought of, something that just evolved. Easier to love that hate, easier to get along than fight. Easier to stand up for what you believe in than not.

    H.P.D.

    • Wolfy32 says:

      Well said!! With children, it is incredibly important to let them know they’re loved even though they do something wrong or stupid. We expect they’ll grow out of the behavior, hense why, expectations change, as adults, people are responsible for their actions. I do believe as adult love has conditions. If someone chooses to murder people, Even if it was my own brother or sister I would quite possibly choose to no longer love them. There are deal breakers in life, and love does have conditions. If it doesn’t we are not loving ourselves.. If we do not love ourselves, we cannot love others.

      Case in point. Let’s go with the stereotypical abusive marriage. A man comes home has terrible days at work 2-3 days a week and beats his wife.. When asked why the wife won’t leave the man she says because she loves him…

      However, is she loving herself by being beaten constantly? How can she love him, when she has no respect or love for herself?

      Love has conditions. Having lived in that abusive relationship, but, in reverse. Which is probably as shameful to admit as a man, as a gay to admit they’re gay in some places, but, having thought I was loving someone that took advantage of my “unconditional” love, I came to realize love has conditions as adults. I may choose to not love someone that’s molested children, or I may choose to no longer love my spouse once I realize how much I’m degrading and choosing to not love myself.

      I do not believe the “hate the sin, love the sinner” applies to adults very well.. It also puts “us” (those that use the phrase) on a pedestal, as though we have a right to declare what is sinful.

    • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

      H.P.D. 2:28 “Jon I think I have found the basic difference in our philosophy of life. You think of the catholic church as the opposition and as a politian you will take what you can from them to further the point you are trying to make.”

      The Catholic Church, just now, offers a laboratory to study the nature of the Christian faith and the nature Christian institutions. We have changing social mores, changing views on marriage (not so much interest in it in general), gay marriage, homosexuality as sin, birth control (not much interest in the Catholic Church’s position), literal belief in the Bible, the lofty position of clergy, etc. Then, we have entrenched interests inside and outside the Church who want nothing to change. Change must happen for the institution to survive in the long run.

      The opportunity is to observe how the inevitable change is worked out. One can label observation and blogs on all of this as political, social science or man in the street, it doesn’t matter. It’s a fascinating time no matter what one calls it.

  7. Wanna B Sure says:

    There is more material for PERSONAL reflection in the 10 C (and the explanations), without the need to look outward. Outward looking is pietism in it’s worst form. If everyone mended their own fences, they wouldn’t notice their neighbors. I don’t need to know if your belly button is an “innie” or an “outie”, and you don’t need to remind me. I/we really don’t care.

    • Wanna B Sure says:

      your point?

    • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

      Wolfy32 5:39 “Thought you’d like this.”

      A statue depicting Satan would be a good compliment to a Ten Commandments Monument. The 10C monuments all have a Cross on them as well as a Star of David. (Those seemed to be the only religions Christians knew about in the 1950′s). We tried to put up a monument with the Treat of Tripoli on it but were summarily turned down. Our case to remove the 10C is ongoing. Obviously, the Satan monument people in Oklahoma would prefer the 10C be removed to putting up their own.

      • Wanna B Sure says:

        Jon: how is that related to my 3:07? Wolf; I am assuming your 5:39 is a response to my 3:07, However you may not know, and Jon will verify my position is that the 10 c’s should not be on public property, also included is public prayer at governmental occasions. All falling in line with the principal of “The Two Kingdoms”, loosely AKA the separation of church and state. I suspect you are trying to inject something into my 3:07 that isn’t there.

      • Wanna B Sure says:

        Jon-Wolf: Sooooooooo——-In context to my 3:07, your points are- – - pointless.

      • Wanna B Sure says:

        PS; Where I live, there are no postings, or monuments of the 10c’s in/on either city or county properties, or schools. Nor are prayers said before, during, or after any of the public meetings. It may also be said, even from the 40′s, when I was in country school, there was no 10 c’s, on the walls, or prayers said in school., and initially, there was no “under God” in the pledge. Even at that time, I felt it was unnecessary and read clumsily.

        • josh says:

          That’s because you’re a heathen.

          • Wanna B Sure says:

            Josh: I’ve been wondering what specific church group do you subscribe to. Don’t be bashful now. Tell us proudly. You wouldn’t be ashamed of your affiliation now would you?

      • Wolfy32 says:

        They made it clear in the article they don’t actually worship the mythological being. And the symbols they want to put up are actually pagan symbols, not Christian or anti christian. Though, they are symbols Christianity had pegged as being evil…

        That said, they’re nonthreatening symbols. Wanna, this is not in response to your posts. Sorry, I wasn’t thinking about you. I saw the cnn article and thought of this blog post from Jon… How things are highly hypocritical in our society.

