Hate the Sin, Not the Sinner

This is a phrase I have often heard as a stance of the Christian Church.  I don’t think this phrase is actually in the Bible, in which case it is something people have added to a faith that is supposed to listen to God’s word and not add anything to the Bible.  While this phrase looks virtuous at first glance, is it really?

With all of the violence around the world, I personally think hate is too strong a word to throw around lightly. Isn’t the word sin just another label to put in people you don’t agree with?  When you hear about the latest violence in the world, and you will anytime you access a news source, listen closely to see if that violence was directed at a person or a label.  How many of the violent acts are directed at policeman, insurgents, rebels, extremists, women, homosexuals and the list of labels goes on and on. We don’t hear of nearly as much violence directed at an individual.

If the Orlando shooter had personally known the individuals, would he have killed 49 of them? We will never know of course, but what we do know is that he hated a label, or sin, and expressed that hate by hurting individuals.

There is an amazing mother of a very young transgender child that I recently connected with online.  It is very heartwarming for me to have that opportunity in this ever shrinking world, but the same tools that make that possible isolates us also.  A majority of days I do not communicate at all with the people on tranait with me.  People I see everyday are so engrossed in their online world, that we do not even share a good morning, and yet we can have social supports on another continent.  There must be a happy medium here.  Would the world be such an angry place if we took the time to know individuals?

How many times did Jesus show compassion to individuals who did things he did not agree with?  Instead of condemning them as a label, he met the individual.  I don’t think hating the labels we put on people is a healthy attitude.  Growing up in a Christian Church makes it easier for me to use that perspective, but this is certainly not limited to them.  It is an epidemic that affects nearly everyone. Maybe it’s time we took a break from hatred.  Next time you are tempted to hate a certain sin or label, get to know an individual within that label before condemning a whole group of people.  You might be surprised how much we all have in common and how hard it is to truly hate when you see past the label.

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