    • entech says:

      Wolfy 5:39 Interesting proposition, but quite misguided. We have no more knowledge of what Satan looks like and we have of what Jesus looks like (although according to Fox both Jesus and Santa where white). In fact we have as much knowledge of the existence of the Christian Satan as we have of the Christian Jesus, lots of speculation about both though.

      Wanna, 6:23 pm – how long have you been the centre point of this blog?

      Josh, 8:23 pm –
      heathen n. pl. heathens or heathen
      1. Offensive
      a. One who adheres to the religion of a people or nation that does not acknowledge the God of Judaism, Christianity, or Islam.
      b. Such persons considered as a group; the unconverted.
      2. Heathen An adherent of a Neopagan religion that seeks to revive the religious beliefs and practices of the ancient Germanic peoples.
      3. Informal
      a. One who is regarded as irreligious, uncivilized, or unenlightened.
      b. Such persons considered as a group.
      Wanna and I have many differences and I think he is wrong in so many ways, but I do not think being heathen by any definition is one of them.
      Although I do think the unenlightened part of 3.a could well refer to you. Probably the uncivilised bit too. Irreligious, not but your own ideas but probably a bit too extreme for most.

      Wolfy 6:55 pm, there is one difference, the Christian actually do worship their mythological being.

      • Wanna B Sure says:

        Have never been the center point. However if I disagree with evidence, or ask for clarification, it is my understanding that I am free to do that. Actually, quite often I bite my tongue and say less than what opportunity presents itself. The very nature of this site does present a fertile field though. If Jon wants me to go away, he is free to cut me off. However, if you can’t handle rebuttal, your cause is weakened even more.

        • entech says:

          Your point?

          As you are so keen on saying

          You have missed the point, the point was what would make you think Wolfy’s post about you? ?
          Does the universe have to be related to whatever you say?

          You were not asking for clarification or disagreeing with evidence, in you own words Jon: how is that related to my 3:07? Wolf; I am assuming your 5:39 is a response to my 3:07,

          • Wanna B Sure says:

            You miss the point completely., but at least your attempted non- point is not out of sequence.

          • Wanna B Sure says:

            One thing may help clear up the confusion: when someone makes a statement, it would be beneficial to name the person to whom it is made. This has been a constant problem, especially when more than one person is involved in the conversation. Wolfy did clear it up— after the fact, but not before.

          • entech says:

            Conversely it would seem that anyone making a statement should, to avoid confusion, say,”Not talking to you this time Wanna, sorry”.

            As you have demonstrated the use of indentation can serve this purpose, Wolfy does this, so does Jon and you and I do except when I slip up.
            The only reason I can see for your assumption is your ego.

          • Wanna B Sure says:

            Entech: The only reason you are offended is simply because one doesn’t agree with your position, and you don’t like to be challenged.

          • Wanna B Sure says:

            Indentations do work most of the time, but sometimes, due to the context, it is not all that clear. If you look back, you will notice I was the one who introduced the 10 c’s, but only in the context of PERSONAL consideration. (again see my 3:07). It then blossomed out of context out all over the place into a satanic monument, and discussion of the 10 c’s on public property.

          • entech says:

            W 12:53 Now you are losing it, I have not indicated offense only amusement at your egocentricity.

            If you want to play silly games about “I was first” check the last sentence of my 5:12 am.
            Your 3:07 was an interesting aside on contemplation and meditation but totally irrelevant to the main topic.
            It then blossomed out of context out all over the place into a satanic monument, and discussion of the 10 c’s on public property. only in your imagination. No one else saw any relationship It was a personal post, a matter between you and your ego, a matter of so many are holier than thou type thinkers, extreme piety, but you are perfect.

            Feel free to disagree, just my observation and opinion, unlike you I can be wrong.

          • Wanna B Sure says:

            Entech; Your 5;12 was a different issue and thread. The remainder of your last post is your opinion only, and you are wrong. sit back and reboot.

          • entech says:

            Wanna, look at it all again, your 3:07 was a thread of one post, yours. The rest is your resentment about being ignored, poor darling, get used to it you prove yourself less relevant as the weeks go by.

          • Wanna B Sure says:

            Yes, I can see it is beyond you. There there. The will is bound for you.

          • entech says:

            It could be the will is bound, unfortunately the deeper problem is that your mind is bound.

            We will see what is to be seen, to quote Kipling, totally out of context, but the only guarantee there is:
            At the end of the fight lies a tombstone white with the name of the late deceased.

          • Wanna B Sure says:

            Now you are sounding like a 3rd grader; “Oh ya? So’s your old man.” Bound.

          • Wanna B Sure says:

            What’s next? Something from Einar Shazam I would guess.

  8. Henry says:

    Jon:“No one says such a thing about the sins of straight people.”

    Not true. Phil Robertson did when he was reflecting on his personal preferences. He wasn’t heard by you or the MSM or the Gay pried group.

  9. josh says:

    Lindgrens law!

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